Porto: A Day of Batalha Bites
While Portugal’s second city is known for its famous Port Houses there is a lot more to the city than casks sailing down the Duoro River. The city is going through a revival as people are moving back into the city and heavy renovation of the historic centre takes place. One of these areas is Batalha which offers a good mix of culture, locals, public spaces and plenty of spots to enjoy good grub. Here’s a selection of food spots in this area I enjoyed recently on my first trip to Porto.
Breakfast – Casa das Tortas
Over 100 years old, Casa das Tortas is a great place to grab a morning snack. Pastel de Nata, the famous custard pastries from Lisbon are delicious but there are plenty of Porto favourites on offer as well. If the weather is fine, grab a coffee and some pastries to go and sit out in nearby Praça dos Poveiros and watch the morning rush go by.
Brunch – Majestic Cafe
It’s a cross between a tourist attraction and a café but the Majestic is a Porto institution and well worth a visit. Decorated in Art nouveau, the cafe used to attract the literary set and artists of the city. Now you can expect to have camera wielding tourists crowding the entrance but it is worth the trip in if you can get a table. The French toast is excellent, so much so I ordered it again. It is a bit dearer than its neighbouring cafés but brunch here is a really enjoyable experience. They also have Afternoon Tea on the menu, not the worst way to spend an afternoon of people watching.
Late Lunch – Aurora
I found Aurora Café around the corner from the hotel on a quiet side street. It’s not surrounded by much but once inside it is a lovely café with a huge wine and port selection and a decent lunch menu. The staff are really friendly and they really make you feel welcome and unrushed. After enjoying their delicious prawns I sat at the bar and sampled a few ports. You could easily lose an hour or two in here.
Dinner – TapaBento
The dinner highlight of the trip had to be TapaBento on Rua Da Madeira. I found this place on foursquare. Walking in it’s very unassuming and has a nice laid back feel. It was a Monday evening so I didn’t think a table was a problem but we were lucky to get one as the place filled up so I’d make a reservation next time. We were brought upstairs and the staff were really nice and knowledgeable, speaking perfect English, then perfect French to the table behind us. The food is Tapas with a twist with some great seafood options. Highlights were a delicious Melon gazpacho, Portuguese sausage and a giant king prawn that was as big as a lobster. There were a few envious heads next to us who quickly added it to their order. Tapabento have a great local wine selection and the staff will steer you in the right direction if you’re unsure what to choose.
There are plenty more spots around Batalha that would be worthy of a mention but the above should keep you going as an intro. I’ll have to go back to try a few different areas but Batalha gets my thumbs up for my first Porto experience.
Kevin is a UI Designer in Ryanair’s Digital Experience Team