Mercado Beira-Rio

Flavours, tradition and culture

\\ Text Maria Amélia Pires
\\ Photography ©Miguel Oliveira

Following detailed renovation works, the Mercado Beira-Rio, on the riverfront in Vila Nova de Gaia, has reopened to the public, not only with modernised and more appealing facilities, but also with a renewed concept, which has retained the establishments that were there, while adding others, which contribute to boosting the city. The new space of around 1000 sqm, which has been run by the company Fachada Oceânica for the last 30 years, as adjudicated by Vila Nova de Gaia City Council, is an attraction for the local community and tourists, since the sale of fresh produce – an activity that has taken place here for 80 years –, has been joined by restaurant areas and a dynamic cultural calendar. Also considering the surrounding region, the Mercado Beira-Rio makes for a great starting point for memorable tourist experiences.

The Mercado Beira-Rio combines contemporary gastronomy with the sale of fresh produce and cultural and tourism experiences.

Housed in an iconic building located on the waterfront of Vila Nova de Gaia, overlooking the River Douro, the Mercado Beira-Rio reopens its doors with a new concept that combines contemporary gastronomy with the sale of fresh produce and with cultural and tourism experiences. Pre-existing establishments – such as fruit, vegetable and meat stalls, and the typical cafes and arts and crafts shops – have been retained. But, their spaces have been modernised, and they now rub shoulders with modern restaurants, wine and beer bars and shops selling traditional confectionery. These will also now bear witness to cultural activities taking place, such as live music, art exhibitions, poetry recitals and seasonal themed events that will be held throughout the year and which will represent an asset for increasing trade.

Within the market’s more than 1000-sqm area, which will stay open for longer hours and generate close to one hundred new jobs, there are 47 commercial spaces, offering seating for 178 inside and 344 outdoors. Among the establishments are new gastronomic spaces that favour Portuguese cuisine. Visitors can enjoy succulent suckling pig at O Forno do Leitão do Zé restaurant, cod prepared by chef Manuel de Almeida in the Bacalhau do Porto restaurant, or the magnificent national cheese and cured meat boards from Queijaria Portuguesa, and more. 

Within the market's more than 1000-sqm area, there are 47 commercial spaces, offering seating for 178 inside and 344 outdoors.

These are joined, among others, by petiscos with Alentejo ribs from Barriga Negra, presunto cured ham sandwiches from Taxca, hamburgers from Alta Burguesia and vegetarian dishes from daTerra. There is also room for international flavours, ranging from the famous Italian piadinas from Piadina Mia, to sushi and ceviche from Sushi no Mercado or croquettes from Kroquet. Sweet treats are also present with the traditional chocolates and ice creams from Arcádia, with specialities from Miss Pavlova and brigadeiros from Brigadão. The wine shop and a bar with Sogrape brands, the Super Bock Beer Experience outlet, as well as the Buondi cafés complement the delicacies.

And because Vila Nova de Gaia, Oporto’s neighbouring city, and its surrounding places offer many charms, the company Do'roland, also present in the Mercado Beira-Rio, can provide truly unforgettable experiences, by land (Segway hire), by sea or river (boat trips), or by air (helicopter trips). After feasting your eyes on the landscapes, you can return to the Mercado, on the waterfront, where flavours, tradition and culture come together in a single space.