Best Bifana in Porto (a very spicy pork sandwich) is what a lot of Porto travellers are looking for. But first, lets talk about Bifana. What is Bifana?
Bifana is, without a shadow of doubt, one of those typical Portuguese dishes that you MUST taste when you visit Porto. But first, what is a Bifana? Since the Americans have the burger on bread, Portuguese people have great pork steaks on delicious bread, sauteed with garlic and / or spices. Usually the pork fillets are seasoned with mustard or a tasty hot sauce. It has been featured in Lonely Planet, and guess what, Bifana is so popular in Portugal that even McDonalds launched their own McBifana!
So delicious it makes it very hard to select which one is the best Bifana in Porto!
Very often we tell our guests they cannot leave without trying Bifanas. And almost always they reply “What’s that?” and “Which one is the best Bifana?”.
So, we will let you know everything we know about bifana.
Well, no surprise, we too like to snack sometimes, and so various Porto dishes were created to fulfill this important part of our lifes. In Portugal, especially in the north region, you may find a lot of sandwiches whose solo role it is to provide you a quick meal, sometimes with only a bowl of a tasteful soup to complete your meal.
One of the main sandwiches in Portugal, enjoyed from north to south, is the Bifana. Simply put, it’s steak sandwich, and that´s it, nothing more. So simple! Simply put, a pork steak, seasoned with garlic and spices, then put everything inside a bread roll with sauce. So, is it possible that a piece of steak can fit your meal so perfectly in a bread roll and present you with a mix of flavors that will make your taste buds spin?! For sure!
But, let we warn you that not all bifana sandwiches taste like the same!
In the North of Portugal, the portuguese people has the habit for small meals, it is usually made with little pieces of steak that have been spiced and seasoned in a big pot with sauce, and it’s usually a bit spicy. The respective bread is a simple white bread roll, that ends up being moistened with the steak tasty sauce.
But which one is the original Bifana?
History said that the original Bifana comes from the small town of Vendas Novas in Alentejo, in the south of the Portugal.
Does “Conga” have Porto´s best Bifana?
Largely known as THE place to try Bifanas, Conga was established in 1976 in Porto centre, and although the place was spruced up a bit not long ago it still carries the traditional ambiance of before. They have a magic cauldron where the Bifanas are made (the one in the video above), where they cook all day with the juices from the meat and the seasonings. And that sauce! Can you imagine the flavor? Just try it and feel free to thank us later. We recommend you go local and enjoy yours standing at Conga so you can enjoy the best vantage point from which to watch the food action.
Taxca (A Badalhoca)
A well-known petiscos place in the city, Taxca has acquired a large entourage mainly through its no-fuss yummy and fast-ish food. Dishes range from 2€ to 4€ and it is easy to return frequently. The is one of their best dishes to be served, hot and with a subtle hint of spice. Well, sometimes not quite subtle. So you never really know what’s coming out of the pan, other than sauce dripping meat chunks that lay perfectly in that simple bread roll. Sometimes the meat pieces try to fall on your plate.
Rei das Bifanas
Away from the city center is the king of Bifanas. Or at least that is what they call themselves, due to have one of the best Bifana in Porto. Close to the Porto Football team´s stadium, this is one of those traditional places that has a more or less a steady clientele. You shouldn’t go there expecting a fancy place, but instead a delicious and traditional Bifana. And when that beautiful Bifana sauce starts to drip down your hands there is no need to worry about scolding glares when you go to lick it off, that sort of behavior is entirely understood and definitely accepted.
Another very traditional type of restaurant in Porto, the Poveiros Snack-bar provides their customers with a welcoming service. Their Bifana is not as strongly flavored as others we have tried, but it is a fine example of one, nonetheless. Additionally, they have a homemade chocolate mousse that I can attest pairs very nicely as a dessert.
A very recent addition to the city, Barbaz focuses on traditional petiscos and, as we like to say, comfort food. Owned by the couple that works there, it is a small place with food that surprises. The Bifana is simple as it should be, but the meat comes with a hint of rosemary, which sets it apart from all the others we’ve tried. It is a bit drier than the traditional style Bifana, so don’t waste any of its sauce. And that makes one of the best Bifana in Porto!
Best drink for tasting Bifana?
Our local beer, SuperBock. You can´t find a better drink for your best Bifana in Porto!