The bifana 

Portugal’s most famous pork sandwich has a new home in Lagos.

Bifanas are an integral part of Portuguese culture and soul, and as such, Mar d’Estórias has the task of celebrating the best our country has to offer. 

This dish has been on the menu for a long time and, because it’s so successful, Mar d’Estórias decided to enhance its profile by putting it in their window. Now the walk through the old town of Lagos has taken on a new aroma, with passers-by being tempted to try this simple delicacy. 

What is the origin of the bifana?

Although the origin of the famous Portuguese pork sandwich is unknown, a small town in the Alentejo claims to be the first to produce a bifana. Several restaurants and cafes in Vendas Novas serve this sandwich, usually with soup, to satisfy even the most ravenous appetite. Bifana is a dish served at any time of day, but in the evening, after a few beers, this sandwich tastes even better. 

In every Portuguese city, there is a cafe, tasca, or food truck where this delicacy is served until dawn and it is where the party ends for the night owls. It is undoubtedly the most popular snack in the country and, although the recipe is simple, every restaurant has its own secret ingredient.

What makes a good bifana?

First of all, a good bifana should be served on fresh bread. It can be homemade bread, but some prefer bread rolls, which should be slightly warmed before serving. 

The pork is sliced thinly and marinated for an hour in crushed garlic, salt, bay leaves, beer and paprika. Meanwhile, the same ingredients are prepared in a pan and seasoned with wine and piri-piri sauce. When the sauce starts to boil, the strips of meat are added to the sauce, where they rest for 45 minutes on low heat. 

After being served their bifana, customers can add more piri-piri sauce and mustard. It’s the details that make a pork sandwich a good bifana!

The flavours of Portugal at the Mar d’Estórias window

The bifanas at Mar d’Estórias are already part of the menu, and the good news is that they have now created a space on the ground floor, with a direct connection to the street, where you can get a bifana takeaway, or eat it there with a craft beer. 

Bifana à Janela is served from Monday to Saturday, from midday, right next to the Lagos Cultural Centre.

Did you know that on the ground floor of this centuries-old building in the heart of Lagos, there is a food and wine shop? The space is decorated to be reminiscent of the neighbourhood’s old grocery shops. Here you will find everything: canned fish, olive oil, liqueurs, chocolates, and even some products found only on the islands, like Madeira’s passion fruit juice Brisa.


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