You know, going to Porto and not having
Francesinhas is like going to Rome and not seeing the
Pope. But don't worry, you can always go back to Porto
to have one. Me and my friends will take you to the
best Francesinhas restaurant in Porto.
Well, Francesinhas is a Portuguese Delicacy that
originated in the city of Porto. It means, in a
literal portuguese/english translation, "little french
girls" or "frenchie". I have no clue as to why it has
a name like that, but legend says that it was a
Portuguese guy from Vila do Conde
that migrated to France and returned after a few years
that "invented" it. It is believed to be the
Portuguese version of the French "croque-monsieur".
It is a dish made with slices of bread, jam, cheese,
steak and pork sausage. After you make a sandwich with
these ingredients, you wrap it in cheese and then cook
it in the oven until the cheese melts. You will eat it
like a regular meal, with knife and fork.
The secret of the Francesinha is the hot sauce that
goes with it. Every Francesinhas restaurant will have
its own recipe. And then you can have variations on
the theme, with eggs, mushrooms, shrimps, you name it.
Francesinhas usually come with a large portion of
french fries. You can eat Francesinhas everywhere in
Portugal, but the very best come from Porto, off
The Porto people like it so much they even have
You can see what it looks like here: http://users.med.up.pt/vitorper/francesinhas.htm
It may look like a regular sandwich, but, believe me, it is delicious, and unless you are what we here in Portugal call "um bom garfo", literally "a good fork" meaning someone who will eat a lot, you'll find it hard to eat one whole Francesinha.
Best Regards and "bon appetit", Rui Martins in Lisbon