Home Food & DrinkRestaurants Lisbon’s Culinary Charm in London: Visiting Bar Douro City

Lisbon’s Culinary Charm in London: Visiting Bar Douro City

by Lily Niu

As a self-proclaimed foodie, I’m constantly on the hunt for fun and exciting places to eat and drink. While the city boasts plenty of charm and a diverse range of cuisines, sometimes, the hidden gems tucked away amongst the bustling streets are exactly what you need. This is precisely what I discovered at Bar Douro City, a haven of authentic Portuguese flavours nestled discreetly within one of London’s busiest districts.

While Bar Douro has its original venue in London Bridge, the City venue packs just as much if not even more charm.

A taste of Portugal, full of charm

Stepping into Bar Douro City is like stepping into a charming Lisbon tasca (a traditional Portuguese eatery). The eye is immediately drawn to the beautiful azulejo tiles adorning the walls.

These hand-painted ceramic tiles, a hallmark of Portuguese art and architecture for centuries, typically depict historical scenes, religious narratives, or everyday life. At Bar Duoro City, the azulejo patterns are more contemporary, yet retain the signature blue and white colour palette that evokes the essence of Portugal.

Sharing is caring: A tapas adventure awaits

One of the things I love most about Portuguese cuisine is the emphasis on small plates or petiscos. This style of dining encourages a communal experience, allowing you to sample a variety of dishes and flavours during your meal.

Bar Douro City fully embraces this concept, with their menu divided into “Mar” (sea), “Terra” (land), and “Vegetariana” (vegetarian) sections. Their recommendation of ordering 5-6 dishes between two people is spot-on, with the number scaling up based on your group size.

Having heeded the advice of the friendly and knowledgeable staff, I embarked on a delicious journey through the Portuguese culinary landscape. My first stop was the “Milho frito” (polenta chips). These golden-fried morsels were perfectly crisp on the outside and delightfully soft within, delivering a satisfying textural contrast.

Next up were the “Croquetes de alheira,” a revelation for any croquette enthusiast. Presented in a charming cube shape, they boasted a smoky, savoury flavour and a delightfully light texture.

I ventured into seemingly uncharted territory with the “Grilled chicory, roast almond butter & orange.” The bitterness of the chicory was beautifully balanced by the sweetness of the orange and the richness of the almond butter, creating an experience of flavours that resonated on the palate.

Must-try plates: A foodie’s recommendations

No Portuguese dining experience is complete without some iconic staples.  Bar Douro City delivers these classics with finesse. The “Batatas a murro” (garlic-punched potatoes) are a must-order. These rustic beauties, boasting a satisfyingly charred exterior and a fluffy interior imbued with garlicky goodness, are a testament to the simplicity and power of flavourful ingredients. 

Equally delightful were the “Gambas a guilho” (garlic prawns). Swimming in a vibrant pool of olive oil infused with garlic and herbs, these were cooked to juicy perfection, leaving me wanting more.

Venturing into the “Terra” section of the menu, my instincts led me to the “Bife a marre” (onglet steak and mustard sauce). Perfectly cooked to a medium-rare, the steak was bursting with flavour and tenderness. The accompanying mustard sauce added a touch of piquancy, perfectly complementing the richness of the meat.

A City oasis for casual catch-ups

Bar Douro City is more than just a restaurant; it’s a fun and vibrant oasis in the heart of the city’s bustling financial district. The inviting atmosphere, attentive service, and authentic flavours of Portugal transport you to a different world – all within easy reach of London’s landmarks.

Whether you’re seeking a casual after-work drink and some tapas with colleagues or a relaxed catch-up with friends fueled by delicious food and conversation, Bar Douro City is a great pit-stop waiting to be discovered.

Bar Douro City
Unit 3, 1 Finsbury Avenue


  • Lily Niu

    Lily's background in editorial and digital media has seen her do plenty; including crafting celebrity style content for tech-first fashion startups and doing social media takeovers for fashion weeks at home and abroad. Her adventures have taken her on road trips through Morocco and allowed her to witness the sunrise over the sand dunes in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her lively poodle puppy and studio hopping across London to do her favourite barre and pilates classes.

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