Anthony Bourdain in Porto: Behind-the-Scenes Stories

If you’ve ever thought “I want to experience Porto like Anthony Bourdain did”, you’re in luck. Recently, some guests expressed this desire and we’re here to share all the insider information.

Remember those folks who hung out with Tony during his 2017 Parts Unknown Porto trip, sharing stories over wine and cheese? Well, a couple of Anthony Bourdain’s hosts in Porto are part of our Taste Porto Team. Stick with us and we’ll dish out all the details on Bourdain’s culinary adventures in this city, including the juicy behind-the-scenes stories from each visited spot.

Bourdain’s culinary adventure in Porto Portugal

When our tour guide asked if he ever got tired of traveling and filming, Tony simply said: “When the food is as great as this, no!”. Porto’s food is top-notch and ensures a delightful experience. Below is your go-to guide to following Bourdain’s culinary adventure in town. We hope you’ve already had lunch; otherwise, this is going to be tough!

Anthony Bourdain’s Picks for Porto

A Cozinha do Martinho

A visit to Porto isn’t complete without savoring the iconic dish “Tripas à Moda do Porto” and A Cozinha do Martinho is the place to go for an authentic taste. This cozy restaurant serves hearty, traditional dishes that will remind you of home-cooked meals. Their Tripas Porto-style highlights Portuguese talent in creating extraordinary meals from basic ingredients.

  • Find it at Rua de Costa Cabral 2598, Porto, Portugal
  • Phone: +351 91 959 5316

Bourdain enjoyed:

Sardines, Tripe Porto-style, and, of course, portuguese wine.

Cervejaria Gazela

The oh-so-famous “little hotdogs” or cachorrinhos! Whether you’re heading home, catching an FC Porto match or out for a night on the town, these snacks are perfect for sharing over a beer with friends. Bourdain loved them, and we’re sure you will too!

  • Located at Travessa Cimo de Vila, 4 Batalha, Porto, Portugal
  • Phone: +351 22 205 4869

Bourdain’s pick:

Cachorrinho (sausage-and-cheese sandwich with spicy sauce), plus fries for good measure.

Real Companhia Velha

Remember that epic wine cave from Bourdain’s episode? Yeah, that’s Real Companhia Velha’s turf. While every port wine cellar in Porto offers tours and it’s easy to schedule a visit on your own, we’ve got insider tips for alternative spots where you can soak up the same vibe and learn about Porto’s most famous drink.

  • You’ll find it at Rua Azevedo Magalhães 314, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
  • Phone: +351 22 377 5100

Bourdain indulged in:

Port, assorted cheeses, bread and pumpkin jam.

Café O Afonso

This is where we took Anthony Bourdain for francesinha and, trust us, he liked it! He was a little scared of it at first, as all foreigners usually are, but he muscled through it. This place is a pilgrimage site for any Ayrton Senna and F1 fans because the owner is obsessed and has covered the place in memorabilia (some of it is REALLY impressive)! The francesinha itself is very good, one of the best in the city, in our opinion. The downside is that you can’t book a table, so waiting outside on the curb is a thing when going to Afonso. But it is worth it!

  • Find this spot at Rua da Torrinha 219, Porto, Portugal
  • Call them and practice your Portuguese: +351 22 200 0395

Bourdain savored:

Francesinha (bread, steak, sausage, linguiça, cheese) paired with a pint of beer.

Esplanada Marisqueira A Antiga

We love a good seafood bonanza and, usually, we go to the neighboring city of Matosinhos where the docks are located. Some people will say this restaurant is a more formal place but, in our opinion, if you’re expected to use your hands on your food, formality goes out the window. Shrimp, barnacles, stuffed brown crab (sapateira), seafood rice (arroz de marisco) and grilled fresh fish are some of their specialties.

  • Catch them at Rua Roberto Ivens 628, Matosinhos, Portugal
  • Phone: +351 22 938 0660

Bourdain’s feast included:

A towering seafood platter featuring shrimp, oysters, crab, sea urchin, langoustine, gooseneck barnacles, whelks, salt-baked sea bass and let’s not forget Tony’s favorite: Clams Bulhão Pato style.

What Tony said before the director shouted “Action”:

“I tried this kind of seafood towers all over the world but I have to tell you that the North of Portugal has the best seafood on the planet.”

Our Hearts Go Out to Anthony Bourdain

A piece of our hearts was truly broken when Tony died. We don’t need to “make a statement” about it. But we count ourselves lucky to have crossed paths with him, even if just once. He was – and still is – an inspiration. And every corner of Porto feels a little brighter because he once walked its streets.

The Romans believed that someone dies when people forget about you. Tony is Immortal!

Here’s to you, Tony!
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