Have You Tasted Lisbon’s Legendary “Pasteis de Nata?” Here Are The Greatest Places To Bite Into Them!

Have You Bitten Down On A Pasteis de Nada?

My wife Alex and I went to Lisbon over New Years – and it was a magical adventure for many reasons like this one!

Check out Lisbon Portugal’s legendary tarts – crispy and caramelized creamy confections that are literally everywhere you go in the city – and they hit you with them as soon as you arrive in town!

They were waiting for us as we checked into our hotel – along with a bottle of Porto of course, another Portugese treat.

The term “pastéis de nata” is Portuguese for “cream pastries.”

Oh, and here is something to know: “pastéis” is the plural form of the word for pastry, so if you see “pastel de nata” that just means a single one!

Phil Rosenthal made a joke that no one will ever say “pastel” because they are simply too delicious to eat only one! In fact, we headed to one place where Phil took us on his show “Somebody Feed Phil” to sample several…

Welcome To Time Out Lisboa Food Market!

We headed to the terrific Time Out Food Market, which is filled with stall after stall after stall of great local food by local Chefs – Manteigaria is one of the best!

Alex waited in line for a few minutes in order to dig into the first “pasteis” of our trip – and we quickly understood why there is always a line!

Look at this!

By the way, Time Out Lisboa is an incredible food adventure! After Alex got her treat, she was quick to post this great shot of the deliciously creamy and crispy treat:

First, it’s important to state that there is a reason they are iconic: they are absolutely delicious: smooth and creamy custard inside a delicious, slightly crispy shell!

The next day, we headed to the most legendary Pasteis restaurant in Lisbon!

Welcome To The Birthplace Of The Pastel de Nata!

Here is how one online list of great Lisbon restaurants described Pastéis de Belém:

“Pastéis de Belém, the birthplace of pastel de nata! This is a good time to clarify the difference between Pastéis de Belém and pastéis de natapastéis de nata (plural for pastel de nata) are literally custard tarts, the ones you’ll find all across Portugal and even beyond borders; Pastéis de Belém are also pastéis de nata, but specifically those baked and sold at Antiga Confeitaria de Belém.” 

This restaurant originated in 1837 – here’s how that website described it:

“Monks from the Jerónimos Monastery in the Lisbon neighborhood of Belém were trying to make a living after the religious institutions were shut down due to new government orders. These monks sold their pastries to Antiga Confeitaria de Belém, which started making the sweets popular with visitors who’d come to Belém for a stroll.” 

Pasteis de Belem is about a 20-minute walk from the center of Lisbon, just a few blocks in from the Tagus river.

Oh, and they sell about 25,000 of these tarts every day!

Look at that crispy edge, the slightly caramelized top and the creamy center: a slightly caramel/vanilla flavor to the custard, and absolutely delicious.

This is an iconic pastry that is enjoyed all day and night – and they are everywhere!

After a great night out for dinner, we happened upon a storefront bakery busy making them!

They are just one of a myriad of delicious desserts that I can’t pronounce well but here I am trying!

Lisboa loves its pastries, and we loved trying them – in fact, I even tried to make one of them!

I used a Lisbon cookbook to make a variation on the Pasteis – here is the recipe for a “Queijada de Leite!”

As I said, we decided to go to Lisbon after seeing it profiled on “Somebody Feed Phil” – if you haven’t seen the show, click here for a look at just how much fun it is!

The food in Lisbon is incredible – did you see this incredible Scarlett Shrimp presentation I shared?

Click here to see our entire meal at Cervejaris Ramiro – where they also serve a steak sandwich for dessert!

Another aspect of Portugal that we loved is the incredible history, like when we toured Pena Palace:

Click here for the whole tour, including beautifully maintained royal living quarters!

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Leave me a comment and I you liked this story, feel free to share on social media – thank you!

Categories: Art, cookbooks, Exotic Travel, Food, food blog, Food Review, Memoirs, Pop Culture, Recipes, Restaurants, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Wacky Food

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22 replies

  1. HI John, these are delicious looking treats.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fine time. The food, the place, the cream pastries made my mouth water. Congrats, John.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. They look Delicious! I would love to go to Lisbon someday.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah — the pastéis in Lisbon. Couldn’t get enough. Isn’t that Time Out Market Lisboa the coolest? We were there on a Monday night at 10:00 pm and it was jammed with happy, hungry folks. Thx for sharing these great images.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yum! And the fact that these are everywhere in Lisbon says it all. I love the tile walkways. They are long and wide. I can’t imagine the amount of work involved.


  6. We’re doing no carbs this month and your post isn’t helping lol! Those look sooo good.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love them! Now I need to see if someone makes them here in Sarnia.


  8. We have a large Portuguese immigrant community in rural Norfolk, so those custard tarts are sold everywhere here, even in large supermarkets. We both love them!
    Best wishes, Pete.


  9. This is so funny. I just made a batch of these as they are hubby’s favourite. Then I checked my emails and found your post! We must be on the same wavelength. I agree, you can’t have just one. Hubby had three with his afternoon tea!

    Liked by 1 person

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