The best traditional restaurants in Porto

Porto has plenty of restaurants offering traditional Portuguese food, but we think these ones keep the best table and deliver the authentic taste of old Porto
A Capoeira
© João Saramago A Capoeira
By Time Out Porto editors |
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Porto is justifiably proud of its cuisine, from seafood to francesinhas, and there are plenty of places in town offering it. We’ve literally tried them all, and are confident that this list contains the true taste of old Porto. 

The best traditional restaurants in Porto

A Capoeira - Bacalhau à Brás
João Saramago
Restaurants, Portuguese

A Capoeira

icon-location-pin Foz

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 ’em, 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.

Time Out says
Cozinha do Manel
João Saramago
Restaurants, Portuguese

A Cozinha do Manel

icon-location-pin Bonfim

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.

Time Out says
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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 dishes – chicken bordelaise, 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).

Time Out tips:

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

Try the tongue stew. Honestly.

Time Out says
Antunes
João Saramago
Restaurants, Portuguese

Antunes

icon-location-pin Baixa

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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Casa Aleixo - Filetes de Polvo com Arroz do Mesmo
João Saramago
Restaurants, Portuguese

Casa Aleixo

icon-location-pin Campanhã

Casa Aleixo is like a lovely Portuguese granny in restaurant form. It has a host of fine traditional dishes, including great ‘tripas’ tripe stew, kid goat, pigs’ trotters, bean stew, veal. It’s not just meat, though. Also served daily are octopus fillets with rice and great fish, including hake and cod, the latter cooked in a variety of ways. More please!

Time Out tips:

In late October, Casa Aleixo becomes the Eldorado for ‘rojões’ diced pork and ‘sarrabulho’ blood porridge.

Casa Ferreira
© João Saramago
Restaurants, Portuguese

Casa Ferreira

icon-location-pin Cedofeita

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.

Time Out says
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Restaurants, Portuguese

Casa Nanda

icon-location-pin Bonfim

Few things are better about Porto than its abundance of family-run restaurants where you can eat superbly. Casa Nanda is typical: it’s been here more than 35 years, and it ain’t about to go changing. The same dishes have been cooked hundreds of times and refined to perfection, their taste refined to perfection: highlights include hake fillets with rice or potato salad and the grilled beef rib.

Time Out tips:

Start your meal with the chicken soup, finish it with ‘aletria’ pudding or crème brulée.

Cozinha da Amélia - Pão de Ló
João Saramago
Restaurants, Portuguese

Cozinha da Amélia

icon-location-pin Porto

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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Restaurants, Portuguese

O Buraco

icon-location-pin Baixa

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.

O Paparico - Ovo Mole
Fotografia: João Saramago
Restaurants, Portuguese

O Paparico

icon-location-pin Constituição

We don’t often dish out five-star reviews, but O Paparico really earned one. It’s paean to Portuguese cuisine, with a creative use of produce that cries out for the tasting menu. The experience is organized 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. ‘Save room’ – ha ha!

Time Out tips:

There are 1,200 bottles in the wine cellar: try a couple.

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