I feel like I’m still adjusting from switching from freelancer to full-time employee life, but one big benefit is paid vacation days! A friend and I took a long weekend in Porto, Portugal for a bit of warmer (than Berlin) weather, wine and wandering. It was much cheaper to fly to Porto from Berlin than to Lisbon and quite affordable once we were there. I loved the different tile on all the buildings and hope to go back and explore more of Portugal at some point!
Tip: Most restaurants are closed Sunday and Monday. I was there Saturday to Monday, so this was a bit unfortunate as most of the places I wanted to eat at were only open one day while I was there. If you do a long weekend there, I recommend going Thursday to Sunday instead!
Where to Stay
(Poets Inn Hotel Porto – picture from Booking.com)
My friend and I booked a room with two twin beds at the Poets Inn Hotel. It only cost us €20 each per night including breakfast and was a great location. Right down the road from Pop101, my favorite vegan place we went! They served soymilk at breakast, so it was easy to eat vegan cereal, plus there were apples and oranges out and rolls with jam. So, not vegan gourmet, but totally veganizable for that first burst of fuel before heading out to the streets. I super recommend this hotel for an affordable and cute place to stay. The owner was able to recommend us some vegan places to eat as well.
Quintal Bioshop (link)
Address: Rua do Rosário 177
The first place we went was Quintal Bioshop, a little cafe and organic shop I found on Happycow. It was lunch so we wanted something simple and tasty and my friend had just returned from a yoga retreat with a liquid-only diet, so she was looking for simple return to solid foods.
I loved this place and we went twice during the weekend. They have a tea of the day, labeled vegan stuff and they spoke English. Everything was very affordable. There’s a really nice peaceful backyard courtyard with cats wandering around you can sit in, too.
They had a vegan chocolate cake the first time, and it was melt-in-your-mouth amazing. If they have it when you go…get it. Once of the best chocolate cakes I’d had, more like a brownie.
My friend Mandy’s lunch, a salad and some vegan cheese raw zucchini rolls.
My lunch, I think it was some type of chickpea brain patties with salad, sauteed onions and chickpea flour crunchies on top, yum!
Soup of the day, veggie soup. Porto has lots of accidentally vegan simple soups and they are affordable and yummy!
Pop 101 (link)
Address: Rua de Trás 101
I loved this place and it was just around the corner from our hotel. They are vegetarian and vegan, but there is plenty of clearly labeled vegan stuff. They even had a vegan cheese platter, who knew! They had yummy and cheap wine (€1,50 per class), and we stayed there probably about 5 hours drinking, talking and eating one night. Keep an eye out for the vegan pastel de nata (€1,50 each), little Portuguese custard tarts that are amazing. We kept ordering more and more.
Vegan chicken burger (€6), burgers seem to come without buns in Porto. Was super yum though! Apologies for the dark picture!
Cultura dos Sabores (link)
Address: Rua de Ceuta 80
We went here on one of the days everything (but this) was closed. It’s a vegetarian all-you-can eat buffet. Everything looked nice and it was cool you could sit in swings, but neither of us were especially excited by the food. I found everything a bit bland, but it got good reviews on Happy Cow so maybe it was just an off day? I imagine since it’s a buffet they change the food up. They also have a menu you can order from so try that too.
All-you-can-eat lunch buffet (around €9). I found it all a bit bland, but I liked the little sushi.
My friend Mandy modeling the swings.
Da Terra (link)
Address: Rua Mouzinho da Silveira 249
We only went here quickly for cafe , coffee and wine before heading to the airport. It’s also a vegetarian all-you-can-eat buffet, and from the looks of it I wished we had gone here first before Cultura dos Sabores as the food looked better to me. Same idea with simple dishes, salads, etc. an a big, bright, open space. I think it’s a chain too, or at least there’s another somewhere else in the city. If you also end up there on a day everything is closed, this place is open, choose here!
I made a noob mistake and ordered a cake that looked like chocolate, but was actually plum. I wasn’t a fan of it, but it’s my fault. My friend’s apple cake was awesome, as was the coffee and wine. We tried white Port wine here, which was interesting!
Espaço Compasso (link)
Address: Rua da Torrinha 113
An alternative social and cultural association that does vegan meals for dinner, loads of cultural events and has a big backyard garden you can hang out in. The woman at our hotel recommended we go here for dinner. They were doing a big salsa night when we went. We just went in quickly for food because we were exhausted after wandering around the city all day. Simple affordable home-cooked food, vegetarian and vegan. You have to get buzzed in, so don’t be alarmed!
Places I Didn’t Get To
Lupin Restaurante Vegetariano (link)
This was at the very top of my list, but unfortunately closed most of the time we were there. The food online looked AMAZING and they do a vegan version of the Porto special, the Franchesina sandwich. It’s basically a sandwich filled with meat (seitan or tofu), topped with melted cheese and in a tomato gravy. I want to go back so I can actually try it! Please go and tell me how it is in the comments!
Black Mamba Burgers and Records (link)
Everyone raved about this all-vegan burger place online, but unfortunately it was also closed while we were there. Next time!
Wandering Around Porto
Have you been to Porto? What did you do there and what did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!