Porto, Portugal is a port city located in the northern region of Portugal, and is situated along the beautiful Douro River. Famed for its longstanding history of producing port wine, Porto has become a vibrant vacation spot.
For foodies seeking an authentic cultural experience, a visit to Porto might be just the thing. Once you read about some of these local dishes, you might end up planning flights to Porto in the near future! Be sure to step outside the restaurants you find in local hotels in Porto to experience the traditional culture along with the cuisine.
Don’t miss this incredible open sandwich, one of Porto’s local favorites. This open faced sandwich features smoked sausage, roasted meat, ham, cheese, a fried egg, and a generous ladle of beer sauce. Make sure you face this large sandwich when you have a big appetite, or be prepared to share it with someone else in your party: it’s a mouthful!
When you find yourself in a port city like Porto, seafood is ever present. One of the specialties in the region is dried salted cod. It’s not fancy, but it is authentic Portugal, so don’t miss out on it. Bacalhau is considered a special treat for guests, and can be found in many restaurants and hotels in Porto.
While we are on the subject of seafood, another local fish often seen on the menu are sardines. Sardines are often served with grilled peppers and boiled potatoes. You are not limited to cod and sardines; since this is a port city, the opportunities to enjoy fresh caught seafood are almost endless: let your palate be your guide!
Tripas à moda do Porto
For many, the idea of eating tripe (cow’s stomach) is not appealing but this local traditional dish is for the adventurous foodie in the group. Cooked up with beans, local vegetables, and organ meat, this dish is generally served with a generous portion of rice. You will find varieties of tripas all over the region: it is considered very typical traditional food in Porto.
Caldo verde is a soup of cabbage, onions, potatoes and chouriço. Vegetable soup is a favorite of most of the locals, and is often featured on the family table.
Dining in Town
Portion control is practically non-existent here! If you are dining out, prepare to be served fairly large portions. It is perfectly acceptable to ask to share a dish with your dinner companion.
For those who are not accustomed to meals in Porto, being forewarned is forearmed: at many restaurants, the first thing to be brought to the table may be bread and other inviting appetizers such as cheese and olives. Be advised: these appetizers are usually not included in the price of your meal. If you begin chowing down, these will be added into the price of your meal at the end. If you do not want to partake, politely refuse, although this is one traditional treat you may want to invest in.
Meal times may be a little different than you are used to experiencing. Lunch is typically served in the afternoon, with dinner running between 8:00 and 9:00 pm. This gives you time in the late afternoon for enjoying some of the phenomenal local cheeses and smoked meat you can find in the local markets.
After sampling some of the traditional dishes we’ve just described, you may find yourself booking flights to Porto again and again. Even if you cannot book a flight directly into Porto, find a way to arrange for transfers from Porto airport so you can avail yourself of the many delicacies this region has to offer.
A Parting Tip
A word to the wise: be sure to work out your transfers from Porto airport so you can be sure to pick up some bottles of locally bottled Port wine to take home to friends and family. Thank you for visiting the Porto Airport Transfers Blog.