Eating and Drinking in Porto (Part II)
Where I left off last week, I think we were eating pastries and drying out from being drenched during a thunderstorm. Andrew and I weren’t ready to let a bit of rain stop us from exploring more of Porto, so after warming up, we walked over to Livraria Lello, where J.K. Rowling got a lot of her inspiration for the Hogwarts School in her Harry Potter books. The bookstore was beautiful, but I have to say that it was so overrun with people that I had a hard time enjoying myself. I did buy a Portuguese cookbook there, so something came out of the experience!
Look at all of those people, yikes!
Next we visited the free Portuguese Center of Photography, housed in a former jail. Here’s the view from behind bars!
I wouldn’t recommend the museum as a must-see, but we did really enjoy the collection of spy cameras. Aren’t these soda can cameras sneaky?
We had a late lunch at A Casa Guedes, and this was hands down our favorite meal of the entire trip. The restaurant specializes in roasted pork sandwiches, which are SO tasty! The pork is carved from a giant hunk of meat behind the counter:
There’s hot chili oil to drizzle over the sandwiches—we used a lot.
Also on the menu are a few soups. I had the papas, which is a hearty purée of potatoes flavored with cumin and blood. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was delicious. Even Andrew liked it!
Our vacations are never complete unless we walk ourselves to exhaustion, so we decided to trek out several miles to the Serralves Foundation to see some modern art. We actually didn’t love the current exhibitions, but we really enjoyed exploring the grounds and the pink Art Deco villa on the property.
That evening it was finally time to try the Porto specialty the francesinha. We went to Cafe Santiago, which is famous for this hearty sandwich. I ordered some turnip greens soup for a little balance:
And here’s the sandwich!
In between two slices of thick Texas-toast-sized bread is ham, sausage, pork cutlet, and cheese. And yes, that’s more cheese, and an egg, and tomato-ey beer sauce, on top. With fries, naturally. Whoa!! We split this, but many locals were there eating a whole sandwich each. It was really tasty!
The next day, after a breakfast of leftover bread and cheese, we explored the Bolhão Market and had fun ogling the fresh vegetables, breads, etc.
Next we visited the Porto Cathedral, which was built in the 12th century, and is gorgeous!
The view from the plaza:
For lunch, we visited Restaurante O Buraco, and we LOVED it. We tried the duck rice:
The soupy and amazing rice and beans:
And the Thursday special rojões, which is fried pork chunks, with potatoes, rice, traditional chicken sausages, and some cooked blood. And those are bits of chopped lemon on top, rind and all. Wow, it was so good!
We took another walk across the bridge in the evening, taking advantage of a few hours of clear weather before the next rain. Look at that gorgeous view!
These little tasting bottles came home with us, and we’re looking forward to enjoying them soon and remembering our trip.
Dinner on our last night was more bread and cheese in our beautiful apartment, which we were pretty sad to leave. We had a slice of chocolate meringue cake for dessert (it looks a little messy, but it tasted great!):
The next day, we just had time for a coffee and pastry before heading to the airport to travel home. We enjoyed the most delicious bolos de arroz at Confeiteria de Bolhão (HIGHLY recommended):
And that was that! If you missed Part I of this post, check it out here. Do you have Portugal recommendations that I didn’t include here? Share them in the comments!