Rival cities in football, Braga and Guimarães have a lot to enjoy, so it's useful to know the most popular places to eat. Between discovering its historic centers, visiting its monuments or attending its cultural venues or a football match, there are a lot of reasons to visit two of the most important cities in Minho. Gastronomic tourism itself is a good reason to justify a more or less time-consuming trip to this region located in the north of Portugal. All About Portugal has prepared a list of the best places to eat in Braga and Guimarães. There are options for different tastes, budgets and environments, from traditional food to more elaborate dishes.
Not even the fact that it is relatively far from the city center overshadows the quality and flavor of the dishes served in this traditional Portuguese cuisine restaurant, which has its own production of Bísaro pork, certified meats and fresh fish from the sea. The food reminiscent of flavors from yesteryear and the friendliness of the service are two distinguishing factors. Some of the specialties are Braga-style codfish, Minho-style rojões (pork) and Padeiro-style roast kid. Desserts are homemade and, among other appetizing suggestions, there is the famous Abade de Priscos pudding or Claudinos de ovo moles, both with the eggs as main ingredient. The wine cellar offers a wide range of wines, which will allow you to perfectly accompany each dish, a characteristic that also contributes to making it one of the best places to eat in the Minho capital.
Cabana do Leão, Braga
They say one of the secrets is in the sauce. Barbecue chicken is the specialty of this small grill restaurant, located in front of the renovated Mercado Municipal de Braga, whose room, sometimes, is not enough for the demand. The chicken, which stands out for its flavor, is the most popular dish, and goes with delicious fries, duly supported by the ribs and the criollo chorizo (sausage). Also, very popular are the cabana-style steaks or the barbecue steaks. Friendliness is another of the hallmarks of this house, which on the weekend tends to have a queue for take-away chicken. If you think of visiting, we advise you to make a reservation. It is one of the most sought after grills by locals and a welcoming place where eating well is already a tradition.
DeGema - Hamburgueria Artesanal, Braga
Their handcrafted hamburgers are finger-licking, and you'll be crying for more. Currently, they already exist in several cities in the North of Portugal, but we chose the hamburger place where it all began, where some tables allow you to see one of the most visited places in Braga, the iconic Santa Bárbara Garden. In addition to the distinctive flavor, the hamburgers are distinguished by their designations inspired by typical Braga expressions such as “Mais belho que a Sé” (older than the cathedral), “Tou barado” (I'm amazed), “Penico do Céu” (Sky's Potty) or “Os Três Pês” (Three P's). The French fries are a must and can be sliced or on sticks and, preferably, with oregano. There are also several hamburger options for vegetarians and, to end the meal perfectly, we suggest you try the artisanal ice creams made by their master ice cream makers.
Tia Isabel, Braga
Tasty food, calm and relaxed atmosphere where it is possible to have a good conversation while enjoying the meal, comfort and an efficient and friendly service are some “ingredients” that make Tia Isabel one of the best restaurants to eat in Braga. The regional gastronomy stands out and the vitela do bico da pá (vellum) or the goatling, both roasted in the oven, or stuffed cod Braga-style or the breaded octopus are some of the specialties. Another very popular dish is grilled shrimp with shrimp fried rice. The list of desserts is vast and difficult to choose. We recommend the caramel or chocolate petit gâteau, as well as the canillas covered with creamy milk with ice cream and red fruits.
Velhos Tempos Taberna, Braga
The motto of this picturesque restaurant, located close to Carmo Church, is to serve rural cuisine for urban people, and it usually meets the high expectations. Living up to the name (in translation: Old Times), on the walls and in some corners, there are antiques that are authentic treasures that refer to ancient times. Cod with cream, sea bass rice, octopus with cornbread, duck rice with pine nuts, black pork with clams and veal steak are some of the suggestions on the menu, where friendly smiling “emojis” indicate the estimated time each dish takes to prepare. To sweeten the stomach, there are suggestions such as crème brûlée or chocolate mousse, in a place where service and prices are friendly.
A Cozinha por António Loureiro, Guimarães
World Heritage since 2001, the Historic Center of Guimarães “hides” several treasures. One of them is this restaurant, located in Largo do Serralho, which stands out for combining tradition and innovation with sustainability. Living up to the saying “eat with your eyes”, the dishes served at A Cozinha stand out for their color and careful presentation. Try one of the tasting menus, where local products stand out, and you won't be disappointed. There is, for example, mackerel, cod or lamb and the desserts are also quite appealing. Chef António Loureiro’s restaurant opened in 2016 and, between 2019 and 2023, won several distinctions, with emphasis on the attribution of a Michelin star in each of those years. The prices are not within the reach of all wallets, but those who can will certainly enjoy a remarkable experience.
Traditional Portuguese cuisine is the main character in this restaurant located in Largo da Oliveira. The menu is vast and varied. There are Portuguese-style tripe, Trás-os-Montes style steak, grilled ribs, grilled sea bass loin, octopus lagareiro-style or the much appreciated codfish. By reservation, for groups of at least eight people, there are iconic dishes of traditional cuisine such as cabidela rice (with chicken blood), rojões à Minhota (pork) or Portuguese stew. The dessert list is vast and includes delicacies such as crème brûlée, made with organic eggs, apple and cinnamon pie or chocolate cake. The space is cozy, has a terrace and the service is friendly and attentive.
Freshness, flavor and color are some of the hallmarks of the Hotel da Oliveira restaurant, located in the heart of the cradle city, which is characterized by Mediterranean-influenced, multisensory and creative cuisine. The ingredients are fresh and carefully crafted, resulting in appealing compositions. You can opt for the tasting menus or the à la carte menu. The options are many and varied, both fish and meat. For fish, we suggest half-cured cod & caviar or fish rice and prawns, while for meat, pigeon & apple or matured veal & morilles are good choices. For dessert, try the Torta de Guimarães or the Toucinho do Céu & Citrinos, both using eggs as main ingredient. Hool has a historic room and a terrace, which offers privileged views over one of the most beautiful squares in the city.
Monte dos Leitões, Guimarães
There are many people who go to Mealhada to taste their favorite dish. This restaurant is proof that even in the north of the country it is possible to serve a good Bísaro suckling pig roasted Bairrada style in eucalyptus wood ovens, accompanied by the traditional french fries. If suckling pig is the house's much appreciated specialty, there are also a lot of meat options, such as beef or pork barbecue, or fish, such as cod Zé do Pipo style or octopus lagareiro style, among other suggestions. To end the meal on a sweet note, we suggest you try the doce de formigas or the chocolate cake. The restaurant has capacity for 300 people and the atmosphere is simple and familiar. If you're in Minho, this restaurant is among the best places to eat suckling pig in northern Portugal.
Café Oriental, Guimarães
It is in Largo do Toural, the main square of Guimarães, that this restaurant serves traditional Portuguese cuisine, offering an à la carte service as well as a buffet lunch. It is a place to consider when it comes to choosing where to eat in the Minho city. The menu is vast and the hard part is choosing between so many options. If you fancy meat, there is, for example, roast beef for two, grilled kid or barbecue loin beef. If you prefer fish, among other suggestions, you can opt for monkfish rice, cod, octopus or cataplana shrimp or monkfish. The list of desserts is equally long and includes apple and cinnamon pie, coffee semifreddo or red fruit cheesecake. In addition to the tasty food, the service is attentive and the decor combines modern and classic styles, with emphasis on the plaster ceiling in the dining room.