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BB Gourmet 1858
© João Saramago BB Gourmet 1858

The best alfresco restaurants in Porto

Dine en plein air with our pick of the best restaurants in Porto for eating outdoors

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

Essência

Restaurants Vegetarian Pinheiro Manso

Choosing where to have dinner can be a complex task. And in Porto, if your party includes vegetarians, it can be even more difficult. But there are a few veggie-friendly spots, and thankfully they are great. One of those is Essência, located in a revamped former textile factory in Constituição. It's not exclusively vegetarian but the ever-changing menu is always mouthwatering and features dishes such as asparagus and fennel risotto or Thai vegetable curry.

Time Out tips:

The backyard garden is ideal for summer nights (and there are blankets for cold weather days).

LSD Largo São Domingos
LSD Largo São Domingos
Fotografia: João Saramago

LSD Largo São Domingos

Restaurants Fusion Flores

If you're in Porto, hungry and bereft of ideas about where to go, then the São Domingos square, at the end of the Rua das Flores, is your best option. This area has the greatest concentration of restaurants in the city, and some of them are pretty good. And by pretty good we mean really good. LSD Largo São Domingos is one of those. Unlike most restaurants, they have a policy of retiring dishes when they get too popular. So enjoy your meal while you can – unless your favourites are “meat, meat, meat” or the black chocolate parfait. Those are menu fixtures.

Time Out tips:

Don't miss the cheese cart weaving through the tables - it's a local celebrity.

 

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Marisqueira A Antiga

Restaurants Seafood Matosinhos

The Marisqueira A Antiga opened for business in 1957 and was the first seafood restaurant in Matosinhos. Since 1991 it's been led by Serafim Miranda and his son Carlos; shellfish is their forte. They serve shrimp, oysters, crayfish, crab, clams, lobster, gooseneck barnacles and some comfort food such as seafood rice or shellfish “açorda” bread soup.

Time Out tip:

The terrace is only open during warm months, when it fills up fast.

 

Mondo Deli - Salmão Marinado com Beterraba
Mondo Deli - Salmão Marinado com Beterraba
Fotografia: João Saramago

Mondo Deli

Restaurants Fusion Baixa

On a vacation to Porto, industrial designer Christian Haas and fashion journalist Marcus Zietz fell in love with the city. These two Germans moved to Porto from Paris and that story partly explains the flavour fusion you can find in this downtown restaurant. The menu is short but diverse. Marcus is in charge of the kitchen and is inspired by his voyages through the Middle East, Asia and the Mediterranean. Most dishes are for sharing, including the Japanese gyoza with tofu and vegetables or the marinated salmon with beets, cucumber yoghurt and wild watercress.

Time Out tip:

 

Start with a beet carpaccio with radish yoghurt, apple vinaigrette and pumpkin oil.

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Palco - Vitela à Délia
Palco - Vitela à Délia
Fotografia: João Saramago

Palco

Restaurants Baixa

The restaurant is named Palco ('stage'), it is within the Hotel Teatro and the food is the best show in town. We could make more theatre analogies but instead, let's just say that Chef Arnaldo Azevedo is one of the youngest and most promising chefs right now. The 31-year-old has led Palco for the last six years, having worked at Sheraton Pine Cliffs in the Algarve, at chef Luís Américo's Mesa and also in Loulé at Amadeus. Here, he updates the lunch menu on a weekly basis; by dinnertime, Palco serves two tasting menus, one with six courses, the other with seven.

Time Out tips:

Come for lunch and eat in the hotel's gorgeous inner courtyard.

 

Pedro Lemos - Horta do Chef
Pedro Lemos - Horta do Chef
©DR

Pedro Lemos

Restaurants Foz

Pedro Lemos' eponymous restaurant, one of four Michelin-starred restaurants in Porto, is off the tourist trail in an Old Foz alley. The two storey building has places for 30 people. Choose between two tasting menus (with either five or seven courses) or order à la carte. The staff are friendly and, unlike many restaurants of this calibre, the mood is relaxed, as opposed to uptight. 

 

 

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Peebz - Hambúrguer Peebz
Peebz - Hambúrguer Peebz
Fotografia: João Saramago

Peebz

Restaurants Burgers Foz

Peebz is one of the few local restaurants in Foz that specialises in burgers and this is the district’s coolest location – the name means ‘the coolest person you will ever meet’. The restaurant’s success is due to its burgers, made with beef of good quality and combining different products. The bread, slightly sweet, is custom-made by the Cristal bakery; chips are crunchy and some are unpeeled. Vegetarian options are also offered.  

Time Out tips:

– The hamburger meat is cooked from a mix of three different beef cuts.

– There is a small open air area in the back, sheltered from Foz’s typical wind.

– You can have the burgers as a sandwich or on a plate.

Restaurante, Puro 4050, Cozinha Italiana
Restaurante, Puro 4050, Cozinha Italiana
Fotografia: João Saramago

Puro 4050

Restaurants Italian Flores

The first mozzarella bar in Portugal opened in Porto’s city centre under the guidance of chef Luís Américo. The chef, who also owns nearby Cantina 32, went on a trip to Italy and brought with him what he liked best. When you come into the restaurant, you’ll find jars with several varieties of mozzarella: fresh (the better known), bocconcini (ball-shaped, with a little more texture) and affumicata (smoked). These are only a few of the possibilities. Patrons are supposed to mix and match mozzarella varieties with vegetables such as purple leaf lettuce, Italian chicory, green lollo lettuce, or Italian deli specialities, such as Parma DOP prosciutto. If you don’t want to choose, several set dishes are available: for instance, the cold tomato cream with burrata, olive oil and basil, or the laminated courgette with affumicata mozzarella, pepper jam and boiled pear.

Time Out tips:

– The mozzarella comes from Caserta, in Italy’s southern Campania region.

– Earned a rare five-star Time Out review.

– The ladies’ room has two toilets since ‘women always go together’, the chef jokes.

 

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Restaurantes, Reitoria, Steakhouse, Cachaço de Porco Preto
Restaurantes, Reitoria, Steakhouse, Cachaço de Porco Preto
Fotografia: João Saramago

Reitoria

Restaurants Steakhouse Baixa

Is it risky to open a two-for-one restaurant? Yes. But the risk is worth it if you can offer high-quality products in two areas at once. That’s what they do at Reitoria, located in an alley near Leões Square. Downstairs, they serve the city’s best focaccia, made from homemade bread in a relaxed setting with high tables and a small outdoor area in an Italian style. Upstairs is a steakhouse with some of the best beef cuts in the city, many of them cooked in a Josper oven.

Time Out tips:

– Focaccia and other snacks are served throughout the afternoon.

– New bread batches come out of the oven every 20 minutes.

– The beef entrecôte is the best bet for carnivores; that’s their most popular aged-beef dish.

Restaurante, Shiko, Cozinha Japonesa
Restaurante, Shiko, Cozinha Japonesa
Fotografia: João Saramago

Shiko

Restaurants Japanese Batalha

In food as in life, it’s all about the company you keep. If the food is really good, the company will seem even better. That’s what happens at Shiko, in Batalha, where dishes were conceived for sharing, from yakisoba noodles to okonomiyaki, a pancake of sorts stuffed with shellfish. In the kitchen of this small restaurant – and we mean small – is sushi creator Ruy Leão, who proves that a good Japanese eatery always brings something new to a city, even one with plenty of Japanese restaurants.

Time Out tips:

– One of the signature dishes is marinated mackerel; try it, you won’t regret it.

– It’s important that you make a reservation – the restaurant is both small and popular.

– The eatery is inspired by Japanese izakayas, bars conceived as post-work hangouts.

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