Travel: Afurada, Portugal

I recently went to Porto for a weekend (already written up my city centre highlights here) but thought Afurada deserved a post all of its own. It’s a total seafood lovers dream and I was charmed by its beautiful streets, friendly locals and simple cooking.

A short boat ride across the river (for a little over a euro) from just past the Douro bridge and you find yourself in Afurada. The village is quaint, as colourful as Porto and the best bit: filled with some of the best seafood I have ever eaten.

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It’s worth strolling through the streets just to get a feel for the place, and see the Portuguese grandmas out the front of their house grilling their fish on a small bbq. Along the more popular streets are rows of bbq’s grilling up the catch of the day.

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We took a seat down at Taberna do sao Pedro, being enticed by the huge squid skewers on the grill. Don’t expect amazing service (it’s not what you come here for) but beautiful barbequed seafood served in spades. The fish you order is served alongside a simple salad, boiled potatoes and bread. You don’t need anything more when the food is like this.

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We ordered the sardines which were absolutely incredible. Crispy and covered in flakes of sea salt I would go as far to say it was the BEST FISH I HAVE EVER HAD (a big claim for a Gills Gal). We also ordered a skewer of squid, prawns and peppers which not only looked the part but tasted divine.¬†You just can’t beat simple cooking like this and I will definitely be trying to get my hands on some sardines this summer – they just don’t get the same love in the UK and this needs to be changed!

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It was a proper pinch yourself lunch; in a beautiful setting eating amazing produce and with a mind full of ideas of how to recreate it back in the UK! Watch this space for a sardines recipe soon…

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