Local Eats in Porto: 7 Must-Try Restaurants for Traditional Cuisine

Written By Mariana Ribeiro

Porto is one of the most beloved cities in the world. Tourism is booming and people everywhere are hearing about this beautiful city. Porto has been adapting and improving with the growth of tourism, but luckily for everyone, there’s something that hasn’t changed a bit, and that’s its food. 

One of the things that make this city so unique and traditional is its food, the homemade dishes, and the stories behind it. The traditional dishes are made with love, care, and high-quality ingredients that will leave you wanting more. Portuguese culture gives great importance to its gastronomy, the pride and joy of the country. 

 If you’re planning a trip to Porto and looking for an authentic culinary experience, you’re in luck. We’ve selected the top 7 best local restaurants for traditional cuisine in Porto. From classic stews to mouth-watering seafood, you’ll find everything that your taste buds desire.

1. O Ernesto

Located in the heart of the city, O Ernesto is a quintessential Portuguese restaurant that offers an extensive menu of traditional dishes.

From the classic cozido à portuguesa (Portuguese stew) to the popular rojões (pork cubes) and the iconic tripas à moda do Porto (Porto style tripe), everything on the menu is a must-try.

The decor is simple, yet cozy, with two dining rooms and a small terrace. The staff is warm and friendly, and the prices are reasonable. If you’re in the mood for some local flavor, O Ernesto is the perfect place to start.

2. Antunes  

Located near the Trindade station, Antunes is a popular restaurant that prides itself on serving high-quality traditional dishes and investing in Portuguese gastronomy.

The roasted pork shank (pernil de porco assado) is a crowd favorite, and the menu also features dishes like hake filets (filetes de pescada), codfish with onions (bacalhau de cebolada), and the delicious pork cubes (rojões à moda do minho).

The portions are generous, and the prices are affordable. The staff is efficient and friendly, and the warm ambiance makes Antunes a popular spot.

3. O Buraco

O Buraco is a hidden gem that serves lesser-known traditional dishes. The restaurant has been around for more than 50 years and is committed to serving high-quality food made with the best ingredients.

The cozy and traditional ambiance is complemented by delicious dishes like the dish of the day, showcasing Porto’s traditional recipes. Despite its popularity, O Buraco remains true to its roots, traditions, and affordable prices.

The name of this restaurant translates to “The Hole”. This initially sounds weird, but the name is intentional as the space is divided into two rooms at street level and a basement. It’s a cozy space and traditional ambiance brings it all together.

4. Adega do Carregal

Located in a hidden area known for its nightlife, Adega do Carregal is a hidden gem that serves delicious food. The codfish (bacalhau) and veal chop (posta à mirandesa) are the highlights of the menu.

The ambiance is warm and inviting, with traditional decor, blue tiles on the walls, and wood details, just like a Portuguese house. The staff is friendly and attentive, and the daily specials are a treat, although the menu is always filled with different options. Adega do Carregal is an excellent place to enjoy authentic Portuguese cuisine.

5. Cervejaria Brasão

With many locations around the city, Cervejaria Brasão is known for their Francesinha, one of the most famous dishes in Porto. 

Even though the francesinha is the real star, dishes like the steaks, with more than five different kinds are a local favorite. Brasão is also known for its Portuguese appetizers, from truffle and mushrooms rissóis, alheira, moelinhas (gizzard), and more.

The ambiance is a mix of traditional and modern, making it a perfect spot for a complete meal. The prices are affordable, and the staff is attentive and welcoming.

Cervejaria Brasao. Photo provided by establishment.
Cervejaria Brasao. Photo provided by establishment.

6. Casa Guedes 

Casa Guedes is one of the most renowned restaurants in Porto, with a history that dates back to 1987. Originally offering affordable meals based on the francesinha, pernil sandwiches, and hot dogs.

Casa Guedes’ signature dish remains the pernil sandwich. This dish has become a beloved staple in the city and has propelled the restaurant’s success. Today, Casa Guedes boasts three locations in downtown Porto and offers a larger menu with a variety of Portuguese food options for everyone.

The restaurant has a humble and welcoming atmosphere that draws people from all over. The friendly service adds to the overall experience. However, it’s important to note that there is always a line by the door, so be prepared to wait.

Casa Guedes. Photo provided by establishment.

7. Badalhoca

If you know what the name of this place means, then you are definitely in for a surprise. Badalhoca is almost mythical in Porto, historical, and impossible to ignore its existence. One of the most popular taverns, Badalhoca has been around since 1929 and is absolutely emblematic.

Known for the famous presunto sandwiches (ham), the place is filled with memories, traditions, and ham hanging from the ceiling. Years and years of serving some of the best sandwiches in the city, you might find a few other delicacies. 

The secret to the Badalhoca sandwiches is not only the meat but also the bread. A family-owned business, and prices are too good to sound real. 

During lunch, you will also find other options for sandwiches, like egg and pernil. And let’s not forget, a good glass of wine to make the perfect pairing. 

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