Penne Cole's thoughts on food, travel and more
Porto (OPorto in English), Portugal’s second largest city, is home to the Francesinha, arguably one of the best sandwiches in the world. The city has raised the humble sandwich into an art form, combining ham, sausage, and steak or roast meat, in one sandwich. The creation is then topped with cheese and stuck under the grill to make it deliciously oozy and runny. And just in case you didn’t get enough protein, the whole thing is topped with a fried egg. But the best part is the beer sauce, which is generously poured over the sandwich. Some restaurants even serve the Francesinha in a bowl – all the better to contain the sauce. The recipe for the beer sauce is jealously guarded and each restaurant has a different version. Oh, and just in case you are still hungry (this sandwich is enough to satisfy most Americans – and that’s saying something), the Francesinha is served with fries.
Similar to pizza in New York, locals all have their favourite places for Francesinha. I was lucky enough to have a local show me around, and his favourite is Cafe Santiago on Rua Passos Manuel. At just over 10 Euros for an extremely filling meal that could even feed two, the Francesinha is one of my top picks for cheap eats in Porto.
If you’re really still hungry after this huge meal, Porto also has the self-proclaimed best chocolate cake in the world. But that’s another story.
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