My fascination with markets takes me to food hot spots wherever I go so when I visited Porto, I had to stop by the Mercado do Bolhão. I woke up ridiculously early to intrude on farmers and sellers setting up their stalls and exchanging gossip. While they were getting ready to start the day, I got to observe and stuff my face with pastries.
If you imagine Bolhão to be a bit like Barcelona’s La Boqueria as I did, dream no more – it’s not that fancy. It’s a little run down. It’s not been prettied up for tourists. But that’s a good thing. It’s run by locals and locals shop there so you can buy a beautiful tea towel in the iconic white and blue or a pastel de nata for a euro. You will find locals coming to Bolhão to get their groceries, chat to the sellers, catch up with neighbours. It’s one of those small town things that give the place its character.
And you can find all sorts of things there. Fruit and veg, fresh fish, meat, bits and bobs for your home – and my beloved pasteis de nata. There’re some spots where you can have lunch or try wine. It’s got it all. To me, Mercado do Bolhão is one of those unique ‘true Porto’ experiences.
Where: Rua Formosa 322
Opening times: Monday to Friday from 7am until 5pm, and until 1pm on Saturdays.