We were trying to find out what was the best area to eat in Porto until we head to Miragaia. My idea of eating well has nothing to do with fancy restaurants or those areas of the city that are known as “tourist traps”.
Generally, my approach to food is based on how quirky and not more of the same the restaurant is. Sometimes you can’t avoid the hype. But in Miragaia, wow, you are well spoiled with quirky, unpretentious good spots to eat.
It’s true though that we found Backson’s by chance on our way back from the Tram Museum. We wanted to take one of the old trams back to the central part of the city, but it was too packed with guess what?…yeah, tourists.
The restaurant is located down by the river Douro at Miragaia; the most interesting part of Porto, maybe?
Miragaia is filled with hilly backstreets, street arts and lovely cafes, bars and restaurants with worldwide culinary options, of course. The Lonely Planet has a respectful list of the hippest ones, by the way.
I have chosen Backson’s for a simpler reason: they advertised as being nothing like a tourist trap. Good reason, don’t you think?
As soon as we stepped to its entrance, we could check its menu. They offer fine American -style burgers and Portuguese-style mussels.
They also have excellent choices of wine and craft beers. And to be honest, we were ready for substantial food after waking up and down some hilly narrow alleys of Porto that day. Burgers sounded a fantastic idea.
This restaurant has impressive indoor features with stone-brick walls of a typical tavern. The décor matches the rustic vibe. No queues, not many tourists around. Good start.
You can spot the fine selection of Port wines in the back of the place, next to the bar. The music is in the right pace and the service starts with smiles. In such an inviting and cosy ambient like this, you know food can be great as well.
My starter is a glass of Port. I can’t myself. Sorry. Don’t get me wrong. The menu is filled with plenty of eclectic starter options, from buffalo wings to Sicilian mussels but I’m determined to try different types of Port wines before coming back home.
My burger of choice is the mushroom and brie one with shiitake, onion sauteed in cream, lettuce, brie cheese and white sauce. All burgers are served with fries. And the vegetarian version of all burgers is available.
Hubby goes for the Bacon & Cheddar one. House favourite eternal classic – cheddar, bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise.
They’re both fat and juicy burger. Better than the ones I have tried in the United States, to be honest. The fries are crunch and well-seasoned.
Do I need dessert? Probably yes, but I was saving myself for some pastels de nata later. So, I passed and asked for a single espresso instead.
This is a gem of Porto. One of the best places I’ve ever been to. Less than 25 euros for the whole experience. A bargain indeed! And they delivered what promised: it’s way better than any tourist bait in Porto. Don’t hesitate!