HappyCow is loading...

Em Carne Viva

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 26 reviews )
Find

Avenida da Boavista, 868, Porto, Portugal, 4100-112

Elegant vegetarian restaurant in a restored old house situated in a romantic garden. Offers daily menu for lunch and dinner, re-designing traditional Portuguese dishes in vegetarian and vegan varieties. Open Mon-Thu 11:00am-10:30pm, Fri-Sat 11:00am-11:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, International, Western, Portuguese

Reviews (26)

First Review by AndyT

disappointing experience - Edit

My expectations were high for this one. The location and decor of the place are absolutely charming, so is the menu where almost every single item has "vegan option" as a side note. It's great to see variety and to feel like the kitchen is willing to adapt the dishes to fit your preferences.

However, that didn't seem to be the case. We ordered the vegan version of two dishes, and they both came "non-vegan" — mine with a poached egg, my mother's with cheese and cream. While we were waiting, we were also served an entree, courtesy of the chef, which had cheese in it. Now, we could simply just refuse it or send it back, but the problem here is that the staff assumed we ate cheese, even though we had just ordered the vegan option — which clearly flew over their heads. (Nothing that could justify that, it was a very slow day at lunch time.)

I was so disappointed by then that I didn't have the courage to rectify the waitress. I pushed the egg aside and went on eating. While the dish was pleasant, the flavours were trying too hard. Too saturated, far from the freshness you expect to taste in a dish that is mostly composed by vegetables. They used peppers everywhere, which was fairly uncreative and off-putting after a bit since peppers leave such a strong after-taste. Couldn't finish.

We tried the Caipirinha Pie for dessert and that won the whole lunch. It was lovely, nothing to point out.

Overall, I think they should be more careful about not crossing the vegan/vegetarian border. It also seems like they try too hard with some dishes but then fail with others, as I was reading other reviews about "bland tofu". Tofu is only tasteless if you have no idea what to do with it. And honestly, for how much they charge, they should.

Pros: charming place, a lot of variety, good portions

Cons: too expensive, got the order wrong, over-saturated flavours


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

amazing vegetarian/vegan lunch buffet - Edit

For not much more than the standard vegan/veg lunch buffet prices in Porto (€24 including a coffee) we got amazing food on par with restaurants in NYC where we've paid four times as much. A starter pumpkin soup was super flavorful without any cream, the main was a grilled kebab with couscous (no sauce for the vegan version), and a raspberry cheesecake/vegan raspberry mousse. The service was kind and the waitress (who was vegan) was proactive in pointing how how a dish had been adapted.


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

classy restaurant in beautiful garden - Edit

This restaurant serves vegetarian versions of traditional Portuguese dishes. Quite fancy, also higher prices than you'd pay in the average vegetarian restaurant. But the service is good, the food tastes great and the garden is a peaceful place to sit :)

Pros: original Portuguese food made veggie, garden, classy

Cons: more expensive, outside the city center


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Nice lunch - Edit

We had lunch here and it was really nice. As I'm eating only fruits and vegetables at the moment for a detox, we asked them to make a salad for me which was not a problem at all and turned out really nice. The house is beautifully decorated and renovated and it has a beautiful garden. It's maybe a bit expensive but the food is really good. My boyfriend had the vegetable risotto and he really liked it as well. A nice restaurant in Porto!!!


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Expensive and not so tasty. - Edit

I went there for a Francesinha. It was not vegan as it came with an egg. I don't know if the error was mine for not asking...

The flavour is nothing special. For sure you would find much better vegetarian food in Porto.

Prices are quite expensive.

The location and decoration is very nice, but that's it.

Pros: location, decoration

Cons: price, not vegan


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Upscale Veggie Place - Edit

This place is quite fancy and the prices reflect that too.

I ordered the Francesinha which didn't look exactly as I expected it to with lettuce instead of vegan cheese and courgette and tofu instead of sausage. Overall, it was tasty and well-presented. My sister ordered the spineless tofu (which first of all, what is with that name? Everyone knows tofu doesn't have a spine and comparing it to fish is off-putting and not appealing) which was a bit strange. Again, it was very well-presented with petals and salad but unfortunately it tasted weird. I'm guessing they included some sort of fishy taste like nori but it really was just plain tofu cooked in the most simple way.

Still, I'd recommend this place if you've got extra euros and don't mind splashing out for a fancy lunch/dinner, but in my personal opinion, they shouldn't be charging that much for what I would describe as tasting half way between tasty and mediocre.

Pros: nice atmosphere/vibe, well-presented food (perfect for insta)

Cons: Taste was a bit meh., Expensive


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Not amazing anymore! - Edit

It used to be my favorite vegetarian restaurant in Porto. I live here so I usually eat there once in a while, both lunch and dinner.
The food was amazing with a concept that I liked (traditional portuguese food but vegetarian). I think with time they lost this concept (risotto isn't portuguese) and the prices are high now if we compare with the beginning and with food quality. The last 3 times I went there they also took really long to serve me and the place wasn't even full.
The place is amazing (no doubt about that), but I think they wanted to change to an elite restaurant and they forgot the rest.
There are some vegan options, but I would recommend for sure the francesinha (you have to ask the vegan option).

Pros: Beautiful Place

Cons: Price


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Vegetarian based - Edit

I went here because everything my Veggie friends told me about the place. The place is really beautiful and worth checking out on sunny days/weather to enjoy the garden.

As for the food, not that well as I expected.
The Vegan selection is a bit scarce, and not worthy desserts to have there too.
I've tried the "Francesinha" and was a poor one, with only Tofu and some grilled veggies in there. Not their strongest plate.

I've promised I will go there for a second time to check another plate.

Pros: Outdoor Garden, Nice place, Cousy and romantic

Cons: Expensive, Not that Vegan-Friendly as expected, Staff is a bit reserved


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Splendid - Edit

Definitely worth of visiting: the staff, atmosphere, surrounding, food as well - just excellent. The waitresses were absolutely terrific.

If you feel like having a different veg experience, go for Em Carne Viva. Vegan options were all good and next time I'll have the portion with seitan (Tasted it and it was unbeliveable!)

Will visit again.

Pros: Friendly staff, Great food for a good value, Cozy


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Em Carne Viva - You'll Be Sad To Leave Here - Edit

The restaurant garden area is totally lovely and relaxed; like you're getting to visit someone's tastefully kept home. The inside looked just as good, if it wasn't nice enough to sit out.

Service was exceptional. The food was well cooked, well presented and imaginative. We visited for the lunch menu which we found surprisingly excellent value.

Stepping into the restaurant from the busy Boulevard outside feels like entering a calm oasis. Highly recommended - we were sad to leave when the meal was over! What a great place.

Pros: Environment, Fresh interesting food, Top quality service


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Vegetariano de luxo - Edit

Adorei. Terminei a minha última noite do ano num local que me conquistou. Tudo aqui foi perfeito: o local, o conceito, o atendimento e a comida divinal.

Os donos do local são pessoas preocupadas e atenciosos pelo que estavam sempre a ver se estava tudo perfeito.E de facto foi.

Mesmo para um não vegetariano este é um espaço que eu recomendo porque é uma experiência para todos os sentidos e mais alguns. Espero voltar um dia, fora de uma época festiva, de maneira a que possa provar outros pratos.

Os pratos são luxuosos, preparados e confeccionados um a um com todo o rigor e qualidade.

Pros: Qualidade, Espaço, Atendimento


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Beautiful restaurant but disappointing food - Edit

Firstly I think the menus have been updated since previous reviewers visited, as vegan options are now labelled and the menu is in English.

The restaurant itself is beautifully decorated (although make sure you're looking for it on Avenida da Boavista rather than Rua da Boavista like we were...). The garden also looked really nice.

However, the food I felt unfortunately didn't quite live up to the expectations set by the surroundings. For starter I ordered 'Bulhao pato' mushrooms, which turned out to be mushrooms in a butter very garlicky which was OK but not amazing. To give you an idea of how garlicky apparently I still stank of mushrooms from several feet away hours later ): ): ):

For main I had the 'spineless tofu' (still have no idea what that is..) which I think also had a lot of garlic in it, but the tofu was cooked without any flavourings whatsoever. On a plus note though, the roast potatoes that came with it were great)

Some of the puddings sounded interesting, I would have loved to have tried the caprihana pie, however it wasn't vegan. The only vegan options were sliced fruit and fruit with yoghurt, which was really disappointing and felt really lazy in comparison to the non vegan options.

I was also disappointed to see
find out that there was only a single vegan wine on the menu which was a rose. At least one red and white option would have been appreciated.

However I should note that there was lots of choice among the staters and mains for vegans though.

Overall I don't think I would visit again

Pros: beautiful restaurant

Cons: disappointing wine and pudding options, weird bathroom arrangement , too much garlic


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Charming gourmet food - Edit

The concept is veg gourmet food so you can understand the prices. The presentation is beautiful and the food is so yummy! Also note the charming decoration.

Pros: Decoration, Food, Presentation

Cons: Price


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Artisanal Vegetarian Tasting Menu - Edit

Love their concept n happy to see non-meat food taken to a culinary level and presentation. Nice garden, atmosphere and good food. Take the tasting menu (58 euros/person) and pamper yourself. How often you get a 9 course meal vege dishes served at Michelin level?

Cons: every dish on the tasting menu was served in full


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Many vegan options - Edit

Kind of upscale cuisine, but affordable. I had some tasty bread with olive tapenade for the starter. Instead of a soup I ordered caldo verde, some kind of Portuguese cabbage stew, which is usually neither vegan nor vegetarian. For the main course I had caramelised seitan in port wine. Everything was delicious, I would almost say perfect even the coffee. At least half of the main dishes are vegan and they also have a very low priced soup of the day.
Apart from the excellent food the restaurant should be recommended because of its pleasant atmosphere and the very friendly staff. Menu is Portuguese and English.
Updated from previous review on Monday October 06, 2014

Pros: food, staff, atmosphere

Cons: Only two vegan desserts (fruit, yoghurt)


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Highly recommended - Edit

Rather high-class cuisine, very delicious, prices for main courses were between 15 and 20 Euros. Several vegan options (probably at least half of the main courses), english menu, friendly staff.
Recommended not only for the food, but also for the charming interior and the nice, calm atmosphere.


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

A Magic moment - Edit

One of the Best places to eat in Porto !

Maybe the best...
More than a restaurant, it's a all new concept: the food, the place, the garden, the architecture and of course the warm welcome... everything is linked to create a magic place.
Romantic and Zen, a really special atmosphere...
I recommend the place for architects or creative people: a real inspiration.

Une cuisine raffinée dans une architecture remarquable et extrêmement inventive: un concept novateur et intelligent... bravo.

Obrigado for all the team and a special big up for Victor: we will never forget our evening.

Laurence, Elie, Nina and Ruben.

PS: When will you open the same place in Paris???

Much love.

Pros: Gourmet, Architecture, Warm welcome


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Overated - Edit

This pretentious, expensive restaurant professes high caliber service, which we thought was not up to scratch , and creative cooking which was not altogether so. I had vegetable puree soup which was pleasant at best and stuffed Portobello mushroom which was tasty but not creative. My husband had the tofu dish which he said was devoid of flavor. The restoration of an old building was superb, but you can’t eat it! I wouldn’t go back

Pros: Nice building, Pleasant indoor feeling, Comfortable seating

Cons: Amateurish service, Expensive, Uncreative

1 Response

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Cuisine gourmet - Edit

Great effort, that of preparing traditional specialities in veg version!

Results are very interesting and the staff, kind and professional, is happy to support with explanations as well as with vegan options.

The design and the artistic decoration, aimed at maximising the re-use of materials, is excellent.

Beautiful garden, wonderful house.

A bit out of the historic centre.
Moderately expensive (expensive for a vegetarian)

Pros: food experience, ambientation, staff

Cons: price, far from historic centre


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Fresh garden but poor vegan options - Edit

Me and my husband had a good afternoon tea in the fresh and quiet garden but the menu is minimalist.

I asked for vegan options, because the menu didn't have any reference to them, and the person serving us got confused with the tern and went to ask for them to the cook... no vegan options... so I simply drank a great Darjeeling tea with a toasted bread with jam.

Pros: Fresh garden, Satisfying tea, Friendly staff

Cons: Not many vegan options

1 Response

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

VictorRodrigues Our vegan options "A la Carte" based on traditional homemade Portuguese food and sophisticated modern fusion:

Couvert

-Crispy “Sea Spaghetti” SeaWeed
-Alheira (Portuguese sausage) puffs
-Black Olive Tapenade and Bread

Starters
-Soup of the Day
-Special Portuguese broth “Caldo Verde”
-Shitake Mushrooms as the traditional Portuguese “Bulhão Pato”
-“Little garden fishes” of Asparagus in Tempura

Main Courses
-Vegetable or Vegan “Francesinha” with Fries*Tradicional Porto sandwich with Cheese or not and Spicy sauce as coverage.
-Grilled Endive in Beetroot and Ginger broth, crispy Onion and Leek with creamy Fava beans.
-“Spineless” of Tofu as the tradicional Portuguese “Lagareiro”, grilled with garlic and olive oil with Sautéed Turnip greens and baked Potatoes.
-Asparagus on champagne Risotto
-Mushrooms Risotto
-Marineted Seitan fillets on Port Wine and Pinion sauce, with Chesnut and Port Wine Puree, tiny Carrots and steamed Asparagus

…and so many others we present as daily courses for lunch with lower prices!!!

Desserts
Sliced piece of Fruit
Creamy Yogurt with Jam and Forest Berries


Beautiful and quiet gardens - Edit

Me and my wife went to Em Carne Viva to have an afternoon snack and were amazed by the impressively restored old house. Since it was nice outside, we decided to stay in the garden, which was really calm and quiet.

The waiter was very friendly and helpful even though she seemed to be caught a bit off-guard when we asked her about possible vegan options.

We ended up ordering toasts with jam, and a nice Darjeeling black tea which actually tasted quite good - in Portugal it is very difficult to find a place where you can have a decent cup of tea!

We especially liked the quietness of the garden, where we had fun observing the cute kittens from the next door neighbor, and recommend this restaurant for those wanting to have a "posh" dinner in one of Oporto's finest avenues, near Casa da Música.

Pros: Quiet gardens, Impressive restored old house, Decent tea

Cons: Not many vegan options

1 Response

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

VictorRodrigues Thank you for visit us and for your friendly post.

Our vegan options "A la Carte" based on traditional homemade Portuguese food and sophisticated modern fusion:

Couvert
-Crispy “Sea Spaghetti” SeaWeed
- “Alheira”(Portuguese sausage) puffs
-Black Olive Tapenade and Bread

Starters
-Soup of the Day
-Special Portuguese broth “Caldo Verde”
-Shitake Mushrooms as the traditional Portuguese “Bulhão Pato”
-“Little garden fishes” of Asparagus in Tempura

Main Courses
-Vegetable and Vegan “Francesinha” with Fries *Tradicional Porto sandwich with Cheese or not and Spicy sauce as coverage
-Grilled Endive in Beetroot and Ginger broth, crispy Onion and Leek with creamy Fava beans
-“Spineless” of Tofu as the tradicional Portuguese “Lagareiro”, grilled with garlic and olive oil with Sautéed Turnip greens and baked Potatoes
-Asparagus on champagne Risotto
-Mushrooms Risotto
-Marineted Seitan fillets on Port Wine and Pinion sauce, with Chesnut and Port Wine Puree, tiny Carrots and steamed Asparagus

Desserts
-Sliced piece of Fruit
-Creamy Yogurt with Jam and Forest Berries

…and so many others we present as daily courses for lunch with lower prices!!!

Best regards
Victor

Disappointing experience - Edit

Our experience here was not great.

Even though there were staff who could speak English, they did not come to help us. Instead, we had to translate the menu on google translate. Our waiter was friendly but did not speak English, and we didn't understand why the English speakers did not try to help.

We were given 2 menus, an afternoon tea (in Portuguese) and a dinner menu (in English). The dinner menu looked very nice, with veggie interpretations of Classic Portuguese dishes. However, when I tried to inquire about which options were vegan the waiter told us the dinner menu wasn't actually on and it was only the snack menu. Eventually we both had a small sandwich and a coffee, it was nice ish but nothing amazing and we were still hungry so went to another restaurant afterwards.

It turned out they were actually closing early as it was a Sunday, but we were confused as to why nobody had communicated this with us. The whole experience was a little odd which was a shame as I think it had potential to be a good spot.

Pros: Very nice decor, Posh/chic, Good menu

Cons: Unhelpful staff, No soya milk, Not many vegan options on lunch menu

1 Response

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

VictorRodrigues Thank you for visit us and for your friendly post.

Our vegan options "A la Carte" based on traditional homemade Portuguese food and sophisticated modern fusion:

Couvert
-Crispy “Sea Spaghetti” SeaWeed
- “Alheira”(Portuguese sausage) puffs
-Black Olive Tapenade and Bread

Starters
-Soup of the Day
-Special Portuguese broth “Caldo Verde”
-Shitake Mushrooms as the traditional Portuguese “Bulhão Pato”
-“Little garden fishes” of Asparagus in Tempura

Main Courses
-Vegetable and Vegan “Francesinha” with Fries *Tradicional Porto sandwich with Cheese or not and Spicy sauce as coverage
-Grilled Endive in Beetroot and Ginger broth, crispy Onion and Leek with creamy Fava beans
-“Spineless” of Tofu as the tradicional Portuguese “Lagareiro”, grilled with garlic and olive oil with Sautéed Turnip greens and baked Potatoes
-Asparagus on champagne Risotto
-Mushrooms Risotto
-Marineted Seitan fillets on Port Wine and Pinion sauce, with Chesnut and Port Wine Puree, tiny Carrots and steamed Asparagus

Desserts
-Sliced piece of Fruit
-Creamy Yogurt with Jam and Forest Berries

…and so many others we present as daily courses for lunch with lower prices!!!

Best regards
Victor

A sophisticated meal - Edit

This 100% vegetarian restaurant is situated in a very chic old house which include also a vey cute garden. It was still a bit chilly so we decided to eat inside and it was quite an experience.
First of al the staff is very nice, polite and obliging. The menu was written in portugese but one of the lady translated everything for us, in a very good english.
The food was elaborate and absolutely delicious, probably one of the best vegan meal I've ever eaten (the menu provided several vegan options).
I have a big appetite so maybe portions weren't big enough for me, but till I'd definitely recommend this place to whomever likes high class food.

Pros: Really awesome food, Very nice staff and atmosphere, Beautiful restaurant and garden

Cons: Quite pricey, Serving could have been a bit bigger


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Elegant vegetarian dining with many vegan options - Edit

Em Carne Viva (portuguese for "Living in the flesh") is a relatively new restaurant (open for about 6 months), and - different to other high-class restaurants in Porto like "Essencia", they do not offer non-vegetarian options. I can not commend them highly enough for that, also for offering a number of delicious vegan dishes, both in their daily menu and on their (small) a-la-carte dining menu.

I had the daily menu with a very nice vegan broccoli cream soup and something that can best be described as "pancake" with bean rice. Both the menu and the special starter, a warm mushroom salad with coriander, tasted very nice and was presented elegantly. The menu costs Eur 7,50, which can only be described as a great price for the food offered. It is most likely not exactly cheap when you go there in the evening, but the ambiance makes up for that. Credit cards are accepted.

The restaurant is situated in a beautifully renovated old house, and it has beautiful outside seating where you can enjoy the Portuguese sun. The staff are very polite and friendly, and there are enough people who speak English well and can explain the Portuguese menu and options to you.

Considering all this, it can only be said that the restaurant is a great addition to the vegan/vegetarian scene of Porto and you should not miss it.

Pros: Tasty food, many vegan options, Beautiful and festive setting, Moderate prices, at least for lunch menu


By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Link to this page from your site. .
Return to Porto Vegetarian Restaurants & Health Food Store Listings
Business Owners, if you see an unfair review, read this.
Why was my review removed? - details
Reviews are not endorsed by HappyCow - review terms
Has Em Carne Viva closed, shut down, moved, or changed? Please use the Update Form.
This page has been viewed 5524 times since Apr 2014.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×