It’s easy to travel as a vegan, even in cities that are famous for their love of pork and seafood 😉 Porto offers quite a few excellent places for vegans to eat.
More and more vegan and vegetarian restaurants are opening in Porto. Let’s hope this trend continues to grow!
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I checked out some of Porto’s vegan and vegetarian restaurants. I didn’t go to any meat-serving restaurants that also have vegan options, though there are many listed on Happy Cow. There was no need to go to any of those, because there are enough plant based restaurants in Porto.
Vegana by Tentugal – Vegan Sandwiches
I really enjoyed my meal at Vegana. It’s a charming, colourful place to eat, with a friendly and casual service.
The menu, which is in both English and Portuguese, includes a big selection of vegan sandwiches, plus salads and drinks.
I had the spelt burger which was huge and very satisfying and came with tortilla chips.
Prices are inexpensive. If you’re travelling on a budget, a lot of the sandwiches are priced around €2!
There’s a health store in the same space where you can stock up on vegan cheese, tofu, organic drinks, all sorts of plant based milks, fruits and vegetables and lots more.
Black Mamba – Vegan Burgers
A cool vegan burger place and punk record store in the same space.
The menu includes six different types of vegan patties, with original flavours, that you can have with a side of chips.
The burgers are made of soy, tofu, seitan, chickpeas, mushrooms, and leek and potatoes.
I tried to the leek and potato burger and loved it. It was a little spicy and came with vegan cheese on top.
Also on the menu are some snacks: samosas, vegan bechamel patties or a tofu salad, and vegan desserts: cream biscuit cake and cheesecake.
Service is courteous and fast and the prices are friendly (€6 for a burger and chips meal).
Casa da Horta – Cultural Association
A rather unique place to eat, as it also functions as a social centre with strong ideologies. On their website, they introduce themselves as aiming “to search and create alternative ways of living questioning the existing layers of culture, habits, lifestyles and political state”.
As you enter, you’ll first pass through a small eco-friendly and fair trade shop, as you might expect.
I went there for dinner and had a tofu and mushroom dish which was delicious. Portions are generous and prices are inexpensive. Although it is classified as a vegetarian restaurant, everything was vegan.
The location is next to Palácio da Bolsa. It’s a pretty touristy area of Porto, so if you feel like a nice home-cooked meal while sightseeing, it’s a good place to take a break.
To find the restaurant, you have to go down a few steps and look for the door, it’s not so obvious at first.
Check out the website and Facebook page for listings of events at Casa da Horta. They run all sorts of events like language exchange meetings, concerts and workshops.
O Oriente No Porto
Francesinha. You will hear and read about it a lot when you plan your trip to Porto… And then you will see pictures of it everywhere around the city.
It looks nice on the outside, but on the inside it’s a vegan nightmare, containing several layers of different types of meat and cheese in an innocent looking sandwich.
When I told my Portuguese host that I was vegan, she said “don’t worry, we have vegetarian Francesinha, and anyway it’s all about the sauce!”
She was right of course. The sauce is a spicy tomato and beer sauce and each restaurant has its own secret recipe of it. Vegetarian Francesinha really is available in many places in Porto , but it does contain cheese.
A few places in Porto serve a vegan version of this local delicacy, and one of them is O Oriente No Porto.
It takes 20 minutes to make, so take that into account.
It is served boiling hot to the table, with a small portion of chips, which is part of the tradition. The sauce is a little spicy.
I’m not a fan of fake meats, so I was glad that none of the ingredients tasted like meat. The vegan Francesinha was delicious. It a very filling meal and well worth the 20 minute wait.
Other than the Francesinha, the restaurant has a very affordable vegan and vegetarian menu.
Upstairs there is a health store with natural products and if you like to cook Indian food, you’ll find some ingredients there.
For days when you’re particularly hungry, I recommend heading straight to daTerra. During meal times (lunch and dinner) they offer an all-you-can-eat vegan buffet.
The food is amazingly tasty and the presentation is beautiful. They serve all sorts of creative plant based dishes. Each time you revisit the buffet, you’ll find new dishes. It’s a good idea to go there on an empty stomach.
Unsurprisingly, this restaurant is very popular. It can get quite busy at times, so you may have to wait for a table, but not too long.
The location I visited was daTerra Baixa, which is a very central location just a couple of minutes from São Bento station. There are more locations around Porto.
This is a lovely vegetarian and organic bakery and cafe and a good place to stop for a quick meal.
Almost all the food was vegan when I visited, apart from one of the cakes. They had vegan sushi, falafel and pastries with different fillings . The menu is in Portuguese but you can ask for a translation.
A pretty big health store shares the space with the cafe, and has a very rich selection of vegan and organic food.
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