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The best cheap restaurants in Porto

Travelling on a budget, or just after great-value food? Here’s where to eat for less in Porto

© João SaramagoBrick Clérigos

Porto’s got no shortage of fancy expensive places to eat (plus plenty of tourist-bait dining). But we reckon these are the city’s top eateries that combine great food and low prices. Your wallet will be eternally grateful

The best cheap restaurants in Porto

A Capoeira

4 out of 5 stars

The secret of this Foz classic is simple: food portions are family-sized, so take plenty of company. ‘Good, affordable, pretty, genuine, everything a man could dream of’, rhapsodized our critic, bless him. Worth a mention: the cod à la Brás (so good they only serve it once a week) and the octopus rice. The adventurous might want to go for the tongue stew and the ‘cabidela’ blood rice. They are – honestly – delicious.  

Time Out tips:

The croquettes are not on the menu, but if you order them, they’ll cook ’em.

Cod à la Brás (amazing) is only served on Tuesdays.

Don’t be freaked out if the waiter takes away your platter. They don’t leave it on the table so the food doesn’t get cold.

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Foz

A Cozinha do Manel

4 out of 5 stars

A Cozinha do Manel is a Porto classic. Don’t miss the duck rice and the roast veal, and check out the walls. Everyone from sports stars to prime ministers has dined here, and their pictures decorate the space. They came, they ate corn bread – which comes fresh every day from Avintes – and they got their picture taken.

Time Out tips:

French toast with pumpkin, figs and pine nuts: the must-have dessert.

Be prepared to queue. It’s popular!

Porto-style tripe stew is served Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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Bonfim
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Antunes

Antunes rule number one: everything goes down great with a glass of house wine. Rule number 2: follow the advice of Dona Maria Luísa. Third rule: close your eyes and point at the menu – whatever you choose, it will be good. Try hake fillets with vegetable rice, partridge stew, cod with onions (served year round) or wild boar with beans (when in season). Pork fans, the knuckle will blow your porcine mind.

Time Out tips:

Any dish with roast potatoes is a good choice.

There’s a great ‘tripas’ tripe stew.

On Wednesday they serve Antunes-style french toast.

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Baixa

Boulevard Burger House

Boulevard Burger House is inspired by American diners. Kick off with mac ’n’ cheese and a milkshake. Burgers (some of the best in town) are a highlight. There are two lunch menus: one for €6.95 (daily special, a drink and a coffee), and the other for €11.95 (appetisers, a main course, a drink, dessert and coffee). There’s no five dollar shake, btw.

 

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Cedofeita
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Brick Clérigos

4 out of 5 stars

Brick Clérigos is one of Porto’s most beautiful restaurants. A large wooden table fills the main space and kitchen utensils hang from the ceiling. A stranger will ask you to pass the salt: deal with it: it’s part of the charm. It’s meant to be like a friend’s house, with an open kitchen next to the communal table. There are cheese boards, hot and cold sandwiches and all kinds of salads. Everything is healthy and very Instagram-friendly.

Time Out tips:

If your party is larger than 18 people, you can have the whole restaurant to yourself.

Children are very welcome and there’s plenty for them to do.

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Baixa

Casa Ferreira

4 out of 5 stars

Any visit to Casa Ferreira should start with ‘Do you have “pataniscas”?’ If they’re out of these delicious cod snacks, take a moment to rail against fate, then order the chicken soup (almost as great) or anything with potato salad. This family-owned restaurant has been going for more than 40 years, and what comes out of the kitchen is full of the sort of know-how and trickery known only to mothers and grandmothers. The family moved to a new location this year, but their Ferreira steak – rump steak, ham, cheese, egg, fries and meat gravy – remains as essential as ever.

Time Out tips:

They have ‘alheira’ – a cod sausage. Try it: you might like it.

Order wine from the Adega Cooperativa de Ponte de Lima.

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Cedofeita
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Cozinha da Amélia

This Campo Alegre restaurant’s name is pretty descriptive: this is indeed Amélia’s kitchen. She’s in charge of the show, offering delicacies such as the cod cakes or the eight (yes, eight) other kinds of cod dishes. If you’re in the mood for meat, go for the tripe stew or the ‘mirandesa’ beef steak, or the (sniff!) kid goat.

Time Out tips:

Try the ‘best “pão-de-ló” sponge cake in the universe’: it’s good, though a frankly indefensibly hyperbolic claim.

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Porto

Nabos da Púcara

You may think you got the wrong door and gone into a grocery store instead. Okay, you have gone into a grocery store, but you’re in the right place. The former Bagus grocery was conceptually revamped by chef Hugo Rocha. The tables at Nabos da Púcara are at the back: on your way, you’ll pass cheeses, fresh produce and even Portuguese tinned food. The menu changes constantly – Rocha only uses produce bought that day. If nothing’s good, he can always open a tin. 

Time Out tips:

If brown pumpkin pudding is on the menu, don’t even think twice. Trust us.

You should book (and be aware that the restaurant is only open for dinner).

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Baixa
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Namban Oporto Kitchen Café

Miguel Cunha and Sako Arao closed down their micro-restaurant and opened the slightly larger Namban Oporto Kitchen Café. The lunch menu costs €8.50 and includes soup, a vegetarian, meat or fish main course, three side dishes, onigiri (a Japanese rice ball) and flavoured water. Dishes change daily and there is always a dessert of the day, including the typical Japanese anmitsu (coconut cream and strawberry jelly), blue bean paste and green tea granita.

Time Out tips:

Make a reservation: the restaurant only sits six people and they only serve 30 meals per day.

Outside meal times, teas, craft beers and cocktails with Japanese liquors are served.

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Baixa

O Buraco

You’ll probably have to wait at this traditional restaurant: both upstairs and downstairs rooms are usually full, particularly at lunchtime. Home-style dishes are the speciality: one of their most famous, veal pie, is difficult to find elsewhere in the city. And there’s more: hake rissoles, fried sardines with rice and beans, ‘rojões’ diced pork, duck rice and tripe stew, Porto-style. Everything is very affordable.

Time Out tips:

On Tuesdays, ‘cozido’ is served.

Order the french toast (‘rabanadas’) for dessert.

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Baixa
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