Food in Portugal is not necessarily the most vegetarian-friendly. In fact, most of the traditional restaurants don’t feature a single vegetarian entrée. But there are more and more restaurants serving vegan food or coming up with vegetarian or vegan versions of traditional dishes. Not sure how close they taste to the original though… I don’t think it is too similar, to be honest.
Still wanting to try a few traditional things, I braced my guts to try Tripas à moda do Porto, tripes and bean in a small family-run restaurants. Not bad, but very filling indeed.
As the story goes, there was a time in history when the Porto citizens gave all their good meat and food to soldiers and were left with only intestines – and so the dish was born.
My favorite restaurant: Petisqueira Voltaria, a family run hole-in-the-wall-place serving traditional dishes and “exclusive” dishes with the owner’s own recipes. Codfish and a traditional sausage named alheira dominate the menu. A lot of affordable snacks like tartlets and little bits and pieces, served with sauces like portwine reduction or paired with a Caldo verde, Portuguese cabbage soup. The owners are the nicest people, too, so welcoming and friendly.
Another great restaurant: Folias de Baco, which means something entirely different then I first thought. My guess (something with leaves, grapes, foil?) couldn’t be more off, ha. But they have a €20 vegetarian tasting menu for two persons complete with wine, coffee (or tea), salad, olives, cheese platter, a veggie pie and two open-faced sandwiches called Torricados. Everything is delicious and definitely worth the wait (a lot of people want to eat here so there is often a queue outside).
What is more Portuguese than Egg Tarts? These custard-filled tarts are often eaten with cinnamon. Made fresh, these are the perfect treats or breakfast!
Porto is, of course, known for port wine. I don’t know much about wine, but a wine tasting seems to be a must-do. Well, the experience is interesting, diving into the history and works of port wine, but the tasting is somewhat Bordeaux revisited.
September 19th – 25th 2017