Portugal is famous for her sea dishes, especially for sardines, and what could be a better lunch option than having a fresh fish dish at the seaside right after an crazy morning between plane catching, check-in struggles and car renting misunderstandings? For us finding this small , local all-you-can-eat restaurant with fixed sardine menu was the highlight of the day and actually – of all trip as the best local food experience.
Our lunch stop was at – Mar a Vista. This place I came across as best local place recommendations in Trip Advisor. Which actually provided pretty accurate visitor description of the place and the order of the day: ” They bring you grilled sardines, potatoes and salad, then they bring you more sardines, some more potatoes and salad, and than some more sardines and some more sardines, and when you feel like you cannot eat anymore they bring you more sardines…till you stay stop!” ( From our experience – stop was not enough! we had to say “Stop” for 3 times together with “basta,basta!” and some hand gestures to stop bringing as we had already plenty. But boy, I tell you – those were one delicious sardines!
The people made you feel immediately accepted and like home. you really felt liek you are in a family business and the kindness and good vibes were in the air.
As no one was really speaking english than they sent a young guy from kitchen to talk to us and help us out with lunch arrangements and explain things and even got some nice snaps with us as a bonus to a good service.
The place was small with just couple of tables outside with a sea view and some inside.
As we arrived so late ( 4 pm and at about their closure, but they were really nice and had us anyway (maybe because they saw hunger in our eyes), additionally we managed to get a table outside with the peaceful sea view.
The best thing of this lunch and the place was the simplicity – easy, natural and ordinary – just like you would go for a lunch at your aunt’s at seaside. You get some wonderful food experience, which is health (as you are eating only grilled fish with salad and potatoes) and you are obliged to eat plenty (as all relatives always do because you haven’t been eaten enough, obviously, never.)
Nice that the salad was just plane simple – no condiments, just leaves and couple of tomatoes – just the way I like it. Oil separate- for you to add.
” ..and when you cannot eat any more sardines, they bring you more sardines”
One happy face after great lunch to start our Portuguese adventure right!
So if you are visiting Porto, make sure you head to the seaside and stop at Figuire da Foz and this lovely, cozy place called – Vista a Mar to have probably the best sardine experience in whole Portugal.