Eating in a different country or city is always an incredible experience. As much as it is a place with a kitchen similar to the one we are used to, new flavors, textures and combinations are always discovered. For this reason, Paulo and I never failed to taste different and exotic dishes in all the places we visited.
Although Portugal does not have so many eccentric flavors, their cuisine is extremely rich in flavors and with a huge variety of ingredients and spices. As I made a list for you of the best restaurants in Lisbon, I could not fail to mention the best rated in Porto, right?
The Cantina 32 environment is a mixture of styles that makes the place super original. The walls are all burnt cement and part of the lights follow the same industrial style. However, the decor is already more focused on a classic and vintage style that transform the environment.
Their menu is as interesting as the setting. Like most restaurants in Portugal, you will find many options for fish and seafood. Cod is undoubtedly the star of the house. In addition to it, the caldairada de calaça and prawns is also a good option for those who enjoy this type of dish.
If you are the type of person who loves cheese, especially mozzarella, be sure to go to Puro 4050. The place specializes in two types of cuisine: Italian and Mediterranean. Amid all the recipes, the chefs of the house bring cheese as the main element of most dishes.
This is a good option for those who do not want to risk so much in choosing the restaurant, since pasta and risotto are hardly bad. In addition to the traditional mushroom risotto, they also offer a very different version of octopus with chestnuts. For dessert, try the Tawny Port wine tiramisu.
The menu of Mito changes regularly, so the menu is always very creative and taking advantage of the best that each ingredient has to offer. Part of the menu is made for people who want to share the same dish, as in the case of monkfish rice and grilled sole.
If you want a smaller portion, just take a look at the other menu options. Some of the ones that seemed most interesting to me were grilled shitake mushrooms and yakitori sauce and, for meat eaters, scallops served with caramelized onions and mashed potatoes.
Adored by tourists and residents of Porto, Cafeina is one of the best known restaurants in the city. Most of the dishes are based on meat and fish, transforming Lusitanian dishes with light Italian and French touches. All the dishes in the house are super aromatic and full of interesting flavors and textures.
The menu is super varied! Among the options are hake stuffed with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, scallops with spring onions or the typical cod au gratin with roasted onion cream and breadcrumbs. The house’s desserts are also highly praised. The client’s favorite is the pear and almond tart with anglaise cream and Porto Tawn ice cream.
Entering Paparico is like being inside a medieval restaurant, with rustic stone walls and furniture with a super old face. All this decoration makes the restaurant’s atmosphere different from all the others on the list, so it is worth going to it to see a different place.
All dishes are inspired by Portuguese cuisine – both the recipes and the ingredients are designed to compose typical Portuguese dishes. Baked cod with roasted potatoes is one of the most requested dishes there. For those who want to escape the obvious, a good alternative is the octopus with green sauce!
To have a real gastronomic experience, go to Euskalduna Studio. The name of the place is a bit complex, as are all the flavors in the tasting menu developed by chef Vasco Coelho Santos. The restaurant is very small and the purpose of Santos is to make the customer feel super welcomed, so each person can choose their preferences and he will put together a special menu for you.
All this care and attention of the chef makes all the difference, because it shows his passion for the kitchen and the pleasure of seeing people eating well. As the menu is almost never the same, I will not recommend any specific dish. To guarantee you a delicious dinner there, you can book a table by clicking here.
Another incredible place for those who enjoy the tasting menu is Pedro Lemos. The name of the place is the same as that of the chef, who has two Michelin stars. Lemos works with seasonal products, so the menu changes according to the season of each ingredient. This type of choice is super important to maintain freshness and flavor in the preparation of each dish.
The restaurant is very small and cozy, with a decoration that makes the atmosphere more intimate, you know? The menu is constantly changing, one day you can find on the menu a dish with veal, mashed cherovia and mushrooms, and on another, tenderloin with sautéed vegetables.
Meat lovers cannot leave the MUU out of the script. It is one of the most recommended places when it comes to meat, the kind that go to the grill with just a little salt and are already full of flavor and juiciness. The black angus and the rib are always on the plate, since the outlet is large.
His decor is also beautiful, with some industrial touches mixed with more modern and refined parts. If you are a vegetarian or vegan and are accompanying a meat eater, they also offer a great option, called La Galantine. It is composed of Italian zucchini, red beans, tofu, shallot, chives and sautéed vegetables.
Few things in the world are as good as well-made food and tasty wine to harmonize the entire meal. One of the best places to have this type of experience is Vinum, which in addition to having a charming atmosphere, has very talented cooks.
They have a tasting menu for those who prefer to taste small portions of the house dishes, but the à la carte menu is also wonderful. The tuna loin from the Azores with organic tomatoes and the cod loin with green broth are highly praised. Desserts are also delicious, as in the case of thin apple pie.
The decoration of the DOP, although simple, is very cute and creative. Most of the ingredients used by the chef, Rui Paula, are seasonal. The menu is super diverse, with fish, seafood, meat, soups and pasta. Spices and regional products make all the difference in the taste of the dishes.
To give you a better idea of the menu, I will mention some of the main dishes in the sea. Among the parents ordered are the octopus with mashed smoked potatoes and vegetable ravioli and the cod stew. The place also offers two types of tasting menu for those who want to have an even more complete experience.
I imagine you must be salivating after reading about so many delicious foods! Each of these places has a different characteristic, so try to go in at least two of them to get an idea of how tasty and surprising Porto’s cuisine is 😉