A few months ago, I told you why you should spend more time in Aveiro and why it’s not just moliceiro boats and ovos moles. But today I’ll stop at something that you’ve been asking me a lot lately, where to eat in Aveiro and its region?
With the amazing landscapes of the Ria de Aveiro, where the rice and oysters grow, a fish market that is a touristic attraction on itself and the luxury of the wild Atlantic ocean at its coast, you can imagine that it is a great spot to eat great portuguese food. So no excuses to eat fast food. Ignore the options at the shopping mall and taste true portuguese flavors at the local spots.
These are my top recommendations in the region, which is way worth exploring a bit more, and in the city.
where to eat at aveiro city
As I told you before, there is a big offer of restaurants and cafes in Aveiro where you can eat, from seafood dishes to “tripas” (some sort of creppe with sweet fillings), but for those looking for a nice place to enjoy Portuguese food, we had a great time and amazing food at:
1.- O Bairro, at one side of the Fish market, this small corner of Aveiro has a great atmosphere, traditional dishes with a modern twist like the fish soup on a gin-tonic glass, which is top, and the fish rice (picture below, even if it doesn’t look like it).
You will find here locals and tourists looking for something different with the best flavors of the region. Plus, if you are into original and unique spots, it has a nice storytelling. It is not the most expensive spot on the list but it has an average spend of 30€/person with wine
Booking in advance is recommended, but you might be lucky to find a spot during low season. It is not available at international booking sites, but you have a booking for at their website. en su web
2.- Salpoente, an international best known for foodies in Aveiro. Located at some old salt warehouses (sorry, don’t have pictures of it), it has a traditional menu dedicated to cod fish (bacalhau) and some new takes on it. It truly is a place to visit, even if it might be the most expensive on the list.
Booking is almost mandatory (specially at summer season, local bank holidays and Spanish bank holidays) but you can book it in English at The Fork El Tenedor.
3.- Armazem da Alfándega, at Largo do Rossio, is a quirky place with kitchen on sight and youg people working with local products to give a twist to old-time recipes. They have a daily menu (lunch, mon. to fri.) served in old style lunch boxes that is well worth eating.
The price of the daily menu is affordable and they have a locally brewed beer made with salicornia (a plant that grows in the salt marshes and that gives a salty flavour without the cons of eating salt). Plus, if you are into urban arts, their walls have some incredible graffiti. And they do have some vegan and vegetarian dishes.
You don’t need to book in advance on average, but you might have to wait a bit as the place is small and popular.
4.- Restaurante Quatro Nos, at Cais dos Botirões, two steps away from the Fish Market too, but with nice views over the canal. It is the most “traditional” of the list, but we had some great grilled meat and amazing clams in garlic and olive oil sauce (the ones below).
5.- Porta 36, opposite O Bairro (accross the Mercado do Peixe) has a more fashionable black and white design and an international twist that they apply to great local product. The Pao de Ló de Ovar dessert, the grilled oysters and the wines are highly recommended.
I would book if I was you (specially at dinner and during high season). Booking is not available online, but you can try at their facebook site (link above at their name)
6.- Ostraveiro. This last option is not a restaurant but it is one of my latest discoveries and is way worth the visit. It is an oyster nursery (in real production and some great views) right behind the Aveiro saltworks.
To get there, you need to cross the water channels by boat (you just need to call them and they pick you up). They tour you around the place, so you can learn how they grow the oysters and why they are some of the best oysters you can eat in Europe (most of the oysters you eat in France come from Aveiro), and at the end, you get to taste them fresh and grilled.
It is a beautiful place and you can even eat a proper meal there. Choose while booking what suits you best at their website.
So yes, if you are looking for the best spots to eat in Aveiro, where to take you parents or a friend, now you know. And if you dare to explore more, here are some amazing restaurantes near Aveiro that are worth checking out:
…and where to eat near aveiro and its ria
7.- Traditional sea food at Costa Nova: A Canastra do Fidalgo
As I told you at my post on what to do in Aveiro, one of the must-dos here is going to the beach at Barra and Costa Nova. And adding to the famous lighthouse and the shiny houses in stripes, you can enjoy some amazing seafood and fish at A Canastra do Fidalgo.
Enjoy some grilled fished, fried eels,… and save some room for dessert with the famous “pastel de bolacha”
Remember to book at their website https://canastradofidalgo.pt/ to avoid the queues and save a seat at their outside terrace in summer.
8. Portuguese revamped: Vista Alegre hotel’s restaurant at Vista Alegre complex near Ílhavo
Eating at a hotel might not be on the list for many travelers, but this is not a regular hotel and this is not any regular restaurant. We had a wonderful dinner with one of the best Bacalhau à Bras I’ve had (if not the best one) in my life. The “ovos moles” strudel with ice cream was also superb.
As it should be, both cutlery and tableware are from the worldwide known portuguese brand Vista Alegre and each dish comes on a different design, which they also introduce you to it.
Booking is mandatory and it is only available by phone or email, more info and menu at their site.
9. Fishermen’s recipes in Ílhavo: O Navegante
We arrived at O Navegante almost by mistake and it had a mix of local workers and businessmen. It has the look of a local bar but with a complete menu including seafood, fish and meat. Most people was having grilled fish and fish stews, but we went for the dish of the day, a really good “arroz de pato”.
It can be booked online at El Tenedor.
10.- European style with the best portuguese ingredients: Olive en Vagos
You probably never heard of Vagos before (I hadn’t) but this town, only 12 km away from Aveiro city, has some interesting things to add to your route: traditions like the xavega (a fishing style that is unique to the beach of Vagueira) the Museum of Playing (museu do Brincar), the lookouts over the ria or the pilgrimmage to Nossa Senhora de Vagos.
And, regarding food, the Olive is also an interesting spot to visit. A modern restaurant with nice food and wines with a focus on mediterranean food but also an amazing cod fish slow cooked with 100% olives of controled production,
As many of this list, booking is recommended but you’ll need to call them. Phone is +351 911 047 723
11.- River and mountain food at Sever do Vouga
Driving through the winding road (killing but beautiful) that connects Aveiro with Sever do Vouga is worth for several reasons: the have the most important blueberry production in all Europe (here they are called mirtilos), a beautiful hiking route along the old train tracks and some amazing spots for active tourism (including canyoing, kayaking and so).
But regarding food, here you will find some different tastes that mix the traditions of river and mountain sides, many of which only open during the high season or by booking in advance. You have 2 really good options here I truly recommend:
Quinta do Barco, with views over the river beach at Sever do Vouga, where you can taste the lamprey (lamprea á bordalesa), frango á padeiro (chicken stewed with the potatoes inside a big bread bun), breaded octopus or Açorda de Sável (no translation for this sort of stew with bread and fish roe and coriander). Booking is mandatory if you are looking for an specific dish as lamprey or a stew, only available by phone at +351 234556246.
Cantinho da Eira (Couto de Baixo), has some great tastes from their wood oven, such as their vitela assada with potatoes and rice. It has just a few tables and can only be visited if you booked in advance (they don’t open unless there is a booking). You can do it calling +351 966607753
Extra: where to eat Pao de Ló de Ovar, in Ovar
I have already recommended a place above where they serve this traditional and tasty dessert in Aveiro, but I would add a short trip to explore Ovar and taste the original thing at Degustar Pao de Ló de Flor de Liz. They cooke them themselves daily and you can either buy your own (they have different sizes) or taste it at their nice cafe with views over the river. Be prepared to lick the spoon (and the wrapping paper).
And if you are one of those into new tastes, they also cooke some with chocolate and with Porto wine, but you’ll have to make an order, they don’t usually have them in store.
Any good spot missing? If you want me to ckeck another spot or there is somethign you would add, let me know in the comments.