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Bacalhau à Brás d'A Capoeira
© João Saramago | Bacalhau à Brás d'A Capoeira

The 21 best restaurants in Porto

From classic Portuguese fare to Mexican, Indian and Italian, here are the best restaurants in Porto right now

Written by
Time Out Porto editors
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When you think of food in Porto, you might be picturing shelves upon shelves of brightly-coloured tinned fishies. And to be fair, there's a lot of tinned fish here. But Porto specialises in so much more in the world of food. Sumptuous octopus and rice. Baked salt cold. Cozido à Portuguesa (a meaty stew). And of course, the ever-intimidating francesinha, which is basically a seriously meaty Portuguese version of a croque monsieur. 

There is so much great food here, in fact, it can feel virtually impossible to know where to begin. And that's where we come in. The editorial team at Time Out Porto have been sending their restaurant critics all over the city for years, to find out the absolute best of the best in Porto cuisine. On our list, we've included mostly good, proper traditional spots for Portuguese grub, but we've made sure to include where to find the best Mexican, Indian, Italian and more. Whatever you fancy, here are the best restaurants in Porto right now. 

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This guide was written by the editorial team at Time Out Porto. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.

The best Porto restaurants

  • Restaurants
  • Portuguese
  • Bonfim
  • price 2 of 4

Few things are better about this city than the abundance of family restaurants where you can eat superbly – and this has been one of them for more than 35 years. Casa Nanda is a typical example of Northern hospitality, the kind you would find at your grandparents', where the same dishes have been cooked hundreds of times, their taste refined to perfection. Here those dishes include hake fillets with rice or potato salad and grilled beef rib.

Open for more than two decades, this traditional Portuguese restaurant serves food you can't get enough of. The service is old-fashioned and attentive, starched tablecloths are adorned with family photographs, and elaborately carved plates and Arraiolos rugs decorate the stone walls. Leading the troops is chef Margarida Silva, who fills the tables with prawn açordas on toast, one of the house's signature dishes. They also serve seafood rice or cabidela (Portuguese chicken), hake fillets or cod steaks, meat cataplanas, steaks and lots of seafood by the kilo. To round things off order a slice of almond tart or Abade de Priscos (a Portuguese crème caramel), one of the in-house mousses, orange cake or French toast.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Portuguese
  • Ribeira
  • price 2 of 4

We don’t hold back about the stuff we love, and when it comes to Adega São Nicolau, we love everything. There’s a menu full of great dishes – chicken bordelaise, tongue stew, octopus fillets with rice, or the perfect appetiser, cod cakes. Then there’s the desserts (all homemade) or the outdoors tables, overlooking the Douro river. Then there’s the great service – António Coelho has been doing this since he was 11 (in a legally okay way, we’re sure). Note: The restaurant is small, the queues are (very) long. Make a reservation or be prepared to wait.

Come to Fava Tonka for creative, seasonal dishes and a beautifully curated vegetarian menu (not the fake meat kind, the vegetable kind). Part of the Avesso group (the same group as Terminal 4450 and neighbouring Esquina do Avesso), the menu has featured leek cream with white asparagus and cured yolk, truffled onion soup and green bean and hazelnut brás with caramelised buttermilk.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Portuguese
  • Baixa
  • price 1 of 4

A restaurant named after the patron saint of eateries has everything to be a marvel. And indeed that is the case with Taberna Santo António, in Miragaia, just a hop, skip and jump from one of the prettiest and most popular views of the river. The first thing you'll see? The desserts. In fact you might just want to skip dinner completely and go straight for them (the homemade chocolate mousse, for example, is among the city's finest). But you should still try the food, if you can bare it. Order one of the four day's specials – guaranteed to be good. If the menu includes alheira sausage pie and turnip greens, or cod pataniscas with rice and beans, even better.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Flores

Portugal’s first mozzarella bar was opened in Porto’s city centre by chef Luís Américo. There are several varieties of the cheese on offer: fresh, bocconcini (ball-shaped, with a little more texture) and affumicata (smoked). You’re encouraged to mix and match mozzarella varieties with vegetables such as purple leaf lettuce, Italian chicory or green lollo lettuce, and Italian deli stuff like Parma ham. If that sounds like a lot of hard work, there are also set dishes, such as chilled tomato cream with burrata, olive oil and basil, or the layered courgette with affumicata mozzarella, pepper jam and boiled pear. Cheese! Sorry, cheers!

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  • Restaurants
  • Baixa

Well-made dishes, affordable prices and friendly service bring locals back to O Ernesto again and again. Among the most famous dishes at this traditional restaurant in Baixa are the Portuguese stew, octopus fillets, rojões (fried pork) and tripas à moda (beef stomach) do Porto. For dessert, don't miss the fruit salad, the most famous in the city.

This isn't just any Mexican. Duello has seriously bold décor and ‘a small, consistent and homemade menu’ (that's a quote from Lúcia Pinto, a co-owner of Duello with her boyfriend Leonel Ribeiro). Starters feature Aztec soups, shrimp aguachile dishes and huge nachos, with homemade totopos (tortilla chips) covered in meat, cheese, avocado, sour cream and pico de gallo. Next up, unreal quesadillas and tacos, and there's a lot of 'em: try the classic Al Pastor with pork and homemade pineapple pickles, the sautéed prawns with a brandy sauce, the octopus with roasted peppers and chilli, the veal Birria (and its vegan version). Bring company and order them all.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Foz
  • price 3 of 4

This Michelin-starred Foz restaurant has survived for more than 20 years, so it probably deserves a statue or something. Its reputation is based on classics like duck magret or the wellington tournedo, both signature dishes of chef Camilo Jaña. The menu features steak and eggs, plus some creative starters like tuna tartar with avocado and spicy radish mayo. 

The sandwiches sold here started out on a motorbike, going out at street markets and festivals. But they gained a physical space at the end of 2016, and in 2018, this space was renamed Curb. The biggest change that started after this? Curb started doing burger instead of sandwiches. And they're unreal.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • São Bento
  • price 2 of 4

If it's a Monday, head on down to Rápido for their Spanish-style cod. If you're reading this on a Wednesday, book a table and order a ‘cozido’. This restaurant, next to the São Bento railway station, does everything according to tradition, and that earned it many regular patrons over the years. Little is known of its recipes, except that the owner himself picks the ingredients – including those of a famous oven-roasted octopus, served by special order only. Anyway, do save room for dessert.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Portuguese
  • Baixa

You're unlikely to come to this downtown traditional restaurant and not have to wait: both upstairs and downstairs rooms are usually full, particularly at lunchtime. Homemade courses are constantly being served; one of their most famous, the veal pie, is difficult to find elsewhere in the city. But there's more: fine hake rissoles as appetizers, fried sardines with rice and beans, rojões (diced pork), duck rice and tripas (tripe stew) Porto-style. Pretty much everything is affordable here. 

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As soon as you walk through the door, a stone staircase leads up to Izakaya, a kind of Japanese bar. It's only open for dinner, and on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays there's a DJ till 2am. Right next door is the Sushi Bar, where there's seating for six at the counter and tons of fresh fish (and the sushimen hard at work). There's also the Wine Cellar, a secluded room with over 112 wines. But let's talk about the food: temakis, nigiris, uramakis, hossomaki, sashimi and many tempuras fill a menu of endless possibilities, all to be accompanied by classic cocktails or more daring signature ones.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Portuguese
  • Foz
  • price 2 of 4

The secret of this Foz classic is simple: food portions are always family-sized, because it's (almost) always good to have company at the table. This is good, traditional Portuguese grub, in fact... ‘Good, affordable, pretty, genuine, everything a man could dream’, wrote one of our critics about A Capoeira. What else is there to say? A lot. We have to mention the cod à la Brás, so good they only serve it once a week, and the octopus rice. Oh, and we'd be remiss to neglect the tongue stew and the ‘cabidela’ blood rice. Indeed, we could just paste the entire menu here with no additional comments. The main thing is, you will leave the Esplanada do Castelo having eaten a fine meal.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Portuguese
  • Bonfim
  • price 2 of 4

A Cozinha do Manel, in the Campanhã area, is a city classic that remains in great shape. Here, everything is traditional, and in typical Portuguese style you'll find portraits of notable people hanging from the walls. Big names from all sports, jet-setters, prime-ministers – everyone's there. All of them got their picture taken and ate corn bread, which comes fresh everyday from Avintes, moist and tasty.

Okra (from the owners of Flow and Mistu) is the place for wood-fired pizzas. And there's a hell of a lot of variety: the Duck & Radicchio (14), made with smoked duck, radicchio, ricotta, fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and parmesan, and the Mushroom & Goat's Cheese (15) with mushrooms, goat's cheese, ricotta, mozzarella, roasted cauliflower, thyme and truffle powder.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Portuguese
  • Baixa
  • price 2 of 4

Antunes rule number one: everything goes down great with a cup of house wine. Rule number two: follow the advice of Dona Maria Luísa, whose been there since she was 22 years old. The third rule: close your eyes and point randomly at the menu – whatever it is you're pointing to, you're gonna love it. Whether you order hake fillets with vegetable rice, partridge stew or cod with onions (served year round) or wild boar with beans if it's in season, the end result will always be the same: a full and happy stomach. 

Open since 1997, Mendi is the oldest Indian restaurant in the city – and one of the most highly regarded too. The friendliness of the service and the typical flavours of Indian dishes, expertly prepared, make this a restaurant of the highest calibre. Here you'll find everything from papadoms and samosas with a variety of fillings to spicy chicken curries, tandoori grills, biryanis, lamb and fish dishes and vegetarian delights.

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  • Restaurants
  • Foz

Pedro Lemos’s eponymous Michelin-starred restaurant is off the tourist trail: up a quaint Old Foz street. It specialises in fresh produce, much of it straight from the chef’s garden on the terrace. There are two tasting menus (either five or seven courses) or you can order à la carte. The staff are friendly and the mood is relaxed – very much like the chef himself.

 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Portuguese
  • Porto
  • price 2 of 4

This Campo Alegre restaurant's name could not be more descriptive: this is indeed Amélia's kitchen. She runs the place and she runs it well, with delicacies like cod cakes (enough to make our critic Alfredo Lacerda swoon) or the eight (yes, eight) different cod dishes. If you're in the mood for meat, go for the tripe stew or the mirandesa (beef steak). 

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  • Restaurants
  • Portuguese
  • Constituição

We don’t often dish out five-star reviews, but O Paparico really earned one. It’s a paean to Portuguese cuisine, with a creative use of produce that cries out for the tasting menu. The experience is organised into five courses, involving more than ten different plates, such as lobster rissoles with fish roe, Setúbal-style red mullet or veal with quince. Save room for dessert. 

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