If you had asked me to name the three things I was most excited about before visiting Lisbon then I can guarantee that pastel de nata would have been one of them. They absolutely lived up to my expectations and I ate at least a few each day. Luckily I burnt all the calorie intake within few days as I walked a lot through the streets of Lisbon.
They were served for breakfast at my amazing guest house and I guess they were from the local supermarket as they were not that fresh, crunchy and warm as the ones I had at the most famous bakeries. Before I share their names with you, I will write something a little bit more about this delicious treat.
Pastéis de nata
Pastéis de nata are small pastries made from the puff pastry filled with yolk cream and dusted with cinnamon and sugar. The freshly baked ones are absolutely delicious. It’s a bit tricky to do them at home because at the well-known bakery in Belém (suburb of Lisbon) they bake them at 800°C which is practically impossible at home.
Pastéis are made from the basic ingredients like butter, sugar, egg, flour, cream and salt. Nuns that lived in the monastery Mosteiro dos Jeronimos in Belém used egg whites to starch their collars and were not really sure what to do with the remaining egg yolks. So they started to bake pastries.
The local cake shop bought the recipe from them and in 1836 started to bake and sell pastéis according to their own recipe. The ingredients remained the same but the ratio of them is a big secret. And because they were the original owners of the recipe, they called them Pastéis de Belém. In other parts of Portugal, they are know as Pastéis de nata (pastel de nata in singular). The Belém cake shop became so popular that opened also a café where you can sit down and enjoy something sweet with a cup of coffee.
Where to find the best Pastéis de Belém (Nata)
I mentioned this café above and this is the place where they bake the best pastéis in the world. It is always super busy but it’s definitely worth the queue. There is one queue for take away and one to get the table. You can either buy few and enjoy them in a nearby park or you can sit down at a café and have some coffee as well. The bakery produces also other kind of pastries and fruitcakes.
This pastelaria has it’s own shop at Rua do Loreto 2 in Bairro Alto district but you can try their pastéis also at the famous food hall called Time Out Market where they serve these until midnight.
This place was recommended by one travel lady on Instagram and you can find it at Praça dos Restauradores 62 -68.
Another recommendation from my fellow travel blogger. Aloma is located at R. Francisco Metrass 67.