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Best restaurants in Matosinhos

Matosinhos, a city just north of Porto, is a Mecca for Foodies. Discover, then, the best restaurants in Matosinhos (written by a local!).

Sara Riobom

December 18, 2022

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When people think about Matosinhos they think about the trendy city just north of Porto but in fact, Matosinhos is an entire municipality, which encompasses several villages within itself. Therefore, in this article on the best restaurants in Matosinhos, I decided to also include restaurants that are in the municipality of Matosinhos (notably in Leça da Palmeira) and not just in the city of Matosinhos. 

One important note about eating out in Matosinhos: the restaurants in Matosinhos are incredibly popular so you DEFINITELY need to make your reservation in advance.

And, if you don’t want to head to there just for the food, make sure to read my list of the best things to do in Matosinhos.

These are the best restaurants in Matosinhos:

O Gaveto

Rua Roberto Ivens, 826 | Matosinhos

steamed clams seafood restaurant gaveto matosinhos main room gaveto best seafood restaurant porto
I start any and all my lists of the best restaurants in Matosinhos with O Gaveto because it really is a fantastic place, as it combines the mastery of the best fish dishes in the region with an impeccable wine list (it is no coincidence that all the winemakers of Douro and Minho dine there) and a five-star service.

It’s not cheap, but it’s worth every cent.

How to get there: the subway station Matosinhos Sul is a 5 minutes walking distance.

Lage Senhor do Padrão

Rua Heróis de França, 516 | Matosinhos
grilled cod lage senhor padrao best restaurants matosinhos

Lage Senhor do Padrão is simply a perfect restaurant – from the ambiance of the room, lined with granite walls and strong wooden beams, to the friendliness and honesty of the employees, to the generous servings.

All the dishes are incredible – from the small deep fried sardines to the roasted cod with real roasted potatoes, to the fantastic grilled squids… all the food is great, fresh, honest. And fairly priced, too.

The servings are huuuuuge, so ask carefully or bring some Tupperware to take the leftovers home with you 😀

How to get there: Matosinhos Sul and Brito Capelo subway stations are both a 5 minutes walking distance.

Temperos da Zezinha

Rua Heróis de França, 611 | Matosinhos
seafood cataplana temperos zezinha best restaurants matosinhos
dining room temperos zezinha

Temperos da Zezinha is one of those restaurants that is so good that you want to keep it all to yourself. But I like to share everything I know with you so here goes 🙂

Temperos da Zezinha stands out from the competition for being a 100% family business, for having an immense list of crazy good starters (from chicken samosas, cheese fondue, ham croquettes…) and excellent main dishes. The monkfish cataplana is excellent, as is the blood chicken rice, but what makes me go back there time after time is the shrimp Açorda.

How to get there: Matosinhos Sul and Brito Capelo subway stations are both a 5 minutes walking distance.

Marisqueira Antiga

Rua Roberto Ivens, 628 | Matosinhos
lobster soup marisqueira antiga best restaurants matosinhos
© Ally Chow

There are those who love and there are those who hate Marisqueira Antiga, also known by some as A Esplanada, but I think it is one of the best restaurants in Matosinhos to eat a beautiful seafood platter.

My favorite dishes there are the lobster salad, the spider crab velvet cream and the grilled tiger prawns.

A gentle warning: this restaurant is VERY expensive. So you should only get there if you are ok with spending a lot of money on seafood. Don’t come crying over my shoulder afterwards!

How to get there: Matosinhos Sul and Brito Capelo subway stations are both a 5 minutes walking distance.

Swaad Indian Restaurant

Avenida Comendador Ferreira de Matos, 209 | Matosinhos
indian dishes

You must be very tired of just reading recommendations of seafood restaurants in Matosinhos so here’s a different recommendation: Swaab, an Indian restaurant.

It is a small family restaurant, whose owner is originally from Kerala, and who makes a point of welcoming you with open arms and with all the patience in the world, explaining each dish in detail.

The menu is extensive, with lots of vegan and vegetarian options, including the curries and dosas. For starters I always order Pani Puri and a nice lemon and coriander soup.

How to get there: the subway station Câmara de Matosinhos is a 5 minutes walking distance.

Sicario Taqueria Mexicana

Rua Roberto Ivens, 340 | Matosinhos
mexican food matosinhos
sicario taqueria mexicana matosinhos

If you are looking for a different place to have dinner with your friends, then Sicario Taqueria Mexicana is undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in Matosinhos for you.

It’s a restaurant that looks like an industrial canteen (in that respect, it reminds me a bit of Espaço 77 in downtown Porto), where cocktails and the famous Mexican street food, such as tacos, quesadilas and enchiladas, prevail.

I personally don’t like Mexican food, but my friends love this restaurant 🙂

How to get there: the subway station Brito Capelo is a 2 minutes walking distance.

Tito 2

Rua Heróis de França, 321 | Matosinhos
grilled octopus
tito 2 matosinhos

Tito 2 is an institution engraved in the memory of people from Porto and Matosinhenses since immemorial times, and with good reason.

It’s just that at Tito 2 EVERYTHING is good – from the fabulous (and expensive) tiger prawns to the humble goose barnacles (in the starters); from the sumptuous seafood or monkfish rices to the simple Boiled Hake Head (on the main dishes).

The servings are plentiful and the employees are kind enough to let you know when we are ordering too much food, which is very useful on a first foray into Tito 2’s kitchen.

The only thing I don’t like so much is that the dining room is in need of a revamp in terms of decoration, but that’s a minor issue.

How to get there: Matosinhos Sul and Brito Capelo subway stations are both a 5 minutes walking distance.

Terrárea

Rua de Brito Capelo, 1211 | Matosinhos
terrarea flower shop brunch spot matosinhos
terrarea cafe matosinhos

Terrárea is a curious hybrid organism that combines a sophisticated (and extremely tasteful) flower shop with a small café where breakfast, brunch and two dishes of the day are served at lunchtime (it is closed at night).

The portions are just the right size, the service is friendly and the only thing that bothers me, in this cute place, is that it’s a very small space with too many tables.

How to get there: the subway station Matosinhos Sul is a 10 minutes walking distance.

A Badalhoca do Fredo

Rua São Pedro, 81 | Matosinhos
ham egg sandwiches
tasco badalhoca fredo matosinhos

I’m not much of a tavern person but I couldn’t resist including Badalhoca do Fredo on this list of the best restaurants in Matosinhos. There are few things that warm my heart as much as ordering a good PO (a Ham and Egg sandwich) and eating it at the counter with a chilled espadal (a typical green wine from the north of Portugal).

Badalhoca do Fredo is a true tavern, without tables, where you can eat at the counter or standing wherever you feel like it. It’s not a fancy place, but damn if it’s not an authentic place.

How to get there: the subway station Brito Capelo is a 10 minutes walking distance.

Best restaurants in Matosinhos: Leça da Palmeira region

Leça da Palmeira is the city immediately next to Matosinhos, and that belongs to Matosinhos Municipality. It is also where my parents live (And where I lived for many years), so I happen to know the local food scene pretty well there 🙂

In Leça da Palmeira you can find some of the best restaurants in Matosinhos, and they are listed below.

The only problem is that public transports to Leça suck big time, so I advise you to take your car or to call an Uber.

O Alves

Av. Combatentes da Grande Guerra, 124 | Leça da Palmeira
seafood cataplana fries
alves restaurant leca palmeira

Alves is another restaurant where I go often because it has beautiful seafood rice and excellent grilled sea bream.

It’s a restaurant with a traditional yet elegant decor, on two floors: the top floor has a better view (of the sea), but the bottom floor has much less noise.

Alves, being a victim of its fame as one of the best restaurants in Matosinhos, is ALWAYS full of people, so don’t even think about showing up there without a reservation.

Chanquinhas

Rua Santana, 243 | Leça da Palmeira
portuguese chicken rice
chanquinhas dining room

Chanquinhas is a restaurant that seems to have stopped in time, and I thank it for that. It is a restaurant located in a discreet manor house, with a demodé decoration and very, very attentive staff.

The best of traditional Portuguese food awaits you here, and my parents and I usually go there to eat roast kid, Rojões à Moda do Minho or Hake Heads with Everything. I know the names make no sense to you but trust me, everything is delicious at Chanquinhas.

A Margarida

Rua do Castelo, 59 | Leça da Palmeira
bread and seafood stew portuguese dish

A Margarida is a restaurant that encapsulates everything I love about eating out in Leça da Palmeira: a cozy room with an unpretentious elegance, attentive and efficient staff and real food, without unnecessary pretense.

I like everything on the menu, but I come back time and time again for the shrimp açorda, the various grilled fish and the stuffed crab. And I’m not even going to talk about the desserts…

Terminal 4450

Av. Doutor Antunes Guimarães | Leça da Palmeira
restaurant terminal4450 porto ribeye
Terminal 4450 dining room

For those who like meat and are willing to pay good money for it, one of the best restaurants in Matosinhos is undoubtedly Terminal 4450 which, as the name implies, is located in the container terminal of Leça da Palmeira.

The atmosphere at Terminal 4450 is very pleasant, with calm ambient music and, even when it is full, people speak in a suitable tone for those looking for a quiet dinner for 2.

The menu includes different types of cuts (including meat aged for 45 days), with different types of accompaniments. The starters are mediocre (I don’t think they’re worth it), but the main dishes are excellent (I particularly like the tomahawk), and the mojito sangria is top notch.

Seiva

Rua Sarmento Pimentel, 69 | Leça da Palmeira
main course seiva vegetarian restaurant porto
dining room seiva leca palmeira

If you’re a vegetarian and you’re looking for one of the best restaurants in Matosinhos, don’t despair!-, I haven’t forgotten about you 🙂

There are two good vegetarian restaurants in Leça da Palmeira and I’ll start with the one I go to the most, Seiva.

It’s a small restaurant tastefully decorated, where chef David makes a point of welcoming us with all his enthusiasm and joy. He is an extremely creative person, who regularly changes the menu, which is always made up of beautiful dishes, ideal for sharing. Usually, when I go there on a date we choose 3 or 4 dishes to share as they are quite small.

I always have a great time at Seiva and I think you will too 🙂

Veleiros

Rua de Almeiriga Norte, 2520 | Perafita
roasted octopus veleiros best restaurants matosinhos
veleiros dining room

If you ask my parents’ generation about the best restaurants in Matosinhos, the answer will unfailingly fall back on places like Veleiros. This family restaurant is really a jewel planted by the sea: a small room where we are served with fantastic dishes, of which the oven-roasted octopus with rice stands out. Desserts are also wonderful.

This restaurant also has the advantage of having a car park in front.

Los Ibericos

Rua do Castelo, 3 | Leça da Palmeira
tapas los ibericos
los ibericos restaurant leca palmeira

There’s tapas and tapas and the tapas at Los Ibericos are reeeeeeally great. The menu is HUGE and includes boards of cheeses and sausages, huevos rotos and many other fantastic delicacies, of which I recommend the breaded Camembert cheese with red fruit coulis and the breaded mussels. To go with it, I suggest an apple sangria because IT IS AMAZING, MY FRIENDS.

Another thing I love about this restaurant is that from Monday to Friday it has an executive menu with soup, dish of the day OR three tapas (from a small list of possibilities) and dessert for €12.50.

Fast, relaxed service is the perfect complement to a friends’ night out.

Maria Moita

Travessa do Castelo, 55 | Leça da Palmeira
creme brulee
maria moita dining room

I remember going to Maria Moita many times, when I was a kid, at the dinners we used to organize with my father’s best friend. The restaurant, fortunately, has not changed its essence over time: it continues to be a small family restaurant, with a cozy room and a terrace under a branch, unrivaled on hot days.

From the main dishes I highlight the Octopus à Lagareiro and the Hake Fillets, but what I like the most is the generous basket of warm bread and the cod patties served as a starter. Divine!

Casa de Chá da Boa Nova

Avenida da Liberdade, 1681 | Leça da Palmeira
casa cha boa nova porto michelin oysters
tea house boa nova siza vieira

I have already written here 4131 times about Casa de Chá da Boa Nova because 1) the building is beautiful 2) it was designed by the great Siza Vieira 3) it has a beautiful location, right by the sea and 4) my parents live nearby, that’s why I used to go there many times when it wasn’t a trendy restaurant 😛

Casa de Chá da Boa Nova, currently in the hands of chef Rui Paula, is the only restaurant on this list with a Michelin star.

It focuses exclusively on fish and seafood dishes, also incorporating a lot of seaweed, which I find particularly interesting.

As you can imagine, being a Michelin-starred restaurant it is quite expensive – prices start at €110 / person, excluding wines.

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