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A Francesinha in Porto, Portugal

Originating in Porto, Portugal, the Francesinha is a hearty sandwich made with layers of bread, meat, and cheese. It was highly recommended and while in Porto I walked uphill in the rain to try it.

Sauce being poured over a Francesinha sandwich with a ladle, into a shallow bowl on a counter top at Bufete Fase in Porto Portugal

I think one of the best ways to see a city is to walk around, even if it’s raining. With only 3 days in Porto on my trip to Portugal, I made the most of every day. A little rain and a walk uphill wasn’t going to stop me from heading to Bufete Fase to try the Francesinha or “little Frenchie”, and sandwich that I heard was a must-try.

What is a Francesinha?

This meaty sandwich originated in Porto, Portugal and is made with sliced white bread, cheese, ham, sausage and steak smothered in a slightly spicy tomato sauce. The sandwich isn’t fancy and doesn’t look like much but filled with all that meaty goodness, it’s filling enough to share but tasty enough that you might not want to.

Where to find it

You can find this sandwich at many restaurants around Porto, but I was told that Bufete Fase was the place to go. It’s a small restaurant that is mostly takeout with just a few tables tucked into the back if you plan on eating there. The entire kitchen area is open and just behind the counter so you can watch your food being prepped.

The interior of the restaurant Bufete Fase in Porto Portugal

Bufete Fase

When I arrived they were still preparing to open for the day but were kind enough to let me in, probably because I looked so sad standing in the chilly drizzling rain just peering in the window. The owners, father & daughter, were warm, welcoming and eager to chat as I watched him make my sandwich. Okay, maybe I didn’t actually chat with him since I only know a few words in Portuguese but we managed to communicate. He took such pride in creating the sandwich and stopped every so often to bring it over so I could see the progress as he built it layer by layer.

A view behind the counter at the restaurant Bufete Fase in Porto Portugal. A man is prepping food.

While not the healthiest meal it was delicious and incredibly filling. Definitely a worth-it meal. With a very full belly, I was satiated and ready to spend the rest of the day walking around the city! If you are in Porto, Portugal I recommend going to Bufete Fase (Rua Santa Catarina 1147) for a francesinha. And bring a friend because this is a shareable sandwich.

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