The old town of Porto offers a wonderful backdrop to sit and watch the world go by and where better to do so than in one of the city’s best bars. Here we pick out top selection to choose from.
Gin Lovers: The Gin Club
If you are a gin lover and find yourself in Porto – head directly to The Gin Club. Do not pass go and do not collect $200.
The Gin Club has 150 different gins at any given time so you can be sure to find something you will love. They also import some of the top tonics from around the world as well so you will get the perfect G&T every time.
Garnishes range from rose petals to peppercorns all offering slight twists on classic serves, and ensuring there is a perfect combination for every gin in the house. The bartenders are knowledgable and encourage customers to try gins they haven’t tried before which I love.
Stunning views: The Yeatman
To really enjoy a Porto sunset at its best than you have to head to the terrace at the Yeatman Hotel. You won’t be disappointed. The Yeatman doubles up as an immaculate hotel with bar to match. All the action happens at Dick’s Bar which boasts a fantastic cocktail list. The Yeatman’s high position means you have the perfect spot to look down on the hustle and bustle down on the Douro river in the heart of the city as you look out to sea beyond. It is simply stunning.
As well as unbeatable cocktails, the hotel also has one of the best cellars of Portuguese wine in Porto. Which is not surprising considering it is owned by the Fladgate Partnership that has been producing Taylor’s Ports for decades. It also has links with many of the other great Port and wine families of Portugal with many of the rooms dedicated to one of the Port houses.
It often often hosts wine seminars, tastings and wine dinners that are great for the wine aficionado to the novice.
The hotel is on the Vila Nove de Gaia side of Porto.
Port lovers: The Graham’s 1890 Lodge
When in Porto you just have to discover the drink the city was built on – Port. And if there is one place to visit than The Graham’s 1890 Lodge is not to be missed. At Graham’s there is of course the opportunity to try any number of Ports from a huge range of tasting flights on offer. But what sets this Port house apart are all the extra amenities that Graham’s has on its site.
Firstly there is a fascinating tour that takes you through the history of the city and its close affiliation with Port and all the families and Port houses up in the nearby Douro Valley. The museum is pristine and tours through the cellar are worth taking. The guides are also very knowledgable.
The best part of a visit is, of course, the tasting room. For Port aficionados there is also a library containing rare and older vintages.
If you want to stay longer then there is also a wine bar and the Vinum restaurant on site which offers both in door and outdoor seating that overlooks the Douro river and the famous Dom Luís Bridge.
Pre-dinner drinks: Bar Ponte Pensil
If you are looking for a great place to have drink before dinner then stop at Bar Ponte Pensil.
The bar is at the base of the spectacular Dom Luís Bridge that crosses over the Douro River.
The outdoor tables are on the upper floor of the restaurant so the view is unobstructed and impressive. The tables also sit high above the popular promenade that lines the riverbank of the Douro which is great place for people watching. But you are best to look elsewhere for food.
Wine lovers: Wine Quay Bar
The Wine Quay Bar is a great place to eat, drink and relax. It too overlooks the Douro and has some spectacular views both outside and inside, depending on where you want to sit.
The wine list the real attraction here and offers the chance to find many of the great Portuguese producers, so it is hard to go wrong, whether you are familiar with Portuguese wine or not. Their motto seems to be if ‘you don’t like it, we will find something else’.
The staff are very friendly and super knowledgeable. Which is a big help as some of the wines are hard to pronounce with complicated sounding indigenous grape varieties. But as the wine lists says: “the idea is to choose according to your taste or be carried away by the discovery”.
The place is popular with tourists and locals (always a good sign in our book) alike and they don’t take reservations, but it is worth the wait.