LISBON GUIDE

The best custard tarts in Lisbon

A previous clarification: Pastéis de Belém are a registered trademark and, therefore, all other custard tarts, similar to the original, have to be called Pastéis de Nata. And you will find them in any café in town, because they are Lisbon's calling card when it comes to sweets. Every year there is even a contest to choose the best. 

A tradição manda polvilhá-los com açúcar em pó e canela. Na Internet abundam receitas caseiras bem como workshops para aprender a cozinhá-los, mas não há como ir a estes locais que lhe vamos indicar, especializados no seu fabrico. 

Na nossa lista, encontrará também alguns dos cafés mais antigos e emblemáticos da cidade, verdadeiros clássicos, por onde passaram escritores, artistas e a fina-flor da sociedade lisboeta.

1 – Pastéis de Belém

Now it is identified only as Pastéis de Belém, but for more than a hundred years it was the "Old Confeitaria de Belém", founded in 1837, when the Jerónimos Monastery was forced to close as a consequence of the Liberal Revolution, and the monks went to a small store nearby, where a sugar refinery used to operate, to offer the recipe for the delicious pastéis that they had been cooking inside the monastery for centuries. Soon the place began to attract many visitors and the pastries became a success. The recipe is still the original and a secret and the owners never wanted to expand the business to other places. So, there is a whole cult around Pastéis de Belém, which, for us, are still the best. And it is worth a visit to the inside of the store, full of tile panels and objects from the old kitchen and store.

Pastéis de Belém
Rua de Belém, nº 84 a 92

Telefone: +351 213 637 423

2 – Manteigaria

The competition is fierce between the original Pastéis de Belém and the Manteigaria - Fábrica de Pastéis de Nata. As we always tell to tourists, they have to try both and decide which one they like better. Manteigaria opened in 2014 in a small store, with a beautiful Art Nouveau facade, on Rua do Loreto, right next to Praça Luís de Camões. They specialize in making Pastéis de Nata, with their own recipe, and the brand, in contrast to Pastéis de Belém, has already expanded to other locations, including the city of Porto. In Lisbon, you can find them in Chiado, Time Out Market, and Rua Augusta. The pastéis come out of the oven, hot and crunchy, all the time, and customers can entertain themselves watching the movements in the kitchen.

Manteigaria
Rua do Loreto, nº 2
Telefone: +351 21 347 1492

Time Out Lisboa, Avenida 24 de Julho, nº 50
Telefone: +351 213 471 492

Rua Augusta, nº 195-197
Telefone: +351 213 470 631

3 – Fábrica da Nata

At Fábrica da Nata, the Pastel de Nata is the star of the company, but there are many other options for breakfast, lunch or snacks. Open since 2016 in Praça dos Restauradores, this is another place where the ex-libris of Portuguese convent confectionery is cultivated. Currently, there are also stores in Rua Augusta and, outside Lisbon, in Porto and Sintra. Personally, we love going to the first one, the one in Praça dos Restauradores, to appreciate the old photos of Lisbon that are scattered throughout the space, decorated with great refinement and always evoking Portuguese traditions. As for the pastel, it's hard to eat just one!

Fábrica da Nata
Praça dos Restauradores, nº 62-68
Telefone: +351 211 325 435 / +351 912 358 070

Rua Augusta, nº 275 A
Telefone: +351 912 551 171

4 – Pastelaria Aloma

Aloma is a reference pastry shop in Lisbon, having opened on December 24, 1943 in Campo de Ourique, one of the most renowned and effervescent residential neighborhoods of Lisbon, with its own life and a great tradition in local commerce. The pastry shop makes all kinds of cakes, but its Pastel de Nata has won the Best Pastel de Nata Award three times and has become famous for it. The owners assure us that Pope Francis has been delighted with Aloma's Pastéis de Nata, known for having a more liquid and less sweet cream. They are served cold, like most of those found in the city's cafes.

Pastelaria Aloma
R. Francisco Metrass, nº 67

Telefone: +351 213 963 797

Largo Calhariz, nº 3
Telefone: +351 213 462 730

R. José Estêvão, nº 127
Telefone: +351 215 830 136

5 – Pastelaria Alcôa

The Pastelaria Alcôa, right in the heart of Chiado, is heaven on earth for those who like convent sweets, loaded with eggs and sugar. The Pastel de Nata won an award in 2014, but it is not the only star of the house, which is also a hit with its Cornucópias, Egg Chestnuts, Almond Chestnuts or Manjares dos Deuses. The original confectioner's shop opened in Alcobaça, a city well known for its monastery, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in 1957, and since then has been dedicated to making convent sweets in copper containers, following the tradition of the Cistercian monks, who were responsible for building the monastery. 

Pastelaria Alcôa
R. Garrett, nº 37

Telefone: +351 211 367 183

6 – Vegan Nata Portugal

Some say that you can't tell the difference between these vegan custard tarts, the first in the world to be certified by V-label, and the traditional ones, made with eggs and milk. And we agree! They are super crispy on the outside, creamy inside and, of course, an excellent option for the growing number of vegans around the world (and even for those who are not!) The Vegan Nata Portugal, a project born in 2019 by the hand of two young Portuguese entrepreneurs, have stores in Campo de Ourique and Chiado. And there is one more attraction in these stores: not only do they not use plastic utensils, but customers are also invited to take their coffee to the street in an edible cookie cup, the Soditud's Cupffee.

Nata Vegan Campo de Ourique
Rua 4 de Infantaria, nº 29 B
Telefone: +351 211 628 143

Nata Vegan Chiado / A Carioca
Rua da Misericórdia, nº 9
Telefone: +351 211 628 143

7 – A Brasileira

It is no exaggeration to say that A Brasileira, in the heart of Chiado, is simply the most famous and iconic café in Lisbon. It was in this beautiful Parisian-inspired architectural space, which opened in 1905, that one of the most deep-rooted habits of Portuguese culture was created - having a coffee - and where the term "BICA" (Beba Isto Com Açúcar), widely known to Lisboners, was born. Also famous is the bronze statue of Fernando Pessoa on the esplanade. The poet was a regular customer of the establishment opened by an ex-Portuguese immigrant in Brazil, Adriano Telles, who started selling coffee here, a drink that was unknown until then and little appreciated for its bitter taste. The history of A Brasileira is very rich and you can find out more on its official website. As for us here, all we can say is: go eat a pastel de nata and drink a coffee at A Brasileira, and don't forget to take a photo sitting next to Fernando Pessoa.

A Brasileira do Chiado
Rua Garrett, 120/122
Telefone: +351 213 469 541

8 – Pastelaria Benard

The Pastelaria Benard was founded in 1868 on Rua do Loreto, near Largo Camões, by a Frenchman, son of bakers, named Elie Benard. The idea was to recreate in Lisbon a French bakery, with production of French-style breads and cakes. Lisbon's high society immediately surrendered to the refinement and sophistication of the new space and its products. In 1902, the then Padaria Franceza moved to Rua Garrett under the name of Patisserie Benard. Today, almost side by side with A Brasileira, the Benard pastry shop is one of the most emblematic cafes in Lisbon and its esplanade one of the most pleasant. The customer's favorite has long been the croissant, made from a secret recipe and usually served warm. But the pastel de nata is also delicious, we guarantee.

Pastelaria Benard
Rua Garrett, 104
Telefone: +351  213 473 133

9 – Confeitaria Nacional

A Confeitaria Nacional é o segundo café mais antigo de Lisboa, depois do Martinho da Arcada. Foi fundada em 1829 por Balthazar Roiz Castanheiro, um jovem empreendedor que não se deixou intimidar pela Guerra Civil que decorria na altura, entre liberais e absolutistas, e rapidamente transformou o novo estabelecimento num local de eleição das elites. É incrível a história deste café: foi o fornecedor oficial da Casa Real Portuguesa; introduziu em Portugal o Bolo-Rei, proveniente do sul de França; recebeu nas suas instalações os primeiros telefones existentes em Lisboa; ganhou prémios e mais prémios de doçaria. E afamou-se também pelos pastéis de nata, os quais, garante a pastelaria no seu site, fabrica desde a fundação, imitando os originais que eram produzidos no Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, em Belém. A sua decoração interior ainda remete para o ambiente romântico do século XIX. 

Confeitaria Nacional
Praça da Figueira, 18B
Telefone: +351  213 424 47

 

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