The 7 best sandwiches I had in Portugal

If you think of Portuguese food, first things that come to mind are not the sandwiches, but rather cod and pasteis de nata. But they really surprised me, here are my favorites:

Versione in italiano

#7 Francesinha

A very famous sandwich (or dish one could argue) from Porto. I had very high expectations which I must say were not met. It has a bunch of ingredients: between two slices of white bread it contains fiandre (cooked ham), mortadela (not Italian style!), fresh sausage, linguiça (spicy sausage), veal steak, and is covered in melted cheese and a spicy sauce with beer and tomato. On top you can add a fried egg.

I took it at Lado B, supposed to be the best in Porto. That’s was pure cholesterol, with a smoky flavour but overall too much stuff, and you need a fizzy drink to knock it down. The half portion is generous.

Lato B Cafè, R. de Passos Manuel 190, Porto
€. 6,75 (1/2 porzione)

#6 Pão com chorizo

A “basic” sandwich bought in a bakery, a roll with chorizo and cheese inside. Taken in the nice bakery in the center of Óbidos, nicely warm and good bread, but you could hardly feel the filling.

Capinha d’Óbidos, Rua Direita 105, Óbidos
€. 3,00

#5 Cachorrinho

The Portuguese hot dog, the name in fact means “little dog”. Small serving by Portuguese standards it’s made with a fresh sausage, melting cheese and a long bread; on request they add a drizzle of spicy sauce. Served in two pre-cut portions.

Try this typical aperitif snack with a glass of beer at the crowded Gazela counter (the small bar, not the larger shop a little further on)

Gazela, Tv. Cimo de Vila 4, Porto
€. 3,80

#4 Sandes com presunto e queijo de olveha curado maintegato

A simple but tasty farmer’s sandwich. Found by chance among the kiosks on praça da Figueira in Lisbon. Country bread with presunto ham and naturally creamy sheep cheese to be spread using a spoon.

The serving is enough for two. Add a nice glass of Porto vinho tinto (red wine).

Kiosk, praça da Figueira, Lisbona
€. 6,50

#3 Sandes de leitão

Roasted suckling pig was also available at the kiosks. Tried it plain in a sandwich. Well spiced (they ask you if you want to add pepper and garlic oil), very tender, juicy.

Perfect pairing is the sangria taken at the nearby kiosk.

Kiosk, praça da Figueira, Lisbona
€. 5,00

#2 Sandes Pernil com queijo de olveha

Casa Guedes is a true institution in Porto, and if you sit “at the barra” and see how the sandwich man handles the roast pork leg literally soaked in the cooking sauce, you immediately understand that you are in the right place.

I tried the pernil sandwich (you can also have it as a dish) in the chef’s version with brie, caramelized onions and rocket, but I fully appreciated the classic with fresh sheet cheese; the sauce softens the bread and makes the whole sandwich amazing. The house rosé wine goes along greatly.

Casa Guedes, Praça dos Poveiros 130, Porto
€. 5,90 (versione chef €. 7,90)

#1 Prego com vinegraitte

Another pride of Porto is the prego. A must try at Lereira. A crispy sandwich with a rare veal steak, ham and cheese, unbelievable! I took the version with the vinegraitte aside (pickled diced peppers and onions).

The vinegraitte was not bad but unnecessary, as an alternative you can get the sandwich with fried egg. In any case, it comes with fries covered with a garlic and parsley sauce. An unforgettable experience, to be paired with tinto sangria, the best I had in Portugal.

Lareira, Rua Das Oliveiras 8, Porto
€. 6,20

Bonus

I also made myself some sandwiches with the famous Portuguese conservas.

Sandwich with sardines in spicy tomato sauce. They were huge, very tasty, even if the sandwich was a bit dry. Cost less than € 1.50.

Sandwich with cod in oil. Not bad, it would have been better with salad and tomato. Cost € 3.50

Which sandwich would you eat? Leave a comment!

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