Pastel de Nata
Indeed the archetypal Portuguese pastry is the Pastel de Nata – a custard tart with hints of cinnamon and vanilla, which you can find in, we’ll risk saying: every Pastelaria in the country!
But Lisbonites believe that this sacred Portuguese pastry is found in its most heavenly form at the Antiga Confeitaria de Belem, more commonly known as the Pastéis de Belém. So this would have to be your first stop!
The first-ever version of Pastel de Nata was baked over 200 years ago
The Pastéis de Belém have been in operation since 1837, and it is believed that the first-ever version of this dessert was baked over 200 years ago in the very same spot by nuns at the nearby Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. The identical, ultra-secret recipe has been followed since that very first year. Today an average of 20,000 tarts are made per day, a figure that reaches the 40,000 mark in the peak of summer.
Ask for a box of six – you won’t regret it. The light pastry on the outside will be warm yet crispy and the custard inside will melt in your mouth.
In the buzzing Chiado district a new-kid-on-th-block as also been making headlines – the Manteigaria. What was once part of a butter shop, has reopened as a “custard tarts factory” – you’ll recognise it by its Art Nouveau façade facing Camões Square. Here the tarts are continuously made in front of you throughout the day, so pop in any time you feel peckish.