Best seafood restaurants in Porto
It’s been a classic for decades now and remains a safe haven where seafood is concerned. The amêijoas à bulhão pato (clams with garlic and coriander), percebes (goose barnacles), camarões (shrimps) or the filetes de pescada (hake fillets) – the top seller here – are all good excuses to head for Matosinhos, seafood central.
This was Matosinhos’s first marisqueira (it opened its doors in 1957) and 60 years on it still draws huge numbers of locals and tourists in search of proper shellfish, including locally caught shrimp, oysters, lobster and crab.
At Zizi at Praia da Aguda, there is always fresh shellfish: mussels, clams, shrimps, goose barnacles and more. There is also the best massada de robalo (pasta with sea bass) in the area, which comes in huge servings.
Straight from the sea to the grill: that’s the fate of fish at Toupeirinho, a Matosinhos classic. If you prefer shellfish, try the stuffed sapateira or navalheira (types of crabs).
With good shellfish, plus cured ham and egg sandwiches – the famous PO (for presunto e ovo) – and well-drawn beers, a meal here has all it needs to be perfect. But there’s another secret at O Filipe in Angeiras: the amêijoas à bulhão pato (clams with garlic and coriander).
It’s not so easy to find good fish and shellfish in downtown Porto. Or at least it wasn’t until Ostras & Coisas opened. The oysters from the ria (estuary) at Aveiro are much a popular choice here but don’t rule out the fresh fish, displayed at the entrance.
This marisqueira overseen by Michelin-starred chef José Cordeiro is in Gaia, and has a panoramic view across the River Douro to Porto. Fish and shellfish dominate its tasting menus while, at the bar, cocktails are the centre of attention.
This restaurant run by Rui Paula, one of the region’s leading chefs, is in a striking building by local architect Álvaro Siza Vieira. The ‘Atlantic’ menu, with fish and shellfish at its heart, is a good option here.
The seafood rice and açorda (bread soup) are the specialities at Aquário, in Espinho, but there are other stars here such as lobster, the famous Espinho shrimps and fresh fish from the port of Matosinhos.
One of those restaurants that is good for any occasion, whether a romantic dinner, a family lunch or just to snack with friends. For shellfish, you could hardly do better than heading for Marisqueira de Matosinhos. Don’t forget to try the lavagante (lobster), the top house speciality.