The Café Piolho (“piolho” is its nickname and… is the Portuguese word for “hair bug”), which is actually called “Âncora d’Ouro”, has been the centre of students’ (night)life in Porto for more than a century. The University’s main old building is just across the square (also worth a visit, and holds the University shop), and there used to be several faculties around that area. It’s the place where lots and lots of students gather to study, eat, or drink, now like generations before.
As a curiosity it was the first café in Porto to have electricity, the first to have TV, and the first to have the machine to make Italian espresso coffee. Ask for the “cimbalino”! So, it’s really a living piece of the city’s history. It has been recently refurbished, but has kept the main decoration from back in the old days. On the wall you can see many signs celebrating old faculty courses and students.
It still holds a lot of its “student-esque” character and atmosphere, and often it’s possible to watch Tunas (traditional student music groups, all dressed in black with capes) performing live there. Now, with the nightlife trend around that area, the café is busier at night and a great place to grab a beer to start the night in that very student environment. But of course, it’s also a place to eat, as Piolho is also famous for its francesinhas, although it may be difficult to get a table during busier hours.