Café Pastéis de Belém, Lisbon

November 8, 2009


Pastel de Nata

When visiting a capital city, it is hard, as a Londoner, to resist a little game of matching up the different areas with London equivalents. The area just off Rossio for example, we decided was Leicester Square (high concentration of tourists), and our riverside beers were enjoyed on the ‘South Bank’. Our trip out of town to Belém then, to the home of the Pastel de Nata (custard tart), was rather like heading out to the ‘burbs for a day trip. We also made a classic capital city transport error, by getting the train and changing twice (as TFL would no doubt advise you to do), when just a short bus ride would have sufficed; not all parallels were immediately apparent.

Our destination, Pastéis de Belém, was apparently the first place to sell the tarts outside of the spectacular, dream-like Jerónimos monastery (where they were invented) that stands just a few hundred yards away. The tarts are supposedly the best in Lisbon and only 3 or 4 people in the family-run business are privy to the recipe. From the outside, Pastéis de Belém looked like a regular-sized coffee shop but on the inside we discovered room after cavernous room, not a single one of them empty.



Café Pastéis de Belém
Rua de Belem, 84-92,
+351 21 363 7423

Winter opening hours (1st Nov-30th April): 08.00-23.00 Mon-Sat, 08.00-22.00 Sun.
Summer opening hours (1st May-31st Oct): 08.00-24.00

N.B. The nearby monastery is closed on a Monday – we were most disappointed.

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  • Avatar
    Reply gastrogeek November 8, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Oh those tarts look mouth-wateringly good! And those salt-cod cakes look pretty special too. The more I hear about this Lisbon sojourn the more I want to go there…sounds like you had such an amazing time.

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    Reply Wendy November 8, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    I love, love, love those custard tarts! I was in northern Portugal a few years ago and I tried to find the best Pastel de Nata in town (Viseu). Wasn’t very fussy though and decided they were all equally amazing!

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    Reply Alexia November 8, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Pasteis de Nata are completely scrumptious and worryingly addictive – you know where to get the good ‘uns in London, right? If not, let me know and I’ll get you a list of my favourites…

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    Reply Petra Barran November 9, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Oh my! Creamy, glossy little pucks of heaven. Did you manage to land yourself a warm one?

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    Reply Helen November 10, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Gastrogeek – we did have an amazing trip, you should come next year!
    Wendy – You must visit Belem if you go again – they were noticeably nicer. I was sceptical myself but they honestly were.
    Alexia – You must tell me! I don’t know where to get the good ones, no. Spill it!
    Petra – Glossy pucks of heaven indeed. I wish I’d eaten more now. They ones from Belem were served warm. I died and went to heaven.

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    Reply LoveFeast Table November 11, 2009 at 6:25 am

    ohhh, we went to Lisbon on our honeymoon 18 years ago….one of my favorite things there was the pastries. I would love to go back and try them again!!

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    Reply Koktelok November 11, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Really like your taste.

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    Reply foodrambler November 26, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Portuguese custard tarts = heaven. Luckily they sell heaven at the corner shop on my street. So good.

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    Reply Diogo March 16, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    yeh i also tried them and they were soooo deliciose! it feels like they´re melting in your mouth!

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    Reply Muffin receptek May 8, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    I am Crazy Abt This Blog…

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    Reply tyr October 23, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    “Our trip out of town to Belém ”

    Belém is Lisbon. You didn’t leave Lisbon lol

    • Avatar
      Reply Helen October 23, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      Oh ha ha! But it was over a bridge and everything…;)

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