Porto is among the oldest European centres, and its historic heart was heralded a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1996. The western part of its urban area extends into the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, making frontier with Matosinhos city.
Porto is an extraordinary old and culturally rich city whose soul is innovative, lively and young, with a stunning beauty landscape.
Matosinhos is a young neighbour inside this melting pot of culture and diversity, known by its gastronomy behind the scenes and by its seafood, the best in the world, prepared to be discovered by curious friends and explorers.
Well Known world wide for its wines and for its hospitality, the region is generous to your taste buds since it has a good sort of dishes (of fish, seafood, meat or regional and convent-made pastry), cooked with local ingredients. Porto´s historical heritage, architecture, amazing wines, and gastronomical treasures are bound to take you on a journey of a lifetime.
We leave you with some suggestions of Matosinhos and therefore the northern Porto district, best local delicacies so you'll truly enjoy a real experience. Please enjoy our greatest flavours!
1 - Bacalhau | Codfish
The Portuguese style codfish is one of the foremost famous Portuguese dishes worldwide. The Portuguese specialized within the salting of fish and meats, curing codfish with dry salt and thus preserved it for later eating, in less abundant seasons. Codfish is mainly used as dried and salted because the Portuguese fishing tradition within the North Atlantic was developed before the invention of refrigeration. It must be soaked in water or in milk before cooking. You can find an endless sort of delicious dried codfish dishes all around northern Portugal. It's so cherished, that it's one of the standard dishes eaten on Christmas Eve. You'll find it in almost any restaurant menu, and we strongly recommend you try at least one time during your visit to northern Portugal.
- Lagareiro Style Cod – oven baked with garlic and olive oil
- Codfish with white cream – “Bacalhau com natas”
- Brás Style Codfish – with french-fried potatoes stirred with eggs, onions, and parsley
- Gomes de Sá Style Codfish – sautéed with onion, peppers, boiled potatoes and eggs
2/3 - Sardines and Fresh Sea Food
Portuguese cuisine has many Mediterranean influences with a strong connection with an Atlantic sustenance. Portuguese cuisine is legendary for its seafood.
Portugal has a well-developed fishing industry, and this is often reflected within the amount of fish and seafood eaten. Portugal has Europe's highest fish consumption per capita. Fish is served grilled, boiled, poached, simmered, fried, deep-fried, stewed or roasted. The simpler fish dishes are often flavoured with virgin olive oil and wine vinegar.
One of the foremost popular seafood includes fresh sardines (especially grilled as “sardinhas assadas”), typically eaten during National and local festivities like in Porto's local patron, St.John, celebrations.
Sardines wont to be preserved in brine, in order to be purchasable in rural areas. Later, sardine canneries developed right along the Portuguese coast, in villages and small towns like Matosinhos. Canned sardines, served with boiled potatoes, black-eyed peas, and hard-boiled eggs, constitute a convenient meal when there's no time to organize anything more elaborate.
In Matosinhos and northern Portugal, you can find many other seafood dishes like octopus, squid, cuttlefish, sea crab, shrimps and prawns, lobster, spiny lobster, barnacles, hake, mackerel, horse mackerel, lamprey, sea bass, swordfish (especially in Madeira), and an excellent sort of other fish and shellfish like mollusks, clams, mussels, and oysters. It is the true heavenly feast!
4 - Francesinha
From the Portuguese, Francesinha literal translation is “Little French girl” is a world-renowned sandwich supported by the French recipe Croque Monsieur. Originally from Porto where it had been created and a Portuguese twist was given. Made with some bread, fresh sausage, “linguiça”, steak or roast meat, wet-cured ham, a spicy tomato, and beer sauce, finished with cheese. This all oven-roasted. Generally, “Francesinha” is served with french-fried potatoes, it's considered one among Porto´s most famous attractions and cherished dishes. Make sure to enjoy a “Francesinha” sandwich at least one time, with your family or friends, alongside taste one cold craft beer, like a local.
5 - Bifanas
The bifana is so popular in Portugal that even McDonalds launched the McBifana nationally, however the lisbon style. In the north, it consists of thin slices of pork steak, of lightly sautéed in garlic and other spices, served in a bread roll, so that the meat is warm and juicy. The bread roll is usually distinctly crusty and the whole thing is often eaten as a snack for lunch, sometimes with a bowl of soup, like a "Caldo Verde", a soup with a light potatoes puree with collard thinly sliced. It is traditionally eaten during local and national Festivities but is so appreciated that you see people eating them all year round. It is the perfect snack to eat when you need a quick, fulfilling option.
Gastronomy, it is already considered one of the main tourist products of Matosinhos, being increasingly appreciated and praised.
In the many restaurants and small taverns, you can find these 5 delicacies and much more. It is possible to taste the various recipes of fish, seafood and some meat delicacies, cooked with mastery by the local people. From sea bass, lobster, octopus, cod, to the famous sardines, grilled, fish stew or "cataplana", Matosinhos maintains tradition, serving fresh fish and seafood of high quality, which comes daily from the sea.