Top 10 things to do in Foz
Foz means beaches. And beaches mean the sea. The waters in these parts are always on the chilly side, which is great if the weather is baking. If it’s not, you might prefer to stay beachside and just chill to the sound of the waves. Alternatively, stroll beside the sea, or rent a bike and ride along the coastal cycle path.
This multifaceted oasis offers plenty of reasons to pass a few hours. Start with the gorgeous art deco house, then explore the sprawling park – which includes a working farm – and wind it all up with a visit to the Contemporary Art Museum (until September you can catch the exhibition of paintings and drawings by Julie Mehretu, ‘A Universal History of Everything and Nothing’). There’s also a shop with designer pieces, an art bookshop, a restaurant and a café.
Foz’s famous local market hall has piles of fresh fish, fruit and vegetables, and also hot takeaway food, including delicious veal pasties, burgers and hot dogs. There’s also a stall specialising in brigadeiros (Brazilian chocolate-caramel bonbons). Drop in, fill your boots, repeat.
Vasco Mourão is like the culinary king of Foz, as demonstrated by the number of places he runs (four, all in the area). Cafeína is the oldest, with decades of experience brilliant wines and international cuisine classics such as beef wellington and duck magret.
And not only the garden, of course: make sure to book at table at his Michelin-starred restaurant in Old Foz and enjoy a tasting menu made up wholly of seasonal products. The wine list is superb too, so this is definitely not one to miss.
Admittedly, the usual idea in Porto is to stuff yourself with francesinhas, tripe and other traditional local dishes. But there are more culinary delights not to miss, such as the hamburgers at Peebz. The brioche buns are lightly toasted, the meat is super-tasty and the relishes are a dream. As is the banoffee pie, for afters.
A real old-style bar in the middle of Foz patronised by both locals and tourists, with an atmosphere all of its own. There are antiques everywhere here: from old dolls to watches and antique signs. While you take it all in, order one (or several, let’s face it) of the many beers on the list.
Sea Life Porto is the biggest aquarium in northern Portugal and well worth a visit. It has sharks, turtles, octopus, sea horses and other fascinating maritime creatures. A must-see for the kids, of course.
With a mini-golf course, exotic trees, a bandstand and public loos with art nouveau azulejos (tiles, mate), this is more than just a garden a stone’s throw from the sea. It’s a quaint, singular landscape, and well worth exploring.
What to put on your shopping list before a visit to Augusto: bola de carne (meat roll), pães de leite (milk bread) and biscoitos (biscuits). They’re the classics and you should definitely try ’em.