- Written by: Jason Baxter
- Category: Beer Tourism outside Belgium
- Hits: 187
Our final full day in Porto and it's my birthday, so it was a quick stroll just two streets up the hill to Niclau coffee shop for a bit of brunch and this place was completely packed but just as we approached we noticed a couple inside putting their jackets on so maybe our luck will be in...and it was, they exited as we entered so we bagged their only empty table.
A delicious brunch of Eggs Benedict, coffee and berry smoothie followed.
Making our way back downhill in the direction of the harbour, stopping along the way to pick up a few items (those all important sausages) we happened to past one of the top rated Pastel De Nata shops in town so we had to pay a visit to Pasticceria Manteigaria for two of the richest, creamiest Natas ever with the thinnest pastry cases ever, a couple of espressos as well and the cost...just 4.20€ and that was to eat in.
Time for another of Linda's "to visit" spots so we jumped in a taxi and headed to Mercado Market for a beer, this place was a large open plan market filled with food stalls and after wandering around we arrived at Cervejas Do Mundo, a stall filled with 32 taps (each ornately decorated with the brewery logo) and fridges filled with bottles.
My first choice was the very tap situated in front of my seat - a Tank 7 from Boulevard and despite the bar not serving food nearly everyone around us was eating, the solution was simple, you order food from any of the surrounding stalls and they deliver it to your seat...just perfect.
Now seeing as it was Sunday and they had an impressive selection of Belgian beers both from bottle and tap it would be rude not to indulge in my first #Belgiansunday of the day so chose the magnificent Rochefort 10.
Sadly it was now time to head back to our hotel to pack for tomorrows flight home and so after carefully packing beers, meat, salami and spices we ventured out again but decided to keep things local, so after a quick look at the maps on our phones a bar just a 5 minute walk away was chosen and what a cracking little place this was.
Baobab, a small one room bar with around 20 seats, beers are 6 from tap and a fridge filled with bottles and cans.
Our first beers a raspberry witbier and a pumpkin, mango, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove sour coupled with a mix plate.
Next a Dois Corvos - Sesh! (4.5% session IPA) and a Prizm - Long Way From Home (12% Cocoa, Coffee and Hazelnut Imperial Stout).
Time for one last beer and Linda chose one from the fridge, a bottle from Burguesa, a tiny one man brewery where the owner is an engineer during the week and brews/bottles at the weekend with his brewery situated on the other side of the Duaro river.
Luckily Linda had already picked me a few from this microbrewery to bring home but I was yet to try so she chose a 22.01 Peated Whisky BA Imperial Stout...pure Whisky Truffles in a glass.
It was time to move on but not before Linda chose bottles and cans to bring home and it was whilst paying for them that the owner asked why were in town, when Linda mentioned that it was a birthday break (and today was my birthday) he immediately knocked 12€ off the price of the bottles before he and his wife presented me with them and wished me a very happy birthday, again such humbling hospitality.
Moving on just a few streets away to Fabrica, a split level bar with a small bar at front and seating at the rear - my choice a tropical IPA and food in the form of another of Portugals famous sandwiches, a Bifana (crispy buns filled with slow braised pork) and the infamous Cachorrinho.
Time for a special bar and one to tie in with the Belgian day of the week - Gulden Draak Bierhuis.
As the name implies this is an impressive bar with a strong Gulden Draak theme...there's bottles, signs, brewmania everywhere and the tap and bottle list nothing short of mind blowing and when I say mind blowing imagine our surprise when we saw our first choice available from tap.
A picture of pure happiness
A look at the beers and its clear to see the Van Steenberge link, coupled with beers from other breweries it made for one very impressive list (2 prices are shown, the lower is during the happy hour).
With such an amazing list we again chose a beer that usually only available in Gent, Klokke Roeland and a Gulden Draak Calvados BA...both from tap.
A plate of crispy fries and a couple more beers each from tap before finishing just as we started.
What a perfect day (no three days) it had been, to end it sat drinking a De Garre with Linda was the icing on the "birthday" cake, then she vanishes to the bar and comes back with "just one last bottle" to bring home.
It's fair to say that Porto made a huge impression on the both of us, beer wise it completely blew us away, the food was amazing, the friendliness and hospitality of locals and bar owners truly humbling.
It's also true to say that we will most definitely be returning, there was so much to see and do that a second visit is going to happen - it's right up there with San Sebastián (our next trip away) and Barcelona, we loved every second.
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