Wales' Premier Independent Travel Magazine

Top New Porto Secrets: Not The Obvious Ones!

There's amuch more to Porto, Portugal’s second largest city. Let us lead you to a few of Porto's hidden gems.
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Porto is ideal for a short break. Guidebooks will give you insight into all the sights including spending time by the magical Douro River in the heart of Porto’s historic centre. You’ll know all about the port wine houses, bridges, gardens and squares to visit in Portugal’s second largest city. But over the past year of the pandemic, many new small businesses have opened and each showcases Porto beautifully.

Porto. Image courtesy of  K. Mitch Hodge

Since November 2021, Cátia Roldão and Tiago Feio have been serving up daily changing menus at their tia tia restaurant which includes a breakfast menu featuring granolas, breads, eggs and juices. Lunch includes a soup, a salad with three or more ingredients, a freshly prepared egg based dish, a plate of the season and a selection of home-made cakes for dessert. The wonderful ‘carte blanche’ evening five-course dinner menu is priced 36€ per person and can be served with wine pairing suggestions. The menu features ingredient combinations that have been combined to be enjoyed over a longer dinner. Each bite is delicious and the attention to detail is evident across every dish. All menus include a combination of pescatarian, vegetarian or vegan dishes. No meat is used at tia tia. The style of cuisine is contemporary Portuguese and all ingredients are sourced locally.

All wines served at tia tia are natural wines. One of the reasons for this was a lack of venues with a heavier focus on natural wines in Porto. The wine list showcases 16 references with a strong focus on Portuguese producers but also a small selection of international producers. The drinks list also features two artisanal ciders and three artisanal beers. Throughout the day coffees, teas, juices and water are also available. Dinners are served Fridays and Saturdays. Music and art are both extra passion projects and evident inside the restaurant. A collection of vinyl records are on rotation throughout the day and selected pieces of local art are displayed. The restaurant also has its own garden with alfresco dining available throughout the year.

With the need for alfresco dining during the pandemic, chefs got creative. One of Portugal’s most famous chefs and Porto resident Rui Paula opened the garden restaurant KUG opposite the city’s most beautiful gardens Jardins do Palácio de Cristal. The new restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and serves cocktails throughout the day, all in the garden. The design encourages lounging for longer and it feels like summer everyday at KUG.

MONARCA is a new terrace bar located in the heart of the pedestrianised shopping area of Cedofeita. Opened in winter 2021, the bar serves cocktails and wine throughout the day. The terrace is decorated with plants and lots of greenery to further enhance the relaxed vibe. It offers a sophisticated setting open from 2pm until late.

Capela Incomum isn’t new but it is worth celebrating year-round as it is probably the city’s cutest wine bar serving wines and tapas. Located in a 19th century chapel, Capela Incomum offers alfresco drinks and bites until late and also has a large indoor setting where wines from across Portugal can be enjoyed by the glass and bottle. Look out for wine tasting and fado nights. Ideal for pre-dinner drinks.

Good Things Will Happen Soon

Located in Porto’s artsy district Good Things Will Happen Soon is a new shop with a funky wine counter opened by designer Joana Ramos-Pinto. The shop fuses Portuguese fashion pieces including designs by Joana and other Portuguese brands, interiors both from Portugal and around the world and small stationary items, soaps and fragrances and just things you never knew you needed but need now. That becomes clearer after wine! A cute garden at the back of the shop is where organic and bio wines are served throughout the day. Pop up events take place with local chefs which fill the garden with locals and visitors.


TUWATERRA is a Portuguese shop with ceramics and textiles sourced from across Portugal at reasonable prices. The owner lived in London for several years before returning to Porto to open her shop. This new shop in Cedofeita was unveiled recently and features frequently changing and new high-end ceramics sourced from across Portugal. The country has a strong tradition in both ceramics and textiles and this shop showcases small designers and owner Joana Gagean is keen to celebrate the country’s ceramic credentials. The shop also features a small collection of ceramics from several countries in Africa. Leave some space in your luggage to take home some beautiful handmade items.

M.Ou.Co. opened at the end of 2021 in the city’s Bonfim neighbourhood combining a 62-bedroom hotel, a 50-seater restaurant, a bar, a garden with alfresco dining, an outdoor swimming pool, a music library, musical instruments for hire and a concert hall with a capacity of 180 seated and 300 standing guests. Music is at the heart of everything at M.Ou.Co.

The motto at M.Ou.Co. is Stay. Listen. Play. These three words represent everything about this new destination in the city, attracting both locals and visitors. Guests stay in bedrooms named after songs including ‘Vamos Fugir’ and ‘Voyage Voyage’. All rooms feature either a kitchenette and lounge area with ground floor rooms leading on to small private gardens with access to the outdoor swimming pool.

Read all about M.Ou.Co: Click here

All guests are also invited to listen to five vinyls in their bedrooms and these can be selected from the Music Library. All rooms have air conditioning and WIFI is free throughout M.Ou.Co. Bedroom interiors include custom made furniture items produced across Portugal. Sound proofing is also a key component of the entire building. Finally, a 24 hour concierge service is available. Many of the items of furniture in the public areas have been purchased from Porto’s vibrant vintage scene which features many vintage furniture shops across the city. Items of furniture were restored in Portugal and items including rugs are all made in Portugal.

This is an unpretentious set up and all are welcome. The music agenda of forthcoming artists is diverse.

The M.Ou.Co. bar is open daily to all between 11am and midnight and serves everything from coffees, juices and cocktails to a wide selection of Portuguese wines. Here guests will find a buzzy bar environment where one can work, meet or simply unwind with a book and drink. Every Saturday guest DJs host music evenings in the bar. M.Ou.Co. also blend their own coffee alongside three other blends. Lunch is served in the restaurant daily and the menu changes on a weekly basis with various choices for starters, mains and desserts.

Opening soon
One of the most anticipated openings in Porto is the historic Bolhão market which is currently nearing the completion of a refurbishment programme. Once reopened the new look market will feature several restaurants, shops and stalls offering local produce. The market is due to reopen late 2022.

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