Walking through the streets of the city, the countless bakeries and cafés in Porto immediately catch the eye. Most of them are quite small shops with a few seats.
The offers range from stylish cafés in Porto in busy tourist streets to small shops in the quiet areas where you almost only meet the city’s residents. For the prices, the location in particular has a big influence, the goods are often relatively identical. So if you want to save a little money and experience the local feeling, you should take a look in the side streets and discover Porto’s cafés there.
We tried both – stylish and touristy on the way to the city tour and “local” near our holiday flat. We could only communicate with hands and feet, but we were more than warmly welcomed.
Breakfast at the café around the corner
The fridge was empty, the coffee finished and we wanted to have a quick breakfast before a longer trip. On our way to the metro in the Lapa district, we passed several bakeries and cafés that had been completely spared the tourist crowds. We decided on “A Africana”, one of the many small cafés in Porto.
The order was placed at the counter with hands and feet – no one spoke English here and we don’t speak Portuguese. Since there were no signs on the pastries at the counter, we could only make our choice by looking at the shape of the pastry. Ordering coffee, on the other hand, is always quite easy – Americano usually works.
The dining room in this café is more than simply furnished. Round bistro tables and simple, not particularly comfortable chairs or plastic garden chairs were available. At some tables, grannies sat in their smock aprons sipping a coffee, at the counter, men in suits with briefcases sipping an espresso on their way to work. It seemed like a typical morning with us as the “unusual visitor”.
We were served very nicely and ate two small sweet pastries and two savoury pastries. I’d say we made a good choice, we liked it and the coffee was good too. The day could begin.
FÁBRICA COFFEE ROASTERS – Cafés in Porto
On our way to the city centre, we walked through one of the streets where one restaurant is open next to the next, especially in the evening hours. Visitors to Porto are guided along this street during city tours, so it is not surprising that one encounters completely different cafés here than in the district where we live.
We decided to have breakfast at FÁBRICA COFFEE ROASTERS and were lucky to find a free spot. The café is stylish and modern. There are large tables with benches (without backrests) in the back area and some seats at low tables in the front area. You order and pay at a large counter in the entrance area, and the drinks and food are brought to your table. There are no communication problems here, you are already spoken to in English.
The coffee offer is really good and it tasted good too. We shared a pancake with mascarpone and berries for breakfast. Powerful, huge, sweet, delicious and more than enough for the two of us. Price-wise, the visit was a little more expensive, but more than justified for the value for money.
R. de José Falcão 122,
4050-315 Porto, Portugal
Insider Tip: Comfort Cake
On the way to the supermarket, we passed a small café in the district where we live, which at first glance was different from the other cafés in the area. At a second glance, we noticed that they don’t offer the “usual” range of products of other bakeries and cafés. They still bake their own bread here and the menu is different every week.
Three big teddy bears greeted us when we entered the café. What you don’t see from the street is that there is another room in the back and when the weather is nice you can even sit in a small garden.
Comfort Cake has small cakes that are baked in a small mould. Each cake is different and a wide variety of flavours are offered. For example, a “Red Velvet” cake with a softer reddish centre or a cake with nuts, cinnamon and apple, which already heralded the Christmas season a little in November. The small chocolate cake, which had a slightly liquid chocolate centre, was particularly good.
The small cakes were priced at just over €4, depending on the flavour. Quite expensive by Portuguese standards, especially in this residential area, but more than justified.
R. de Antero de Quental 260,
4050-052 Porto, Portugal
„To Good to go“ – Surprise shopping at the bakery around the corner
The opening hours in the bakeries are coming to an end and there are still countless baked goods lying there that are no longer sold the next day. Often these goods end up in the rubbish. Unfortunately, the shopkeepers rarely take the trouble to save the goods and pass them on in other ways. For some time now, we have been using the app “To Good to go”, which gives shopkeepers the opportunity to save the goods from destruction and offer them to the customer at a lower price. What the customer gets depends on what is left that day. So you can’t rely on getting your favourite products. It can also happen that you only get things that are not 100% to your liking.
In Porto, too, not only bakeries but also supermarkets and restaurants offer their goods, which they would otherwise throw away, for sale via the app at a third of the original price.
We discovered a baker near our holiday flat who offered his goods via the app at the end of the day. I could only guess what we would get based on the Portuguese description, but what is usually left at the bakery: rolls, cakes and bread. So I spontaneously booked a saviour pack one evening and picked it up in the shop a little later.
It was worth it that I blindly invested €3 for it. We ate well from it over the next few days and toasted the bread in the toaster until it was crispy again.