A VEGAN GUIDE TO PORTO

VEGAN TRAVEL: PORTO, PORTUGAL

Earlier this month I completed my MA in Contemporary Art Theory after two long years and I turned 29 a few days later, so my boyfriend took us both off to Porto to celebrate. We first visited for Primavera last year and had a brilliant time (by the end of the week we'd both decided we should sack of London and move over), so I was very excited for our return. Of course, it was wonderful. We ate well almost entirely due to the online community, so I figured I'd return the favour and share the love here...


BLACK MAMBA BURGERS & RECORDS

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BLACK MAMBA BURGERS & RECORDS

Rua dos Mártires da Liberdade 130, 4000 Porto, Portugal (FACEBOOK)

We ate at Black Mamba for the first time last year; a large group of us had flown over for Primavera and we ended up here, sat outside in the baking hot sunshine for hours, necking several Super Bocks and marvelling at the food. Needless to say, this time round Black Mamba was our no.1 lunch destination upon landing in Porto, and it didn't disappoint. Last year I had the BURGER-STONER (seitan with mushrooms). This year I had the BURGER-666 (leek and potato w/ vegan cheese). Both were incredible. 100% recommended. 


LUPIN Restaurante 100% Vegetariano

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LUPIN Restaurante 100% Vegetariano

R. Arquitecto Marques da Silva 74, 4150-484 Porto, Portugal (FACEBOOK)

Another repeat visit, Lupin was high on our to-do list upon our return. We both ordered exactly the same meal this year - vegan Francesinha followed by a warm Pastel de Nata - because we enjoyed them both too much the previous time to even consider deviating. Having had the real-deal pastel de nata over in Lisbon (including the famous Belém edition) several times over before going vegan, I would argue that this is my favourite. It's that good. The staff are lovely, the atmosphere is laid-back and welcoming, and the food is fantastic. Lupin also became fully vegan in November 2016, which is excellent news. 


EM CARNE VIVA

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EM CARNE VIVA

Av. da Boavista 868, 4100-112 Porto, Portugal (WEBSITE)

This restaurant was new to us both; we found out about it thanks to my bf putting a request for recommendations online, and I'm so glad he did because it is wonderful. A high-end vegetarian restaurant near the Casa da Música (which we had a sneaky peek at before dinner), this is a perfect place for a treat. Many of the dishes are either vegan or can be tweaked accordingly, and I particularly liked the fact that the savoury options all seem to be homages to traditional Portuguese dishes. For starter, I had Mushroom A la Bulhão Pato, an homage to the traditional clam/seafood dish. My main was Spineless tofu with parsnip greens, baked potatoes & olive oila play on the typical fish dishes you'll see on menus. Both were stunning. To finish, I had the Chocolate Decadenceperhaps less traditional, and obscenely decadent indeed. The whole meal felt like an indulgent, special experience due to the beautiful interiors, attentive staff and quality of the food and I'd return again in a heartbeat.


AVORE DO MUNDO

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AVORE DO MUNDO

R. do Duque de Loulé 228, 4000-098 Porto, Portugal (FACEBOOK)

This place was a Happy Cow find, and it's definitely one of the more old-school veggie eateries; it reminds me of The Eighth Day in Manchester, The Egg in Liverpool and Food for Thought (RIP) in London. I'm somewhat ashamed to admit this but I can be a little hippy-averse; having grown up vegetarian and paid many a visit to health food shops over the years before it became cool, I definitely prefer the modern take on vegan cookery. Nevertheless, I reserved judgement and really enjoyed the food we ate here as a result. We popped in for our final lunch before we left Porto, and took advantage of the €10  lunch menu, which covered a starter (a kind of raita with bread), a soup (beetroot, served cold, delicious), a main (a kind of vegetable stew) and a drink (I had a glass of wine). I believe the lunch menu changes every day. We also had dessert which, in my case, was a chocolate and banana tart. For me personally it's more of an easy lunch place rather than somewhere to go for an evening meal but the food was lovely, as were the staff. It's also entirely vegan. 


VEGANA BY TENTÙGAL

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VEGANA BY TENTÙGAL

R. Formosa 34, 4000-249 Porto, Portugal (FACEBOOK)

A little vegan grocery store which was located, very conveniently, a few minutes from our Airbnb. So handy. Believe it or not, we didn't eat out for every meal (!) so it was nice being able to pick up vegan cheese and chocolate as accompaniments. (We did the rest of our shopping at Lidl and Pingo Doce). We also stopped by one day for a quick sandwich; my vegan cheese and ham toasted cost €2,70 and was the perfect cheap and easy lunch. They don't have a massive range of products but I'm sure this will change; I understand the shop only opened earlier this year so I imagine it will expand. It's fantastic that it exists, so do pop by and show your support if you're in the area. 


CELEIRO

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CELEIRO

Rua de Santa Catarina 312-350, Loja 1.13B, Porto, Portugal

A Portuguese chain, Celeiro (which translates as Barn) originated in Lisbon and specialises in health food and products and is really useful to have on standby if you're vegan and stuck for something to eat. My bf and I took full advantage of the Lisbon branches during our visit last year, and we did the same again in Porto at this particular branch, which is tiny but useful. In addition to the standard energy bars/vegan chocolate/snacks which you'll be used to seeing, they also sell a range of vegan pasties, usually located in their cooler section. In the above photo, one pasty was stuffed with seitan and spinach, and the other with tofu and vegetables. They're pretty much always delicious, filling and only cost around €1,25 - €1,75 on average. Perfect if you're going on a day trip and want to take a packed lunch or, like us, you want to take something to eat at the airport on your way home (Porto airport is quite rubbish for vegans). 


As an aside, the cover photo was taken at the breathtakingly beautiful Casa de Serralves, now incorporated into the Serralves Foundation. This 1930s Streamline Moderne mansion is the former home of Carlos Alberto Cabral, the 2nd count of Vizela, and was designed by architect José Marques da Silva. In addition to the house (which is open to the public, but now serves as the foundation's head offices) there are expansive gardens, plus the Museum of Contemporary Art featuring works by a mix of Portuguese and international artists. This was a real trip highlight; next time I'll be returning for the whole day with a picnic in tow.