If there is a dish you must eat when visiting the city of Porto, this dish is called Francesinha.
Francesinha is a sandwich made with layers of meat, hams and sausages between two thick slices of white loaf bread, topped with melted cheese and a slightly spicy sauce, not to mention the side dishes. (We talk more about Francesinha in detail here).
To eat Francesinha you need to be hungry. Now, with so much fame and peculiarities, what is not lacking in Porto are options to eat Francesinha. To help you choose, we have prepared a list with the best Francesinhas of Porto, including vegetarian options.
Porto: Where to eat the best Francesinha
A classic place that has been serving the classic dish since 1959 is an icon of the city. The headquarters is in downtown Porto, in front of the Colosseum theatre. Here you will eat quality and consistent recipe of Francesinha made with handcrafted ingredients. With a varied menu, it is one of the most touristic places, but also a darling of the locals.
The furthest from the city centre, but the most charming of all. The atmosphere is very intimate with medieval decoration. The highlight of the menu is the different versions of Francesinha. All the ingredients have very good quality and the sauce is the favourite of many people (and the best thing is the bowl with extra sauce!).
Our favourite! The Cervejaria Brasão has two units. The most classic is in Aliados, the other unit is near the Coliseum theatre, and there is a third unit just about to open in Foz. The decoration is exquisite, the perfect place for a getaway with friends or an informal meeting. They serve traditional Francesinha, vegetarian Francesinha and a neat selection of starters and other dishes. The best option is to eat Francesinha with the house beers.
With a lean menu, the Francesinha from Bufete Fase is known for cherishing a unique recipe without modernity. In place of eggs, two fresh chorizos (sausages) give identity to the dish. The spicier sauce in contrast to the cold draft beer called fino is responsible for the long lines at the door of the small restaurant. Note: There is also a non-spicy sauce option.
Learn the language: “Fino” is the portuguese word to order draft beer. It refers to type of the glass.
The restaurant claims to have “The Best Francesinha in the World”, it even registered the slogan. Whether it’s true or not, it’s worth going there to check it out. It is next to Café Santiago and they also have another unit in the city of Braga. In addition to the traditional version of the house, they serve Francesinha with the original recipe made with baked beef, as well as a version of vegetarian Francesinha – made with smoked tofu and vegetable sausage.
To complement our list, there are other restaurants known by having good quality Francesinhas: Cufra, CapaNegra II (we didn’t like the Francesinha very much, but the canja (chicken soup) is great), o Afonso, Locanda (made in the wood oven), Cervejaria Galiza, Tappas Café.
Francesinha, can it be shared?
Overall, the Francesinha costs between EUR 7-12. It may seem expensive for a sandwich, but for its size and quality ingredients, it is worth a try. The dish is large and heavy, some restaurants serve half Francesinha. If you go in 2 persons and with little hunger, it is worth sharing a Francesinha and order a side dish to complement.
A general tip for all restaurants, go early or book a table, as these places are usually crowded!
Curious to know more? See here how Francesinha was created.
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