Over the last few years, Porto has become increasingly open to different lifestyles. Popping up all over are record stores, vintage markets and shops, surf schools, and, increasingly, more vegetarian places. While it is true that most restaurants in the city are not vegetarian (or vegan), in fact, a lot of regular restaurants and cafés now offer vegetarian options.
We, as always, decided to investigate further and treat our palates to the various degrees of “greenness” our city has to offer. So if you are wondering if there are vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Porto, we can assure you that there is plenty to choose from! Below, we share just a few.
Top Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Porto
Now with 3 different locations (in the city center, in Matosinhos, and in Boavista’s Bom Sucesso Market) daTerra’s buffet style meals are always packed. With wonderful food, that is. And customers as well! There are different weekly menus for every day’s lunch and dinner, consisting of 3 main options that are at least vegetarian and sometimes also vegan. Other than those items, the buffet also includes several side dishes, appetizers and of course a soup with a mix of vegetarian and vegan options. I for one am always content when I leave the premises. Drinks and desserts not included, but should also be enjoyed in copious amounts.
At Essência you can bring together the family and enjoy comforting and beautiful food. This is a white tablecloth vegetarian restaurant that offers a well priced fixed menu at lunch and a limited, but well-cultivated dinner menu of appetizers, mains, and desserts, along with other several options. They graciously always have at least one non-vegetarian dish for that meat eater in your life. Or you know, for that picky friend that believes vegetables are “weird”. Thorough service and with great value for money, Essência is the perfect restaurant for those that enjoy good food. Pay special attention to the vegetarian alheira starter, the homemade herb butters served with the bread, and any of their soups which will be sure to warm you from the inside. For the main dish, try the red quinoa and vegetables or the curry risotto or the “steak” of deitam. Make sure to save room for the mango and passionfruit pudding or for the decedent chocolate cake, it is to die for!
A little on the higher end, Em Carne Viva (translated “Raw flesh”) is a place you can go for adventure and discovery. They present themselves as a vegetarian restaurant of regional inspiration, where you can find very traditional dishes with a vegetarian twist. Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato (clams Bulhão Pato style) becomes Cogumelos à Bulhão Pato (mushrooms Bulhão Pato style), the octopus or codfish à Lagareiro becomes the “boneless” à Lagareiro. Even the Francesinha is vegetarian! So if you want to taste the traditional cuisine of Porto, but with the option to go meatless, this is your place! Amazing food and a wonderful location!
Less high end than the previous ones, Lupin is still a great choice when it comes to trying tasty vegetarian food. It also has vegan, raw and gluten-free options. Try their daily menu or go for the Feijoada à Moda do Porto (bean stew Porto style). But before leaving don’t forget to try the vegan Pastel de Nata.
Not exactly a restaurant, but instead a grocery store that also serves light meals, Quintal Bioshop is a health food store that focuses on biological produce and products. In addition to the shopping section, you can sit and enjoy the tea selection and light meals, such as sandwiches, salads, freshly squeezed juices and whatever vegetarian invention is on offer for their daily menu.
Burgers. It’s a thing right now in Porto in case you haven’t noticed. There are plenty of burger restaurants in town, but none can make the claim of being entirely vegan like Black Mamba can. The fries here are some of the best in town, but also make sure to try one of their 6 different burgers. There are some snacks if you are not in the mood for a burger, but then, might we suggest not going to a burger restaurant? Also, here you can find gluten-free desserts, either for after your meal or, let’s be honest, whenever you feel like having dessert.
These are, of course, just a sample of the wonderful vegetarian and vegan places you can find in the city. We will continue our investigation on your behalf and will be sure to share all our findings!