More than a Café …..:
Majestic by name and majestic by architecture, this café has become a prerequisite stop by visiting dignitaries, media personalities, artists and everyone who’s anyone visiting Oporto, as well as the humble tourists like us.
The Majestic’s guest book lists all the personalities who have stopped to have coffee in this magnificent café .
And here’s a little Harry Potter trivia – J.K. Rowling, who lived in Oporto in the past, spent many days here writing her first Harry Potter book “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”.
Brief Background of the Majestic
The Café Majestic was previously called the Café Élite. It opened during the Belle Époque era when cafés were truly the domain of the bourgeoisie and the café ‘s clients were mostly intellectuals, artists, writers or high society ladies who would stop by for tea or ice cream. Life was more leisurely then and people would come into the café to discuss literary or artistic developments and debate new ideas. In this regard, the Majestic is more than a café as it is a reflection of life of the upper class in Oporto during the golden era.
Café Majestic went into decline between 1964 and 1980 and after a protracted period of degradation, it was finally restored to its original splendour by a new management team in July 1994. The café had a new lease of life and once again became a popular location for art displays, recitals, concerts and book launches.
Enter the café today and it’s easy to let yourself slide back into those golden years. Magnificent gilded mirrors, ornate pendant lamps, marble walls, cherubs and leather-covered chairs all add to create the majestic ambience in the café.
The Majestic’s menu includes traditional Portuguese cuisine like “Bacalhau a moda do Porto” and “Magret de Pato Perfumado”. Portuguese wine and cheese are on offer and they even suggest that you “light a cigar to commemorate the occasion”. It seems smoking is not a problem in this café!
Prices are not too expensive, given the type of place and the reputation of this establishment. For Euro 10 you can have Afternoon Tea comprising coffee or tea, sandwiches, scones with cream and mini pastries or if you just want a light snack, a Hot Dog is Euro 5 and a Majestic Burger is Euro 6. It’s definitely worth a stop in this iconic café, just for the experience.
The Majestic is at 112 Rua Santa Catarina, which is a major pesdestrian street in Porto.Hopefully these tips have been helpful. What do you think?