Porto: The City Between Culture and Flavors

Porto, a city of baroque beauty nestled on the banks of the Douro River, boasts diverse landscapes and cultural richness. It is also the city of wine and tastings, providing various culinary delights to savor.

Cuisine, as we know, is an integral part of every journey, allowing us to fully immerse ourselves in the culture, get up close with history, local traditions, and indulge in dishes that characterize the land.

Porto undoubtedly presents the broadest and finest culinary offerings in the country, favoring recipes based on fish and seafood, among other delights. The choices range from fish to meat, from sweet to savory dishes, allowing everyone to savor a local dish according to their preferences.

Starting with fish-based dishes, we find: Pastéis de bacalhau, small golden-fried codfish patties with a soft interior; Bacalhau à brás, a dish where the fish, usually cod, is sliced and mixed with onions and french fries, enriched with olives and parsley; Caldeirada de peixe, a stew made with various types of fish and shellfish, enriched with tomato sauce, spices, and various herbs. It is undoubtedly a hearty specialty, perhaps to be enjoyed after a day spent on the beach; Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato, a clam soup with olive oil, coriander, garlic, and white wine, perfect for dipping bread; finally, Polvo à Lagareiro, among the specialties to try in Porto is octopus. This recipe is typically used for important celebrations, such as Christmas or Easter. In this case, the octopus is roasted, dipped in olive oil, and served with baked potatoes.

Now let’s move on to meat and vegetable-based dishes, where we find: Caldo verde, a soup where the main ingredients are potatoes, onions, curly kale, and slices of pork sausage, usually consumed during traditional Portuguese festivals; Tripas à Moda do Porto, composed of animal offal, beans, sausage, vegetables, and spices; Francesinha, a sandwich filled with cheese and cured ham, covered with a meaty sauce in the center; and finally, Cozido à portuguesa, a somewhat heavier dish than the others, featuring chicken, beef, and pork, enriched with various pork sausages and blood sausage.

For dessert lovers, there is the so-called Torta de Azeitão, a soft and spongy cake covered with egg yolk. Its peculiarity lies in being rolled to assume the typical final shape.

You may be wondering where to taste at least one of these dishes, if not all, in case of an extended stay in this wonderful city. This is not a problem, as the city of Porto offers several bars, restaurants, and places to have a quick lunch or enjoy a quiet dinner.

One of the richest areas in venues is undoubtedly Ribeira, the lower part of the city, on the banks of the Douro, where you can find places of all kinds. Instead, Vila Nova de Gaia is the area of the wine cellars, where you can taste excellent Portuguese wines.


In addition to enjoying typical dishes in one of the venues around the city, you can also take part in guided food and wine experiences. A tour of the Douro Valley wines with lunch and tastings is one of the options to choose from. In this case, in addition to visiting wineries and tasting some of the best varieties of wine in the region, you will also learn about the history of wine with the help of the guide and local winemakers. An alternative involves food and wine tours through the most beloved and populated cafes and markets in Porto, featuring food and wines with interesting gastronomic insights from the local guide.

In short, Porto is undoubtedly a great city that, in addition to offering cultural and scenic gems, provides unique and immersive experiences to discover local traditions and the raw materials that this land offers.

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Giorgia Lombardo