25 May 2024

Our favorite places to eat and drink during our Portugal vacation

Our top tips from Porto, Lisbon, Aveiro, Coimbra, and more!

By In Travel 15 min read

In the summer of 2023, we went on an amazing trip through Portugal. We’d already visited Lisbon on a short city trip a few years earlier, and that experience was so good we knew we had to return. This time, we decided to take a full three weeks and see the sights. We were planning to create a write-up of the whole vacation with all of our photos as well, but it was taking too long, and we already had notes on all of our favorite places to eat and drink. So, we figured this was a nice list to have for people visiting Portugal soon! Most of our selections were made by reading food blogs and watching travel vlogs, which are biased more toward online hipster tastes. But we also used guides like Lonely Planet and asked people we knew in Portugal for recommendations. And some of them were just serendipitous discoveries made as we walked around each city!

We flew to Porto, which is famous for port wine. We made a quick trip to Porto’s beachside village of Foz de Douro, then rented a car and went to Braga. It is known as a major religious center in Portugal and the home of the impressive Bom Jesus hillside church. From Braga, we traveled to the Douro Valley – the region where Porto’s port wine is actually made – where we enjoyed the sun, the port, and the river from a boat in Pinhao. From the Douro, we moved on to Aveiro, a waterside city dubbed Portugal’s Venice. Which is highly overselling it, but the city itself was beautiful. In Aveiro, we switched from car to train and then moved on to Coimbra, Portugal’s most famous university city and part of the inspiration for the Harry Potter series. From Coimbra, we went to Lisbon, Portugal’s capital and most metropolitan city, and after a week there, we flew back home.

Food and Drink in Portugal



Flor dos Congregados (Source: Instagram)

Flor dos Congregados (Travessa dos Congregados 11), a tiny traditional restaurant we discovered watching vlogs about Porto food tours. It’s hidden in a dead-end street, so you have to know it’s there. We loved the pork cheeks (bochecha de porco) – seriously, the best we ever had! – and the grilled chorizo (chouriço assado). For desserts, a traditional cake called sericaia was amazing. This might be our favorite restaurant of the entire vacation!

Tapabento (R. da Madeira 221), an Asian fusion/shared dining spot. It is extremely hyped on travel/food blogs and much busier than it deserves, though the food is good. When we wanted to reserve a table by email, it was already booked for the next two months, but they told us there are walk-in tables if you arrive early enough. Get here at 18:45 at the latest to join the queue for the opening at 19:00. We liked the croquetas de alheira (sausage croquettes) and the magret de pato (duck) the most.


Bite (R. de São João 4), a cute little spot near the Douro waterfront. There are two tiny tables outside with a view of the water that is shaded by the buildings on the opposite side of the street in the afternoon. It is the perfect spot for some sangria and a few snacks – we went for the slowly stewed pork bites – but only if you get one of those tables. It’s not worth it if you have to sit inside.

Miradouro Ignez (Rua da Restauração 252), in the weekends this is a multi-floor bar with DJs and all the usual trappings, but in the daytime, their rooftop terrace is actually a chill place to have a nice drink with a relaxing view of the Douro river.

The view from Miradouro Ignez (Leica M3, Portra 400)


CA Downtown (Praça de Carlos Alberto 89), a breakfast spot we only discovered because we actually wanted to go to the much-hyped Zenith (Praça de Carlos Alberto 86) next door, but the queue there was huge. It turned out great – my girlfriend absolutely loved the stack of pancakes covered with dulce de leche she got here, filling enough to keep her going for the rest of the day while I enjoyed a gravlax salmon croissant.

Mercador café (R. das Flores 180), another nice breakfast spot. I got hooked on ovos royale here, an English muffin sliced in half and covered with smoked salmon, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce. It became my breakfast of choice for the rest of the trip, as I don’t like the sweet pastries that are normal for Portuguese breakfast.

Ice cream

AFF Material Fotografico (source: Facebook)

Gelateria Portuense (R. do Bonjardim 136), a good spot for a refreshing ice cream. It is also located next to the photography store (AFF – Material Fotográfico), where I bought my film supply for this trip. Support local film stores (and ice cream stores) everywhere!

Foz de Douro


Casa Vasco (Rua do Padrão 152), a nice little lunch spot if you find yourself in need of a bite after walking down the beach boulevard deeper into Foz. A good spot to escape the summer heat and grab a few beers and some snacks.



Antù Braga (R. do Souto 42 44), a hipster café we discovered because Maps literally shoved it into my face when I opened the app. Google knows me way too well. Part of a larger creative community, Antù is a restaurant, co-working space, gallery, and event venue simultaneously. We only went here for lunch, but the hemp-fried chicken wings and polenta sticks were definitely a high point for me.


Letraria Craft Beer Library (source: Instagram)

Letraria Craft Beer Library (R. Dom Gonçalo Pereira 35), the brewpub of the Letra craft beer brewery. With 23 taps, this is the perfect spot to try some of their craft beer and their amazing handmade meat and cheese croquettes – they were more like breaded meatballs and absolutely the best thing we tasted in Braga. I could easily spend my evenings here, just drinking their beer and eating these croquettes, no actual dinner needed.



Ó-POR-CO (R. António Manuel Saraiva 65A), situated directly at the top of the street that leads down to the waterfront where all the Douro tour boats dock. Come back hungry from your boat tour down the river? Walk straight into this place and get some wine and the mixed meat and cheese platter. You won’t be disappointed.



REVOLTA (Praça do Mercado Loja 24), a hipster burger bar (the name is a wordplay on revolting, meaning both disgusting and to revolt) that is great value for money. The burgers are delicious, big, and cheap. I had the Preguiça (laziness) burger, which teams up a burger patty with an equally sized piece of breaded, fried mozzarella. If you’re really hungry, you can even order it with two burger patties, but that will never fit in your mouth.


Cafe Central (Largo da Praça do Peixe 28), this ended up being the main bar we visited during our stay here. Good service, good beer, and plenty of shaded sun to enjoy while sitting on their outdoor terrace.


M Bakery (source: Instagram)

M Bakery (Tv. do Governo Civil 5), the most Instagrammable restaurant we encountered during our entire trip. The theme is simply pink, and everything fits that theme – from the decor to the staff to the food. Multiple Instagram backgrounds are featured inside, which makes it very clear who the target audience is. It might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but this was still a great place for lunch – they have normal options besides the unicorn cupcakes and freakshakes.

Ice cream

Gelateria Portuguese (Rua Dr. Barbosa de Magalhães nº1-2), is a chain of icecream stores in Portugal but this was their original location. In the Portuguese summer heat, this was a welcome stop.


As much as we enjoyed Aveiro, this was also the only place during the entire three-week trip we really disliked some places we visited. We recommend you stay away from the following:

Boteco Aveiro, gets mentioned on sites repeatedly for their cute little seats by the water where you can drink port and eat shrimp tapas. But we left after waiting 15 minutes for someone to bring us a menu, even though we asked repeatedly. The staff seemed completely disinterested in serving tourists.

Mercado de Peixe, a food market at the waterfront. Maybe we were just there at a bad time; reviews are quite positive, but this place was boring and overpriced even though they played live music. Felt like a tourist trap, and not in a good way.

O Telheiro, this gets good reviews and even a Lonely Planet mention for serving traditional Portuguese seafood – but all the interesting stuff is for two persons minimum, and my girlfriend doesn’t eat seafood. The ‘normal’ food we got instead was mediocre. We were quite disappointed here; I had very high hopes considering the reviews.

A Cozinha da Maria (source: Facebook)



A Cozinha da Maria (Praça do Comércio 110), a recommendation from our AirBnB hostess. Small traditional restaurant with limited space that overflows onto the street. It’s cheap, but cash-only (!!!), and known for its chanfana, a Portuguese stew traditionally made with goat meat but often cooked with lamb if you order it in other restaurants. Both the goat chanfana and the pork cheeks (bochecha de porco) here were great!

Tapas nas Costas (R. Quebra Costas 19), this tapas restaurant on what was basically our favorite street in Coimbra, serves a variety of interesting small dishes. The duck croquettes were by far our favorite!


Quebra o Galho’s terrace (source: Instagram)

Quebra o Galho (Rua do, R. Quebra Costas 12), this terrace looks out over that same favorite street, which climbs steeply towards the university district. It is a perfect spot to settle and drink a port-tonic while you people-watch the tourists making their way up. It’s part of the Casa de Fado on the other side of the street, so you can also catch some live Fado music here in the evenings.

Coola Boola Colab (Praça do Comércio 50), a combination of brewpub, store, and tour experience. To be fair, we only shopped here and didn’t sit down to drink any of their beer, but the selection sure looked good!


Kaju (R. Visc. da Luz) and O Croissant (Praça 8 de Maio 30), both breakfast spots share the same owner and have almost identical menus. Ovos royale, a double espresso, and mango/orange juice were my go-to start of the day here.

Gelateria COSI (source: Instagram)

Ice cream

Gelateria COSI (Rua do Quebra Costas 1), surely the best ice cream we had this entire trip. They have some excellent flavors that we have never had before, including mango/coconut milk, hibiscus/ginger, and grape ice cream. Must-have if you’re here.



Sa?o Jorge (Calçada do Marquês de Tancos 1), a nice little restaurant we stumbled upon while we were exploring the neighborhood. After taking a ton of stairs to get up the hill – the elevator was broken – we rewarded ourselves here with a nice, big, steak.

Black Pavillion (R. Câmara Pestana 25), this hotel restaurant we discovered while googling for restaurants close to our AirBnB during a rainy day. Turned out it was literally two doors down from us. Part of a more expensive hotel containing several restaurants, it has an amazing view over the city from its terrace. I ate some traditional monkfish risotto (arroz de tamaril) here. Compared to many other restaurants we visited this vacation, it was expensive, but we feel it’s worth that little bit extra.

Chef Felicidade Pharmacia (source: Facebook)

Chef Felicidade Pharmacia (Rua Marechal Saldanha 2) is Chef Susana Felicidade’s restaurant in the Museum of Pharmacy building. The huge outside terrace has a view of the water and gives you ample space to drink their amazing pharmacy-themed cocktails in the sun before settling inside – in a dining room that stays within theme as well – for great food. This was our favorite cocktail bar/restaurant in Lisbon.

Caso Serio (R. Cruzes da Sé 5), another restaurant we didn’t pick beforehand but just stumbled upon. After watching the spectacular views from the São Jorge castle, we walked down the winding road back into town and felt peckish. We just happened to walk by Caso Serio, which looked cosy. Did not dissapoint!

Time Out Market (Av. 24 de Julho 49), the biggest food market in Lisbon under the British Time Out brand. It’s a great place to sample many types of Portuguese food, but also one of the biggest tourist traps of Lisbon. It is always busy, always filled with tourists. We had been here before, but did not really love it this time around. Your mileage may vary. If this is a bit too much for you, maybe try…

Mercado de Campo de Ourique (source: Facebook)

Mercado de Campo de Ourique (R. Coelho da Rocha 104), a food market in a far less touristic neighborhood in Lisbon. Dating back to 1934, this market has been renovated to target the local Portuguese crowds. It’s much more chill than Time Out. You’ll still have access to multitudes of great food, without the long lines.


Gin Lovers (Praça do Príncipe Real 26), this gin bar is housed in the very cool EmbaiXada store. Housed in a former city palace converted to a hipster concept store, the entire location oozes style and history. An impressive list of gins is available to sample, in a G&T or pure.

The palatial looks of the EmbaiXada concept store (source: EmbaiXada)

Mercado de Baixa (Praça da Figueira), an open-air market with snacks, drinks, local souvenirs, and live music. It’s a tourist trap, but you won’t mind when you grab a quick pastel de nata and a glass of sangria while listening to a soul singer belt out some tunes.

LisPoa Craft Beer (R. Nova do Desterro 29D), a tiny brewpub right next to their craft brewery. You can see the entire LisPoa brewery operation in a connected room, about the average car garage size. They have their own brews on tap and some other Portuguese craft beers for you to taste.

Park Lisboa (source: The Rooftop Guide)

Park Lisboa (Calçada do Combro 58), this rooftop lounge bar sits on top of a parking garage. A horribly clunky elevator ride – I was pretty sure we would get stuck – brought us to the top floor of the garage, from where you can walk straight into the lounge. Get here early, around opening, and score a seat right at the edge for the best view.

LX Factory (R. Rodrigues de Faria 103), a converted industrial site that formerly housed the Companhia de Fiação e Tecidos textile company. Now, it’s a creative hub with various design stores, restaurants, and cafes. We had a few beers at Beer’s (haha) and ate at Micro Burgers & Music. If you’re a film photography geek, the well-known Carmencita Film Lab is here so take the opportunity to stock up while you’re visiting.

LX Factory (source: LX Factory)


BOA BON (Largo Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro 30), this brunch spot has a very simple deal: for 12 euros, you get your choice of various style breakfasts served in a high-tea style etagierre and either a glass of orange juice or a glass of sparkling wine. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s a very decent start to your day!

Zenith (Rua do Telhal 4A), from the same chain as the Zenith that we tried to eat at in Porto. To be honest, I think it’s hugely overrated by the influencers, but I do understand the appeal for that exact audience. Nothing wrong with the food, you may just find the crowd annoying.

Simpli Coffee (Largo da Anunciada 20), we passed by this cafe quite often as it’s situated at the base of the funicular that led to our AirBnB, but didn’t actually visit until the last day. What a waste! Great coffee, great breakfast.

Anthony Bourdain in No Reservations


O Trevo (Praça Luís de Camões 48), made famous by Anthony Bourdain during his Lisbon No Reservations visit, is the place in Lisbon where all the tourists want to get a bifana sandwich. The line that extends out the door is for the indoor table seating; if you want a take-away or a quick seat at the bar, just walk past them. Grab your bifana and then cross the street to the Quiosque de Refresco or sit on the fountain steps to enjoy the sun.

Antù Lisbon (Rua do Corpo Santo 22), yes, we went again! After their location in Braga we encountered their Lisbon location while walking around – quite a happy surprise. We went in for a repeat of the chicken wings and some beers – still good!

Manteigaria (multiple locations), a much-vaunted competitor for the best pasteis de nata prize. Many blogs call it the favorite pastelaria of the younger, more modern Lisbon crowd, as opposed to the historically important but tourist-filled Pasteis de Belem (which we visited last time around and was definitely worth it). Busy but good! If you want to skip the line, their Time Out Market location also has an outdoor store for take-away at the south side that had no line when we visited.

The End

And that’s it, our list of places in Portugal to get a bite to eat and something nice to drink! We hope you enjoy your stay in Portugal!

What do you think?