Food can shape a destination’s culture, so I always feel like it is nice to try the local specialties when I travel.  I had been to a few Portuguese restaurants, but I knew there was so much I had not tried.  In Portugal, and Porto more specifically, food plays a big part in everyday life.  It is not uncommon for a dinner to last hours because it really is an event.  Our first dinner in Porto lasted from 8 pm until almost 1 am!  I wanted to experience more of the local food culture so we decided to try a Porto Food Tour.

Walking to our next stop - Porto is such a pretty city to explore. "Porto Food Tour: Taste the Local Specialties" - Two Traveling Texans
Walking to our next stop – Porto is such a pretty city to explore.

The Porto food tour we took was the Finger Food Tour with Porto Walkers.  According to the website, we would have eight snacks and three drinks.  The tour runs from 11:30 am to 2 pm and they suggest you come hungry.  We were also warned that we would be going to very local spots and might run into some rowdy locals.  I was excited to try some new dishes and see more of the city.

We met our guide at 11:30 am, GB,  outside the Mercado Do Bolhao.  It’s always great when you can have a local show you around, it’s the best way to learn interesting facts about Portugal.  He was easy to spot in his red shirt.  Two lovely ladies from Switzerland would also be joining us on the food tour.  We all hit it off right away and I could tell it was going to be a fun time.

Inside the Mercado Do Bolhao- "Porto Food Tour: Taste the Local Specialties" - Two Traveling Texans
Inside the Mercado Do Bolhao

To start our Porto food tour, GB walked us through the market.  I always love going to local market when I travel (La Boqueria in Barcelona for example) and it was even better having a local guide.  GB walked us down the aisles and pointed out some of the interesting stalls.  One that really caught my attention had chickens in one cage and pigeons in another.  It’s more like something I would expect to see in Asia.  

We stopped at another stall and GB got us some snacks: olives and Lupin

Meat lover's paradise - "Porto Food Tour: Taste the Local Specialties" - Two Traveling Texans
Meat lover’s paradise

beans.  The olives were milder than kalamata olives and to me tasted similar to the black ones we put on nachos.  I had not tried Lupin beans before but they reminded me of edamame.  You are supposed to take off the outer shell and then you can just eat the bean like a snack.  I was excited to find a tasty new healthy snack.

Our next stop was to try salted dried cod.  Since the cod eaten in Portugal comes from Scandinavia, it is typically dried.  We went upstairs and GB brought us some vegetable soups, fried cod sandwiches, and a bottle of Vinho Verde (my favorite Portuguese wine).   I had cod several times already in Portugal and didn’t even realize it was dried because it was still moist and flavorful.

The salted cod sandwich with a glass (or two) of Vinho Verde. -"Porto Food Tour: Taste the Local Specialties" - Two Traveling Texans
The salted cod sandwich with a glass (or two) of Vinho Verde.

Next up on our Porto food tour, we tried what I would describe as something similar to an empanada.  I love empanadas and enjoyed this one too.  The Portuguese really know how to make pastries.  We had a beef one, but they also had a vegetarian version.

Then we went to another small local place to try the ham and brown bread.  As you can imagine the ham was delicious.  The brown bread tasted different yet familiar.  I asked GB about it and he told me that it had cornmeal in it.  Then I realized it tasted like cornbread, which really went well with the ham.  We also had a pitcher of Vinho Verde which we drank out of ceramic cups.  That felt a little weird, but the wine still tasted great!

Olives, ham, and the brown corn bread with more Vinho Verde served in ceramic cups. - "Porto Food Tour: Taste the Local Specialties" - Two Traveling Texans
Olives, ham, and the brown corn bread with more Vinho Verde served in ceramic cups.

Our next stop was to get the famous pulled pork sandwiches with Serra da Estrela cheese from Casa Guedes.  Depending on when you go, you may have to wait in a long line as the sandwiches are very popular.  We only waited a few minutes.  I am not used to having cheese on a pulled pork sandwich.  The cheese has a strong flavor but it really works.  You just have to be careful because it can get messy! We paired the sandwiches with a nice rose wine and sat at the tables outside.

The famous pulled pork sandwiches with cheese and some Rose. - "Porto Food Tour: Taste the Local Specialties" - Two Traveling Texans
The famous pulled pork sandwiches with cheese and some Rose.

We chose to end the tour with something sweet.  Portugal really makes amazing pastries.  GB brought us natas, the most famous pastry in Portugal, another dessert, and some coffee.  It was a great way to end the tour.  We were having so much fun, we sat for a bit and chatted.  At this point, it was almost 4 pm, but GB still stayed and gave us some suggestions for other places to see in Porto. 

Ending the tour with some dessert, coffee, and nice conversation! - "Porto Food Tour: Taste the Local Specialties" - Two Traveling Texans
Ending the tour with some dessert, coffee, and nice conversation!

Unfortunately, the tour is not suitable for vegetarians, but Porto Walkers also offer a Pastry Tour, Port Tour, Douro Valley Tour, and a Free Walking Tour.  If you are looking for a really fun night, they also have a pub crawl which starts at 11 pm and goes until the wee hours of the morning.  I was tempted to join for the pub crawl, but decided since I had a full day of driving ahead of me, I should probably take it easy.

I really enjoyed getting the local experience, we had so much fun.  For €30 per person, I think you really get your money’s worth with Porto Walkers.  We had so much food and wine, plus saw the city and some local spots, and made new friends.  I loved everything that I tried on my Porto food tour, but I think my favorite thing was probably the nata.  I love my sweets!  For more pictures, check out the video.

 

Have you tried any Portuguese food? What has been your favorite?

-Anisa

Expert Tips for a Porto Food Tour:

  • Come hungry! You will get plenty of food.
  • Pace yourself with the wine and make sure to also drink water.
  • Make sure your reserve your spot with Porto Walkers in advance.

Disclosure: No financial compensation was received, but we were guests of Porto Walkers for the finger food walking tour.  As always, opinions are my own.

The Weekly Postcard

We are happy to co-host the Weekly Postcard Linkup.  Everyone is invited to join us and share their travel blog posts here beginning at 12 p.m. (PST) / 8 p.m. (GMT) Friday April 28th.  If you would like a reminder email when the linkup opens, you can sign up to get one here.

For those of you that have not done a linkup before, please check out our frequently asked questions about the Weekly Postcard.  Feel free to reach out to us if you have other questions.  You can also check out last week’s posts here. Happy Travels!

Two Traveling Texans


Porto Food Tour: Taste the Local Specialties
The finger food tour with Porto Walkers is a great way to taste local foods & wines, see the city, and meet new people. | Foodie | Travel
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