You can’t say you’ve visited Portugal if you haven’t eaten a pastel de nata! So, it’s a crucial question for any foodie when in Lisbon to be asking which pastelaria (pastry shop) sells the best nata. Reigning as Portugal’s coveted national dessert, you’ll discover a pastelaria on every street corner. With plenty of competition and plenty of natas, here’s our guide to some of the tastiest custard tarts in Lisbon:
1. Pastéis de Belém
As the birthplace of pastéis de nata, Pastéis de Belém should be high on your bucket list. Here, you’re able to taste history through a top-secret recipe created by monks of the Jerónimos Monastery in 1837. These small bites of heaven hence make an authentic treat. The beautifully engraved ceiling, traditional blue and white tiles decorating the bakery’s walls, and the persistent waft of fresh pastries add to the allure. Top your hot pastel de nata with a sprinkle of canela (cinnamon), pair it with a strong bica (espresso), and you’re good to go!
In the search for the best pastéis de nata, Manteigaria is a recurring name. With multiple locations, the bakery is a local favourite as many claim that Manteigaria is home to the best pastéis de nata in Lisbon. Pure butter (instead of margarine) and heaps of sugar make them high quality, loveable, and tasty tarts. You’ll find that they’re not too sweet, and perfectly creamy, finished with a golden caramelisation.
3. Santo António
Santo António is an allrounder with an exterior just as stunning as its pastéis de nata. The tiled façade captivates, and the natas take your breath away. With a crisp crust and a smooth and sweet custard that melts in the mouth, it is no surprise that Santo António won first place in Portugal’s prestigious “National Tasting of Pastel de Nata”. Reward yourself with the traditional treat after (or before) the steep walk up to Castelo de São Jorge!
4. Fábrica da Nata
Not only does Fábrica da Nata offer delicate natas with oozy sweet custard, it’s also a brilliant brunch spot – croissants, sandwiches, fresh fruit, and premium coffee are all at your fingertips! Lounge in large comfortable seats set in a picturesque interior while you snack on a delicious pastel de nata or two, and watch bakers live as they create small masterpieces!
5. Pastelaria Alfama Doce
Eat like a local from this tiny bakery in the backstreets of Alfama. The little gem serves an array of reasonably priced sweet and savoury Portuguese pastries along with freshly brewed coffee. The highlight, however, is of course the pastéis de nata that will have you running back. It holds a perfectly balanced consistency, a custard that isn’t overly sweet, and altogether, it is simply mouth-watering! Try the pastel de alfama laced with almond and lemon for a tasty variation. So, start your morning right at Alfama Doce – an authentic breakfast spot!
6. Vegan Nata
Are you vegan and wanting to try a pastel de nata? This vegan bakery offers a scrumptious alternative to the national pastry. With affordable prices this place will become your go to especially if you’re more health conscious. Cute, cosy, delicious, and advocators of zero waste (edible coffee cups!), this bakeshop is a definite must-try!
7. Pastelaria Emenda
Emenda is a neighbourhood gem consistently swarmed with hungry locals – that’s when you know you’ve found the right place! Serving strong coffee, fresh juices, low prices, and best of all, unforgettable golden natas, Emenda packs an authentic vibe. Pair your tart with a galão (a tall glass of coffee with milk) or a meia-de-leite (a big cup of espresso with milk) for a luscious pick-me-up!
8. Nata de Lisboa
Nata de Lisboa’s pastéis de nata stuns with a smooth filling that has the right amount of sweetness, and a crust with the right amount of crunch! Pastries are served warm and finished with cinnamon powder or icing sugar – the choice is yours. Their al fresco dining is perfect for sunnier days and a great spot to relax when in need of a sightseeing break! What’s not to like?
Eat one too many pastéis de nata on one of our Portugal tours where you can uncover the best natas yourself in Porto, Lisbon, and Lagos!