Unapologetically Portuguese: Cafe Porto in Liverpool

While on an impromptu road trip to Liverpool hubby and I came across this quirky little place on Rodney Street. Last year we spent a random week in Portugal last year eating until we couldn’t move and consuming our body-weight in wine, so in order to relive the good times we thought we’d check this place out. Spoiler alert: we blooming loved it.

 

Cafe Porto, Liverpool

 

Café Porto is unapologetically Portuguese, down to the mismatched paintwork on the walls and wooden tables and chairs which are so beyond vintage they’re old as heavens. And there’s a twist: The whole place feels like you’re sitting in someone’s house! The café/bistro is plonked into what I presume was the living room of whoever used to live here. It’s kinda funky, really.

 

Cafe Porto, Liverpool

 

Here’s how to work the offerings: the walls have the specials and the menu has the tapas style small plates and some of the tapas you can convert into mains (for a few quid). But because we’re greedy, we wanted tons and tons of tapas. I ain’t even joking. We started with a smoked meatboard with some warm bread, followed by garlic bread, grilled sardines, salty cod fishcakes, marinated chicken and roast veggies and patatas bravas. We totally overestimated the capacity of our bellies because by the end we were stuffed like you wouldn’t believe.

 

Cafe Porto, Liverpool

 

The food comes out when it’s ready and not a minute before, and arrives to the table in dribs and drabs. It’s a very unhurried experience and to be honest, very Portuguese by its very nature. Dinner-rushers beware! You will be forced to enjoy a leisurely dining experience here.

 

Cafe Porto, Liverpool

 

And yeah, the food follows this super relaxed attitude towards dining; it’s almost adorable in its slapdash presentation and mismatch crockery. But the taste, let me tell you, is amazing. Especially the sardines: they’re to die for! Crisp and savoury on the outside and juicy and sweet on the inside. Oh my days.

 

The only dish we weren’t mad crazy about was the patatas bravas, as we thought the tomato sauce could have done with some extra seasoning but the taters themselves were nom, fluffy and crispy at the same time.

 

Cafe Porto, Liverpool

 

Did I mention the wine? Because it needs another mention even if I did. For less than £4 a medium glass and around £16 a bottle (or £3.50 corkage if you want to bring your own) it’s an absolute steal and went down dangerously well.

 

We were so stuffed once we saw the back end of the tapas we simply couldn’t face a pudding, but as we got the bill the man who’d been breaking his poor back hauling all our tapas over popped some sticky sweet chocolate on the table anyway. Bless.

 

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I think to really appreciate this place you need to understand the concept. It’s small, it’s quaint, it’s like dining in someone’s living room rather than a restaurant and the food is deliriously awesome without any poncey presentation. The food comes when it’s ready and can’t (nor should it) be rushed. I remember this from our visit to Lisbon: food is adored and scoffing it seems like a cardinal sin. If you’re in a rush you go hungry until you have time to sit down and really appreciate your dinner. That’s probably why dinners take hours upon hours in the Mediterranean. And why shouldn’t it!


Cafe Porto, Liverpool

 

We’ll definitely be back here. Maybe next week already!

Have you visited Cafe Porto? Tell me all about it!

 

  • Anosa Malanga VA

    Going out and trying different restaurants is always part of my travels. So I will definitely bookmark this and include. Indeed such a nice cafe!

    • Katja Knox

      It’s a little hidden gem. If you didn’t know it was there you might just walk past it. Don’t! Turn back! xx

  • Denay DeGuzman

    What a sweet little restaurant. And that delicious buttered bread – oh my! I enjoy learning about fun restaurant experiences in all parts of the world. And today I had a chance to take a sneak peek into a darling place in Liverpool. It adds to my feelings of wanderlust…

  • Café Porto looks like an absolutely amazing restaurant! The food looks super tasty, and the atmosphere looks so comfy!

  • Muna Kenny

    These photos made me hungry! The place look nice and comfy.

  • Idiot chronicles

    The food seems delicious. More about the interior would have helped

  • I have been examinating out many of your posts and i can state pretty clever stuff.
    I will definitely bookmark your blog.

  • bookmarked!!, I really like your website!

  • stephanie mcalea

    Sounds lovely!