A Taste of Porto

A Taste of Porto

It’s our first full day in Porto, which just happens to be our first full day in Portugal, and what better way to be introduced to the city and to the local way of life than to take a food tour with Taste Porto.
Our guide, Andre, is one of the owners of Taste Porto which was established in 2013. You won’t meet anyone more passionate about Porto and its culinary treats and wine than Andre.

 

A Taste of Porto

The fabulous blue and white azulejos tiles of the Capela Das Almas is just near our meeting place for the start of our Taste Porto food tour

 

Loja dos Pastéis de Chaves

Our first stop was at Loja Dos Pasteis De Chaves, an establishment owned by a brother and sister team originally from the northern Portuguese city of Chaves. Chaves is famed for the production of the wonderful flaky sweet and savoury pastries that are so unique, they have been granted a DOC rating. So prized is this rating that the opening of of a store with the name Chaves, and the selling of these pastries requires inspection and approval from the authorities to ensure its authenticity. And wonderful they are. The basic pastry is made fresh in Chaves every day and immediately trucked to the stores where they are finished and presented. A great start.

A Taste of Porto

 

Mercado do Bolhāo

From there a short walk took us to the Mercado do Bolhāo, Porto’s undercover market that has been in the same position since 1850. The market is full of magnificent fresh produce most of which is sourced within a radius of 50 or so kilometres from Porto. The market is being threatened with a major 2-3 year rebuild. Hopefully this will be done sympathetically and not destroy the great ambience it now has.

A Taste of Porto

A Taste of Porto

Andre with some of the tiny locally grown tomatoes!

 

Bolhāo Wine House

Downstairs at the Bolhāo Wine House we met Ugo and his sister Patricia who have taken over the shop their grandmother ran for many, many years. They have converted it from a flower shop to one which now showcases small regional wineries and sells cheeses, olives, sardines and associated products. We tasted some delicious Georgette sardines served in a fresh extra virgin olive oil, with a local bread on the side. To go with this Ugo introduced us to a chilled white Moscatel do Douro.

A Taste of Porto

 

Flor dos Congregados

And so to a 165 year old restaurant Flor dos Congregados which has been in the same family for three generations. It’s quite an unusual restaurant with the kitchen on the top floor. They are renowned for their slow cooked dishes some of which take more than 24 hours to prepare. We sampled a warm pork loin and cured ham bun, known as a terylene, which was simply delicious.

A Taste of Porto

 

To drink, a sparkling red wine from south of Porto, added zest and bubbles to the dish. The bubbles cleanse the palate so you can appreciate the flavours of the sandwich.

Thank goodness this was a walking tour so we could at least make believe we were being healthy whilst eating and drinking!

 

A Taste of Porto

 

Café Guarany

A little caffeine zing did not hurt either and this was provided at the next stop on our tour, Café Guarany. Built in 1933, the cafe was renovated in 2003 but the floor, the lights and furniture are all original.

A short “espresso” style coffee or cimbalino as the locals call it has a great nose and sweet flavour. No sugar was need but a small little dark chocolate rounded off the taste. Very good.

A Taste of Porto

Café Guarany

 

Leitaria da Quinta do Paço

Leiteria da Quinta do Paço was originally a shop selling milk, cream, cheese and other milk based products. They now produce eclairs with the lightest pastry and many different fillings. We couldn’t decide whether the chocolate eclair or the lemon was the best. Both were topped with spoonfuls of a light whipped cream which the Leiteria makes in house. Another hidden shop that we may not have found but one we came back to the next day to try some of their other pastries that Andre had recommended!

A Taste of Porto

 

On our stroll through the wonderful old area above the Ribeira, Andre stopped at this wonderful look out that gave us a fabulous view over the river to the port houses of Gaia.

A Taste of Porto

 

Taberna do Largo

Our final stop on this Taste Porto tour, Taberno Do Largo is, like so many of the places we visited, passionate about sourcing the best food and wines from producers in Portugal. We sampled 3 cheeses, cold meats and 3 great wines all from smaller suppliers who take great pride in ensuring their product is the best available. we also returned here the next evening to sit outside with a glass of wine and watch the passing parade on the busy Rua das Flores.

A Taste of Porto

The love and pride that Andre and the owners of the places we visited have for local produce is infectious! We covered a lot of Porto on this tour walking across town and as we did Andre told us about some of the small shops we passed and those that he suggested we come back to. I also loved that Andre was happy for me to share the addresses of our stops so you would be able to support these local businesses.

This was the introduction to a city that we were looking for….the history, the passion and the inside information that only a local can share. Thank you Andre for a wonderful tour!

Website: Taste Porto

 

Disclaimer: We were guests of Taste Porto Tours. All opinions are mine and mine alone despite the fabulous food!

 

Other food tours you may enjoy:

A Culinary Backstreets Food Tour in Athens
A Progressive Dinner in Florence
Eating our way through Prague
Eating in London’s East End

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24 Responses to A Taste of Porto

  1. Michele March 27, 2017 at 5:38 pm #

    Food tours are such a wonderful way to explore a city, this one looked like a great mixture of food….I can see why you were grateful to be waling the food off as you went. I wish we had known about this when we were in Porto but there is always next time. 🙂

    • Jenny Freedman March 30, 2017 at 2:20 pm #

      We are great fans of food tours as you might have gathered finding it the best way to learn about the people and culture of a place! It’s definitely a tour I can recommend you do next time you are in Porto.

  2. michele peterson March 27, 2017 at 9:56 pm #

    What a delicious sounding trip! Those tomatoes at the Mercado do Bolhāo are incredible. I too love Portugal’s food but haven’t yet been to Porto. Next time!

    • Jenny Freedman March 30, 2017 at 2:22 pm #

      I don’t think I’ve seen tomatoes that big for a long while Michelle! The tour was fabulous and Andre had chosen a great mix of places to visit and foods to try. Definitely one for you to do when you visit Porto.

  3. Janice Chung March 28, 2017 at 7:46 am #

    I give you credit for getting all the Portuguese spellings. I’ve heard the language is hard. The food tour looked great and I really wanted to read about it because I’ve cancelled a trip to Porto THREE times! What’s so nice is that you not only get to eat but you get to see the city as well.

    • Jenny Freedman March 30, 2017 at 2:25 pm #

      Oh no…Porto must be on top of your list after those cancellations. Let’s hope your next booking doesn’t get cancelled. The tour is a brilliant way to see the city and learn about where and what to eat! At least now you know to book the tour when you do get there! Good luck!

  4. Nina March 28, 2017 at 12:46 pm #

    Love the idea of a food tour Jen. I’ve been to countless cities around Europe but always find that one of the hardest things is choosing where to eat, without falling into an overpriced tourist trap. Could definitely take a bit of one of those eclairs right now!

    • Jenny Freedman March 30, 2017 at 2:27 pm #

      Thanks Nina. Those eclairs were sooo delicious! We are great fans of food tours as they help with knowing where to go as well as learning a lot about the people, their food and culture. Most cities have them so you should give them a try when you’re next away.

  5. Krista Bjorn March 28, 2017 at 4:00 pm #

    Ohhhh, you brought back such lovely memories for me. 🙂 Many years ago I was a nanny in Porto, and I walked those streets every day. 🙂

    • Jenny Freedman March 30, 2017 at 2:10 pm #

      That makes me happy to take you back to Porto Krista. What a great job to have and how lucky were you to live here for a while. It’s a fun city!

  6. Jo March 28, 2017 at 4:41 pm #

    Those eclairs look to die for. I can just imagine how light the pastry was – not like the ones you get at Coles at all! Seems like you had a fully comprehensive food tour, taking in all the sites and all the eats – wonderful 🙂

    • Jenny Freedman March 30, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

      The eclairs were delicious Jo! Definitely not like anything I had eaten at home! It was a great tour. We walked all over the town and ate at some fabulous spots. Andre was so passionate about the food, it was a joy to join him!

  7. karen escalera March 28, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    You convinced me to put Porto on my to go list. I’ve also heard good things about I believe it’s called Comporta. Did you go to other places you’d recommend in Portugal?

    • Jenny Freedman March 30, 2017 at 2:31 pm #

      Yes, Porto is a must if you’re going to Portugal Karen. We didn’t go south of Lisbon were Comporto is but we also spent a week in the Douro Valley before driving down to Lisbon. Our three weeks there..one week in each place…was a great introduction to the country and as usual, wasn’t long enough so we’ll have to go back!

  8. noel March 31, 2017 at 3:58 am #

    OMG your killing me and right before lunch – this tour looks and I’m sure tasted amazing! I want to do this now!

    • Jenny Freedman April 3, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

      Porto has fabulous food and it was great to be shown the places to go for some that we might not have otherwise tried Noel.It was a fabulous tour so if you’re ever in Porto…you know what to do!

  9. Doreen Pendgracs March 31, 2017 at 4:07 am #

    I absolutely adore food tours. I hope to get to Porto and take this food tour as it looks amazing.

    • Jenny Freedman April 3, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

      Food tours are the best aren’t they Doreen.We walked all over the city in this one which was fabulous especially as the food was so great!

  10. Donna Meyer April 2, 2017 at 2:52 pm #

    I absolutely fell in love with Lisbon when I visited not long ago. Now I am so eager to explore more of Portugal. And this post is just pushing me harder and harder. What a beautiful town!

    • Jenny Freedman April 3, 2017 at 12:23 pm #

      Porto is a fabulous town Donna and whilst very different to Lisbon, it is just as fun! This was a great way to see the city and taste the wonderful food!

  11. Nathalie April 3, 2017 at 12:12 am #

    We love a food tour that gives you more than the basics, this one looks like that type of tour. I really enjoyed your photos especially the blue and white azulejos tiles of the Capela Das Almas.

    • Jenny Freedman April 3, 2017 at 12:38 pm #

      I loved the fact that we walked all over the city on this tour Nathalie, tasting some of the best food and seeing the sights. The blue and white tiles are really quite magnificent

  12. David July 26, 2017 at 3:40 pm #

    Food tours look great! I bet the experience is awesome. Your posts are such an inspiration.

    • Jenny Freedman August 6, 2017 at 11:17 am #

      Thanks David. If you’re ever in Porto, don’t forget to do this food tour .

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