Perola do Bolhão is a grocery store in Porto downtown, on Formosa street, very close to Bolhão Marketplace. I really like showing this grocery store to the people I guide around Porto, because it’s a a very beautiful place with an Art Nouveau façade, covered with Portuguese tiles from the beginning of the past century, and it’s also a landmark of the city.
When I guide people from other countries who’re looking to get to know Portugal, I always assume they would like to discover the local products, the local gastronomy. So when I show this store to people, I always expect surprised reactions. It seems very beautiful on the inside, also because everything is so organized.
I appreciate the customized service provided by the owners –one of the major differences between it and big supermarkets. It’s also a local store with national and homemade products. They also have some imported stuff, but I really prefer the homemade products, like the jams, the mountain cheese and the dried, caramelized fruit. I like to buy “alheiras” there, a typical Portuguese sausage mainly made of poultry, bread, olive oil, lard, garlic and paprika.
I have never tasted their codfish, but at the entrance there is an ad saying that they sell the best cod in the city…