If you do not know this iconic dish of the Invicta city's gastronomy, we can describe it as a sandwich stuffed with various meats, covered with melted cheese and a velvety tomato-based sauce, spices, beer and a secret touch. It can also be accompanied by fried potatoes and a fried egg: it is a symphony of delicious flavours, a festival for your palate, which must be "watered" with a very fresh beer! As for the best Francesinhas, the theme is not at all peaceful, especially if debated with a native. These are the choices of All About Portugal.
Buffet Phase serves francesinhas without pretentiousness, since 1984, cooking it in front of the client. A simple space, where the queues prove the quality of this delicacy, so here’s a tip: arrive early. Here, only the typical francesinha is available, without any modern variations and without spicy. Those who want spice, can always add it themselves.
Historic space, located in the centre of the Invicta city, Café Santiago has been serving francesinhas for more than 50 years, but will have opened its doors even earlier, in the 1930s, as an eating house and bar. Their special sauce is rated by many as one of the best in town. And, because there is no such thing as too much of a good thing, Santiago has already three spaces open, two at Rua Passos Manuel and another at Praça dos Poveiros.
Overlooking Avenida dos Aliados, the Cervejaria Brasão is a rustic but elegant space with a half-light ambiance that invites you to chat all night long. Here, Francesinha is the star of the house, along with a vast selection of craft beers. The original space, in the Aliados, could no longer handle the influx of customers, such is the fame of this delicacy, reason why, in 2017, a second house was opened next to the Coliseum.
With a privileged location, right in the middle of Avenida da Boavista, Cufra is known for its francesinhas, seafood and pressure beer that perfectly accompanies this delicacy. Open since 1974, they keep their traditional look, with a cozy and informal atmosphere, which invites for another round of beer.
Capa Negra II
Open for more than 30 years, Capa Negra II is one of the most emblematic restaurants in the city. Its menu is varied, from seafood to pasta, but the star of the house is undoubtedly the francesinhas. A tip from the natives: as starters, try the famous meat empanadas, but save some space for the francesinhas!
It is in Canelas, Vila Nova de Gaia, that the Locanda is found, with its magnificent francesinhas, au gratin, in a wood oven. And if you're wondering if it's worth going so far to eat a francesinha, rest assured: the taste of the wood oven, and the velvety and spicy sauce, make the trip worth it. In addition to the typical francesinha, one of the most requested dishes is the francesinha calzone, served in pizza dough.
Lado B Café
Located opposite the Porto Coliseum, Side B Café is a modern space where the decoration, linked to the world of music, stands out, as the restaurant is owned by the former owner of the well-known Jo-Jo's Music store. Here, the francesinha is queen and, therefore, the house decided to register the mark "the best francesinha in the world".
The restaurant Afonso is a discreet and informal space, where, to this day, the francesinha is made on the spot and in an artisan way, as tradition demands. Unknown to many, this small restaurant was catapulted to fame when, in 2017, was visited by chef Anthony Bourdain. And everyone who has visited it since then confirms the quality of its francesinha, made only by its owner, who religiously keeps the recipe to himself.
The francesinhas from Tappas Caffé are distinguished by the way they are made, in a wood oven, and by its delicious sauce. Part of the secret of this sauce is chiripiti, a well-known drink of the customers, since it is also served at the end of the meal. As a result of the quality of its francesinhas, the brand currently has six restaurants in the Porto region and one in Lisbon.
We end up with the icing on the cake, with the Yuko francesinha, considered by many to be the best in town. In addition to the delicious sauce, what stands out in this francesinha is the ham, an ingredient unusual in this delicacy. With an intimate, half-light setting, it is a great spot for late-night snacking.