Which is the best restaurant in Portugal

Portugal for foodies: 5 restaurant tips

Portugal is not necessarily known for its varied cuisine - most people associate the country primarily with fish, and that's it. But to say that Portugal's cuisine is one-sided would be a cheek. Because: With the right insider tips and addresses, you can experience your taste miracle here - and not even for a lot of money.

Barba Azul, Praia da Barra

The sushi restaurant is a really hot insider tip! There isn't much going on in the small beach town of Praia da Barra, around 90 kilometers south of Porto, and the local restaurants are more in line with the lower average. But in the midst of these typical restaurants, the Barba Azul stands out like the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

You can of course order classic sushi here, which is probably better than anything you've known before. The strength of the Barba Azul is definitely in the so-called fusion sushi: Freshly caught fish is paired with raspberries, limes and strawberries, breaded and sometimes even deep-fried.

The unusual rolls are then staged with sauces and spices and served on a round mirror that is illuminated from above (and casts a wacky sushi shadow play on the ceiling of the restaurant).

My tip: definitely try the prawns breaded with almonds. Ah, and watch out for the bearded permanent guest who likes to behead champagne bottles in the shop with a saber.

Address: Avenida Fernão Magalhães 168, Praia Da Barra | Opening times: Wednesday to Sunday from 12.30 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Tuesday from 7.30 p.m. to 11 p.m., closed on Mondays

Panca Cevicheria & Pisco Bar, Porto

The Panca in Porto's city center is quite inconspicuous from the outside: a few tables and chairs, patio heaters in winter - nothing special for a restaurant in the metropolis. On no account should you be put off by the outside and dare to step inside the restaurant.

The tubular space feels like it extends endlessly to the rear, and the restaurant is a space miracle. A colorful mix of modern and old furniture styles and traditional Portuguese decoration forms a cozy overall concept.

Right at the front is the kitchen, which is more reminiscent of a bar and spreads astonishing calm. No wonder, as the restaurant specializes in ceviche, a Peruvian dish.

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The main ingredient of ceviche is raw fish, which is marinated in lime juice for around 15 minutes, thereby “denaturing” it, a process similar to cooking. The Panca masters this almost silent type of preparation to perfection. I promise you: you will not be disappointed.

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My absolute favorite dish: The ceviche with octopus, red onions, broccoli and mushrooms. This is just awesome! You should definitely reserve a table in advance, the restaurant is very popular among connoisseurs.

Address: Rua de Sa de Noronha 61, Porto | Opening times: Monday to Sunday from 12.30 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Terminal 4450, Matosinhos

We're staying near Porto, but the culinary offer is completely changing, because now it's getting hot: In Terminal 4450, as a steak fan, you're on cloud nine. There is meat, meat and even more meat here.

The grill forms the heart of the kitchen and gets the best out of the sometimes huge pieces of meat. Best of all: despite its high quality, meat is outrageously cheap in Portugal. In Terminal 4450, for example, you can order a Tomahawk steak for two people including three side dishes of your choice for just under 56 euros.

The restaurant is located at the port of Matosinhos, a town just ten kilometers north of Porto. The interior is completely in industrial style: high ceilings, large lamps and dark colors determine the look. The drinks menu hangs over the bar and looks like a display board at the airport terminal.

Tip: You should also reserve a table here before your visit. The restaurant has a good reputation and many steak lovers travel here from the big city of Porto to eat.

Address: Avenida Doutor Antunes Guimaraes, Leca da Palmeira | Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday from 12.30 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from 7.30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday until midnight

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Tik Tak, Ericeira

The Tik Tak in the heart of the coastal town of Ericeira is more in the direction of the Portuguese classics. Here you can eat a lot of fresh fish, olives and of course Bacalhau, the dried cod. The restaurant is furnished in the typical style of the country, here and there are woven baskets, and you will also find a few tiled walls here.

The coolest thing, however, is the glazed area at the edge of the dining room: Here you can enjoy your meal and at the same time watch the hustle and bustle in the narrow alleys.

The octopus salad, the monkfish and the fried prawns are particularly recommended. The dishes are super fresh and give you a good insight into the cuisine of Portugal as it has existed for centuries. The same applies here: reserve a table.

Address: Rua 5 de Outubro 7, Ericeira | Opening times: Monday to Friday from 7 p.m. to 11.30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 12.30 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 11.30 p.m.

Mare Restaurante & Gin Bar, Praia da Vagueira

Not far from the sushi restaurant Barba Azul, the Mare is located in the tiny beach village of Vagueira. The place is a popular destination for the Portuguese in the high season, but you will hardly meet any tourists here. Therefore, the best local restaurant is also a real insider tip.

In the Mare, as the name suggests, you will be pampered with the finest fish: the tuna tartare is the best! But the restaurant has more to offer. Because: Fat steaks ripen in your own dry-age cupboard, of which you can of course choose one.

Recommendation for the smaller budget: The “Da Serra Steak”. Fine beef fillet with a slice of Ibérico ham and spicy cheese on top - for only 13.60 euros.

If you are still a gin fan, then the Mare is the “place to be” for you. The restaurant has a huge selection of gins, you can find more than 40 different types on the spirits menu. The restaurant's bartender is an absolute professional, has a great feel for new creations and serves the drinks with a lot of fanfare, a bunsen burner and dry ice. If you haven't already done it on your trip to Portugal, definitely try the regional “Sharish Gin”.

By the way, you don't need to reserve a seat here - as I said, an insider tip!

Address: Rua Albino Oliveira Pinto, Gafanha da Boa-Hora | Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.