Porto harbour with boats

5 foods to try in Porto

Eat your way around Porto with our top picks of the most delicious Portuguese dishes, including the region's finest cheese and a spiced, pasta-based dessert.

Travellers are advised to read the FCO travel advice at gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for the country they are travelling to.

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Porto is a sun-soaked city full of tantalising treats. Taste your way around Portuguese vineyards, fresh seafood and wobbly custard tarts on your next trip to this coastal gem. 

Take your tastebuds to more exciting destinations with city guides and local travel tips in our travel hub
 

1. Queijo da Serra da Estrela

Credit: Getty Images, StockFood/Greatstock, Wheel of cheese

This runny mountain cheese is made from sheep’s milk. To eat it, first unwrap the cloth that surrounds it. Do not cut off the top and dig in like it’s stilton, instead, carefully slice the cheese at the side and allow it to flow from the centre. When you’ve had enough, replace the heel of the rind and wrap it back up with the cloth.
 

2. Francesinha

Credit: Getty Images, StockFood/Greatstock, sandwich

This local dish is a beast of a ham and steak sandwich baked with cheese on top. When the cheese is molten, it is anointed with a ladleful of a seasoned beer-based sauce and crowned with a fried egg. Some say this is the Portuguese version of the croque monsieur, but because of the beer-based sauce, it’s got more in common with Welsh rarebit.
 

3. Sandes de pernil

While the francesinha might be Porto’s most famous local dish, this slow-roasted pork loin sandwich is my favourite, as served at a Casa Guedes in the downtown area. (You’ll find them at lots of places though.)
 

4. Aletria

Alteria with edible flowers Credit: Getty Images, StockFood/Greatstock

Like rice pudding but made with angel hair pasta, this is a traditional Christmas dish in northern Portugal but you can find it year-round. It is flavoured with lemon peel and spiced with a criss-cross pattern of cinnamon.
 

5. Bacalhau

Credit: Getty Images, StockFood/Greatstock, salt cod fritters

The Portuguese love dried and salted cod whether in croquettes, or cooked with rice, potatoes, tomatoes or peppers – try them all. (Note that fresh cod is called bacalhau fresco.)
 

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