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“Small but worth a look” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Essencia Lusa Restaurante Tradicional

Essencia Lusa Restaurante Tradicional
Rua de Sao Joao 85 | Sao Nicolau, Porto 4050-553, Portugal
+351 910 744 839
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Ranked #52 of 910 Restaurants in Porto
Cuisines: Portuguese
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Wrocław
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Small but worth a look”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

Compared to the monstrous joints down the hill it's tiny and we were one of only a few groups in there. The menu might be limited for some tastes but that only reflects the very personal nature of the restaurant, but the quality of what was produced was some of the highest we met in Portugal.

You can feel a real sense of pride in what they do, and it is reflected in the experience. Another group when we were in there had a misunderstanding with a vegetarian dish, and there was such an effort to put it right that you could see everyone genuinely cares about making your meal as enjoyable as possible.

Our last evening in Portugal was a pleasure thanks to our hosts, and if you want a good honest meal in a friendly environment then this comes heartily recommended.,

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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90 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    54
    27
    8
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York city
1 review
“Wonderful meal for moderate price -- and great ambiance!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

My husband and I made a reservation here based on the TripAdvisor ratings (they only opened last month so that explains why there are relatively few ratings) -- and we were not disappointed! The ambiance is great with a small dining room that opens out onto a quiet street -- and the service was efficient and friendly. The classic Portuguese soup caldo verde was excellent -- and the fish stew was flavorful and brimming with all kinds of seafood in a big pot (it was more than enough for both of us and we came hungry). The cheesecake dessert was so light and delicious too. AND the whole meal plus a glass of wine and a glass of port came to less than €50. Especially considering that a mediocre meal in Lisbon would cost that much -- this was a great find! The only reason I do not give it 5 stars is because I reserve that for the absolute best meals I have ever had. This is not quite that... But we would not hesitate at all to go back!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
“This Restaurant is an oasis in a sea of over-priced restaurants.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

Walked into an empty restaurant when the waitress smiled and I asked if she spoke english, she said yes, then I asked for the meals included with the Tourist Menu (15euros) I orderd the pork. The three course meal (for 15euros) involved a Caldo Verde soup (traditional in Portugal) The pork main (with pork, blood sausage and intestines) don't let that put you off, there's also a Fish Dish that you can choose. As I finished my meal, I asked the waitress, Fatima, about the meal. She was well informed and told me that it was a Portugese delecacy. Then there was dessert, and I was able to have 2 half serves (strawberry cheesecake and chocolate moose) for the same price. And they also have very good Port!! My first time trying this drink, and Fatima told me a bit of info concerning the drink. I loved the meal, loved the service, very professional, and not too shy for a bit of a chat. Cudos.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013 via mobile

Lovely place, with great food and good price. I eat fish stew and cried for more. Not more because it was more than enough. A great reception by the owner Carlos, and a fantastic cooker is mother Fatima. Good wine and desserts made by the waitress Fátima. Totaly recomended

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Truly amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

Too good to be true. I got the bacalhau assado (oven-baked cod) with potatoes, which was the best fish dish I've ever tasted. My girlfriend ordered the alheira. Probably the best sausage I've ever had, and I've eaten plenty of European sausage ... came with a fried egg and it was the most decadently rich food imaginable!

The service was also great, loved our waiter.

The one downside is that there were no locals at all (from what I can tell, there aren't many locals in the old town, period). The restaurant employees didn't seem to know any other language besides a little fake Spanish, though, so you know you're getting the real thing.

Oh, and the price tag for these two amazing entrees, a pair of seafood dips with bread, legit olives, and two very generous "glasses" (more like mini-carafes) of great wine: 29 EUR. Highly recommended.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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