Alisha Explores Porto: Port Wine & Francesinha

Food. Wine.

More Food. More Wine.

Porto, a city full of hills, port wine, and amazing food. Someone had told Boyfriend and me that Porto was flat. They were oh-so-extremely wrong. It is so hilly.

After getting on the bus from Vigo, I was passed out the entire 3 hr bus ride to Porto. When getting into Porto, we had to walk up a massive hill just to get to our hostel. We were early, so we stopped at a diner to get 2 of Porto’s best known food, caldo verde and francesinha.I also have to say this diner had BOMB food, and like no line. Highly recommend

Here begins adventures in my stomach.

Caldo verde: An unexpected delicious soup with kale. Let me just say, I hate kale. I really do not like kale. But, in caldo verde, it’s delicious. It’s a potato based soup with some meat and kale shreds in it. It’s wonderful, and I’d eat bowls and bowls of it again

Francesinha:The worlds best sandwich. Okay, maybe not worlds best sandwich. But really close to the top. 5-6 different types of meat, melted with cheese, and then covered in a cheesey beer sauce that you want to slurp at the end

After food and checking in, Boyfriend and i wandered around Porto and checked out the wine cellers in Gaia. Gaia is the town across the river in Porto, where all of the port wine is bottled. Boyfriend and I walked up hills and wandered around small alley ways to try all of the port wine we could. After 4 successful wine tastings, we walked across the bridge back to Porto and had dinner on the river. I took a great shot of Gaia + bridge at night from this (see below)

The next day, we went on a wine tour of Douro Valley. Douro Valley is like the Napa of Portugal. But with port wine, a river, and steep hills. Boyfriend accidentally booked a tour of the churches + visit to 1 winery. Luckily, the travel agency understood that we did not want to do that, and put us on the wine tour.

Our tour was headed by a very Portuguese man who was from Porto and now lived in Gaia (so Portuguese) and there were 4 other british people on our trip: a old married couple and 2 guys in their late 20s/maybe early 30s. The wine tour was great. We first went to Sandeman, a huge port winery. We saw wine making rooms and got to drink a selection of wine

Then. We had the best lunch ever. Our tour guide took us to this small resturant in a small village. And boy, this was great.

It was a 4 course meal accompanied by a glass of port, a giant pitcher of red wine and another giant pitcher of white wine:

  1. Portuguese sausage – a traditional sausage made of bird and bread
  2. Beef and greens cooked in wine
  3. Bean Stew and Lamb & Potatoes, accompanied by rice
  4. Cake smothered in port wine

Boyfriend and i definitely drank a majority of the wine, but who cares! The lunch was phenomenal. The Bean stew was so good, I kept eating even when full. My bad, but not really.

After the amazing lunch, we went to this small winery, D’Origem that overlooked the Douro Valley. The winery owner gave us 6 bottles of wine for us to just pour ourselves. We had this AMAZING rose (Fisgas), that boyfriend and I even bought and took to our next location.

We then went back to Porto. Took a small siesta. And then met up with British guys at a gin bar. We chatted till ~1 am, when it was someone’s great idea to go to a karoake bar. Fun fact, Porto is not popping on a Wednesday night. The karoake bar was having a private event, so we wandered until we found another bar. And then eventually went to sleep.

The next day, we wandered around the more touristy locations of the city, and wandered around the church and the little districts of the town.

And then we went off to Lisbon via train

Tips for Porto

  1. Get caldo verde and francesinha at Cafe Santiago
  2. Visit Douro Valley on Get Your Tour (but DONT book the Douro Vinhateiro Full Day Guided Tour with Wine Tasting)
  3. Visit the many wine cellers of Gaia

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