One incandescent day in Porto when the sweltering sun turned the city into an oven, we decided to hunt down a lesser known (off the tourist trail) restaurant legendary for its grilled sardines. It took us over an hour to drag our listless shadows across the simmering tarmac on the Gaia side of the Douro before smoke signals hailed the spot we were looking for.
Lunch was in full swing when we pitched up to the Taberna de S. Pedro. Diners took up all the benches at the front and the hidden garden at the back. Inside was equally packed so there was little else to do but wait. Good things are worth waiting for and time slid by while we observed the family owners at work.
The mum is master at the Taberna de S. Pedro. She barks orders at her small army of teenage helpers, prepares the tasty looking seafood skewers, salts the sardines and occasionally chucks the broken ones into the street where eager seagulls would swoop down to devour them.
By the time we got a table inside, the lunch rush was over and we could enjoy our meal in a more relaxed way. The sardines were delicious! Fresh and juicy with that gratifying charcoal grill taste and accompanied with a perfectly dressed salad. The seafood skewer of prawns and squid was a bit overdone for Hiro's Japanese taste but still very good.
Feeling like we've got good value for our money always imbues a feeling of satisfaction to the end of a meal and Taberna de S. Pedro was easy on the wallet. A plate of 6 sardines cost €10 and a jug of chilled white wine €3.
We would go back in a heartbeat and would recommend it to anyone who likes simple, good fish.
How to find Taberna de S. Pedro:
Not the easiest place to find and unless you like walking you may wish to get a taxi. It's basically in a residential street at the furthest end of Gaia, where the river meets the sea.
Vila Nova de Gaia. Portugal