This week I’ve been scouring Porto to discover more about the tastiest and most authentic delicacies. I booked a Porto food and wine tour as an Air BnB experience and if you would like to do the same tour you can book it here. Porto’s food highlights include Bacallau, Pastel da Nata and the famous Francesinha sandwich. Read on to find out more!
Day 1 in Porto – My Food and Wine Tour with Francesco
My Fantastic guide Francisco was originally from Lisbon and learnt to speak English there. He has been studying in Porto for a few years and currently doing tours alongside his masters. We connected and got along great!
The Beautiful Portuguese Pastries
First of all we stopped off at Padaria Ribeiro Baixo for some gorgeous Porto pastries. I had a tasty mini trio which consisted of….
- Pastel da Nata – The famous Portuguese custard tart
- Portuguese Almond tart – Crunchy and sweet!
- Bolo de Berlim – fluffy cream filled dough balls!
Sweet cakes are in abundance in Portugal – cheap and amazing. In fact it’s normal for most Portuguese to start their day with a pastel de nata and a coffee, which brings us to the next stop…
Portuguese Coffee at Guarany
Next we stopped by at Guarany for a Portuguese coffee. Guarany is known as the ‘Musicians cafe’ and was established in 1933. The cafe is built in Art Deco style and contains a marble relief featuring an Indian and 2 paintings by Graça Morais that depict the Guarany tribe – the tribe who influenced the business and helped it to establish. The coffee was smooth and sweet – I’d highly recommend it. Remember that many Portuguese don’t drink coffee with milk – it’s so sweet that they don’t need to! If you prefer a “latté” or an “Americano with milk” you need to ask for “um galao”.
Fish Tasting at A Conserveira do Bolhao
The next stop was at A Conserveira do Bolhao in the Bolhao market, a family run father and son business that specialises in…canned fish! Yes, the sardine industry is massive in Portugal, but you need to understand that here canned fish can be something of a delicacy! I was lucky enough to try some bachalao, mackrel, chilli sardines and petingas (small very tasty sardines) with the appropriate accompaniments. The mackrel went exceedingly well with Balsamic vingar and red onion. And it was washed down with a perfect Duoro valley white wine.
I even managed to get a lovely set of tinned fish and pates for €18 to take home. But then I realised that I only had hand luggage only and not checked baggage. I guess I will be eating a lot of fish this week then…
Interesting fact – the Cod fish used in Bachalao doesn’t actually come from Portugal it’s imported!
Also in the Mercado Temporario de Balhao we got to try some fresh olives and olive oil. Again sadly I can’t bring it back to the UK thanks to terrorism and Brexit!
Casa Louro – Presunto e Salpicao
The next stop was possibly my favourite – Casa Louro – specialists in ham and salami. But let me tell you this – the ham here was absolutely out of this world. I’ve never had ham that feels like it’s melting in your mouth before, but this really did. We tasted it with some bread, olive oil and olives, washed it down with some Portuguese green wine (rather fizzy!) and then it was on to our next stop.
Bifana at Casa Guedes
Just when I thought I couldn’t eat anymore, the Bifana came out. This was complimented by a side order of goats cheese and crackers with sweet chutney – it was divine and went down really well with my pink bubbly! If you’ve never had a Bifana before you need to try this in Portugal. A beef sandwich may sound rather bland but the way they do it is far from it. The Portuguese Bifana makes a great snack or light lunch.
Well – I was jolly well pissed by this point and rather full! And although this was the end of my Porto food and wine tour I needed to tell you a few more things about food and wine here – the Francesina and the Port Tasting. Let’s look at what we ate and drank on day 2 in Porto.
Day 2 in Porto – Still eating and this time with my friend Ginny!
Brunch at Zenith
The next day in Porto, my friend Ginny arrived from Lisbon and we were eager to explore the city together. We found a fantastic breakfast at Zenith – a popular international cafe/restaurant that specialises in brunches. I had an amazing eggs benedict and Ginny tried tapioca.
Pasteis de Bacalhao
Our mid morning snack was the Pateis de Bacalhao – cod fish cookies or pastries. They are a popular snack here in Portugal. We paid €2.50 at Casa Guedes, but if you go to the Supermarket you can pick them up for €0,50-€0.75.
The Traditional Porto Francesinha
We enjoyed a tuk-tuk tour of Porto in the morning. When we had finished our tour we asked the driver to drop us off for a Francesinha – a traditional meat sandwich coated in cheese, served in source and topped with an egg. Don’t be deceived by the way that it looks – it looks small but once you dig in it’s MASSIVE! Don’t miss this before you leave Porto
Port Wine Tasting
There are so many places for Port tasting in Porto. You can also cross the river to Vila nova de Gaia and go to one of the many Port Wine Cellars. We had a Port tasting session with David who owns a wine shop called Louriga. He had a proper power point presentation for us to learn about the wine. We got to learn the difference between Ruby, Tawny and Rose Port. Also we got to learn about how they put an age the Tawny and the best Port wines to buy.