Café Candelabro

This bar is probably one of my favourite spots in Porto to hang out. The owners are good people and the atmosphere here is hard to find anywhere else. Candelabro in Portuguese means Chandelier, but don’t be confused when you enter because there are no chandeliers inside. This name was given to the place because this was its original name before it was a bar.

Essentially this place belonged to the owner´s parents before it became a bar. It was an “alfarrabista” (old book and magazine store) before it was completely restored. One of the owners “Miguel” restored the place in order to maintain several original aspects of the old book store that was there before. Miguel also designs store fronts as a profession and essentially every one to two months changes the show windows with creative and original concepts that are true artistic exhibits. On specific national holidays like, the 25th of April he goes all out and produces must see pieces.

In terms of the drinks and snacks, they are affordable in comparison to the area and you have the liberty to ask the bar man to make drinks the way you want them; this depends on the bartender. It isn’t a cocktail bar, but more like a place where you can drink a glass of wine, a beer, a gin tonic or a cuba libre and have a conversation with friends as well as take advantage of the free wifi to check your emails and figure out what you want to do next. It is also a good place to read a book in the afternoon, and if its good weather take advantage of the tables outside.

In terms of the snacks you can choose from, there a verity of beer snacks and the specialty: “tosta de queijo” which is a cheese toast that is made to taste a little bit like pizza because of the copious amount of oregano that is involved in the making. There is also a must try shot here which is their version of a Black Russian shot. It consists of Tia Maria (coffee liqueur) with vodka and lemon shavings. Sometimes when it isn’t Miguel making the shot you have to specifically ask for the lemon shavings.

This is the type of bar that in my opinion is difficult to replicate because essentially the atmosphere is created by the historical aspect of the place, its location and the love that the owners have for it, as well as the fact that there is nothing in this place that does not have an original touch to it. In terms of the best hours to go, the early afternoon during the week is probably your best bet, as this is quite a popular spot and during peak times (weekends after dinner, and weekdays before dinner) the place can get a bit packed and it loses a bit of its atmosphere as a chilled hangout spot. Its places like these that make me proud of this city and remind me that sticking to your origins, and maintaining some parts of the past are a definite breath of fresh air in comparison to clean cut Ikea filled places that have no personality and atmosphere.

Address: Rua Da Conceiçao No. 3

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday form   10:00 – 2:00

Phone: 966984250

Website: Website / Facebook

Location: GMaps