Taberna Santo Antonio is one of the best value for money family restaurants in Porto. The matriarch of the restaurant is called “Dona. Herminia” (“Dona” being the respectful way to say Mrs in Portuguese; meaning owner in feminine; it can only be used to address a person if they are female). Here you can order what you feel like including all the extras, you will always be in the €10-15 range per person. That is if you decide to drink like an Irish tourist on vacation, because otherwise it will only amount to about €10.
The family that owns this place is from the north of Portugal. Dona Herminia being form Foz Coa, my mother´s birth place, makes the restaurant have several traits that remind me of my childhood. The wine is from the region, where port wine grapes are cultivated, and the hospitality is typical of the region, as well as the portions of the meals; an example of this is when I used to go to my grandmother´s house for a meal, if she expected 5 people she would make food for 10.
The entrées are typical Portuguese with “Rissóis” (Portuguese empanadas) and “Bola de Carne” a large savoury pie with different meats cut in individual slices. After the entrées, “Dona Herminia”, her husband or their son will ask you what you want and will give you a run through of the specials. My favourites include, “Bacalhau a Braga” fried Cod Fish in a Paprika sauce, served with sliced round chips, this is always available on Sundays for €7 euros. “Arroz de Cabidela”, blood rice with free range chicken. Sounds strange and questionable but if you get over the fact it´s blood and try it, its amazing, it is around €6 for an individual portion. “Cozido a Portuguesa” is also good and as described in other reviews, it’s a selection of boiled meats and vegetables, also €6 for an individual portion. If you feel like fish I would suggest the “pataniscas de bacalhau com arroz de feijão” they are cod fish cakes with bean rice, and are € 4,80 per portion. As you can see for yourself these are unbeatable prices for the quality you are getting.
All the deserts are home made and the chocolate mousse is especially good here for €1,5. In terms of what you should drink, ask for the house red or white depending on what your going to be eating, and remember, drink until your heart is content. Toward the end of your meal, have the necessary coffee and accompany it with the house “Aguardente” (Portuguese “Grappa”, grape fire water), the perfect digestive.
This is one of the places you can go to in the city where you can experience what a meal is like in “trás-os-montes”, the northern region of the Portuguese countryside. Not only will you experience certain flavours from that region but the atmosphere and hospitality you will get from the staff are unique to this particular part of the country, making “Taberna Santo Antonio” a unique portal to that region. Its location is also interesting as it is close to “Passeio das Virtudes” a great area to have a beer or a coffee and enjoy the view of the Douro river. It is also worth noting that close by there exists an old roman park called “jardim das virtudes”. If the weather allows it, a stroll in this park before dinner is a must, it will also help you gain an appetite. During the week the park closes at 17:00 (but you can always jump the fence, its Portugal, you wont get in trouble for it) and on the weekends its closes around 18:30-19:00. Most scientists say teleportation is impossible, “Dona Herminia” only needs a plate.
Address: Rua das Virtudes no.32
Tel: 22205 5306
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 8:00 – 22:30