If you are looking for an authentic Portuguese experience, then head to Vila Nova de Gaia on the south side of the Douro River. You will find amazing views and a welcoming spirit in this neighborhood.
You will also find many great places to dine along with excellent places to try port wine. Make the most of your time by going on a food tour in Gaia. Try local food and wine in many of the restaurants, which are tucked away in this neighborhood’s back alleyways.
Top 7 Restaurant Recommendations In Vila Nova de Gaia
1. Viva Creative Kitchen
Viva Creative Kitchen is a small restaurant that seats about 15, and it serves outstanding Portuguese food, including poke bowls. Originally a Hawaiian creation made with tuna, rice, onion, and seaweed, and you will love the unique twists that Viva Creative Kitchen puts on this dish.
After taking a seat on a wooden stool near the wall, you will be delighted with the level of service that you receive at this restaurant specializing in serving local produce. Food is prepared fresh, and you can watch most of the preparation work in the open kitchen.
If you are looking for a great pizza, then Farinha is the place to go to in Gaia. The variety of available pizzas will amaze you, and you may want to consider trying the Mediterranean-style pizza with smoked salmon on it.
Since most vegetables are grown by small and midsize farmers in Portugal, the quality is usually outstanding because of the tender loving care given to growing the vegetable plants. Therefore, this is a great spot to consider a Mediterranean-style vegetable pizza. Consider ending your meal with their delicious chocolate mousse.
If you are looking for a great steak meal while in Gaia, then head to Torcatu’s. This restaurant that is open for lunch and dinner also serves terrific tapas. This restaurant operated by a husband and wife duo serves an outstanding rotation of various tapas.
You can expect many different choices, including simple ones made with bread and olives and more elaborate ones made with octopus salad or cod patties.
4. MUU Steakhouse
You will want to plan when you dine at MUU Steakhouse. Expect to be greeted with a glass of champagne when you enter this high-end restaurant. The steak here is outstanding, so consider ordering the sirloin for two.
You will also want to sample the wines, with the reds being outstanding. Leave room at the end for the chocolate egg dessert.
Most cattle in Portugal are allowed to free-range, which helps to create a flavorful steak because of the variety of foods in their diet. Additionally, being allowed to roam free, it enables steers to build muscle along with fat, which helps to add flavor to the meat.
5. Bota & Bira
Another outstanding choice for a great steak in Gaia is Bota & Bira, but this is also an exceptional place to eat seafood with the squid soup and shrimp being delicious. While they will try to work you in, it is best to book ahead at this small restaurant.
Be sure to try their local port wines. The first port wines arrived in Gaia about 1255 to avoid the Catholic bishop getting rich off the sale of these wines, which are from grapes grown in the vineyards in the Douro Valley.
Bota & Bira and other establishments serve port wines, which come from the old wine cellars. Additionally, each wine cellar has a water supply. Most of these face north, which helps protect the product from the wind and provides ideal curing temperatures.
If you are looking for a great hamburger, then head to Curb. You can get a variety of burgers, including veggie burgers. The soft, fragrant bread keeps locals coming back to this tiny restaurant where the staff is amiable.
At this hamburger stop that has a British vibe, you will find burger creations based on local cuisines from around the world. Wash your burger down with some Spanish beer here while snacking on cheese fries.
7. Restaurante Dom Luis
If you are hungry for delicious seafood fixed using traditional Portuguese recipes, then make sure that Restaurante Dom Luis is on your itinerary. The mother does the cooking at this unassuming restaurant while her sons run the front of the house.
Start your meal with the creamy carrot soup before dining on the hake. If you are not in the mood for seafood, then they serve an outstanding steak served in a unique port wine sauce. Try to leave room for their creme brulee before you go.
Culinary Guide Of Porto – Bottom Line
If you are a food lover that wants to experience all that Vila Nova de Gaia has to offer, take a food tour. Your tour operator will handle all your reservations and show you the highlights of dining in Gaia.
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