Brunch is always a good idea. Especially when you’re travelling. And especially when you’re travelling somewhere that has such exceptional cuisine. It’s been a while since my taste buds were as satisfied as they have been in Portugal, particularly in Porto, which has an abundance of cool restaurants and quirky cafes that serve an expert brunch.
Clearly the best meal of the day, brunch gives you a totally valid excuse to have a lazy morning and then enjoy excessive amounts of both savoury and sweet in one go, with a fun social atmosphere, all while sipping on booze before midday. I may have had a dessert overload, as you would have read in my last drool-worthy post on Porto’s most indulgent desserts, but I also brunched hard, so here are some of the best places for brunch in Porto.
An adorable little pavement café near the centre of the city, with ample amounts of cakes and baked goods to choose from inside. For once I didn’t go for cake (shock horror!) but instead got the €10 brunch which is enough to share between two people and includes a board of fresh bread, meats, cheeses, jams, eggs, fruit and yoghurt, and delicious oat pancakes. The cappuccino had a sprinkling of cinnamon on top, the purest most fresh orange juice came in a cute little glass jar and the pink beetroot bread made this an extremely colourful and Instagrammable brunch.
Eleven Lab Concept
A very cool and forward thinking café that serves up wonderfully healthy but equally delicious brunches and lunches, from acai bowls to eggs to pancakes, all with the prettiest presentation. The smoothies are really refreshing and to avoid the use of plastic straws drinks come with fruit flavoured wafer straws that can be munched on whilst you’re drinking! The outside tables are perfect to sit at on a sunny day where you have a beautiful view of the Duoro River.
This small but very contemporary coffee shop dishes up some of the most amazing vegetarian and vegan dishes. The relaxed intimate atmosphere makes this the perfect spot for a weekend brunch or coffee break, where you can sit around the large communal table or on stools by the window for a bit of people watching. Scrambled eggs on sourdough, green eggs or Turkish eggs are some of the more popular menu choices but it was the warm brioche with sliced fresh peaches on a bed of honey yoghurt that won over my taste buds. All of the dishes are made with healthy seasonal produce and, being environmentally friendly, they serve up fresh juices with aluminium straws.
There’s a reason this place is buzzing with people at the weekend…the relaxed chic vibe, a great menu with some of my favourite quotes scrawled across its pages (a good quote always wins me over), and the simply awesome brunches. This is the BEST place for pancake lovers with make your own pancakes that are an absolute must. Pick and choose from endless combinations of pancake bases and toppings that are such good value for the size that you might as well get an entire portion for yourself. Sod sharing! I went for a sweet and fruity topping of blueberries with thick blueberry cream which was totally divine, absolutely huge, and there was no way I was going to be able to finish it! Especially as we had also enjoyed some savoury eggs and bacon from the set menu plus coffee plus the creamiest piña colada milkshake. It’s safe to say that I left here feeling extremely full and extremely satisfied.
Pao De Do
This place is a thirty minute drive outside of Porto and although I wouldn’t suggest visiting purely for the food, if you are taking a trip to the lovely town of Aveiro, then I highly recommend stopping here for brunch on the way. The coastal town of Espinho is a little run down and the look of the café itself from the outside is rather unassuming, but the food was very pleasantly surprising with huge portions that both looked and tasted amazing. The scrambled eggs with bacon were especially tasty (but shhh because I “technically” don’t eat meat – oops) and the stack of pancakes swimming in fresh strawberries and sweet maple syrup were so deliciously filling that we couldn’t finish them between us.
Are you a fan of brunch? What’s your favourite brunch dish? Let me know in the comments below or at: