Ponte de Lima is one of the oldest
Here you’ll be greeted with a broad smile and a full “malga.” Yes, around here the wine — red-green, by obligation — is served in small old bowls called “malgas.” For the wine to breathe and for smoother sips.
But don’t be shy about the options. There are other varieties of drinks as well as dishes full of tasty bites so that you can line your stomach and have the strength to continue this round in the local taverns.
In every corner of Ponte de Lima, there seems to be such an establishment, but these three are the most classic, the oldest, and the ones that never seem to fail.
Tasca das Fodinhas
Yes, the name is kind of dirty Portuguese slang. But, according to the owner, Dona Márcia, it’s all on the head of each one’s reading the menu.
Tasca das Fodinhas has gained national recognition, as you can see by the walls full of portraits with famous Portuguese celebrities.
The menu is a long list of suggestive (sexual) names that leave a lot of room for imagination.
And everything is accompanied by a “little slut” of wine, that is a smaller bowl filled with local wine.
Dona Márcia is often at the stove but doesn’t shy away from talking and, if given the opportunity, proudly tell that she has even been on television.
A must-see place that has already become a visiting card of the village.
Tavern 27 is at number 91, so don’t be surprised. It’s just a few meters from Tasca das Fodinhas.
Local people confirm that this is one of the oldest taverns of Ponte de Lima and when we enter we realize that tradition still lives here.
The wine is king and lord of the 27, and that can also be seen in the walls, full of sentences about the most popular beverage in town.
Taberna 27 has passed from generation to generation, always in the same family, and today couple John and Adelia Dantas are the ones that put order on the counter and in the kitchen.
Pull up one of the wooden stools and be enchanted by this genuine Portuguese tavern.
Mariazinha or Gasparinho… the confusion is justified because both names appear on the sign. But let me explain. Mr. Gaspar was the former owner of this tavern on Arrabalde Street and remained there until he was 90 years old.
But what about Mariazinha?… The truth is that when we enter a place like this, we think that we’ll find an older man managing the business. But, what was my surprise when I saw a young Limarense woman behind the counter.
Maria Mota took over in 2013 and instills in her the dynamism typical of young people. The tradition is all here: the wooden tables and benches, the cod frying on the stove, and the wine also served in the “malga.” Not to mention the Portuguese stew, on specific days, which overflows from the platter served at lunchtime.
Walking for the first time through the streets of Ponte de Lima and crossing these establishments is something unique. Simplicity reigns, but so does the knowledge of many of the local men and women. Despite the hustle and bustle of tourists, local people never fail to stop here and exchange some conversation in the company of the good northern wine.
What about you? Have you ever been to Ponte de Lima? What did you like the most? Share your opinion about this article in the comments box below and if you have more tips about northern Portugal, some unmissable land, leave it there too!