Tascos, a kind of a Portuguese traditional tavern, is nowadays a dying breed on the great urban centers. There isn’t a single year that passes by without mourning the shut down of a once-famed smelly and manly gathering place. Those adjectives sound particularly awful, but some of them were able to evolve and adapt to be more than a cheap, strange gentlemen’s club, especially the ones with great food specialties: places like Guedes or Gazela were, at heart, tascos.
So, I find it’s my duty to help the remaining places that still carry the real tasco flag to thrive. And Casa Expresso is probably the best hidden gem that Porto has to offer when it comes to tascos, especially because… it’s not even that hidden! Located on the small Praça Carlos Alberto, Casa Expresso is a delight to visit, especially due to their rojões (greasy and flavoured pieces of pork meat) and papas de sarrabulho (made with the leftovers from rojões). The papas is a personal favourite dish of mine, basically a bloody soup with pork meat, bread, vinegar and cumin.
Since they are somewhat famous, you should call first to reserve the papas if you want to try them out. But you’ll find that and much more, like good ham, cheese and more liver. It also has proper dishes, but I mostly visit for some eating something small and drink up! A must visit if you wanna try some local and cheap food among locals!