“Cafetaria Fernanda Dias” Fernanda Dias Cafeteria is located in the centre of “Bolhão” the most central food market in Porto. This family owned restaurant specializes in its grilled food, which is all sourced from within the market. As Dona Fernanda, the owner, says, she pays the store owners within the market by the kilo. During the day as she needs ingredients, she buys what she needs, when she gets to a kilo of any sort of meat/fish, she pays. This way of dealing with things has been a policy since this restaurant opened, almost over 40 years ago.
The way “Bolhão” is constructed almost makes you feel like you are experiencing Porto in the 1930’s, it is one of those few places in Porto that is stuck in time, also like “Maus Habitos” and “Coliseu do Porto”. The specialities, or in other words what this place is known for is the grilled fish and fresh seafood that Dona Fernanda serves. As a starter if it’s available ask for the Octopus Salad or the Mussels. The three local fish I always tend to go for are the “Dourada” Sea Bream, “Robalo” Sea Bass and of course the “Sardinhas” Sardines. If you do not feel like grilled fish there is always the Seafood Rice option as well as the Grilled Squid which is particularly good.
Dona Fernanda learnt how to cook from her mother who ran this place before she took over. The service you receive from the staff here is unique, humble and a good representation of the hospitality that I have grown to love about Porto. There is nothing better than sitting in “Bolhão” imagining you are in the 1930’s having a meal consisting of nothing less than local products while Dona Fernanda, who grew up watching her mother cook here over 40 years ago is cooking for you. If you prefer to eat at a new gourmet place that is in fashion, you are already a lost soul and you should take your own life immediately.
Address: Mercado do Bolhão, loja 40, 4000-404 Porto
Opening Times: Mon – Fri: 7:00 am – 4:00 pm, Sat: 7:00 am – 1:00 pm