A Sandeira do Porto, located steps away from touristy Rua das Flores, is where to go for the best sandwich in Porto. This cavernous, hole-in-the-wall restaurant, missed by many, serves both affordable and fresh food. This includes sandwiches, salads, soups, and snacks, all for under €10,00.
There are a few things you should know before coming to A Sandeira do Porto. First, the dining room is tiny with only a few tables. If you are dining with a large group, this might not be the place for you. Also, with limited seating, there is often a wait. And, it’s cash only. But even with all these hurdles, the food is worth it.If you are looking for more information about Porto and Portugal, I highly recommend picking up a guidebook such as Rick Steves Portugal.
Interior of A Sandeira do Porto
One of the most unique things about A Sandeira do Porto was its dining room. Some might find the tiny but open room to be borderline claustrophobic. And, it was. But I also found the room to be cozy and inviting. On one side of the restaurant you had three tables. On the other side, a small counter with enough space for a drink and a plate. Because of the limited seating, you can often find a line out front. But, the wait is worth it.
On both walls, you had distressed wooden doors which added to the cozy, old school ambiance. Though cavernous, the bright lights and sunlight from outside lit the room up.
A Sandeira do Porto Menu
On the menu at A Sandeira do Porto you will find sandwiches, salads, appetizers, soup, sweets, and snacks. All sandwiches were set at €4,90 ($5.66) while salads were set at €6,30 ($7.28). As the name of the restaurant implies, A Sandeira do Porto is best known for their sandwiches.
As for drinks, you had lemonade, juice, soda, water, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. The menu also had alcoholic drinks including local craft beers, liquor, wine, and cocktails.
First up was the Clérigos Sandwich (€4,90 or about $5.66) made with olive paste, feta cheese, tomato, and basil. Though simple, this sandwich looked both beautiful and colorful when it arrived at my table. Though the menu stated there was also rocket (arugula), there was none.
While I don’t know where the bread came from, I would guess a local bakery. It tasted that fresh. It was crispy and flaky on the outside while soft and fluffy on the inside. And, it held up to the last bite.
My favorite part of this sandwich was the olive paste. It was salty, acidic, and added a much needed tanginess. Spread into the entire length of the bread, I could taste the creamy olive paste in each bite.
Feta is a salty cheese. So, when I saw large chunks of feta packed into this sandwich, I became worried. Would it be too salty? On its own, I would say yes. But, this is where the tomato, lettuce, and basil played an important role. The sweet, tart tomatoes, crunchy lettuce, and fresh basil balanced out the saltiness of the feta and olive paste.
The combination of flavors and textures between the crispy bread, creamy olive paste, salty feta, and fresh vegetables elevated this otherwise simple sandwich. And, for the price, I couldn’t complain.
At the recommendation of my server, I also decided to order the Paris Sandwich (€4,90 or about $5.66), made with smoked salmon, feta cheese, and lettuce.
This sandwich was similar to the Clérigos Sandwich. It had the same great flaky bread which was crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. It also had the same salty feta cheese. And, it had the same fresh, crunchy lettuce which complemented the salty salmon and cheese.
For the price, I thought the amount of smoked salmon in this sandwich was generous. Though simple, the smoked salmon was fresh and salty. And, its tender, creamy texture paired well with the crunchy bread.
If you like smoked salmon, and simple, fresh sandwiches, then the Paris Sandwich might be for you.
Last up was the Ribeira Salad (€6,30 or about $7.28) made with mango, avocado, tomato, and red onion. Served on the side were two slices of bread. As with the sandwiches, this was one colorful salad. They say you eat with your eyes, and I knew this would taste great.
This was my first time having a salad with mango. But after trying it, I am now a fan. By itself, mango might sound strange on a salad. But when you mix mango with fresh tomatoes, creamy avocado, crispy red onions, and an assortment of spices, it works. Also, the different textures of the mango, tomato, avocado, and lettuce complemented each other.
On the side were two slices of bread. As with the sandwiches, this bread was crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. On top of the bread was a tomato paste and sesame seeds for texture.
On my visit to A Sandeira do Porto, there were two workers. One was in the small kitchen in the back preparing food. The other was greeting guests, taking orders, and taking payments. The worker in the front of the house was friendly and efficient though busy. She helped with any questions and gave me her recommendations on what to order. Even though there was a line out front, she remained attentive. With only one worker out front, be patient if the place is busy. If you are in a rush, this might not be the place for you.
Though located only steps away from Rua das Flores, A Sandeira Do Porto feels like it is a local spot, hidden away from all the tourists. The sandwiches served here are some of the best in Porto. Though simple, the ingredients are fresh, flavorful, and colorful. And for the location, you can’t beat the prices. While the dining room is borderline claustrophobic, I can appreciate its unique coziness. So, if you are looking for the best sandwich in Porto, you go to one place. And, that is A Sandeira do Porto.
- Extensive yet affordable menu
- Fresh and flavorful ingredients
- Friendly service
- Often a line with limited seating and space
- Cash only
Rua dos Caldeireiros 85, Porto, Portugal
GPS Coordinates: 41.14534,-8.61276