Monday, July 22, 2013

Good Eating in Porto

Although our time in Porto was short, my friends and I made the best of the city’s varied dining scene. We opted for one trendy restaurant, one elegant, and one casual. All were yum (which is what matters).

Bugo Art Burgers

A gourmet burger joint in Portugal? Who knew? Bugo is located on a narrow, non-descript street lined with art galleries and is a popular choice with Porto’s young and hip. Since the restaurant was close to our hotel, we decided to try one of these intriguing “art” burgers. I had never seen a burger presented so beautifully, nor had I ever had wine with my burger. Most importantly, of course, everything was delicious. If you’d like to try an “art” burger next time you’re in Porto, make sure to reserve in advance. The restaurant is small and always packed. Check out Bugo Art Burger’s website.

Shis Restaurante

Shis, a Japanese-Portuguese fusion restaurant, offers an extensive sushi menu and an amazing oceanfront view. Since I was feeling a bit under the weather and had no appetite when I dined there, I can’t really comment on the food itself other than to say that my friends were perfectly happy with their meals. The location alone, though, is worth the visit. Shis is raised a floor above the ground level so that it sits above the sand. I felt almost as though I was suspended over the sea itself. Floor-to-ceiling glass allows patrons to watch the waves crashing against the rocks as they enjoy their meals. Next time I’m in Porto, I’d like to visit Shis for lunch rather than dinner so that I can take in the daylight view. Check out Shis Restaurante’s website

Restaurant that Shall Remain Nameless

I can’t remember the name of this place, and it’s a shame because it was a highlight of my time in Porto. Then again, maybe it's not a shame at all. Maybe it's meant to be one of my little travel secrets. It was very close to our hotel, so I WILL find it again next time I’m in town. On our way to the hotel, our cabdriver recommended the large, gregarious restaurant. We arrived to find just what we were hoping for -- a place packed with locals, regulars who stared at us curiously when we walked in. Croquettes (that we hadn’t ordered) were swiftly placed on our table. When my dish arrived, I felt right at home. It looked and tasted just like a typical Cuban meal found in restaurants all over Miami or in my mom’s kitchen. As we ate, a group of locals walked by us singing the “reis” (kings). These are songs traditionally sung on January 6 to celebrate the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus. I had hoped to witness some kind of Epiphany tradition while in Porto and had searched online to no avail. In the end, we just happened to be at the right place at the right time. The internet is an incredibly useful resource, but it's got nothing on serendipity.

Below is a video I shot of the local "reis" singers.

For more pictures of my trip to Porto, visit my photo gallery.

For more of my travel videos, visit my YouTube channel.

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