How to Visit Porto Like Anthony Bourdain
Porto is one of the few cities in western Europe that feels completely untapped.
It’s a place where, Anthony Bourdain believes, everything old is new again.
Located in northern Portugal, Porto is often neglected in favor of the country’s southern capital of Lisbon. However, it’s a place where travelers can step back in time with a barrage of pork, cheese, and of course a few glasses of Port.
The historic neighborhood of Oporto is home to some of the city’s finest architecture, including Portugal’s iconic tiled buildings. Hidden within the city is one of the world’s most photogenic bookstores, the Livraria Lello, renowned for its gothic style architecture.
Extending north from Porto is the Duoro Valley, a paradise for lovers of Port wine and fine cheeses. In an episode of Parts Unknown, Bourdain sat down to a sampling in a wine cellar, exclaiming that one cheese “smells like a dirty foot, tastes like heaven.” True Port can only ever come from this part of the world — the rest are all just fortified wines.
Visitors to Porto can also indulge in a variety of seafood (Bourdain tries lamprey), or gain appreciation for the Portuguese custom of using every part of an animal. (Bourdain witnesses a pig being killed for dinner later.)
Visit a fado show to experience saudade, a Portuguese word that means something along the lines of a nostalgia or deep longing for something long gone. It’s a feeling that Bourdain says permeates through much of Porto — at least until the residents have had a few glasses of Port.