What I Ate Wednesday – Portuguese Tapas in Vila Nova da Gaia, Portugal

You have probably noticed that eating well in Portugal is not a difficult task. It’s though its cuisine that is also the best way to understand the cultural and social aspects of this fascinating country.

There are many lovely cafes and outstanding restaurants in Porto, that sometimes it’s easy to lose track of where to find the best “pastel de nata” or a popular “francesinha”.


But because we were actually staying in Miramar, a seaside village located only 20 minutes far from Porto itself, I thought about embracing the relaxing vibe of eating by the ocean, visiting “esplanadas” (cafes) and the restaurants at the beaches nearby us.


We have started with a visit to Boteko DiMare, a Tapas and Petiscos (snacks) located in the Francelo’s beach.The idea was visiting another restaurant in the same area,  but I guess we ended up following where there were caipirinhas too.


The place was empty when we arrived. It’s winter, I get it. But it was good to have options of where to seat so easily anyway. The décor doesn’t remind anything beachy and summery. It looks more like a cosy tavern. And it’s not bad at all. It’s cosy.


It was early for caipirinhas? Yes, probably. But those are things we do when we are on holidays and the Portuguese weather has been so kind to us. Yes, there was sunshine in the winter in Portugal.


Without asking, we were served a plate with olives, cheese and some feel snacks that they call “Chef’s starter”, together with a basket of bread.

The bread was great, but the “entradinha do chefe” seemed a bit overpriced for its content, to be honest. And I would prefer to be informed first that about those 6 euros appetisers.


Next, the tapas. Yes, in the UK we know exactly how it works. Small portions that we can share and try different tastes and textures. In this restaurant, there were so many options that I felt a bit lost. Not in taste, but in the size of the portions.

The portions were huge. They could feed at least more four people. But it was just Rob and I, and being a vegetarian didn’t help, but I didn’t want to be limited to the salad menu.

So, I asked for the cod. Yes, the famous Portuguese bacalhau, that was part of my childhood memories, of course. No. I am not that kind of hypocritical vegetarian that say wouldn’t never out meat in the mouth again.


The fish is resourced locally in those places. And to be honest, trying cod again made me realised I really don’t miss fish or any kind of meat in my life.

Our Punheta de Bacalhau was served with olives and onions. It is served raw, like a ceviche. Not my kind of thing. Now I know. But it was good.


We also asked some chicken wings, and a (huge, of course) portion of duck with an “al dente” broccoli to die for. Those broccolis were delicious. Seriously. That is not just the vegetarian on me speaking. I wish there were more broccolis that duck on that meal. But my husband loved the duck though. I just don’t remember how this dish is called. I am sorry about that.


Are you ready for another portion to die for? Here we go: Ameijoa a Bolhao Pato. This is another popular Portuguese dish that is really appreciated by the sea. It’s a traditional meal from Lisbon. It consists in mussels prepared with the outstanding Portuguese olive oil, garlic, and cilantro. Delicious? Yes, indeed.


I am not going to lie. I have tried the mussels and enjoyed it. Typical summer dish that fitted well in the warm winter in Miramar as well. I would recommend this to anyone visiting any part of Portugal.


And yes, we also had (many) chips and some Pimientos Padron – a kind of green peppers made with some sea salt and olive oil, of course. It is actually a Spanish dish, and I really enjoyed.

Food at Boteko Dimare was good in overall. I really enjoyed my journey though the Portuguese and Spanish tapas, but the portions were huge, and we ended up having some doggy bags. Dinner were guaranteed for that night. Hey!


Our waitress was very friendly, and she recommended us to take our time, enjoying the whole experience. There was no space left for desserts, of course. And I was very glad to have a 30 minutes walking along the beach, before reaching our apartment back in Miramar.


So, now you know. Portuguese tapas by the beach takes the whole petiscos experience to another level.


Simone Ribeiro
Hi! I'm Simone, a citizen of Britain, where I live for over a decade, and of Brazil, where I was born. Midlands Traveller is where I combine my passion for travelling, business and an Eco-friendly lifestyle.

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