No city is ever truly explored without getting to know its delicacies. In a country worldly famous for, amongst other things, its wide gastronomical variety, which differs greatly from region to region, Porto is definitely the town to conquer you by the stomach.
Traditional portuguese pastries are often associated with religion and monasteries since it was the nuns who crafted most sweets. All of them produced with lots of love from Amarante to the mouth of Douro’s river. But what should you try and where? This simple guide will tell you all about Porto’s best sweets and the pastry shops and caffes where you can taste them. Grab a pen and try not to drool!
Pão de ló
Soft or moist Pão de Ló is widely appreciated throughout the north of the country. Its a very simple cake often cooked in a wood oven. Sold whole or in huge slices you’ll soon realize it feels extremely light and fluffy.
Although you can find good pão de ló everywhere in Porto we recommend you try Confeitaria do Bolhão. This centenarian house opened in 1896 and their homemade products and beautiful last-century decoration is still one of the most famous pastries in the city.
Although eclairs are originated from a french recipe, Porto offers a wide variety of the delicacy and none are better then the ones at Leitaria Quinta do Paço, a company created in 1920 that offers, among other artisanal products, a huge variety of eclairs for every tastebud.
Biscoitos da Teixeira
An oven baked lemony cake that you can usually only find in street fair or whenever there is a popular festival happening.
Created in the north of the district, in the town of Santo Tirso, Jesuítas are a puff pastry, sugar covered delicacy that you have to try. Although it is sold in nearly every coffee shop in Porto the best are at Confeitaria Moura, in Mercado do Bom Sucesso.
In Porto’s region you can find a huge variety of conventual pastries, mostly coming from Amarante and surrounding cities. These pastries are usually very sweet, with eggs as the main star and often drizzled with glaced sugar. Pastries like Lérias, Brisas, Papos de Anjo or Toucinho do Ceu can all be found at Comchá, in Mercado do Bom Sucesso.
Here are some other places you must go while in Porto.
Although Pavlova is not a tradicional portuguese sweet Miss Pavlova is a Porto coffee shop where you can try several types of this decadent desert.
This pastry shop is one of the oldest in town and there you can find all of Porto’s pastries, a wide variety of breads and snacks, as well as the delicious butter biscuits and crackers only sold there.
When is comes to cupcakes there’s no better place than Spirito, a Braga based pastry shop so good Porto had to have it too. There you can find the most decadent cupcakes and cakes crafted from all your favorite sweets – from nutella cupcakes to fruit cobblers.
Another pastry and coffee shop calling Porto home for a lot of decades. Like Padaria Ribeiro and Confeitaria do Bolhão you can find all our favorite delicacies there.
The final stop on this guide is for the ice cream lovers. Although there are tons of ice cream shops in Porto, Santina still manages to stand out. With flavors inspired by portuguese flavors and products that change weekly you might have to wait in line for a scoop.