When I visit anywhere, I always try to see if there is a local market. I love walking around seeing fresh produce, what’s in season, and what the locals are eating. Some places are better than others – the Boqueria in Barcelona has an abundance of stalls, and is great fun, but very busy. Whilst in Sofia, Bulgaria, the market was sparse!
The Mercado do Bolhão dates from 1850 and is a little bit run down and ramshackle, but this makes it charming. Like Porto itself, although much of the city is being regenerated and it’s definitely smartening up. So I wonder how long until the market is refurbished.
The stalls mainly sell seafood, meat, cheese, fruit & vegetables and wine. There are several cute cafes where you can get a decent lunch with super-fresh seafood and wine, surrounded by locals. It’s not the biggest market, and at first I was a bit underwhelmed, but by the end I liked that it wasn’t so frantic. We drank vinho verde and ate bacalhau (cod) tapas in the sun for the grand sum of €4. You wouldn’t get that in London!!