A Cozinha do Manel is one of the most traditional restaurants in Porto. It’s been open since 1989 and it’s main goal is to put on the table the best dishes of the Portuguese traditional gastronomy. This is a family business and the Mendes are really nice people.
The menu is absolutely scrumptious! You’ll probably eat the best octopus or hake fillets, the most delicious codfish with corn bread or the tastier roasted octopus. If you prefer meat dishes, you won’t want to pass on the roasted veal or the roasted lamb. (Can’t forget to mention that we’re talking about food cooked in a wooden fired oven!) The duck rice is a must and you have to try Porto’s most famous dish: tripe. Don’t make that face! I did…until the day I try it. And I went from a frown to a UAU in no time.
There are a couple of problems about Cozinha do Manel. The entrées. They’re so many and so good that you won’t want to go straight to the main dish. How can you say no to smoked ham thinly sliced or to Pádron peppers. Or even to the traditional “alheira”? Mmmmmm… But hold your horses and get ready for dessert. That’s another delicious problem! As you might have realized by now, having a meal at Cozinha do Manel might take a couple of hours! At this restaurant, drinks are as important as the food, so they have a selection of the best wines to match their food.
A Cozinha do Manel is located a little off Porto’s downtown track, around Campanhã train Station area. It’s on the same street as the Military Museum. The best way to get there is by Metro. You need to get off at “Heroísmo” station. In the same area, there’s another restaurant you might want to visit: Casa Aleixo.