The tascas in Coimbra are one of the most iconic images of the city, and mark the memories of generations of locals, students, and visitors. Although the city has changed, many of them seem to be frozen in time, like all special places. In these taverns, the tradition is served in glasses and on a plate, in a familiar way; and whoever decides to return to those is welcomed as a son back home. Few are the locals and students who do not know Zé Manel dos Ossos, Quim dos Ossos or O Moelas, among others, as they are an integral part of experiencing Coimbra. Accept the challenge and follow All About Portugal on this journey through the history and aromas of the tascas in Coimbra, and don't forget to order the traditional "traçadinho".
A familiar face at the counter and a "traçadinho" in the glass. The history of the Casa Costa tavern is intertwined with its family’s history, with generations linked to Coimbra and, particularly, to students. With traditional dishes and inviting prices, Casa Costa is distinguished by traditional dishes such as the chanfana, the traditional stew or cod with grain. It keeps a branch of laurel at the door, an old tradition that used to serve as decoration above taverns’ doors.
The bifana is undoubtedly one of the references of the Mijacão space, located in the vicinity of Rua da Sofia. With a very own identity and decades of history, many say that the best bifana of Coimbra is served there. If you have the stomach, order the spicy “barba rija” and dare to immerse yourself in a true experience of the senses. Accompany the wine or beer with a sandwich or other treats.
The wide tables invite a lively conversation, as the history of this tasca was (as is still) written by the many students who pass through there. This is a typical space next to the Old Cathedral of Coimbra that invites you to a night with snacks, a fresh drink to accompany and background music. In addition to the varied drinks menu, Moelas is mainly a place of conviviality and socialization, and an integral part of Coimbra’s student night.
In the vicinity of the University of Coimbra and the New Cathedral, O Pintos is one of the inescapable places where you find both students and locals. Very associated with the Pinto family, who took over the space in 1978, it has as one of the brand images the wine served in a cup, along with the "traçadinho", the "abafadinho", the jeropiga and the bagasse.
Quim dos Ossos
The specialty, as the name implies, are the "bones": looks can be deceiving, and the taste has won fans over the years. A dish that is already part of the identity of this tavern, is the most requested by regular or passing customers, who often arrive there due to the popularity of the space. In addition to meat, you can opt for snacks such as small sardines and mackerels, or dishes such as cod with grain.
Zé Manel dos Ossos
If the subject is "bones", there is another space to get to know in Coimbra. On a street perpendicular to Rua da Sota, Zé Manel dos Ossos is the place where stories are told at the table, uniting generations of students and locals for several years now. In addition to its most iconic dish, there is also grilled pork belly and other mouth-watering snacks. In desserts, the "Vomitado" stands out, which, despite its unusual name, is quite tasty.
Its history dates to 1931, remaining as one of the references between the tascas in Coimbra. The freshly roasted chorizo is one of the most tempting snacks for those who pass by, along with snacks such as small sardines, cheese, and wine to accompany. A traditional space that breathes in the environment, appearance, and traces of a typical Portuguese tavern. At the table or at the counter, let yourself be conquered by the flavours and the friendliness.
Toca do Gato
It opened its doors in the 1930s and has since never ceased to receive locals and passing customers. The menu highlights the octopus and other snacks, always well accompanied by a fresh drink. But it doesn’t stop there: whether indoors or on the terrace, enjoy the homemade food that is already part of this tasca's identity. With a family atmosphere, it invites you to have a good conversation and a moment of conviviality.
Taberna do Aires
It is the farthest tasca from the centre of Coimbra, but it is definitely worth a visit. The passage of time was a sign of change: the Taberna do Aires reconfigured its appearance, which is now more modern, and there are some unexpected dishes when we think of taverns like this. Still, it maintains several traditional dishes; and wine and sangria remain the ideal companion at the table.
Although the name includes the word tasca, this space is quite different from the rest, particularly at the menu level. The restaurant is located at the Sapientia Boutique Hotel - Books & Wine, serving mainly tapas and main meals. It’s part of this list, even as the odd one out, as it celebrates the history of the tascas in Coimbra with its name, serving as a tribute to the already extinct "Tasca das Tias Camellas".