Norte – my favourite mall in Porto
Shopping malls make for a great break inbetween sightseeing. Especially if it’s raining. Because the perfect solution to a rainy day – or any day – is a shopping mall.
Preferably the biggest one with a decent food court.
That lead us to Norte Shopping in Porto.
Location: Rua Sara Afonso 105-117, 4460-841 Senhora da Hora, Porto. Open from 10 a.m. to midnight. We got there using Porto’s public transport, that is, the new tram lines. You can take Line A (blue), Line B (red), Line C (green) or Line E (purple) to Sete Bicas Station. It is still short 5 min walk from here.
Norte Shopping is a fine and huge shopping mall in Porto which looks a bit out dated from the outside but is really pleasant inside.
A wide variety of shops and entertainment is geared to make all family members happy.
An indoor playground with a cool tunnel slide, toy stores, electronic stores, drug stores and a pharmacy, some more exclusive shops (I strolled between 1500 Euro salad bowls and tea sets I could not afford to break at this fancy porcelain place), all the high street clothing chains (but with a good balance to Inditex fashion dominance) and an upstairs food court, as well as a big basement supermarket with a bakery. And a cinema but all is dubbed in Portuguese.
A neat distraction for English speakers (because very well signed), are antique factory pieces from the beginning of the times of industrialisation. Dating back to the end of the 19th century when mass production was making baby steps.
Some machines on display still work!
The rest rooms are clean and make you think of marmalade!
❤My favourite shops at Norte❤
As far as home decor goes, I especially liked two very neat furniture stores. Not expensive and a good IKEA alternative for unique household and decorative items. I got these quirky food models (totally fooled mum with the grapes) at the large furniture and home accessories shop called Area∞, spanning two levels.
At A Loja do Gato Preto I got the cutest white porcelain box adorned with romantic lace patterns and topped with a bird which you can see in the above picture as well. Very French kitsch inspired. This shop has trendy lamps, curtains, bedding, frames and all the modern-chic stuff to decorate your home.
The Continente supermarket was fun to explore for Portuguese products and we bought way too much. 65 Euros for six bags of groceries. The lady at the cash register packed all of our Portuguese groceries, too. A welcome gesture reminding me very much of the convenience and splendid service in Japan.
Stradivarius. There is no way to escape the incredibly vast corporation that made Ortega (the dad of Inditex) the world’s fast fashion dictator for the masses. Ever since I discovered this shop in Athens (discovering a Spanish brand in Athens!), I keep peeking in, then miraculously trying stuff on and landing at the cash register.
I got a new top which Tomek charmingly calls a safety vest and some matching rings.
Worten and Radio Popular electronics stores. While mum and me soaked in Porto’s shopping attraction, Tomek looked at new laptops and got himself a new Samsung, the sleek and white ATIV Book 9 Lite.
The reason being that he sometimes happened to be very charged up about his old notebook. As in literally transmitting current while plugged in, when charging his old Samsung. The replaced charger (an emergency purchase while in China) is not working properly and lacks grounding function. This means that when The One is working, his body is under current and that gives me the shivers (also literally) when I touch him. A freaky thing. Came to an end.
Now to the yummy things at the mall.
The great food court. It took us ages to decide where to eat – there is just so much to chose from. It is no Asian food court with cook-in-front-of you stands, but (if you skip the junk food places) you are still looking at many decent food options.
Some had really long queues and the open seating area was bursting, so we decided for a sit-in restaurant and traditional Portuguese food – which basically comes down to: bacalhau. I am not complaining. We have had fish (mainly bacalhau) every single day and we are doing allright.
We ordered Porto’s signature dish in three different versions.
The prices were competitive. We only paid 25 Euros for three , each getting a main meal and drink. Tomek had a Portuguese vegetable starter soup, too.
But my favourite food place at Norte (yep, we have not just been once), is definitely go natural. They serve ready made healthy and innovative dishes in small containers (great for take away, too), self made juices and two traditional Portuguese veggie soups of the day.
Salads, pasta, desserts… all is looking fresh and tasty.
Tip: There is this hype based on what are known to be the best éclairs in Porto. Made by the legendary Leitaria da Quinta do Paço, which originated in 1920. Once you are at the mall, you can save your way to their original store on Praca Guilherme Gomes Fernandes in the city centre.
Despite all the sweetness, check your order, the staff is easily distracted – we paid for two pastry items we didn’t get – some cupcakes never made it to our take away box.
But all is seriously delicious, even their plain white yoghurt.
Shopping and eating makes me happy. And you know, there is more to cupcakes… they mean the cake right?