Trying the Portuguese cuisine should be at the top of your list of experiences. It may not be as famous as Italian or French cuisine, but it is characterised by a combination of original ingredients – mainly based on fish – which turn Porto into a gastronomic city.
You will have plenty of choices of restaurants in Porto. There are so many places, from open air restaurants around the Ribeira districts to small restaurants in the internal streets, to star-awarded restaurants and other places offering international dishes.
The Portuguese cuisine has several mediterranean influences and it is mostly based on fish. Cod fish, or bacalhau as it is called in Portuguese, is the main protagonist; it may be served after a “caldo“, that is to say a warm soup.
Those who are not crazy about fish can choose the chourico – just like famous Spanish chorizo – which in Portugal is served asado, that is to say cooked over high flame.
The main specialty of Porto is the famous francesinha, that is to say a huge sandwich filled with so many ingredients going from sausages to small steaks, cheese, and fries. A real joy for the palate, but a trouble for your weight!
There is nothing better than an arroz doce for desert, that is to say a rice and cream sweet with cinnamon. How about having a pastel de nata, the famous custard tart filled with cream? You can find it everywhere in Portugal, from Lisbon to Porto.
Portugal has dominated the world for centuries and for this reason it is still possible to feel the influence of other cultures such as its ex colonies like Brazil, Angola, Capo Verde, Macau or Goa, as well as a recent migratory wave.
The fusion Portuguese cuisine often brings some tropical flavours thanks to the strong connection with Brazil. Fresh and sweet and sour flavours dominate it. There are also some interesting Arab influences which date back to the Moorish times, featuring many different spices.
In Porto there are many Italian restaurants. The less authentic ones are crowded with many tourists who love enjoying a good pizza or some spaghetti with a glass of Chianti wine.
Although overrated, Italian food in Porto is a guarantee once you have found the right restaurant. Thanks to the use of fresh and genuine ingredients, the abundance of fish products, and the knowledge of the Italian culture, Italian restaurants in Porto are a safe choice.
As we have previously mentioned, the Portuguese cuisine is mostly based on fish. However, vegetarians in Porto won’t have any problem thank to the many vegetarian options.
There are many restaurants in Porto offering vegetarian or vegan dishes; you just need to know where to go and eating won’t be a problem.
In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article
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