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Where to buy ethnic and international food in Porto?
Porto is still not a very multicultural city, however, you can find food for all tastes. There’s no need to catch an airplane to buy that special ingredient that’s missing to complete an international or ethnic dinner. Here is a list of some of the best places to find, try and buy ingredients from several places in the world.
Don’t mistake Supermercado Chen for a Chinese thrift store. This small market is a real sanctuary for all of those who are fascinated with unknown ingredients. Here, you can find Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Thai ingredients, at least. The shelves are stocked with 101 ingredients to make sushi (except fresh fish), collections of dried and preserved mushrooms, spices, algae, sauces, teas, Asian beer, sake, and even shark meatballs (?). The frozen products are inviting if you’re feeling lazy: just think about hot rolls, spring rolls, Chinese crepes, dumplings, sesame balls, and the likes. An who said pasta is only Italian? You won’t say it after seeing the impressive range of Asian pasta. There is also a fridge reserved for fresh produce, such as vegetables, fresh noodles and meat. The hardest thing is not buying the whole store.
Address: Praça da Républica nº 103, Porto Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9:30-20h / Sun: Closed Contact: +351 222 087 718
Eastern European cuisine
This small supermarket stocks up on several national specialties from the Balkanic and Baltic regions. If you want to capture the real essence of Eastern European cuisine, here you’ll find an endless range of seasonings, but also basic ingredients such as fresh and preserved vegetables, smoked meats, rice, buckwheat, and more. The offer in dried and smoked fish, such as mackerel, herring and anchovies, is worth alone a visit to the store. For those of you who love dairy, there are great options in kefir and fresh cheese at an affordable price. The selection of snacks (let’s make a call out for sunflower seeds) either packaged or frozen is plentiful, as well as the range of cookies and sweets. Vodka is abundant, but there are many other drinks to try out, especially beer. And to side with your beer, forget lupine (it’s a Portuguese thing) or peanuts, take some small salted fish or caviar flavored croutons.
Address: Avenida dos Heróis e Mártires da Guerra da Angola nº 49, Porto Opening hours: Mon - Sun: 10-21h Contact: +351 220 145 267
Middle Eastern cuisine
This butcher’s shop is located in downtown Porto and sells meat that respects the requisites of Halal. The Arab word Halal means “permissible”, and is a vital part of Muslim culture and religion. When concerning meat, it is essential that the animal’s throat is slit and the carcass is bled out completely. Here you will find chicken, turkey, lamb and cow’s meat that is slaughtered according to this principle. You may also find a variety of typical product from the Middle East, such as dates, coffee, grains, sweets, and couscous.
Address: Rua do Cativo nº 76, Porto Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10:30-21h / Sat - Sun: Closed Contact: +351 222 009 919
Have you been to India? If not, you’ll certainly feel closer. This establishment is run by Indian natives, who will advise you wisely about the best products and the right way to use them. The stock in teas and spices is like no other. You needn’t look any further if you want to find some elusive spices, such as caraway, fenugreek, Sichuan pepper of curry leaves. The variety of curry mixes is indeed impressive, you’ll find over 10 varieties that comprise everything from Garam Masala curry to Madras curry. There is also a good selection of grains, such as basmati rice, chickpea and lentils. And let’s not forget about the Indian snacks and naan bread. All of these products are also available for purchase online.
Address: Rua Miguel Bombarda nº 321, Porto Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10-19h / Sat: 10:19:30h / Sun: Closed Contact: +351 220 930 872 http://www.flordacafrao.com
Eastern European cuisine
As the name gives away, here is another store that specializes in Eastern European products. In this small space, you can’t help but feel immersed in the culture of the Baltic and Balkanic region. The thing is unless you understand the language (or, at least, German) it will be hard to understand the labels. The variety of products is vast and comprehends everything from smoked meats and fish, local alcoholic beverages, vegetable preserves, cookies, grains and tinned meat. The selection of cheese and yogurt is great, as well as the snacks and frozen products.
Address: Rua do Dr. Ricardo Jorge nº 43, Porto Opening Hours: Mon - Sat: 9-20h / Sun: 9-19h
American and International cuisine
Here’s a new one for Porto. The very popular store Glood has conquered many a spot in Lisbon, and has now opened its first store in Porto. When entering, you’re baffled by food from all over the world, but we wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t mention that American food is especially featured. Although to us American food is not exactly considered ethnic by most of us, here you can find several staple foods of the American culture, that in some way will make you smile due to their familiarity. Highlight goes to the beef jerky, maple syrup, dried fruits, peanut butter, and the Quakers oatmeal and granola bars. Don’t forget the classics: Dr. Pepper soda, Campbell’s tomato soup, macaroni and cheese, Heinz sauces, Hershey’s chocolate, and bucketloads of candy. Other than food, you can also buy plus sized detergents and products for the home. But there’s more! You can bring home the delights of Brasil, such as manioc and peanut candy, to spices of central Asia and the Middle East, the old staples of Brisith cuisine (even frozen steak and kidney pies), German fermented foods, imported beers and much much more.
Address: Rua de Oliveira Monteiro nº198, Porto Opening Hours: Mon - Sat: 10-20h / Holidays: 10-19h / Sun: Closed Contact: +351 222 081 939 http://glood.pt