01 Oct 20

Portuguese tarts at Lisbon’s Pasteis de Baelem

Sue Chater Camino

If you are making a trip to Lisbon then eating pastry is a must-do! The famous bakery Pastéis de Belém in the district of Belém is famous for pastries. Coming here will be a culinary highlight of any trip to the Portuguese capital – it’s here that you’ll find the unique flavour of time-honoured Portuguese sweet making.

The pastries sold here are known as the ‘Pastéis de Belém’. In 1837 the baking of these delicacies began following the ancient secret recipe from the monastery. This recipe has been passed down and remains handmade and unchanged to this present day.

They are typical of Belém but they are so delicious that they spread throughout Portugal nowadays.

The adoration of these is easy to understand once you have had a bite. Paper thin layers of buttery crispy pastry are filled with a rich, yet balanced custard of sugar and egg, which is luscious and deliciously warm. The pastry holds a hint of caramel just to add more to the flavour profile.

The pastries are made fresh by the thousands every day, guaranteeing that your order will be fresh and warm to be enjoyed.

These are best eaten inside at the counter with a dust of cinnamon sprinkled on top a shot and accompanied by a shot of espresso. Or you can take a box of a dozen or so and enjoy them at a local viewpoint.

Pastéis de Belém is located at Rua de Belém, 84–92, 1300–085 Lisboa. You can’t miss the gorgeous blue and white tiling of the building and the queues out the door. The line may suggest this is a tourist trap but the pastries are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

The only place where you will call them Pastéis de Belém is at the shop in Belém, otherwise they are known as pastéis de nata. But you won’t find them anywhere near as good as they are in Belém. To avoid the lines go at breakfast time. Enjoy!

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