Porto Nightlife, Restaurants and Cafes


Porto Restaurants and Cafes

As the second largest city in Portugal, Porto is abundant with dining and nightlife options to suit almost every taste. Its geographical locale in the northern part of the country along the coast has dictated much of Porto’s traditional cuisine, which centers on fresh seafood. The city’s proximity to Spain has also dictated that tapas-like snacks and wine are a huge element of Porto dining. Port wine, as well, comes from Porto, so visiting a winery or cellar for a tasting of this delicious, sweet dessert wine is a must when visiting Porto.

Many of the city’s most upmarket restaurants are situated near the riverside in the Ribeira area, and a lot of them boast beautiful views of the water and the traditional buildings of the old town district. If you are just out for a nice dinner, this is perhaps the best place to begin your search for a restaurant.

The cuisine of Porto is typically quite dependent on the fresh seafood that is caught locally and served in a variety of styles. To sample a selection of traditional seafood dishes in a fine dining atmosphere, head to Vinhas D’Alho (Muro Dos Bacalhoeiros 139/140; +351 222 012 874; www.vinhas-dalho.com) a seafood restaurant and wine bar. The menu here consists of meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes, including Portuguese delicacies such as codfish cooked in a variety of ways.

Porto’s nightlife has traditionally been built upon the tradition of port wine, which is typically drunk as a digestive after a large meal. Therefore, there are a plethora of wine bars scattered around Porto that offer a distinctively relaxed atmosphere where the focus is all about the wine. One such bar, Vinologia (Rua São João 46; +351 936 057 340; www.lamaisondesporto.com), offers some 200 varieties of port wine, many of which are hard-to-find labels by small, local vintners, in a relaxed atmosphere.

If you are in the mood for something a little more lively, Porto is also home to dozens of exciting nightclubs and discos, such as Via Rápida (Rua Manuel Pinto de Azevedo 567; +351 226 109 427) a massive nightclub in the industrial zone of Porto that blasts house music over a huge dance floor.