Serves meat, vegan options available. Gourmet vegetarian restaurant with non-vegetarian options. Offers vegan main course options. Open Tue-Sat 12:30-15:00, Tue-Thu 20:00-22:30.

Venue map for Essencia
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33 Reviews

First Review by kandimba


Points +411

08 Sep 2023

Good veg options

Lunch menu has ate least 2veg options, the tikka massala and Tufo yokisoba was good



Points +275

30 Jul 2023

An experience

Went there having dinner with my gf, following the suggestion of our host. We didn't know anything about the place, except that it was a vegetarian restaurant. The place is so fancy and it seemed expensive (and it was haha). The dishes are really refined: we took the velouté, the carpaccio (amazing!), the tikka Masala tempeh, a dish that had palms (i don't remember the name). We also tried the green vegan wine.
At a certain point the owner showed up and took us to the little garden they keep. So beautiful! He was so caring and attentive and made us smell different aromatic leaves. Then we tried also the tofu, which was good but not as good as the other dishes. Finally we had the dessert, the apple and cinnamon with black vanilla ice cream,accompanied with a glass of Porto. The owner also introduced us to the chef, a really young guy!
Everything is local here and there is an attentive research about ingredients.
I totally suggest to eat here if you have the financial possibility.

Pros: Refined dishes, Beautiful environment , Nice owner

Cons: expensive


Points +74

17 Jun 2023


Smart upmarket restaurant, delicious vegan options

Pros: Delicious vegan options , Excellent service , Smart, calm restaurant.


Points +56

12 Apr 2023

Bom local para uma refeição

Bom serviço e pratos diferenciadores. No entanto tem vindo a perder alguma qualidade pela escolha das matérias primas e porque reduzem a quantidade das matérias primas que dao nome aos pratos (mais caras) e estas quase nao se sentem, sendo o ingrediente principal vegetais (mais baratos do que o que apresentam como principal).

Pros: Opções veganas, Espaço agradável , Bom serviço

Cons: Muitas opções de carne mesmo definindo-se como veg, Perdeu qualidade na confeção, Pouca quantidade da mat prima q da nome aos pratos


Points +209

13 Jul 2022

We loved it!

Ristorante principalmente vegetariano, ma con molte opzioni vegane. I piatti sono ricercati (anche nella presentazione) e molto buoni!
Lo staff è gentilissimo e cordiale.
Il giardino esterno è un’oasi di pace.


Points +881

02 Jul 2022


Restaurante principalmente vegetariano con muchas opciones veganas exquisitas.
El tilkka massala estaba excelente


Points +321

08 May 2022

We loved it!

A true gem! We enjoyed starters, main and dessert. The staff was outstanding and the atmosphere so relaxing! We really loved it!


Points +30

30 Mar 2022

Delicious Food

I went with a vegetarian and an omnivore, we were all happy with our food. Nice atmosphere and friendly staff. For me as a hungry person the portion could have been bigger though 😄


Points +101

03 Feb 2022

Great food, friendly staff, good prices!

The daily specials are great!


Points +9875

01 Jan 2022

Many vegan options but not impressed

I have gone once there with my mother. They have nearly half of the menu vegan of vegetarian. The portions are big and generous. They use good ingredient, but has flavour goes I think could've been better. Non-the-less I do want to give it another try.

Pros: Half of not more of options are vegan, Very nice environment , Nice outside seating area

Cons: Serves meat


Points +59

13 Aug 2021

Opções vegan muito boas

Restaurante inclusivo para vários tipos de padrões alimentares, com algumas opções vegan. Os funcionários são extremamente simpáticos e cuidadosos. Experimentei a torre de cogumelos em duas ocasiões, e esteve sempre uma delícia. O risotto de cogumelos (vegetariano, com laticínios) foi pedido por outra pessoa e infelizmente estava salgado, mas penso que deve ter sido uma situação pontual. A alheira de nabiças (penso que é assim que se chama) com massa filó é uma entrada muito saborosa! O preço é algo excessivo, mas numa ocasião especial é um restaurante onde apetece sempre voltar.😄


Points +182

12 Dec 2019

Loved it!

Very tasty vegan meals there should be more, but overall really good options. Better to go for lunch, the menu a la carte for dinners is too expensive in my opinion.


Points +619

04 Sep 2019

Lovely patio with several vegan options. Excellent service.

We had the seitan steak (thinly sliced seitan with a nice sauce) and pistachio crusted tofu. Both were really enjoyable. The dessert was an avocado cream pudding which was tasty! Very nice server who was very attentive. Menu also offers a few meat and fish options if you have non-vegans in your party.

Pros: Several vegan entrees, Great atmosphere


Points +632

07 Apr 2019

A comida é ok, mas...

Como vegana, fui aqui almoçar com uma amiga vegetariana e, apesar da comida ser boa e existirem realmente opções vegan e vegetarianas, o facto de ser um restaurante com tantas opções de carne e peixe chocou-me. Custa muito dizer que são um restaurante normal, com opções veg? Não custa muito e não utilizam, de forma errada, o termo "restaurante vegetariano" que deveria ser apenas utilizado por restaurantes realmente vegetarianos.


Points +230

19 Feb 2019

Publicidade enganosa

Restaurante que se diz vegetariano, mas que afinal é apenas um restaurante comum com opções vegetarianas.
Oportunismo e publicidade enganosa.

Pros: Vegan options

Cons: Publicidade enganosa

Purple Sara

Points +146

16 Feb 2019

Not worth the hype

My husband and I went to Essencia for dinner tonight after reading several rave reviews on Trip Advisor about how it was the 'best vegan dinner' they've ever had. I was so excited. Unfortunately, we have different ideas about it.
The restaurant wasn't bad, but I was unimpressed by the number of vegan options, service and value.

1. Vegan/vegetarian options.
Despite calling itself a vegetarian restaurant, this restaurant serves meat. I'm OK with that, but's it's very misleading to call itself a veg restaurant when it's only veg-friendly. Some veg-people may be turned off by this.

2. Number of vegan options are limited. This restaurant has the most vegan appetizer options. Limited vegan main options (perhaps 2 or 3?) and includes a whole list of meat options and a tofu dish that wasn't vegan friendly. I didn't look over the dessert list too carefully, but there were some vegan options there as well. No vegan ice cream, just regular ice cream.
We ordered the vegetable curry and the beetroot spaghetti for mains and the vegan phyllo sausage for our starter. Neither of us were in the mood for dessert.

3. Value. Overall, I have gotten better value for a dinner at another restaurant in town (Black Mamba, O Burrito, I Love Bio) as our 1 app and 2 mains cost 30 Euro. We got complimentary water because I asked for tap water. They don't serve tap water (due to bad filtering?), so I was told I was given free water after I asked for a refill on my water. I appreciated the gesture, but it's weird they don't give customers anything to drink with a meal that isn't paid for.
The food was good, but not the best food I've ever had. I have had better food at Elizabeth's Gone Raw and Equinox, both in DC.

Pros: Tasty food, Vegan options clearly labeled

Cons: Expensive compared to other places in Porto, Smallish portions, No free water


Points +400

11 Jun 2018

Great daily menus !

So this restaurant is really half vegetarian/vegan so there are a lot of options! Daily menus are really good and affordable! Not a lot of vegan offers for desert though. At night time you can only pick from the menu, which is a little more expensive. For us as vegans, we dodn´t theink there are a lot of fab options and wasn´t worth the visit, but we definatly enjoy it during lunch time and it´s completely recommendable!
Theres also a patio outside so when it´s nice weather you can enjoy your lunch outside!

Pros: Lots of vegetrain/vegan options., Outside patio., Affordable.

Cons: Basic vegan dishes in the night menu., Only one or non vegan deserts sometimes.


Points +32

30 May 2018


One of the best restaurants with vegan options I've been to. I just keep coming back! Amazing 😊

Pros: 4 or 5 different dishes :) some of them has Chee's

Cons: A little, but the vegan dishes areore cheaper that


Points +42

20 May 2018

Excellent dinner venue

Our host in Porto suggested Essencia as a vegan-friendly restaurant for a nice dinner. We reserved via the website and were welcomed and seated directly despite we were a bit early.

We checked the menu and found the kind of entries upside down - many vegetarian and vegan dishes and at the end a page of four meat/fish options for the carnivorous company if needed.

As starter I got a spicy soup. The main dish was a delicious saitan steak with almond topping and a baked potato piece and spinach. The dessert was a coconut cake. The dishes were presented nicely and I was quite stuffed at the end.

The restaurant lighting looked a bit 80s style but fresh and fine. Staff was very attentive and nice - excellent! I suggest this place for a romantic dinner.

Pros: attentive staff, not too expensive

Cons: some few non-veg options at the end of menu


Points +200

02 Apr 2018

Fantastisk sted - et must

Helt fantastisk sted som jeg ville give fem stjerner hvis det var muligt. Maden smager skønt - desserten var den bedste jeg nogensinde har smagt. Tre veganske retter koster 9 euro !! Sød sød betjening.
Jeg vil spise der igen i morgen!!


Points +14

Mostly Veg
24 Mar 2018

First time impression

Very good overall. You can eat indoors or outdoors and has dishes for every taste: spanning from fully vegan, to meat/fish dishes. Vegetarian dishes can easily be turned into vegan ones.
Very pricey for the amount of food you eat, but the quality is excellent (it is gourmet after all).
Be prepared to take a strangely long time to pick your main dish/dessert as everything seems soooooooo delicious.

Pros: options for every diet, delicious food, outdoor and indoor space + comfortable

Cons: expensive, small amount of food


Points +59

28 Jan 2018

My favourite restaurant

It’s not fully vegetaria because there’s one meat one fish dish but the gourmet vegetarian cuisine is amazing. Good variety of starters and main dishes. Amazing desserts.
The service is excellent and the restaurant is a really nice place to be. It has a very nice terrace.
Always my first choice of restaurant and my favourite vegetarian food in Portugal.


Points +25

12 Nov 2017

good but...

I liked the menu but this is not a vegetarian resturant, vegetarian comes from the vegetable palavre and meat or milk is not vegetable, this is something used to manipulate and profit from animal suffering.

Pros: good meal

Cons: animal suffering, animal exploration

Happy Veg Man

Points +134

30 Apr 2017

Great, but why have any meat on the menu?

We have frequented many veg and vegan restaurants and this one is a step above. Great food and excellent service. Very professional. The entire place was reserved at 8 pm, so make a reservation. Prices were excellent, with each appetizer or desert about €4-5 and entrees €10-12. I did find it odd that they had a fish and meat section, something I have never seen on a "veg" menu. They don't need meat on the menu when food this great, and I would suggest they axe that part of their menu. As a vegan and veg family, it is hard to find a great place to eat when traveling. We loved this place (but, again, why are there 5 meat dishes on the menu)? If there was no meat on the menu, it would be 5⭐️

Pros: service , atmosphere , vegan options

Cons: meat on the menu (wtf?), meat on the menu (wtf?), meat on the menu (wtf?)


Points +1442

11 Apr 2017

fine food and dining

This is a very special restaurant, the interior is beautiful and it's certainly somewhere you can bring others who you want to impress. It's disappointing that they have a small selection of meat/ dead animals on the menu and the vegan options for the mains could be better, there were 2 vegan mains and 1 vegan option on the night we visited, the only omission needed for some of the meals was butter so it wouldn't be difficult to expand their vegan choices but saying that I wouldn't have changed my choice of meal even if the restaurant was fully vegan, I opted for the seitan steak in an almond sauce with potato and garlic infused spinach which was amazing, it blew me away and I ate my meal as slow as possible to make it last. The staff were very friendly and professional and I would definitely recommend.

Pros: delicious food

Cons: serves meat , few vegan mains

Happy Veg Man

30 Apr 2017

Agree 100% with this review. Had the same dish. Great prose.


Points +21615

11 Apr 2017

Is that a Chevy 69?

This place is rather bizarrely billed as a vegetarian restaurant with meat options. How bizarre, how bizarre. However, it has a fantastic reputation so we decided to explore this residential neighbourhood that seems to specialise in laundromats and washing machine sales. Even on a Monday night Essencia was very busy. I would say reservations are recommended. That's exactly why I emailed them a week previously. The interior is dark, plush and red, I loved it. Whilst the vegan options are not in abundance, they really know how to impress vegan diners. Give me a seitan and potato combination any time and I will be happy. Tonight I was quite speechless at the quality of the food. The seitan steak separated delicately with gentle persuasion from the fork and the sturdy roast potato and garlic mash helped absorb the delicious creamy sauce. At €11 for a main course and €8 for a bottle of house wine this is a gourmet experience that will not cripple the defence unlike Arsenal's who succumbed 3 goals to Crystal Palace the very same evening. A little out of the city centre but certainly manageable on the Porto metro and some careful negotiation of the CityMaps2Go app. Worth a visit if in Porto even just for a few days.

Pros: quality of food, lovely interior, very friendly staff

Cons: meat served

Manuela Almeida

Points +32

01 Jan 2016

Very tasty vegan food!

When I go to this restaurant, I always go with my parents (my father never eats vegan meals!). If this is the case, this restaurant is the best option. Very (!) good vegan main courses and delicious vegan desserts (they have a couple of). The restaurant room is very pretty and the garden very cozy.

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