FLT Managers Series, Part 3: Discovering Porto with Benjamin
Food Lover Tour is now operating in the charming city of Porto in northern Portugal! To continue with our FLT Managers Series, we are chatting with Benjamin, a foodie who loves discovering Porto and its history and cuisine every day. So to kick things off, let’s learn all about this beautiful city through the eyes of a local resident!
I am Benjamin, a French native born and raised in Lyon, which is the Capital of Gastronomy in France! From an early age I was raised in a foodie environment. I can say I have a true travel and food lover background after visiting 5 continents in the world.
How long have you lived in Porto? What drew you to it?
Two years ago, love took me to Porto and subsequently I personally fell in love with northern Portugal. I directly loved the city for his history, culture, kindness of the locals and, obviously, for the excellent and authentic food! What a dream story! And now I am lucky to share my passion with people traveling and discovering Porto.
What do you love about Porto? What is your favorite neighborhood? What are some of your favorite things to do here?
The city is so peaceful; it’s a real way of life! It’s atmosphere is amazing and the people are very hospitable and kind. You feel good here, especially in the Vitoria district, which is part of the city center, but still has authenticity. Walking along the river and the ocean is also very relaxing and something unique.
What things should visitors in Porto see and do during their stay?
To enjoy your stay in Porto you should definitely get lost in the small streets of the old city (the Baixa), and then cross the bridge to visit one of the wineries. Next, see the sunset at the top of the Luis Bridge, enjoying a glass of Port wine. And of course, discovering Porto and all the riches and variety of local food on one of our food tours!
What is the foodie scene like in Porto?
The people of Porto, the “Portuense,” are epicureans who love good products and rich food from northern Portugal. There is something for every taste, from small snacks and old taverns with the famous petiscos and beer to elegant restaurants with tasty, refined wines. Food lovers find Porto a delight.
What’s your favorite local dish in Porto?
The bifana! It’s a traditional Portuguese sandwich, and one of the best you can have in Porto. It’s main ingredient is papo seco, or biju (a Portuguese bread roll), and very thin, marinated pork cutlets. Next, a drizzle of the cooking juices on top give it extra flavor. Sometimes the simplest dish is the tastiest!
I also really like octopus salad. It’s usually served with minced onion and parsley and mixed with plenty of Portuguese olive oil. This octopus salad is absolutely divine and tastes as good as it looks!
Also, lanche is a snack sandwich with thinly-sliced meat (presunto) and cheese (queijo de vaca from Serra da Estrela) baked into it. Delicious at any time of the day!
What is something about Porto that you want people to know?
If you like fresh fish, you can take a Porto taxi boat to the nearby village of Afurada, or walk along the coast to the Matosinhos fish market. Choose one of the local tascas restaurants to enjoy a delicious fish dish in a traditional setting. You won’t find it fresher or more authentic anywhere else!