Who doesn't love Francesinha? It's one of Porto's culinary gems that delights taste buds everywhere! So, in this article, we're going to show you what makes Francesinha so special.

In other words, we'll tell you about the origins of this recipe and share with you our favorite places in Porto to enjoy this delicacy.

Furthermore, we couldn't help but share our own Francesinha recipe with you so that you can recreate it in the comfort of your own home.

But that's not all! At the end of the post, we have something more, a special secret that we're sure you'll want to discover.

Are you curious? Then read on until the end!

What is Francesinha?

Francesinha, an iconic and tasty sandwich, has its roots deeply embedded in the streets of Porto. It has a robust and irresistible appearance, with generous layers of meat and sausages sandwiched between two slices of bread.

The sauce, ideally with the right amount of spice, is enriched with an egg strategically placed on top of the giant sandwich. Additionally, let's not forget about the cheese, which plays a fundamental role as it binds and adds another dose of flavor to this explosive combination of tastes.

The fries should have a crispy exterior to withstand being dipped in the rich sauce without risking falling apart. Are you already salivating?

It is believed that Francesinha was initially inspired by the famous French croque-monsieur, but it quickly evolved into a completely original creation, adapted to Portuguese taste and preferences.

Over the years, the recipe has been refined and perfected by talented chefs, but also by housewives who prepare this delicacy for their families.

What is interesting to note is that Francesinha is a democratic dish, as both small neighborhood establishments and the most refined restaurants, many of them have their own version of Francesinha.

On the other hand, it has long ceased to be a well-kept secret in the North of Portugal, as nowadays, Francesinha is present throughout the country.

Where to Try Francesinha in Porto, Portugal?

Everyone has their favorite spot they turn to whenever they crave the comforting Francesinha.

Often, this preference is related to family traditions, as it's not uncommon for entire generations to frequent the same restaurant.

In any case, we have our favorite spots, and in the city of Porto, we particularly enjoy the Francesinha at Café Santiago and Bufete Fase.

Location of Café Santiago:

R. de Passos Manuel 226,

4000-382 Porto

Location of Bufete Fase:

R. de Santa Catarina 1147,

4000-457 Porto

The Francesinha at Café Santiago is the traditional one that we love. Well-stuffed, with a rich sauce, and the fries are just right. There's not much more to say, other than they're really good!

On the other hand, the Francesinha at Bufete Fase includes a slice of roasted meat, which may seem strange, but it works very well. At least, for our palate.

The problem is that we're not always in the mood to go out and eat a Francesinha. What do we do in those times? We make our own Francesinhas! And let me tell you, they're quite tasty.

So, take note of our Francesinha recipe.

Our Francesinha Recipe

Ingredients for four Francesinhas:

8 slices of sandwich bread (preferably high-quality, firm, and slightly toasted)

4 slices of ham

4 slices of mortadella

4 fresh sausages

4 tender, high-quality steaks

8 slices of cheese (typically Flamengo cheese)

4 eggs

Ingredients for the Francesinha Sauce:

2 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of wheat flour

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 small onion, chopped

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

1 tablespoon of hot sauce (or to taste)

1 tablespoon of mustard

1 tablespoon of whisky

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon of Port wine

1 beef bouillon cube

500 ml of beer

Salt and pepper to taste


Start by preparing the Francesinha sauce. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and chopped onion, and sauté until softened.


Sprinkle the flour over the butter mixture and stir well to incorporate. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, to eliminate the raw flour taste.


Add the tomato paste, hot sauce, mustard, whisky, Worcestershire sauce, Port wine, and beef bouillon cube. Stir well to combine all ingredients.


Gradually add the beer, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Continue cooking over medium heat until the sauce begins to boil and thicken.


Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for another 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired consistency. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.


When ready, the sauce should be thick enough to coat the Francesinhas but still be easy to pour. Set the sauce aside and start preparing the sandwiches.


On a baking tray, place a slice of sandwich bread and layer with a slice of ham, a slice of mortadella, a fresh sausage, and a pre-cooked steak. Repeat the process to make the remaining sandwiches.


Top each sandwich with two slices of cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.


While the sandwiches are in the oven, prepare the fried eggs in a skillet with a little oil.


Remove the sandwiches from the oven and place a fried egg on top of each one.


Finish by generously drizzling the previously made Francesinha sauce over each sandwich.

Serve the Francesinhas hot, accompanied by French fries.


The quality of the ingredients is crucial for the success of this recipe. Choose fresh and high-quality products, especially the meat, cheese, and bread.

The Francesinha sauce is the secret to this delicacy. If possible, prepare it at home for an authentic flavor, but you can also find ready-made versions in supermarkets.

The amount of hot sauce in the sauce can be adjusted according to personal taste.

Learn More About Portuguese Culture and Food

At this point, you must be recalling the title of this article and wondering about this "something more"? Well, here are two "extras"!

Firstly, if you enjoy Portuguese cuisine, we have two excellent desserts to share with you that complement a Francesinha dinner very well:

Additionally, we take the liberty to suggest that you embellish your home with a touch of traditional Portuguese charm. After all, the Barcelos rooster is recognized worldwide, as are the characteristic sardines and swallows.

Moreover, before you leave, don't forget to take a look at our range of filigree jewelry and women' handbags, which add a touch of sophistication and refinement to your look.

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