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Lisbon, Portugal

Portuguese pastry: the best pastel de natas in Lisbon

The guide to Lisbon’s best pastel de natas

Embarking on a quest for Lisbon’s best pastel de nata is like diving into a flaky, creamy adventure that tantalizes the taste buds and captivates the soul. These custard tarts, with their golden crust and sumptuous filling, take you on a cultural journey through Portugal’s rich culinary landscape. Each bite offers a glimpse into the artistry of Portuguese baking, and make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. The perfection of texture and taste defines the essence of indulgence. From cosy corner bakeries to bustling cafés, the pastel de nata reigns supreme, inviting us all to debate, delight in and devour Lisbon’s iconic pastry.
Manteigaria Lisbon Lisboa Portugal bakery review

What is a pastel de nata and how can you tell it’s a good one?

The pastel de nata, a Portuguese custard tart, is a culinary emblem of Lisbon, boasting a crisp, flaky pastry shell filled with a rich, creamy custard, lightly scorched on top for a hint of caramelization. Its perfection lies in the balance of texture and taste – a golden, crunchy exterior meets the smooth, sweet interior.

A top-tier pastel de nata should leave a buttery trace on your fingers, with the custard offering a slight jiggle, suggesting a soft, tender bite. Its excellence is often judged by the contrast between the warm, voluptuous filling and the cool, crisp pastry, a duo that dances harmoniously on the palate. In the bustling streets of Lisbon, the quest for the best pastel de nata becomes a flavorful adventure, each bakery claiming the throne with its unique take on this traditional delight.

Want to learn how to make your own pastel de nata in Lisbon?

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Manteigaria Lisbon Lisboa Portugal bakery review
Manteigaria Lisbon Lisboa Portugal bakery review

01

Manteigaria

Manteigaria, a standout in Lisbon for pastel de nata, operates from a former butter shop, now a beacon of Portuguese baking. Its open kitchen layout allows visitors to watch as pastéis de nata are crafted, combining the best ingredients with artisanal skill. Located in key areas like Chiado and Time Out Market, Manteigaria offers these custard tarts fresh from the oven, with the sound of a bell signaling new batches. This experience is not just about tasting; it’s a window into Lisbon’s culinary culture, making Manteigaria a must-visit for those seeking authentic local flavours​​​​​​​​.

Manteigaria
Rua do Loreto 2
Lisbon
Portugal

Photography courtesy of Manteigaria
Pastéis de Belém Lisbon Lisboa Portugal bakery review

02

Pastéis de Belém

Nestled near Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon’s Belém district, Pastéis de Belém stands as the sole purveyor of the original Pastéis de Belém, distinct from the ubiquitous pastel de nata. This bakery, rooted in an 18th-century recipe devised by monks, thrives on secrecy, with only a select few privy to its composition of egg yolks, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Daily, it dispenses over 20,000 of these custard tarts, a testament to their enduring appeal. Visitors can witness the pastry-making process, a blend of tradition and culinary artistry, through expansive kitchen windows. The experience is quintessentially Lisbon, offering a taste of history with each cinnamon-sprinkled bite​​​​​​​​.

Pastéis de Belém
R. de Belém 84-92
Lisbon
Portugal

Photography courtesy of Pastéis de Belém
Fábrica da Nata Lisbon Lisboa Portugal bakery review
Fábrica da Nata Lisbon Lisboa Portugal bakery review

03

Fábrica da Nata

Fábrica da Nata, a recent addition to Lisbon’s culinary landscape since 2016, has quickly become a must-visit for pastel de nata aficionados. Located in a historic building, it champions the famed Portuguese tart with a focus on traditional craftsmanship and quality ingredients. Each pastry, with its flaky crust and creamy filling, is baked in full view, offering a transparent and engaging experience. Situated in key Lisbon locales like Praça dos Restauradores and Rua Augusta, Fábrica da Nata extends beyond its hero product, presenting a variety of Portuguese flavours.

Fábrica da Nata
Praça dos Restauradores 62-68
Lisbon
Portugal

Photography courtesy of Fábrica da Nata

Castro Lisbon Lisboa Portugal bakery review

04

Castro

Castro, originating in Porto and later expanding to Lisbon, quickly made a name for itself with its high-quality pastel de nata. Located in the bustling Chiado district, Castro offers a singular focus on this iconic Portuguese pastry. The custard for their pastéis de nata is uniquely prepared 24 hours in advance, a technique they believe enhances the flavor. This dedication to quality and simplicity has carved out a distinguished reputation for Castro among Lisbon’s myriad of pastelarias.

Castro
R. das Gáveas 74-78
Lisbon
Portugal

Photography courtesy of Castro

Santo Antonio Lisbon Lisboa Portugal bakery review

05

Santo António

Santo Antônio, located in Lisbon’s heart, maintains culinary tradition with its stellar pastel de nata. This bakery, steeped in the city’s rich history, marries classic architecture with contemporary flair, creating an inviting atmosphere. Each pastel de nata,offers a crispy, flaky pastry filled with a smooth, creamy custard that captivates the palate. Santo Antônio’s dedication to quality extends beyond these iconic tarts, presenting a curated selection of Portuguese delicacies. The interior, designed with a nod to Lisbon’s heritage, complements the gastronomic experience.

Santo António
R. do Milagre de Santo António 10
Lisbon
Portugal

Photography courtesy of Santo António

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