“Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.”
Eating and drinking: 2 simple pleasures that have the ability to open our minds and tantalise our senses. During my first trip to the city, I was invited by Taste Porto Food Tours for a tour of the city’s gastronomic scene. A foodie at heart, and a sucker for local food tours, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
Taste Porto Food Tours – what to expect
Our guide for the tour was the charismatic Porto born-and-raised, Andre, whom we met near Bolhao market. Running by on 5 hours sleep after attending the second night of a music festival was no easy feat. Yet, Andre’s lively mood quickly snapped us out of our slumber.
It was clear early on that food and drink wouldn’t be the only focus of the tour. Andre was keen to show us ‘my Porto’ which included historical facts and anecdotes about the city.
The food – and drink– we sampled, matched the enjoyment of the walking tour. Though I enjoyed just about everything, I also had my favourites.
A Loja dos Pasteis de Chaves
A Loja dos Pasteis de Chaves specialises in flaky pastries from a town called Chaves not far from the Spanish border. It’s difficult deciding between the sweet and savoury fillings, but they’re both so good, you can easily eat a few more.
Flor dos Congregados
The unique cave-like interior of Flor dos Congregados is a must-visit, and a must to eat at place too.
It promotes ‘slow food’, a concept that every country should adopt! Essentially, it’s all about savouring your food, and not rushing everything down your mouth. The restaurant has a traditional wood fire oven, from which we feasted on the scrumptious Terylene sandwich. This mouth-watering combination of slow-roasted pork, sandwiched between a crusty bread roll was heaven on a small plate. We combined this with a sparkling red wine, bringing a refreshing end to an unforgettable sandwich.
Specialty food store Bagus deserves a mention, if not just for the impressive furniture that its owner designed. Here we tried intense satiny cheeses, meaty full-flavoured sardines, and not forgetting my new favourite red wine, Meio Quijo.
Would I recommend Taste Porto Food Tour?
The Taste Porto Food Tour is truly an excellent way to see the city, and from a local’s perspective too.
Andre made the experience that more special because of his added personal touches, and stories of the city. His love for Porto shines through, not only from his love of the food and wine, but also for every street, monument and building that we passed.
He went out of his way even after the tour ended to see if we needed more information. It was a thoroughly enjoyable 3 and a half hours, and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it all over again.
If you’re looking for a boutique hotel to stay in Porto, you should consider Carmo’s Boutique Hotel. It has an central location, individually designed rooms and the kind of excellent service you’d expect from a boutique.