TAKING A FOOD TOUR IN THE CITY OF PORTO

Would you take your children on a taste tour? I’ve never been on a food tour, so on our recent visit to Porto we planned to do one. We liked the look of Taste Porto and booked their Vintage Downtown Tour. The tour was advertised as taking 3.5 hours, but I didn’t tell the kids that beforehand!  How would it go?

Our guide for the evening was Andre and what he didn’t know about Porto wasn’t worth knowing. As well as being an expert on the city and its food, he seemed to know everyone!  Andre was welcoming, entertaining and managed a group of varying ages and nationalities, all done with a smile and a passion for the food of Porto.

Our first stop was Mercearia do Bolhao in the heart of the city. One of the oldest grocery stores in Porto, here Andre told us about the young chefs returning to classical Portuguese ingredients and how they were reviving the older food traditions of the city. We sampled folar, a Portuguese bread with a type of ham called chourico baked into it, as well as sheep’s cheese and jam. The windows of the stores on this street are an attraction in themselves, huge cakes, folar breads, strings of sausages and mounds of cheese.

 

Next stop was a big hit with my children, chocolate! At the Confeitaria Ateneia we sampled chocolate from the oldest chocolate producer in Porto and strong coffee. This bakery was full of traditional Easter cakes and gourmet chocolates, yet Andre explained that it’s a great value place to stop for a coffee and something sweet.

Sardines may not normally follow chocolate but our next stop was a wonderful little shop selling sardines and other fish from several different companies, Loja Das Conservas (translates as The Canning Shop). It is run by the various canning companies as a co-operative shop window to spread the good news about their wares. A feast for the eyes as well as the stomach, this shop’s walls were covered in the brightly coloured iconic sardine tins from different producers. I was surprised that my daughters dug into the fish so happily and pronounced it delicious – if I served up sardines at home I may get a different reaction but they were clearly adopting a ‘when in Rome’ attitude!  Our first glass of wine of the tour accompanied the sardines.

 

Tasco was our next port of call, where Andre explained about petiscos, small plates of food designed for sharing and how they differ from tapas. We tried codfish and a game meat sausage accompanied by wine.  The portions were large and we were beginning to realise that if you do this Taste Tour you won’t need to eat for the rest of the day!

A stroll through Porto as Andre pointed out key points of interest led us to Confeitaria Alianca, a traditional patisserie where we sampled the egg yolk pastries so popular in Portugal. Andre told us the history of these, how the egg whites were used to clarify wine and so the large number of yolks left were traditionally used to make the delicious cakes.

Our final stop on the tour was Taxca, a modern bar with hams hanging from the ceiling and where locals go for cured pork sandwiches. As well as huge sandwiches of melt in the mouth ham on cloud-like, fresh crusty bread, we sampled octopus salad and chicken gizzards. My daughters tucked into these no problem! Another glass of wine washed down the sandwich and it was time to say goodbye to our fellow food tasters, who hailed from the USA, Hong Kong and the UK, and to our guide Andre.

So, can you take children on a food tour? Yes! Even one with lots of walking and a 3.5 hour duration. Andre made the tour a real pleasure and an educational experience. I’d definitely recommend a food tour as a great way of seeing a city, sampling the local cuisine and meeting the locals.  Nos Alegra (cheers to us!) as they say in Porto!

 

 

PIN FOR LATER

 

WHERE JO GOES -CITY BREAKS WITH KIDS 

Porto – Jardins do Palacio de Cristal/New York/Oxford UK/London – Greenwich/HMS Belfast/British Library/ Royal Albert Hall/World’s Biggest Lego Store/Ham House (National Trust)/Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

 

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39 Comments

  1. May 9, 2017 / 10:23 am

    Actually it sounds like the perfect way to tour with kids – little bit of walking, little bit of sitting down, and regular snack breaks. It’s always surprising what they will eat for other people if not for you, but then most of the food you ate looks pretty child friendly too. Cool find!

    • May 9, 2017 / 10:52 am

      Yes I think the constant nibbles kept them going!

  2. May 9, 2017 / 12:02 pm

    What a great idea – I really need to introduce my (very fussy) daughter to new tastes, and a food tour would be great. We’re still contemplating where to go in the summer, but now I think a Food Tour is an essential (alongside a pool bar somewhere).

  3. May 9, 2017 / 1:06 pm

    This looks amazing! We were just in Porto and I wish we would have done this with the boys. I’m always a bit nervous about taking them along but it seems like they would be quiet while they were eating! haha. #CityTripping

  4. May 9, 2017 / 5:43 pm

    I wish I could’ve done something like this, but alas my food allergies make me a bit of a wet blanket in the food department. This would’ve been perfect for my husband, though – he’s always been an adventurous eater, ever since he was little, and he would happily eat his way through any destination!! 🙂

  5. May 9, 2017 / 8:04 pm

    Love the look of those chocolate desserts and coffee!! mmm I’ve heard the best way to explore Porto is with a food tour! Definitely doing that when we go! #CityTripping

  6. May 9, 2017 / 11:04 pm

    Brilliant tour! Wish I’d done something like this in Porto and get that local knowledge first hand. I love the pastel de nata…could eat a ton of them! Thanks for linking #citytripping

    • May 10, 2017 / 8:12 am

      Oh yes the pastel de nata! There’s only one place we can get them at home but in Porto huge piles of them everywhere – totally scrumptious! Thanks for hosting #citytripping

  7. May 10, 2017 / 3:52 am

    This seems amazing. I wish I had known about this – I was in Porto last month. I love how beautifully they package sardines in Portugal – I took lots of photos of them too!

    • May 10, 2017 / 8:13 am

      Such beautiful colours aren’t they!

  8. May 10, 2017 / 5:04 am

    Did someone say FOOD TOUR? Yes please!!!! Must’ve been quite an experience 🙂 #CityTripping

  9. May 10, 2017 / 11:17 am

    Brilliant, I would love to go on a food tour in Porto in Sept! Chances are I probably won’t take too many photos because I tend to put the food in my mouth first before taking photo, lol! Thanks for the tip, I will check out this tour just before my trip 🙂 #citytripping

  10. May 11, 2017 / 1:39 pm

    I love food tours! This looks like a great one, and Porto is definitely on my to-visit list. #farawayfiles

  11. May 11, 2017 / 5:07 pm

    I love food tours – such a great way to see a city and get a taste of the culture. The last one I did with my daughter, she was in a buggy but it would be fun to try again now she’s older. #farawayfiles

  12. May 13, 2017 / 3:18 pm

    Haven’t down a food tour, this looks great!

  13. May 13, 2017 / 4:26 pm

    Oh this looks beautiful!!

  14. May 13, 2017 / 11:08 pm

    Oh wow, you had us at food tour. I just ate a pizza so I’m pretty full, but even then this made me hungry. And those little colorful cans look amazingly adorable.

  15. May 14, 2017 / 12:52 am

    Confeitaria Ateneia definitely looks the best! What’s better than chocolate and coffee? 🙂

  16. Kevan
    May 14, 2017 / 4:39 am

    We recently went on a food tour of Las Vegas, and this looks like it far surpasses what we did.

    • May 14, 2017 / 7:26 am

      A food tour in Vegas would be awesome!

  17. May 14, 2017 / 12:12 pm

    This looks like such a fun way to get to know Porto! Would definitely love to try it some day!

  18. May 15, 2017 / 5:32 am

    I’ve always wanted to go for a food tour. It’s my personal philosophy that the best way to learn about a destination is through its food! Unfortunately my older boy doesn’t quite share my enthusiasm towards food and he’s usually grumbling when I’m on (yet another) food stop… UNLESS there is ice-cream along the way……. #CityTripping

  19. May 15, 2017 / 6:05 am

    Food tours are on my list. Meanwhile, we always go prepared with a list of must-eats for each country and try to sample some of the best 🙂

  20. May 15, 2017 / 6:22 pm

    I’ve never done a food tour before, but they sound like a great way to get to know a place! Plus, I’m always hesitant to order and buy local dishes, because I have such a sensative pallate. I don’t want to waste my precious travel funds on foods I may not like! Going on a food tour sounds like a good way to sample a lot so I’d know what to eat on my own.

  21. May 15, 2017 / 6:58 pm

    I am a little bit lazy about Porto but I will end up visiting this city sooner or later. Your tour recommendation looks very cool, pinned the post for the address and descriptions just in case 😉

  22. May 16, 2017 / 3:28 am

    Interesting tour. I’m a big fan of food tours. What is folar bread? I am not familiar with that term. Were there sardines in the cute little tins in the first pic?

    • May 16, 2017 / 8:20 am

      Folar bread is stuffed with ham and sausage. Yes the little tins are full of sardines!

  23. May 16, 2017 / 4:35 am

    A food tour sounds like so much fun. Need to try it one day. Seems you guys enjoyed some delicious food. 🙂

  24. May 17, 2017 / 6:41 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more about food tours! They’re usually so much fun, you get to learn all about the incredible city that you’re in, plus you also get to eat some amazing food (and wine in your case)! I’m glad that your kids enjoyed their time too!

  25. May 17, 2017 / 8:57 pm

    This tour looks amazing!!! I love any type of food or cooking tour!! I’m definitely craving those chocolates with walnuts (beautiful and tasty looking for sure) now!

  26. May 18, 2017 / 5:36 pm

    I love food tours and this one looks so so yummy!!

  27. May 20, 2017 / 8:28 am

    I’ve never been on a food tour, mostly because they tend to a bit on the pricy side, but it sounds like a lot of fun!

  28. May 20, 2017 / 5:25 pm

    I did this same tour when I was in Porto with Andre and absolutely loved it! It was such a cool way to get a local’s perspective on the city! And all the food was delicioussssssss 😀

  29. May 23, 2017 / 10:06 am

    I think it is a GREAT idea to take kids on a food tour! My son is a bit young for it right now, but in a couple of years I think he might really enjoy it. This looks like a great tour, and I’ve been dying to go to Portugal. If I make it there soon I will certainly look into this tour!

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