Porto may be most associated with the iconic fortified wine that bears the same name, but it just so happens to also play host to some exceptional restaurants.
Being a coastal city, it has some fantastic seafood, and the nearby Douro Valley isn’t exactly the worst place to find meatier morsels…! With a proud culinary heritage and some excellent local wines to wet your mouth with, the Douro region certainly is a top gastronomic destination. Here is a shortlist of some of the best restaurants in Porto and the Douro Valley, if you are fortunate enough to find yourself there…
Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/RestauranteCafeina
Let’s start with a restaurant that has established itself as an institution in Porto over more than 20 years. Situated a stone’s throw from the mouth of the Douro River, it has built a reputation on delivering the classics in style.
At Cafeina there is a focus on traditional Portuguese cuisine with French and Italian influences. With its sleek interior and creative clientele, this restaurant is the definition of chic!
Address: Rua do Padrão 100, 4150-557 Porto
Pedro Lemos’ menu is distinctly Portuguese. The dishes are designed to reflect the country’s rich heritage and utilises the finest fresh ingredients, some of which is grown on site in a garden on the terrace.
This restaurant, located in a charmingly restored stone house, has established itself as a leading gourmet destination in the city, and this is reflected in its winning of a coveted Michelin star. Fear not though, the atmosphere remains relaxed and the prices not too steep, so you can sample one of two tasting menus happily knowing your stomach won’t make your bank balance pay for the visit!
Address: R. do Padre Luís Cabral 974, 4150-128 Porto
For those of you who love modern gastronomy and minimalist presentation, this next restaurant could be perfect. O Paparico has made a name for itself through a creative use of produce and state-of-the-art cooking techniques that deliver a special culinary experience.
What’s more, with over 1000 bottles in their cellar, you can order in confidence that they’ll have a wine to match whatever you choose.
Address: Rua de Costa Cabral 2343, Porto
The only restaurant in Porto to hold two Michelin stars, the restaurant at the Yeatman Hotel certainly fits the bill if fine dining is what you’re after.
Having taken in the stunning views over the Douro River and Porto’s historic centre, cast your eyes to the menu and you’ll find innovative cuisine that takes its influences from across the world.
The wine list is rather good, with plenty of Portuguese offerings. The restaurant also offers tasting menus that are specifically designed to guide you through the country’s wine regions, which is a rather fabulous way to become better acquainted with what Portugal has to offer.
Address: Rua do Choupelo, 4400-088 Vila Nova de Gaia
ODE Porto Winehouse
You could describe ODE Porto Winehouse as one of those “hidden gems”. Tucked down a side street, this wine bar-come-restaurant prides itself on sourcing local organic produce to pair with its wines.
Although the food menu isn’t extensive, the dishes are all diligently constructed and beautifully plated. Plus, when you have a wine list like this to choose from, you won’t have time to flick through pages and pages of starters!
This is the perfect place to have a relaxed evening with friends, and a good chat over even better wine.
Address: Largo do Terreiro 7, 4050-603 Porto
DOP restaurant offers you unforgettable gastronomic experiences, a journey through the true classics of Portuguese cuisine recreated by the hands of Chef Rui Paula.
In a relaxed, quiet and informal setting, enjoy a drink on the terrace while enjoying the historic city center. Then, let yourself be surprised by the suggestions, full of originality, which Rui Paula prepared for you.
Address: Largo São Domingos 18, 4050-292 Porto
If you find yourself out of Porto and in wine country, you may think it harder to find top-notch nosh. Think again!
DOC has been meeting the fine dining need in the Douro Valley since 2007. This stylish glass restaurant with large patio overlooking the River has become a nexus for tradition and modernity. The menu changes to reflect the seasons, delivering local dishes with unique twists.
Coupled with the quality cuisine is an equally strong wine list, accompanied by incredibly knowledgeable staff, making DOC a must-visit if you’re in the area.
Address: Cais da Folgosa, Estrada Nacional 222, 5110-214 Folgosa
The next restaurant on the list truly places wine centre-stage alongside food.
Housed in an old railway station warehouse, the setting alone sets Castas e Pratos apart and makes for a night not to be forgotten in a hurry. The ability to dine in an old cargo car or take in stunning views of the Douro certainly backs that up.
Over 700 wines are on offer for you to choose from. And, with over 30 available by the glass, you’re sure to be able to sample a selection of local wines without having to fork out for several bottles – win win!
The food is also worth talking about, with a wide-ranging menu that remains true to the bold flavours of the region.
Address: R. José de Vasqués Osório, 5050-280 Peso da Régua
Relatively new but by no means bringing up the rear, Cozinha da Clara is case-in-point that some of the Douro’s best wineries have excellent food offerings too.
Quinta de la Rosa, a family-run winery and one of the first in the region to take dry red wine production seriously, plays host to this elegant restaurant with superb views of the River.
The restaurant takes its name from the owners’ grandmother, Claire, who was well known for her hospitality and love of food. That character is epitomised in the way Cozinha da Clara delivers its culinary experiences, with guests able to sit together for a three-course dinner party and enjoy local produce (some of which comes from a garden on site). The food is matched expertly with wines both from Quinta de la Rosa itself and wineries nearby, as chosen by the winery’s very own winemaker.
If you’re after an elegant food and drink experience, with a relaxed and personal touch, then Cozinha da Clara is well worth a visit.
Address: Quinta de la Rosa 215, Pinhão
Want to see more of Porto? Click here to see our selection of amazing food and wine tours from Porto around the Douro! Our piece on 10 things to do in the Douro will help you plan your visit and here’s where you can have a glass of wine at the end of the day.