Taste Porto Food Tour
I think if you only have a few days in Porto, the best way to start is with one of the food tours from Taste Porto.
Two Porto natives have teamed up with an American to form company, which I always prefer. I am fine with the big, corporate businesses for stuff like skip the line tours but for food and drink or specialty tours about the local culture, I always try to seek out smaller outfits, owned and operated by locals.
With these tours, not only do you get a crash course in the food and drink of the region, but these guys also give you a little card with enough extra recommendations that you could depend on this list for the rest of your stay to make sure you are eating and drinking at great spots.
The usual meeting point is inevitably by one of the local markets – unfortunately, Porto’s Bolhao Market is under renovation so this tour didn’t include any stops there at this time and I forgot to ask if they normally pop into the market.
You can choose between the Vintage Tour, where they concentrate of the revival of the cities more traditional food culture, really showcasing Porto’s heritage or The Downtown Tour, which promises a peak behind the curtain to see what the tourists don’t usually get to see. I only went on the Vintage Tour so I can’t speak for the second experience but I will make sure to try that one on my next visit.
We met up with our tour guide, Sergio, and set off to visit six different establishments, sampling chocolate, wines, pastry, canned fish, a stop at a popular restaurant for some traditional dishes cooked in a modern setting and ended it all with a port tasting at a beautiful wine shop, Touriga. After thinking that there were only the big, foreign owned port manufacturers, it was really great to be able to taste some port that is actually produced by Portuguese companies. I bought a beautiful 20 year old bottle of Borges Soalheira 10 year old white port to bring home with me after the tour was over.
Since we took the 4:15 tour (tours run daily except Sunday at 10am and 4:15pm) that actually took closer to 4 hours, my sister and I both agreed that we had no need to eat again that evening so you can consider the tour to also cover dinner, making the €70 almost feel like a bargain. Our guide spoke excellent english, was very informative and was eager to answer any questions we might have.
So, you will get to taste ten things at six different places and you will walk about 3km in total while your guide points out various interesting things along the way and it really is a fun way to get an introduction to the city as well as to the food and drink you will find there.
+1 800 656 0713
Take the Vintage Tour €70 or the Downtown Food Tour €65