Porto is the capital of the Porto District and a major tourist stop for many who visit Portugal. The small city boasts about 232,000 residents and is one of the most populous cities in the area. Porto is located in northern Portugal on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and also has the Duomo River running through it.
Wondering where to eat in Porto to get the best street food? Many people who travel like to try the local cuisines and the street food is the best way to do that. However, street food is not just on the streets of the city here. You can also find a plethora of restaurants, cafes, and diners serving the unique dishes of Portuguese cuisine.
Porto food includes specialties like bolinhos de bacalhau, pastel de nata, seafood rice, tomato and beer sauce, and a fried egg on just about everything. In almost every Porto restaurant that serves Portuguese food, you can find several of the most popular street foods that locals eat in Porto.
Many of the traditional food dishes include a hunk of local bread, and you can find spicy sauce on almost everything, especially Porto sandwiches. The spicy francesinha is one Porto sandwich covered in melted cheese that you will find everywhere. It is one of the Porto food specialties, even though it was created by a French immigrant.
Some of the unique desserts you will find on the streets of Porto include pastéis de Nata, also known as custard tarts, and pastéis de tentúgal, which is a flaky pastry filled with sweet cream and covered in powdered sugar. These are delicious with a glass of port wine.
Alheira is another food you can find in most Porto restaurants served with fries. Whether you are going out to find some Pasteis de Bacalhau, bolinho de bacalhau with doce de ovos, or some other Portuguese dish, you do not want to bring your luggage or shopping bags with you. Look for a nearby Porto luggage storage facility to leave them while you go try some local specialties.
The best street food vendors in Porto
The francesinha is one of the 50 best sandwiches in the world so you have to try it during your visit to Porto. The name means "little French girl" in Portuguese. Every restaurant has its feature dish and at Cafe Santiago, it is the francesinha. From the freshly baked bread to the secret sauce, every single ingredient is important here.
The mortadella salami, fresh sausage, ham, and beefsteak are all fresh from local butchers and the cheese is especially important. It has to be the right age and thickness to make a perfect sandwich. Then there is a fried egg on top of the sandwich covered with more sauce and cheese and topped with certain secret spices. After a meal like this, you'll be ready for a night on the town in Porto!
Gazela Cachorrinhos da Batalha
This may seem like just a snack bar serving hot dogs but Gazela is different. They have been serving these special dogs since 1962. The cachorrinho is what they call a little hot dog, but is really a toasted loaf of bread stuffed with sausage and cheese. Perfect with vintage port or white wine.
By the Douro River, near the Porto Cathedral and the Majestic Cafe, Gazela is famous for its tasty dogs in a crusty bread roll usually served with a cold beer. Add some egg, potatoes, olive oil, onions, and black olives to that and you may just have the best Portuguese cuisine in Porto.
Looking for a favorite Porto food? It may not be one of the traditional dishes or local cuisine but the burger at Curb is unlike any American burger you have ever had. The soft but crusty bun is toasted to perfection and slathered with a special sauce before placing the perfectly cooked burger on top.
The laid-back vibe and delicious aromas will draw you in and the food will keep you coming back. Besides the burger, you can also enjoy steak sandwiches, fries, and the famous francesinha sandwich. Located in downtown Porto right by the Bolsa Palace and Douro River, Curb is where to go for a burger. Check out nearby Porto museums and then stop here for a bite to eat.
Although you can get pasteis de nata (egg custard tarts) just about anywhere in Portugal, the Majestic Cafe is famous for everything so you may as well go there. Food lovers cannot visit Porto without visiting the Majestic Cafe at least once. In fact, the Porto residents also go there often.
Besides the tart, you can choose from cheesecake, rabanadas, creme brulee, chocolate cake, or roasted apple. If you are in the mood for food, try their sea bass, roasted octopus, or smoked salmon. The famous food here is the duck magret but the steak is delicious too.
When you want to know where to eat in Porto, just follow the Porto residents. Try the petiscos, which are small plates of food typically sold in bars with bread and beer. This traditional Porto food is often shared as a snack while drinking but one of the best places to go is Munchie.
Located on Praca D. Filipa near the World of Discoveries and Bolsa Palace, you can find one of the best Porto restaurants for street food. This is where to eat in Porto if you want to eat pork sandwiches, fried potatoes, and other hearty food. You will also find game meat with spicy sauce, which is also a favorite.
Where to find the best Porto street food spots
Vila Nova de Gaia
Most of the locals call simply call it Gaia, but this little neighborhood in Porto, Portugal is a fantastic place to find the best street food. If you find yourself meandering along the river in the Douro Valley, you will see a variety of street vendors, cafes, and even food trucks, especially in the summer months.
Right along the Douro River, Kroquet is a popular little kiosk and food truck with a variety of foods from croquettes to french fries. You can even get caldo verde. Right next door, you can get dessert at the Curraria Churros Truck. You may even find some pastel de nata.
Beira Rio Market (Mercado Beira-Rio)
Between Ramos Pinto Avenue and Largo Sampaio Bruno, the Beira Rio Market has dozens of food stalls and vendors selling anything you can possibly imagine. Mais Mar is one of the best seafood restaurants in the country and serves fresh food from the Portuguese coast like deep-fried shrimp. If you want salted cod, also known as bolinho de bacalhau, try Port Bacalhau.
Meat lovers flock to Meat Me which serves meat of all kinds like alheira, a delicious Portuguese traditional sausage as well as grilled frangipani, cured ham, bifana, and pork sandwiches. Also in this fantastic food fest, you will find tons of craft beer at the Beer Experience and Zero Thirty & Three.
Bom Sucesso Market
In the city center, by the Casa da Musica, this eclectic market is located in a huge renovated building with the best food from all cultures. On the ground floor, you will find 12 different vendors including Tacos & Tequila, Goal Here, Salt Flower, and Pink Chocolate.
In fact, there are more than 40 restaurants and vendors with a large area for seating and a casually festive atmosphere. Or do Porto like the locals. Try the smaller version of the francesinha, the croque monsieur or the bolinho de bacalhau fried cod fritters with a creamy mixture in the center.
This market is full of fresh produce, seafood, meat, and snack foods. The market dates back to 1839 when there was a town hall in its spot. The creek that ran through there was named Bolhao (big bubble) because it caused an air bubble. The interesting people and amazing food attract people from all over.
Locals end up there all the time doing their weekly shopping because it has the freshest fruits, vegetables, and meats. Besides the food, you can shop for handicrafts and other unique items sold by the locals who will compete for your attention.
Street Food Festivals in Porto
Serralves em Festa
As one of the largest festivals in Europe, the Serralves em Festa in Serralves Park lasts from May 31 to June 1st. It includes contemporary arts and family-oriented fun including performances and exhibits, dance and concerts, as well as delicious food. One of the most popular traditional dishes is the tripas a moda do Porto or dobrada a moda do Porto, which is considered the traditional dish of the city of Porto.
Pork Sausage Festival (Festa das Chouriças)
In January, the Pork Sausage Festival is one of the most popular food festivals in Portugal. It is located in the Algarve area of Querencia and honors S. Luís, patron of the animals. Enjoy the food, music, and drinks. Be sure to be there for the night of Fado. And be sure to have some craft beer to go with your sausage.
Essence of Wine (Essência do Vinho)
February is the month for wine lovers. You do not have to take a wine tour to taste some of the best wines in Portugal. Spend four days sipping the finest in the world. In past years, the festival boasted over 3,000 different wines as well as cheese, meats, and other delicious food. From port wine to champagne, you can taste it all. To make it even better, there are chefs who make special food and wine pairings.
St. John Festival (Festa de Sao Joao)
The St. John Festival dates all the way back to the 1300s as a way to celebrate the sun gods. In June, this festival is full of food, drinks, and family fun. Some of the most popular dishes are pork sandwiches, barbecue ribs, and grilled sardines. You can also find traditional Portuguese cuisines like tripas à Moda, port wine, and caldo verde, which is a green kale soup made with pureed potatoes and greens.
You cannot head to Porto Airport and leave this beautiful destination without stopping to eat tripas à Moda, the stew with tripe, chicken, ham, and sausage. In fact, many locals call tripas à Moda Porto pork stew. You will also find many food trucks and street vendors selling pastéis de bacalhau, which are salted codfish cakes with mashed potatoes. Another popular street food in Porto restaurants and food trucks is actually the hot dogs and burgers, American food with a Portuguese twist.