Oct 18, 2019 (Last updated Jun 11, 2020) by Hannah Sunderani
Here’s my Vegan Guide to Porto. For the trendiest breakfast, lunch, drinks and dinner spots to visit in one of Portugal’s most vibrant cities.
I’m not going to lie, I was completely blown away by the food scene in Porto during our travels. I had not expected it to be SO good! Porto is a bustling city with lots of trendy places to eat. And I definitely hadn’t expected so many plant-based options.
From buffet style brunch to trendy cafes, gastronomic restaurants and garden bars; Porto sure is winning a reputation for fabulous food and drink, (not just for the port wine). The culture in this city is vibrant. With tons to do and endless places to eat.
The recommendations I’ve included are a mix of 100% plant-based restaurants, and restaurants that offer a good range of vegan options. Which makes for an inclusive list depending on who you’re traveling with. So sit back and enjoy a glass of vino verde as I share the best places to eat in Porto for plant-based foodies.
Now, let’s get started!
Noshi is a great place to start your Vegan Guide to Porto for delicious coffee and a healthy brekkie. Although not entirely vegan there is lots of vegan and vegetarian options, as well as gluten-free. Making it a good space for all types of eaters. The menu is always changing, but the objective remains the same – to offer you healthy and happy food.
Whether your preference is sweet or savoury, there are endless options. From pink pitaya and acai bowls, to fully loaded savoury croissants or stuffed tacos. You will never bore of their breakfast menu. As for the coffee, it’s delicious. The lattes are adorned with beautiful coffee art for a picture perfect brekkie.
The ambiance at Noshi is fresh, welcoming and sweet. Step through the front doors and admire the gorgeous bar. Loaded with colourful fruits, and an electric energy. Watch baristas in their element serving up a host of colourful drinks. You can dine inside (I’d recommend by the front window bar stools, or take a table behind the bar along the wall).
Or, if it’s a beautiful day, snag a seat in their stunning backyard garden patio. Lush with hanging planters and green vines growing up the wall. It’s so sweet and idyllic. This is where we sat, and it was peaceful as can be. There is also outdoor seating at the front of the cafe, but for the full experience try and snag a seat on the back patio.
The Marcador is a casual coffee shop and a must visit when you’re in Porto. And had to be on my Vegan Guide to Porto. It’s a bustling all-day coffee shop that’s simply cool by nature – no fuss, no frills, and no social media staging. It’s genuinely this cool.
Like Noshi, the Mercador is not entirely vegan, but has lots of vegan options. So it’s a great place to dine with a mixed group of eaters. Enjoy everyday food turned a little gourmet, like mushroom toast with truffle oil, seasonal granola bowls, and blue chia pudding. Their coffee is, like everything else, divine.
As for the ambiance, think 1960’s mad-men style, with lots of warm woods and romantic lighting, drinks served in crystal glasses and stunning tile floor. It’s relaxed, chill, and beautiful. The Mercador Cafe is busy (and for good reason), but they turnover tables fairly quickly. So go early, or be prepared for a little wait.
DaTerra‘s fully vegan and vegetarian buffet is a must visit when you’re in Porto. With a few locations around the city, it’s easy to find a location close to you. Go for breakfast. lunch or well-priced dinner.
The dishes are plentiful and creative, offering a range of veggie and vegan sharing plates with delicious house made juices and smoothies. I liked their 220V and skin glow juice! Take full advantage of their buffet, which boasts colourful plant-foods, with both light and hearty dishes. Or, order off their menu offering dishes like gourmet toasts and vegan burgers.
The atmosphere is clean and minimalist. And the staff are friendly. It’s a great place to eat for a veggie feast that’s delicious and affordable. DaTerra does get busy during peak hours, so best to book in advance.
A little more refined than an all-you-can-eat buffet is Em Carne Viva. A fully vegan and veggie Portuguese restaurant that takes their plating seriously. You won’t want to miss dining here. Surely, the food is what you would describe as gourmet, creative, and delicious. Like a gastronomic restaurant in France, much thought goes into creating their unique dishes.
The dishes at Em Carne Viva takes traditional Portuguese meat-based dishes and turns them vegan and veggie using ingredients like tempeh and seitan. Dishes like roasted veggie stuffed “sausage” and vegan Portuguese Bulhão Pato Clams, to name a few, decorate their menu. If you’re looking to celebrate Portuguese food vegan-style, this is your place to do so.
The interior space is gorgeous and refined. With a beautiful fireplace to warm the room, plush seating and wainscotted walls – the ambiance gives french provincial vibes. If the weather is nice, sit on the outdoor terrace at the back. It’s sweet and intimate with iron tables and seating, and beautiful foliage.
The staff at Em Carne Viva are kind and welcoming. They are very knowledgeable about the menu and selection of wines, and are happy to give recommendations. I’d recommend to pass on the rose and take a bottle of Portuguese vino verde instead – it’s slightly effervescent, dry and refreshing!
This restaurant is a little more pricey, so plan to come for a fancier evening out.
A little out the way but worth the walk is Árvore do Mundo. I love this entirely vegan restaurant because of it’s hippie and old-school vegan vibes. Think colourful interior, with mood lamps, hemp and organic cotton. Your cool aunt would love this place. Snag the bench seating at the back of the restaurant for an intimate feast.
Árvore do Mundo offers healthy and colourful homestyle cooking. And it’s delicious! The menu boasts middle eastern vibes with curry flavours, and bold hues. They even make their own homemade kombucha. The dishes are unique and creative, for example when we visited they had a seitan wellington dish.
It’s a small menu, but trust the chef – each dish is made with intent and purpose, and you can’t go wrong with your selection.
The staff is super friendly, warm and inviting. And they’re close with each other. It was really nice to see such strong bonds between colleagues. This would be a welcomed space to take your family, and a great place to stop for lunch or a casual dinner.
When in Porto, get Mexican! That’s right, I am recommending a Mexican fiesta at Frida. Because honestly…it’s some of the best Mexican I’ve ever had!! (And we love Mexican food). Owned by husband and wife, of Portuguese and Mexican decent, and having lived in Mexico for four years – this couple brings true authentic Mexican cuisine to Porto.
The ambiance in this restaurant is warm and inviting. With sofa seating and warm lighting. The back wall boasts newspaper clippings with critic reviews and articles about Mexican current events.
To start, sip on a margarita and enjoy homemade tortilla chips, fresh salsa, guac, and their house made spicy sauce. Here, “spicy” means SPICY! So taste at your own risk.
Although not entirely vegan, there’s lots of plant-based options at this Mexican resto. The dishes are unique, bright and beautifully balanced. Hands down, it was one of my favourite dining experiences during our months of travel in Europe. I’d recommend trying their cactus salad with big hunks of avocado and a side of refried beans.
By far one of the coolest bars I’ve ever been to is BASE. The vibes here are spot-on: Super chill and relaxed, amongst a beautiful backdrop. Situated in Porto’s historical downtown, right near Clerigos Tower. Base is a Garden oasis in the city centre. With hanging fairy lights, picnic tables, and cushion seating situated under olive trees on fresh grass, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
This bar is bustling and vibrant, yet its idyllic setting keeps it calm well into the evening. The staff are super friendly and seem genuinely happy to work there. And the music is awesome. Snag a seat under an olive tree, with a few floor cushions and watch the world go by with a vino verde in hand. (I’m obsessed with Portuguese green wine. Goodbye rose, hello “verde all day”).
This is the perfect space to enjoy during the summer months – day or evening.
A trip to Porto wouldn’t be complete without a trip to W. & J. Graham’s 1890’s Lodge to try some port.
Take a tasting in their Tasting and Vintage Rooms, and learn more about the variety of ports and what to pair them with. You can also take a tour of the cellars, and get a full history of the production of Port.
If you have time, I highly suggest booking a trip to see the Duroro valley, which is where the grapes are grown to make the port from W. & J. Graham’s. We REALLY wanted to do this, but due to some flight delays we had to cancel the trip. It looks beautiful! Just google it and see! A day trip can be booked at travel centres around the city. (We will definitely be returning to tick this off our bucket list).
So there it is, my Vegan Guide to Porto! For the trendiest breakfast, lunch, dinners and drinks around this fabulous city. I must say, I was blown away by just how vibrant the food scene was in Porto, and I’m sure you will love it too. Whether you’re traveling alone, with other vegans, or all types of eaters – this list is sure to have something for you. And if you like this travel post, check out these travel guides:
Enjoy Porto, and take me with you!
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