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When I learned that  Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown was airing a travel and food show in Porto, Portugal  the news brought back memories of the first time I was in Porto and came face to face with a real “Francesinha”. 

Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal after Lisbon, is located along the Douro river in Northern Portugal and is known world wide for its Porto wine, a fortified after dinner wine and for its Francesinha sandwich, a distant relative of the french croque-monsieur that a Portuguese emigrant brought back when he returned to Porto and adapted the sandwich to the Portuguese taste. 

Francesinha sandwiches

Francesinha (means little Frenchie or simply Frenchie in Portuguese) It is a famous Portuguese sandwich originally from Porto, made with bread,  ham, linguiça,  sausage, steak and covered with melted cheese and drenched with a special tomato and beer sauce served with fried potatoes.


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It was in August 2013 when my wife and I visited Porto. At the time I asked a local friend where I could get a Francesinha (One of Portugal’s popular Portuguese Dishes) and he suggested I go to Café Santiago in Rua Passos Manuel near the Coliseu do Porto. 


When I entered a full to capacity Café Santiagowas quickly asked to wait for my turn along with others who were most likely there for the same reason. To eat one of their famous Francesinhas.





I ordered a Francesinha à Santiago, a very hearty sandwich, made with two slices of bread, fresh sausage, linguica, steak, fried egg, mortadella, ham which is then topped with cheese and served with french fries and a generous portion of a special sauce.


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Francesinha at Café Santiago in Porto

Can’t wait for Anthony Bourdain’s show on Sunday, July 2nd, so that I can reminisce about my August 2013 visit to Porto and my first experience eating the famous Francesinha sandwich.


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