There is an entire section dedicated to Food & Wine on my website and yet, somehow, it was missing an article about the Best Tapas restaurants in Porto. Well, no more. Here it is – enjoy it, my dear tapas friends!
Tapas in Porto: Important things to know
There are some important things to consider before reading this article:
- If you are a true tapas lover, why not join a food & wine tour in Porto? It is indeed the best way to get to know the local cuisine, to discover places you would never find on your own and to meet like minded travellers.
- Another interesting option (and much cheaper) is to join a Pastel de Nata cooking class, where you will learn how to cook the famous pastel de nata sweet pastry with a local that will share with you her family recipe (I know this for a fact because I am friends with the person that organises this activity 🙂
- Tapas restaurants in Porto are, generally speaking, more expensive than eating out at regular traditional Portuguese restaurants.
- They are increasingly popular among tourists, so I highly recommend you to make your reservation in advance – and, if you can’t make it, cancel it ASAP!
Best Tapas restaurants in Porto
Calling Tascö a tapas restaurant is borderline offensive because it is so much more than that. At Tascö you will be able to taste some of the best Portuguese ingredients available in the market (like the most stunning octopus, tiger prawns and Alentejo black pork), cooked in modern techniques and sharable portions. Oh, and did I mentioned their signature cocktails? They are to die for as well, and a great way to start your meal at Tascö (for dessert, I definitely suggest you to try one of their Ports).
Tascö is a bit on the expensive side but a) it is definitely worth it and b) practically all dishes are sharable, so in the end it is not that expensive.
Oh, and don’t forget to make your reservation ahead because Tascö gets sold out with weeks (yes, weeks) in advance.
How to get there: Aliados subway station is a 2-minute walking distance.
I was dragged to the Douro by a dear friend of mine, and I am glad he did so because The Door is indeed one of the best tapas restaurants in Porto. Located right behind the Portuguese Center of Photography (a former jail, by the way), The Door is a small yet very cosy restaurant where you will able to try great tapas like Black Angus Carpaccio, Argentinian empanadas and Alheira slices (a traditional Portuguese sausage). There are also plenty of vegetarian options, like the beetroot hummus.
But for me, the star of the night were the fresh oysters from Aveiro (a city just 60km South of Porto), that were available that night. Paired with a sparkling wine from Filipa Pato (a famous winemaker) and followed by their “Bite Me” chocolate brownie, oooh, I was in heaven 🙂
How to get there: São Bento subway station is a 10-minute walking distance.
Trásca is a fusion space that combines the informal atmosphere of a traditional tavern (with its vaulted ceilings and decoration filled to the ceiling) with delicious tapas. It is not for everybody (I get that) but it is a really cool place and one of the few restaurants in downtown Porto that is still frequented by locals, which is a big plus on this list of the best tapas restaurants in Porto.
Trásca has a very varied menu but mostly focused on meat dishes, so it’s not the best place to take your vegetarian friends. I particularly like the grilled sausages with apple puree, the sardine tostada and the lime tart, but the menu is quite vast.
One thing you should take into account is that Trásca is located near São Bento train station, precisely where the new subway stations’ construction work is taking place at the moment (I talk about that on my article about Where to stay in Porto: the best neighborhoods), so it is not the easiest place to find.
How to get there: São Bento subway station is a 4-minute walking distance.
Espécie is not only one of the best tapas restaurants in Porto but also one of the very few that is 100% vegetarian. That is correct, my friends: it is possible to have a great tapas dinner just with veggies 😀
Espécie is absolutely gorgeous, with its romantic backyward terrace and cute kitchenware from Costa Nova, a famous Portuguese brand. The tapas are fantastic (even though the portions are a bit too small for me), and I particularly enjoy the Korean Fried Cauliflower.
The only thing I don’t like about Espécie is the wine list – but being a private wine tour guide in Douro Valley, I tend to be incredibly demanding when it comes to wines 😉
How to get there: Aliados subway station is a 6-minute walking distance.
Rua is a very small live music bar that also happens to serve great tapas. So for those of you that would love to party – basically that is the value proposition of this bar -, then Tapas is the perfect place because you will be able to have dinner while listening to live music 🙂 It isn’t, therefore, the best place to have conversations about the meaning of life, since the music is, understandingly, quite loud.
As for the food itself, both the tapas and the cocktails are quite good (I really like the tuna tartar and the grilled camembert cheese).
If you want to watch the live music concert, that takes place every night (different genres though), I suggest you to book a table for 20h30 / 21h as it ends around 23h as the place is tiny and gets full quite quickly.
How to get there: Aliados subway station is a 10-minute walking distance.
Jimão | Tapas e Vinhos
Jimão is a tiny tapas restaurant in Porto, located in the iconic Ribeira neighborhood. The food is quite good (I particularly like the pork cheeks and sautéed mushrooms with asparagus), and the menu is large and diverse, with dishes that suit everyone (vegetarians included).
Jimão is located at a narrow building with two floors, with a traditional yet very cosy atmosphere, and hence it can easily be called one of the most romantic restaurants in Porto.
How to get there: São Bento subway station is a 8-minute walking distance.
Tapas & Destapas is a small restaurant with a privileged location, very close to Torre dos Clérigos. It has a modern decor (the only thing I don’t love about this space) where you can choose to sit at one of the tables or at the counter, right in front of the bartender.
The dishes are very creative, of which the Braised Pork Belly with Migas stands out (a type of side dish made with bread and Galician cabbage), but I am also happy at Tapas & Destapas when I order a cheese and ham board.
How to get there: São Bento subway station is a 4-minute walking distance.
Tapabento might be the most popular option on this list of the best tapas restaurants in Porto. I like going there, despite always being the only Portuguese client (something that makes me very sad), because Tapabento has delicious tapas made with seafood, such as its iconic seafood soup, fish & seafood cataplana and Fish Curry. Not to mention the peanut mousse, which is amazing!
In my opinion, Tapabento only has 2 problems: a) it is too expensive for Portuguese pockets and 2) it is located right next to São Bento station, an area that has been under construction since the beginning of the year (and who knows when it will be over…).
How to get there: São Bento subway station is a 2-minute walking distance.
À Bolina is the most romantic restaurant on this list: with a terrace with an extraordinary view of the Luiz I bridge and a comfortable & stylish interior decor, À Bolina is really perfect for a date with your travel companion 🙂
Both the owner and the staff at À Bolina are extremely friendly, carefully explaining the menu, which is divine: I particularly like the roasted alheira and the sardine salad. For dessert, a delicious pumpkin cake, or a cheese board. All washed down, of course, with beautiful Port wines.
How to get there: São Bento subway station is a 13-minute walking distance.
Tapas na Boca is a restaurant with a super quaint traditional decor, where we are welcomed at the entrance by two tile panels with caricatures of… Wagner and Beethoven, how random is that 😀
The creativity at Tapas na Boca may begin at the entrance but it continues with its original dishes, such as a fabulous cod with honey aioli and mussels with escabeche sauce. Ironically, it’s also the only tapas restaurant I can remember that has a good tortilla!
The only issue with Tapas na Boca is that it’s a bit “salty” on the price, but to be honest I feel this about ALL the tapas restaurants in Porto.
How to get there: Aliados subway station is a 5-minute walking distance.
Rio’s Tapas & Bar
Rio’s Tapas & Bar is a restaurant with many qualities, starting with the modern, soft and stylish decor, with a great atmosphere in which we see the chefs cooking our food right in front of us. I loved this transparency and honesty from the first second!
On the dishes, I highlight the fried octopus with tartar sauce and the Italian Arancini, which I have been eagerly seeking in Porto since I tasted them in Italy.
How to get there: São Bento subway station is a 12-minute walking distance.
The 41 Bar
41 is a small tapas restaurant in Porto, located right on the edge of the La Movida area but on a quiet street, full of outdoor terraces and away from the crowds, which I really appreciate.
The menu highlights the more traditional tapas, such as roasted chorizo and stewed chicken gizzards, which are a must if you are a foodie travelling in Portugal.
How to get there: Aliados subway station is a 8-minute walking distance.
Seiva is such a fantastic place, and one of the very few vegetarian tapas restaurant in Porto. It is located around 10 km away from Porto and it is a bit tricky to get there by public transports, but it is well worth it.
The place is owned by David, an amazing young chef with a heart of gold that truly loves food and connecting people using food. This is why he not only cooks but also goes to each table asking for honest feedback for his dishes.
The menu is constantly changing, to reflect the different products that each season of the year brings, so all I can say is that you won’t regret going to Leça da Palmeira to dine at Seiva 🙂
How to get there: It’s tricky to get to Seiva, since it is 11 km away from Porto. The best way is to either take a direct Uber from Porto or to take the subway to Mercado subway station (on the blue line), and from there take an Uber to Seiva (7 minutes ride).