Portugal – the country of tiles, great food, wine and electronic music. After portraying Portugals’ capital Lisbon in 2017, this travel guide will accompany you through a weekend in Porto including tips from locals like restaurants, bars, clubs and sunset spots. ‘Portuenses’ – how the inhabitants of Porto are called – are very traditional people, preserving the original culture but also keen on bringing forward subcultures like the electronic music scene.
This article is also available as podcast on Soundcloud and iTunes.
Restaurants & Cafés
In Porto you can find the variety of Portuguese food reaching from products from the mountains to the sea: Fish, fresh vegetables and meat as well as a lot of sweet pastries. The city is famous for it’s Port wine, which mainly got produced at Vila Nova de Gaia, the city on the other river side of Porto. A sweet and strong wine with a long tradition. If you’d like to do a wine tasting, Ferreira is a good address, as it’s the most traditional one that also is still 100 % Portuguese.
A tiny but fine restaurant in the narrow streets of Porto. Make sure to booked your table in advance, as usually seats are rare – they just have around 20 in total. The mostly traditional dishes are served by well trained, smart and funny waiters. Tip: the gilthead comes in a crust of salt and will be flambéed and filleted on your table.
A rustic restaurant that serves it’s traditional Portuguese tapas and dishes until 4 am in the morning. The ideal place for all of you who are hungry in-between clubbing but also for those who want to have dinner in an odd atmosphere. The translation of the restaurants name is ‘grandmas museum’ and so does the interior look like. A smorgasbord of old things like a bike, vases, figures, clocks, speakers and other stuff.
Something more fancy: The Zenith brunch and cocktail bar is a must for all brunch lovers. With two locations, one in Porto and the second in Lisbon, they serve Tapioca, Açaí Bowls, Pancakes, Shakshuka, Eggs Benedikt, Bowls and much more the whole day. The queue in front of the restaurant approves the concept.
One of the oldest bakery and pastry shops in Porto just opposite the famous Bolhão market. Have breakfast like the locals in former times and order your café (espresso), a croissant with ham and cheese as well as a Pão de Deus.
The restaurant located in a nice neighbourhood in Porto serves Latin American cuisine, signed by Camilo Jaña and Vasco Mourão, being the first Cevicheria and Pisco Bar in the city of Porto. Panca is set on three pillars, Ceviche, charcoal Parrilla and Latin street food – and so good! The interior and young people are rounding the atmosphere out.
By the way: The best place for Pasteis de nata – Manteigaria – which was mentioned in Lisbons Travel Guide has a shop in Porto too! Find out more about the local pastries and the shop in the Lisbon Travel Guide which is available here.
And last but not least: Here are the tips of a real local Tiago Fragateiro, which he also mentioned in our techno&travel interview of Porto.
(Open Air) Bars:
Porto Techno Scene
Like mentioned in the outset: Portuguese people are keen on living their traditions but at the same time are supporting and pushing the evolving subculture electronic music forward. Every year new techno festivals are popping up and the bookings in the clubs are on a world-class level.
Tiago said in our interview: “Porto is Portugals capital of techno and still quite underground. This might be due to the fact that Porto is located in the North of Portugal and therefore darker than its capital Lisbon.”
Tiago Fragateiro started as manager and music director in the best clubs in Porto, always promoting and pushing the upcoming fresh, national and international artists. With releases and remixes on international labels such as Composite, Cocoon and Compost, he grew his career as artist in the techno world. Currently contributing to Neopop Festival and Gare Club, he’s an important piece in the Portuguese scene and in the music scene of Porto, which can still be described as underground.
Tune in for further tips
Gare Porto is the techno temple of the city and considered as one of the best clubs in Europe. The club’s vault is located in the city of Porto and is home to international legends as well as the local scene. Gare is the club in Porto where you go for the music and get to experience the alternative culture of the underground scene.
Residing in Porto for more than 30 years, Indústria Club is a well established ground, bringing finest techno sounds to the crowd with a new Funktion-One sound system. It’s gathering place for local artists and international players like FJAAK or Jeremy Underground.
Plano B, wanting to keep the original house spirit, the decoration of the club is based on it. Have a look on the timetable first, as the club is not only presenting electronic music of guests like Kerri Chandler, but a variety of genres and good drinks.
Neopop is Portugal’s most respected electronic music festival, held in the coastal town of Viana do Castelo for more than 12 years. Tiago Fragateiro is part of the crew since years and telling some festival insights in our interview. The line-up displays international stars like Jeff Mills and Solomun, but also Portuguese underground acts and heroes like Rui Vargas who we interviewed last year.
Elétrico is a new dance music festival that privileges contact with nature, sun and outdoors. From Jazz to Techno, going through Soul, Funk, Disco and House. Three days with local and international acts like Honey Dijon or Peggy Gou.
The bottom line is: Porto offers a great lifestyle for electronic music lovers, combining local traditions with an international pioneering spirit.