There’s no doubt in my mind that the best way to truly understand a culture is through language, people, and of course, food. That’s why, on my first trip to Portugal, I just knew that I had to check out a food tour with Taste Porto. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Portugal, Porto is the country’s second-largest city. It’s located along the Douro River, making it renowned for its production of port dessert wine. Moreover, it’s home to quite a few delicious Portuguese dishes. So what exactly did we get up to with Taste Porto? Here’s a little recap.
Downtown Vintage Food Tour
I was lucky enough to be invited to Taste Porto’s newest attraction, the Downtown Vintage Food Tour. We met our guide, André, at the Bolhão metro station for what was to be a fun-filled day ending in lots of laughs and a full stomach. For those of you who love history as much as me, this tour is for you as it focuses on learning a bit about Porto’s past as well as its emergence onto the culinary scene. From the beginning of the tour, we were immediately impressed with André’s knowledge of Porto as well as his general passion for cuisine.
André first led us to Mercearia do Bolhão, where we got to experience a traditional Portuguese market first-hand. Although this market dates back to the 1800s, tripeiros (Porto natives) still pass by to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats to this day. Our official first “taste of Porto” began with a delicious bread called folar, which is baked with pieces of sausage and ham, and sheep’s cheese paired with a sweet jam. Let me go ahead and say that I am usually a pretty picky eater; nonetheless, I LOVED everything we tried on this tour.
Next, we headed to Confeitaria Ateneia for a treat to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. Known as the oldest chocolate producer in Porto, Confeitaria Ateneia is sure to make any chocolate lover happy with its massive selection of sweets. For a little something salty to follow, our next stop was the Loja das Conservas. I’m not usually big on fish, but Taste of Porto sure changed my mind! After a quick taste of seafood with yummy white wine, we were onto our next and most significant stop: Tascö.
When traveling in Portugal, you’ll probably notice the word petiscos everywhere you go. So, what exactly are these famed petiscos? Well, they’re Portugal’s version of tapas: scrumptious smaller plates that are meant to be shared. Tascö was the perfect introduction to this typical Portuguese concept. Here, we sampled codfish, fresh sausage, and more wine (Side note: the day involves lots of food and wine, so don’t feel like you have to finish everything)!
My favorite part of the day was to follow, where we sampled different types of Portuguese baked goods at Confeitaria Aliança. You guys know that I can’t say no to sweets! Our last stop to end the day was at Taxca. The moment you enter this spot, you can tell that it’s just for locals. I loved that about this shop, in particular, no tourists to be seen (besides us, hehe!). To finish off our tour, we tried cured pork sandwiches and a glass of espadal. If you’re passing through Porto, I consider the Downtown Vintage Food Tour to be an experience that you absolutely CANNOT miss. Thank you, Taste Porto, for the beautiful food and memories!
The Downtown Vintage Food Tour with Taste Porto runs Mondays through Saturdays at 10:00 am and 4:15 pm. Tickets must be purchased in advance, so please plan ahead! The tour duration is roughly 3.5 hours.
I was invited along this food tour by Taste Porto as compensation for writing this post. Nonetheless, all opinions are my own!