Fish route and the best restaurants in Porto and the North
First of all, let me explain a bit what the hell is the Fish Route. The fish route is the path the fish you eat makes from the sea to your plate. Most of the places I will tell you in this list have the freshest fish I ever ate and all of them deserve their place on this list because their food is fabulous.
O Valentim in Matosinhos
Matosinhos is just the next city from the world famous Porto. Everybody knows Porto, but only a few know Matosinhos – which is their loss. Because besides being the home of 2 places on this list, the city is fantastic and way less crowded than Porto.
I’ll start with this one because besides being one of the best restaurants in Porto (some consider Matosinhos part of Porto), O Valentim is one of the best hotels in town and the architecture is to die for.
The owner of this wonderful place went together with us to the fish market in Matosinhos and bought a fish there. So we saw the fish being caught, people putting it on the scale and we ate this fish. Can the food be fresher? I don’t think so!
The whole lunch was amazing seafood and some of the most delicious gin-based drinks we ever had. And we don’t like gin that much.
A Marisqueira Antiga – the most impressive seafood dish of your life
This place was one of those places that make dreams come true if you’re a seafood fan like me. I mean, food, in general, is top 3 best things in life but I like seafood so much that I have as my favorite food ever oysters! And I know, this will make questions pop up in your mind, especially in a world with lasagna and french fries and whatever. But, what can I do? I love oysters! #OnlyGodCanJudgeMe
So, if you are a bit crazy for the wonders of the sea, please book your flight to Porto and go to A Marisqueira Antiga asap!
I think a photo of our dinner will do a better job convincing you than I could ever do with my words. Have I convinced you yet? I know I did! Tell me if this post about best restaurants in Porto isn’t one of the worst posts to read if you’re hungry, tell me! I know! I’m sorry for that.
Casa de Chá da Boa Nova and their Michelin Star with a twist of Blade Runner
Since it is me, Marcela, writing about food here, of course, I will add a place with something for the photographers. I know that almost all the posts about food are under my name and you know that with me you’ll always have the best places in every city we visit regardless of the price range. I always care about quality over anything else. I will tell you the best Turkish food in Berlin, and I will tell you also about one of the best Michelin Star restaurants I’ve visited ever. And is Casa de Chá de Boa Nova.
The food, of course, is spectacular. The food presentation is outstanding but what took my breath away was the view. To be honest, the view together with the design of this place. This place deserves its place on this list of best restaurants in Porto with a golden star next to it.
Designed by the architect Alvaro Siza Vieira, this place is in perfect synchrony with the nature surrounding it. Located in Leça da Palmeira, one neighborhood from Matosinhos, this restaurant was built only 2 meters above the water level on top of some rocks. In the background, you have the sea and a bit to the side you can see, what I can only describe as the live version of a Blade Runner scenario, the power plant from Matosinhos.
Fidalguinha and its secret squid recipe
In counterpoint to the item above, Fidalguinha is one of the most simple and delicious places we tried on this wonderful trip. Located in the wonderful city of Espinho, this time a bit south from Porto, this place caught me by the heart (and the stomach).
I don’t think I ever tried a better squid dish. I’m super honest here. I ain’t exaggerating because of Bla Bla Bla. I’m complete, 100%, totally honest. I never ate squid like the ones in Fidalguinha.
Just that magical – and yet super simple – taste is making me open a new tab here just to check flights to Porto. Cheap, honest and amazing traditional Portuguese food. What else do you want from a post about the best restaurants in Porto? Options for all tastes and price range? You’ve got it!
Fidalguinha is the family restaurant that you’ve been waiting for.
“Marcela, I don’t like fish. Can you save my trip to Porto?” YES, I CAN!
Right now, I will give you two amazing places to eat things that are not fish or seafood. The first one is a bakery with some special items for people looking for sweets and savory pastries.
The first one is in Espinho, and the name is Aipal. Aipal is open since 1964 and has some of the best Bolas de Berlim (Berlin Balls) you can have. Bolas de Berlim is the Berliner you can find it here in Germany but instead of jam is with cream. It is your regular doughnut if you must have an American name for it, but for me, Bolas de Berlim taste better.
Besides Bolas de Berlim, they also have a pastry with ham and cheese that got Felipe hooked on it. Just go there and ask for “Lanche” (the ch you can pronounce as sh and you’ll be fine). Please tell him that on our Facebook Group (preferably with a photo of you and the lanche) so he can hate you and me a bit!
The second tip is to try a francesinha. Francesinhas are a Croque-monsieur with a Portuguese twist. So meat, bread, an egg on top and voilá! The best one we had was in Matosinhos on the corner of Marisqueria Antiga, but you can try this wonder anywhere you want. The name of the place was Marisqueria Marujo. If you have more tips on where to find francesinhas, maybe I can make a post about the best restaurants in Porto for francesinhas. Either that or we wait for Fotostrasse’s next trip to Portugal.
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