There are dozens of small shops and supermarkets in Porto. Knowing which one is the biggest and which one is the most affordable can be helpful. Different brands have different stocks, but sometimes there will be specific foods that you can’t get anywhere else than either specialized shops or markets. So we put together this short overview of supermarkets, specialized shops, and markets in Porto so that your few months living in Porto is as hustle free as possible.
Supermarkets in Porto
The most popular supermarkets in Porto are Continente and Pingo Doce. Continente has many branches all over Porto, from smaller corner shops to supermarkets outside of the city. The larger ones often stock all kinds of foods from all over the world and fresh meats and fish sold at special butcher counters. However, most of it isn’t locally sourced.
In addition to the same variety of stock Continente has, Pingo Doce also offers electrical appliances, clothes, and more in their larger branches. There are also supermarkets that you might know from other countries like Lidl or Spar. These are usually similar to their foreign counterparts though they do still stock country-specific foods.
Lidl is generally considered the least expensive option among the supermarkets in general. The last word needs to be given to the hypermarkets, the most famous of which are Jumbo hypermarkets. Because of their size, these stores have just about anything you could think of. They are also the cheapest option for shopping you can find, offering lowered prices and significant discounts. But they are a bit out of the way, which makes them reasonably impractical without a car, so they aren’t the best option for everyone.
Shops for traditional foods in Porto
Large chains often miss region-specific and traditional foods of the country they are in and other cultures. Luckily, Porto has many shops that specialize in conventional foods. There’s the Casa Chinesa; A Favorita do Bolhão that specializes in Portuguese food, Comer e Chorar Por Mais which, next to having traditional Portuguese foods, also serves the regionally beloved Tapas and many more. Exploring these small shops is a must for any foodie out there.
Markets in Porto
Fresh food, especially fish and meats, can be challenging to find in larger chain stores, so Portugal loves markets. The most famous among them, the Bolhão Market, is a fantastic place to go. You will find stalls with just about any locally produced food you can think of. And when you’re tired of buying, you can have a rest in one of the ground level cafés.
The next market to recommend is the Mercado Municipal de Matosinhos. Situated near the port, the freshest seafood in the city is on offer since it is brought straight from the fishermen who returned that day. The best and most varied seafood is sold right here and for reasonable prices too.
Mercado Beira-Rio de Vila Nova de Gaia is a bit different from the previous entries. Rather than selling ingredients, you can come here to taste local cuisine and wine. Only a few places in Porto will have such a density of traditional dishes as this market does. If you are crazy about food or love new experiences and tastes, don’t miss out.