Porto is now considered one of Europe’s most exciting food and wine destinations. In this short selection of places to go, we have left out Michelin star tables (easy to find) and also heavier local tascas, to focus on what we enjoy ourselves: attractive new venues, where young chefs work with fresh local ingredients to reinvent Portuguese classics enhanced by a sprinkling of ‘other’. As Grape Discoveries is a wine tourism brand, we have paid particular attention to the quality and value of the wine list.
James Mayor, Founder Grape Discoveries
A buzzing neighbourhood bar you’ll want to go back to, tucked behind Praça Carlos Alberto. Aduela has a great after dinner vibe or, if you want a more peaceful moment, you can sit outside in the afternoon under the olive tree and watch the locals go by. Extremely good value Portuguese wines, with delicioso small plates.
One of the best wine bars in town, where knowledgeable staff propose a stimulating selection of Portuguese wines, many from the Douro, with tasty snacks. Café Candelabro has a great playlist and you can watch old movies on a screen above the bar while the moustachioed barman chills your glass. A cool crowd, warm enveloping interior and pavement tables too.
This elegant but unpretentious restaurant may sound Japanese… it’s in fact Portuguese and offers the best of contemporary Portuguese gastronomy, twisting classical local ingredients to perfection. Beautifully presented food and delicious Portuguese wines, with friendly service. Centrally located, not far from the famous Infante Sagres hotel, Mito is excellent value, so you will need to book.
Truly a hidden gem, to be experienced now before it gets ‘discovered’. Charming staff in an intimate space, serving delicious food for sharing, with mouth watering Portuguese wines. Fresh, flavoursome fish or meat choices, yummy desserts, all fantastic value, Coupage is located half-way between our two favourite wine bars, Aduela and Café Candelabro (see above), for pre-and-or-after-dinner drinks!
We felt we had to include a more traditional place in this short selection. Solar Moinho de Vento is a popular mid-town classic with crisp white tablecloths, huge pots of fishy rice, squid or prawns and friendly service. It also has a good Portuguese wine list.
Not far from the romantic, peacock-roamed Jardins do Palacio de Cristal, Epoca is the perfect place to go for breakfast, brunch or lunch, or to just chill among the cool crowd of young mainly Portuguese, with a smattering of other nationalities.
Friendly and passionate staff explain the daily menu of fresh and seasonal vegetarian delights, all produced locally, some from the owners’ farm. Creative soups, luscious salads, heavenly eggs, melty cakes, dreamy juices and wine…. You are in a perfect place somewhere between Northern Europe and the Near East.
Closed on Sundays and Mondays, open until 17.00.