The best alfresco restaurants in Porto

Dine en plein air with our pick of the best restaurants in Porto for eating outdoors
BB Gourmet 1858
© João Saramago BB Gourmet 1858
By Time Out Porto editors |
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Porto is a fantastic city for eating and drinking outdoors, and there are plenty places to do it. These are the best.

The best restaurants in Porto for alfresco dining

Restaurants, Portuguese

Adega São Nicolau

icon-location-pin Ribeira

We don’t hold back about the stuff we love, and when it comes to the Adega São Nicolau, we love everything. There’s a menu full of great choices – chicken bordelaise, octopus fillets with rice, or the perfect appetiser, cod cakes. Then there are the desserts (all homemade) and the outdoors tables, overlooking the Douro river. There’s also great service – António Coelho has been doing this since he was 11.

Time Out tips:

– The restaurant is small, the queues are (very) long. Make a reservation or be prepared to wait.

– Try the tongue stew. It's brilliant.

Time Out says
BB Gourmet Bolhão
Fotografia: João Saramago
Restaurants, Fusion

BB Gourmet Bolhão

icon-location-pin Baixa

The Bolhão BB Gourmet mini-chain (there are six around the city) is a great choice for food at any time of day. Pick a pastry for breakfast, grab a takeaway sandwich at lunch, order a hot bun (baked on the premises) in the afternoon and then return for dinner, we recommend the veal with risotto alla parmigiana. At the weekends they serve brunch from 12pm to 4pm. Basically, we’re suggesting you move in, ok?

Time Out tips:

– Got a sweet tooth? Order one of the verrines, they’re all great.

– You can also order anything sold in the restaurant online if the thought of getting off the sofa is too much.

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Belos Aires
Fotografia: João Saramago
Restaurants, Steakhouse

Belos Aires

icon-location-pin Baixa

Portuguese-born Elisabete Martins and her Argentinian chef husband Mauricio Ghiglione bring together their respective cuisines at this downtown restaurant. They serve dishes such as oven-roasted cod with corn bread but if you really want to leave Belos Aires with an open mouth and a full stomach, go for the Argentinian side of the menu, like the ‘criola’ with veal, raisins, cumin and sweet chilli. The steak ojo is also a great choice, as is the colita de cuadril. Don't even think about leaving without dessert: the dulce de leche pancakes are tip-top.

Time Out tips:

– If you can't even walk after the meal, you can stay at the Belos Aires apartments.

– They also serve a great value breakfast for €6, including fresh bread, mini-croissants, cookies and homemade cake.

Tosta de abacate com camarão
© Marco Duarte
Restaurants, Contemporary European

Brick Clérigos

icon-location-pin Baixa

Brick Clérigos is probably one of the city's most beautiful restaurants. It has a large wooden table filling up the main room,  a cutlery cupboard in the middle of the dining room and kitchen utensils hanging from the ceiling. Yes, it's possible a stranger will ask you to pass the salt, but that's part of this restaurant's charm. The concept was to create a place to remind you of a (good) friend's home, with an open kitchen next to the community table as the finishing touch. But wait, the cherry on top of the cake is the food. There are cheese boards, hot and cold sandwiches, all kinds of salads. Everything's healthy and picture perfect.

Time Out tip:

– It's super family-friendly - children are welcome and there's plenty to keep them occupied.

Time Out says
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Cantina 32 - Prego
Fotografia: João Saramago
Restaurants

Cantina 32

icon-location-pin Flores

The Rua das Flores has long been the city's best street for opening a new business. And if it's a cool, well decorated, lively restaurant, then success is practically guaranteed. That's the case with chef Luís Americo's Cantina 32. The long communal table does have a hint of the school canteen about it – but don't worry, this is not cafeteria food. Pretty much everything is good here: from appetisers such as smoked salmon and quail eggs to larger dishes (which you can share) such as the Lafões veal. The latter is one of this busy street's highlights.

Time Out tips:

– The desserts here are among Porto's most creative. Order the biscuit cake, served by the centimetre.

– The restrooms have a 6 and a 9 on the doors. Yeah, we're not sure either. 

Casa Agrícola
Fotografia: João Saramago
Restaurants, Fusion

Casa Agrícola

icon-location-pin Campo Alegre

Casa Agrícola, near the Bom Sucesso Market, is a good example of how a restaurant can be two things at the same time and still be good at both. The lower floor of this grand building serves lighter fare and has a bar. But the main draw is the upper floor where you'll find the more serious (and formal) restaurant. Here you can order a pile of french fries – yes, an actual pile of fries, some of Porto's best, served with excellent, tender roast beef, cooked rare. It's the menu highlight, along with the créme brulée for dessert.

Time Out tip:

– If you don't feel like eating meat, try the first rate monkfish rice.

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Casa de Chá da Boa Nova - Lula Gigante com Molho Bordalês
©DR
Restaurants

Casa de Chá da Boa Nova

icon-location-pin Leça da Palmeira

There are many reasons to head to chef Rui Paula's Leça da Palmeira restaurant. Firstly, his creative and gastronomic skills are superlative, something he's demonstrated at places like DOC in the Douro and DOP in downtown Porto. Secondly, dining at Casa de Chá da Boa Nova (designed by architect Siza Vieira) is made extra special by the dramatic landscape. Every meal starts with an aperitif in a room overlooking the ocean. And the ocean theme is taken through to the menu too – the Atlântico tasting menu, is entirely composed of seafood. The Mar e Terra is more of a surf & turf mix, while Boa Nova offers lighter fare.

Time Out tip:

 

– The fish and lobster rice, the seafood “cataplana” pan and the salted sea bass are all classic dishes worth trying.

Casa de Pasto da Palmeira
Fotografia: João Saramago
Restaurants, Snack bars

Casa de Pasto da Palmeira

icon-location-pin Foz

At Casa de Pasto da Palmeira, in Cantareira, snacks are on another level. 'Alheira' muffins, Rui-style eggs and smoked chicken rolls are among their best-known treats. They have a regularly updated menu and every month something new comes along, such as fried chestnuts, pork cheeks with pumpkin cevadotto or the cinnamon and sweet eggs ice cream. Will they still be on the menu when you visit? Probably not. But that's all part of the fun.

Time Out tips:

– The “alheira” sausage muffins and chicken rolls are permanent fixtures but everything else changes, so if you taste something you like - order seconds!

– The outdoors tables are among Foz's most coveted, even in cold weather.

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Casa D'Oro
Fotografia: João Saramago
Restaurants, Italian

Casa D’Oro

icon-location-pin Porto

Take one of the city’s most beautiful panoramic views, add the area’s best pizzas and the result has to be a success story, right? Italian-born Maria Paola Porru’s Casa D’Ora includes a restaurant and a pizzeria. The only thing the two have in common is being Italian – the upstairs pizzeria is a lot more relaxed than the more formal restaurant. There are plenty of Italian specialities to enjoy, from the popular diavola (devil) pizza to the ossobuco alla milanese. And that river view: perfect for date night!

Time Out tips:

– Not sure which pizza to have? You can order different toppings for each half of your pizza.

– Besides pizzas, the rotolo di spinaci is a best-seller.

 

De Castro
Fotografia: João Saramago
Restaurants, Snack bars

De Castro

icon-location-pin Vila Nova de Gaia

At De Castro led by chef Miguel Castro e Silva, it's all about sharing. Bring friends and order lots of snacks, like the octopus fillets with tartar sauce or cod 'iscas'. That's lunchtime. For dinner, there's a different menu with DOP 'maronesa' beef ribs with oven-roasted rice or the fresh cod and mussels 'cataplana' pan with grapes and saffron. If there's two of you order the special menu of roast veal cheeks with creamy sausage rice or the butter bean clams. There's certainly plenty to choose from.

Time Out tips:

Make sure you take a peek at the cocktail menu and sip your drink on the pretty terrace.

 

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