We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Haute cuisine for fast food price” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Dona Especiaria - CLOSED

Dona Especiaria
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Incredible--fresh, local ingredients--a gourmet touch--five course meal with chef chosen wines for each course--for 25 euros, six tables--chef takes you on the journey--you do not choose
Coimbra, Portugal
Level Contributor
26 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Haute cuisine for fast food price”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 September 2013

This is something in between a Portuguese tasquinha, Lyonnais bouchon, and a Michelin-starred restaurant. Don't expect simple bacalhau com natas ou carne de porco à alentejana. The food and drinks are fine, artistically non-trivial and very tasty. The classical Portuguese and European ingredients are in perfect harmony with exotic ones like chayote. At the same time, the entire lunch price is only seven euros including dessert, whereas one can easily pay eight in Dolce Vita Coimbra fast food services.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Dmitry V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

24 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    16
    5
    2
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
41 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Intimate and Unique Dining Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 March 2013

Dona Especiaria is a small and intimate restaurant in the centre of Coimbra. It is quite unique in that there is no menu to choose from as such - the courses are decided by the restaurant, based on the best fresh, local & seasonal produce on the day. It's a concept that we really enjoyed, although obviously this isn't well suited to fussy eaters.

The food was spectacular, using local Portuguese ingredients in a creative (and delicious) way. Different Portuguese wines were matched to each course, all of which were also excellent. The service was great, taking some time to explain each dish as it came out, and was attentive without being overly intrusive.

Dona Especiaria is quite expensive by Coimbra standards, at €30 per person. However we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience (food, setting & service), and would gladly recommend it to locals and tourists alike.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Nicholas M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Very expensive!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2012

Hours to be served. Wine was very poor ( Portugal has so many excellent wines and they can be cheap as well. There is no excuse for the kind of wine served there
Restaurant very pricey! 15euros would do for sure! 30euros is ridiculous for what they served and what you can get in other restaurants around!
Fish was also the cheapest in the marked!

  • Visited September 2012
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
5 Thank Eccole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
91 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Relaxed, intimate: a true Portugese experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 September 2012

We went to dona especiaria at lunchtime; it was a unique opportunity to experience tranquility in an unhurried atmosphere. We almost walked by the restaurant as it has no menu or sign outside and is located in a tiny pedestrianised street in the Alta (opens at 12:15). We felt we'd been treated to culinary delights, without the hassle of trying to make decisions (the menu is pre-set, other than a choice of fish or meat main). The chef decides what to cook that day and uses the freshest of ingredients. We were given an orange blossom infusion, a plate of fruits and fresh cheese (much lighter than the usual Portigese couverts), a tasty soup, the main (we had a fish risotto), followed by delicious dessert and coffee. When we received the news it was only 7.50 euros each, we were astounded. It felt like a Michelin starred experience. There's only about 6 tables, so go early and plan to have a leisurely lunch. It's not a meal to be rushed, as you are provided with a verbal description of all the ingredients and dishes in your own language, then served at their pace.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Susan J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coimbra, Portugal
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“enjoy the pleasure of food chosen for you”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2012

The owner has a pre-planned meal with a mixture of excellent tastes most of them created by him. In a very small place but the atmosphere is nice and service very friendly

  • Visited July 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Mariaderma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Dona Especiaria also viewed

Coimbra, Coimbra District
Coimbra, Coimbra District
 
Coimbra, Coimbra District
Coimbra, Coimbra District
 
Coimbra, Coimbra District
Coimbra, Coimbra District
 

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing