20 Questions with André Apolinário | Taste Porto

Welcome to “20 Questions with the Taste Porto Team,” where we dive into the minds behind Porto’s oldest food tour company, Taste Porto.

We started in 2013 with a mission: to reveal Porto’s culinary wonders while honoring our community’s essence. It’s more than just food; it’s about connection, about preserving the traditions of the past while embracing the innovations of the present.

André Apolinário, our co-founder and Tour Guide Sensei, brings a lifetime of hospitality to his approach: “Growing up, my Mum and Dad used to host dinner parties at home, inviting their closest friends every so often, and in those dinners, Mum and Dad made sure they would bring to the table the very best of what we had at home. And I do it exactly the same way!”

André was born and raised in Porto and is a proud lover of Porto’s food and football team. He’s persuaded so many travelers to move to Porto that keeping track is hard. That’s how much he loves this city. He sees each Food Tour in Porto as an opportunity to show people Porto’s beauty, which he does through a combination of facts, memories, and personal, everyday experiences. Keep reading to learn more about him.

20 Questions with Taste Porto

  • Describe Porto in one word.
    Porto (the name encapsulates everything the city is to me: unique, beautiful, delicious, avant-garde, heartwarming or as a famous Porto poet described it: “O Porto não é um lugar, é um sentimento”).

  • What’s the weirdest food and drink combo in this town?
    Well, growing up I liked a “rojões” (pork) with a glass of milk to go along… wouldn’t recommend trying it though.

  • What’s your best piece of advice for someone visiting Porto for the first time?
    Move here.

  • What’s your favorite spot in Porto?

  • Your friend from out of town is visiting. Where are you taking them?
    Food wise: Prova wine bar, Catraio, Armazém da Cerveja, Taxca, Taska, O Rápido, Gazela, Golfinho, Xico dos presuntos, Adega Braseira… Non-food related: Vitória, Virtudes, Foz Velha, Miradouro de Santa Catarina, Cedofeita, Campanhã… That friend needs to come and visit Porto more often…

  • Do you like cooking? Which dish is your showstopper?
    My “Jardineira de Vitela” (veal meat stew with potatoes, peas, carrots, shallot, “chouriço” and fresh chilli peppers) – damn… now I have to run home to cook it… it’s that good!

  • Describe yourself as a traveler in 3 words.
    Hungry, walker, planner.

  • What is your favorite Portuguese comfort meal?
    This is a tough one… I would say “Rojões com arroz de sarrabulho” would top my list, but “cabrito assado” and “cozido à Portuguesa” would be close behind.

  • What is your favorite “petisco”?

  • What’s your best travel advice?
    Leave, at least, a day open for walking around with no maps or scheduled visits. Walk around, follow the vibe of locals, sit at local cafés, bar or restaurants counters and start up a conversation with locals, get immersed in the city’s flow.

  • Do you have any favorite quotes or traditional sayings?
    “Quem não é para comer, não é para trabalhar”.

  • Complete the sentence: “A day in Porto is not complete without ….”
    Food… a lot of food!

  • What’s your go-to coffee order?

  • What’s your most treasured memory in Porto?
    The look in the eyes of Michael and Meagan (Taste Porto’s first guests and my first tour as a tour guide) while falling in love with Porto.

  • Can you share a funny or unexpected moment from one of your tours with us?
    There was this one Vintage Tour group at the final tasting location, after our first ever Port wine tasting, that I decided to ask about how tipsy they felt after the tour, going on a scale of 0 (I didn’t drink) to 10 (I’m about to dance on the table). Everyone was going for 5 to 7, but there was this one lady in the back that went with: “Honey, I’m solid 25!!!!”.

  • What’s your favorite way to spend a rainy day in Porto?
    Walking around with friends, hiding away from the rain in local taverns called “tascas”.

  • What’s the best Portuguese tradition?

  • What’s the most common misconception about Porto?
    That we are Portugal’s second city. We’re the first and the best!!!

  • What’s your favorite francesinha spot in town?
    Can’t do that. I’ll do top 5: “Golfinho”, “Afonso”, “Lado B”, “yuko” and “Santiago”.

  • What’s the secret to being an amazing tour guide?
    Loving to share one’s passion for what you do.

20 Questions with Taste Porto

Throughout this interview series, “20 Questions with the Taste Porto Team”, we’ll ask the questions that need asking, uncover the flavors that need uncovering, and maybe, just maybe, gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be part of the amazing Porto community. Stay tuned!


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