Porto’s cuisine is known for being meat and seafood based, but vegetarians and vegans also have plenty of options available. In true Portuguese fashion, many of these venues have their own eclectic personalities, some serving meals in artistic and cultural settings. Here are a few of Porto’s most unique and tastiest vegetarian and vegan restaurants.
Off-center from Porto’s historical hub is Árvore do Mundo, a 100 per cent vegan restaurant that serves meals against a colorful backdrop. Whether you’re looking for lunch, dinner, or a place to sit and read a book over coffee, this venue is worth a visit. Just be sure to bring cash, as it’s the only form of payment accepted. There is also a pet-friendly garden and terrace. The selection of craft beers available may not hurt opinions either.
Em Carne Viva isn’t just another vegetarian restaurant – it is an innovation that blends traditional Portuguese cuisine and fine dining with a complete eco-friendly focus. The elegant and romantic dining area was constructed incorporating recycled wood and recycled glass. Recycled fabrics cover the upholstery and furnishings. The real treat, however, may come with the menu. A number of traditional Portuguese dishes are offered, including caldo verde and the famous meat-heavy francesinha, all transformed into vegetarian and vegan masterpieces. The restaurant also adds a delicate touch, serving five o’clock tea.
For those who prefer buffet-style service, Da Terra is the place to go. This franchise has a couple of store locations across Porto, so it’s easy to access. Don’t get too attached to one dish, however, since the menus change daily. The 100 per cent vegetarian buffet also serves vegan and gluten-free recipes, including both hot and cold meals and desserts.
Essência is a restaurant that can satisfy every diner in a group, as a vegetarian restaurant that offers some meat-based recipes. A lovely fine dining environment, aesthetically-appealing dishes, and cozy outdoor seating all add to the allure that attracts guests to its location, which is three-and-a-half kilometers away from Porto’s historic center. This is another location where a vegetarian francesinha can be sampled.