The name “A Badalhoca” meaning dirty/slutty woman, seems like a deterrent for clients, but it is actually a play on words which has made this place famous among locals in Porto. This restaurant is far from dirty and it could actually be slutty because when you see your sandwich being made it is the closest thing to Food Porn, turning you automatically into a local food pervert. Rumours say that the name came from before 1965, when it had different owners, the sandwiches were served on newspaper and the floor was covered in codfish skin and bones.
Unquestionably the best “presunto” (Portuguese parma ham) sandwich in porto, this place is famous for its love for ham; you can buy a “presunto” sandwich for €1,50 and also just the ham for €12,00 a Kg if its not pre-sliced, if you want it to be pre-sliced, it is €20,00 a Kg. The “presunto” is imported directly from Holland and cured here in Portugal, the traditional Portuguese way.
As well as the amazing “presunto” they also have other traditional dishes that you should try, before life gets too short. This healthy cholesterol includes, “rojoes” (Portuguese pork chunks made in a special stew sauce) “iscas de bacalhau” (a long cod fish cake), “figado a cebolada” (liver served with onion), “carne assada” (Roasted pork loin), “papas de sarrabulho” (Blood soup) and “morcela” (Blood sausage). All these things are served either in a bread or on a plate, your choice; obviously don’t ask for the blood soup in the bread. Thinking better about it, ask for it, just to see the reaction from the people who work there; they will politely tell you to fuck off. The sharp tongue and witty comebacks of “Dona Lurdes”, one of the proprietors defiantly give this place a traditional charm, which is not easily emulated, especially if you start talking about football. She is fanatic of a local football club called “Boavista”, be careful not to mention the fact that the club has been relegated due to corruption and financial issues, because this will ensue a long emotional conversation.
One of the details that makes the sandwiches here unique is the fact that the bread is always fresh and is supplied by the bakery on the other side of the street. This gives the sandwiches a crunchy exterior and a soft/fresh interior, a perfect combination with the “presunto” and the other specialties from “Badalhoca”.
To drink here the speciality is “espadal”, the house rosé, which is on tap. The house red or white is also available, as well as the standard beer. Currently there is another “Badalhoca” opening in Matosinhos, this one is one of the original owners which is expanding their outreach within the “fish” district of Porto. There is also a copy of the original in the centre of Porto it is called “Taxca”, it is on Rua da Picaria, You can find the review for this place in another post, but I can say that nothing beats the original, in terms of quality, price and hospitality; no-one likes remakes no matter how much money is thrown at them. The location of the original “badalhoca” is a bit out of your way and the public transport routes are a bit tricky, but it is definitely worth the journey.
This authentic traditional Portuguese fast food snack bar is a good pit-stop before going for a stroll on the beach in “Matosinhos”, “Foz” and even “Parque da Cidade”, Porto´s biggest park.
Address: Rua Dr. Alberto Macedo, 437, Porto
Opening hours: Mondays to Fridays from 9:00 – 14:00 & 15:30 – 20:00. Saturdays from 9:00 – 14:00.