Destinations / September 26, 2016. By Paulo Tavares
If you like coffee then you’re in the right place and a huge amount of Porto’s charm is watching the world go by. With the average price of a coffee at 70 cent and a café on every street corner it’s easy to fall into the city’s rhythm. When you order a coffee in Porto, um café, por favor ( a coffee, please) you’ll get a shot of espresso. The locals drink these several times a day and in Porto refer to it as um cimbalino after the name of the coffee machine. Below we share with you some of our favourite cafés in Porto.
Rua Santa Catarina, 112
Majestic café is located on the main shopping street in Porto. It dates back to 1921 and is considered one of the most beautiful cafés in the world. The interior is very elegant and features a unique art deco style. It is open every day from 9.30am to 11.00pm, but closes on Sunday. They also serve meals which are a bit pricey.
Daily special (prato do dia) at Guarany café, Octopus fillets and octopus rice flavoured with fresh coriander and a nice cool glass of vinho verde.
Av. dos Aliados, 85/89
Guarany is located in the heart of Porto, Avenida dos Aliados. It dates back to the 1930’s and was restored to its formed glory in 2003. You can imagine the intellectuals and businessmen of Porto discussing politics and doing deals here. There is also a restaurant, the daily specials are good value and the service is excellent. Towards the end of the week they have live music from 9.30pm on and it can get packed then.
Just down the street from Guarany on Avenida dos Aliados, is Arcádia café. A perfect place to sit outside and watch the world go by. Arcádia is home to famous handmade almond sweets and chocolates. Nice accompaniment if you drink your coffee straight.
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Praça Gomes Guillherme Fernandes, 47
A favourite café for coffee and cakes in the city centre. They serve the most delicious éclairs, the choux pastry is perfection It is just around the corner from the famous Lello bookshop and within walking distance of Avenida dos Aliados. The business dates back to the 1920’s, but the café now has a clean modern interior. A great place to sit outside and soak up the atmosphere of Porto.
Rua Actor Guedes, 5
Café Progress dates back to 1899 making it one of the oldest cafés in the city. It is just off Praça Carlos Alberto within walking distance of the Clérigos Tower and the Lello bookshop. It still serves traditional filtered coffee as well as the usual espresso. There is also a traditional style brunch menu and a lunch menu, the daily specials are usually good value for money. They often host exhibitions at the weekend.
Praça Parada Leitão, 45
Not far away from Progresso is Ãncora D’Ouro more commonly known as Piolho it is just around the corner from the University of Oporto’s head office. The haunt of students for generations as witnessed by the many plaques put up to mark the end of their courses. Inside it is traditional and cosy. There is a lovely terrace to sit outside.
Rua Galeria de Paris, 67
A beautiful facade and funky interior. A great location near the Lello bookshop and the Clérigos tower. A café/bar, they also serve meals.
Praça Carlos Alberto, 104
This cosmopolitan café is also very central, it overlooks Carlos Alberto Square. They serve coffee and light snacks. It is very comfortable upstairs to sit and chat or read a book, they also serve coffee to go.
Rua da Conceiçao, 3
This former bookshop now a café/bar. Restored keeping all the original features black and white mosaic tile floors, big windows opening out onto the street. There is a relaxed atmosphere during the day, but it can get very busy at the weekend.