WHERE TO TRY THE BEST PASTEIS DE NATA IN LISBON
A specialty all over Lisbon, pasteis de nata are the famous Portuguese egg tart pastries. They have a flaky crust with a custard filling and are best enjoyed topped with a dusting of powdered sugar & cinnamon! When I first learned about these palm-sized pasteis, I thought they would be too eggy for my liking, but I was so wrong! If you’ve got a thing for pastries, you’ll find they are beyond delicious and highly addicting.
Though pasteis are widely available in almost every bakery in Portugal, there are two places that take the cake for the best pasteis in Lisbon: Manteigaria and Pastéis de Belém.
If you have the chance, you should definitely try both. If you are short on time and can only pop into one of these two famous bakeries — lucky for you, I made it to both of them (for research purposes, of course!) and included a quick breakdown for you below.
Pastéis de Belém
OVERVIEW. This place is the OG spot to get your pasteis fix. Pastéis de Belém has been following an ancient recipe and making these heavenly little egg tarts since 1837 — meaning, they’ve got this down! Anytime you hear about pasteis de nata, it will almost always be followed by a name drop of this historic shop.
LOCATION. A little ways from the center of the city, however it is definitely worth the trip if you’ll be visiting Belem Tower or Jerónimos Monastery.
WAIT TIME. The line here appears quite long at all times of the day but moves along fairly quickly.
THE SHOP. The shop is large with tons of space to sit and enjoy the pasteis and other delicious bakery offerings.
THE PASTEIS. The base of their pasteis are light and thin, so when you bite into the flaky crust you can feel the custard filling oozing out. The custard here is lighter, creamier and less sweet than most (in a good way, because that means you can eat more of them!).
OVERVIEW. Manteigaria most recently won the Pastel de Nata Competition in Lisbon and also came highly recommended by several locals, so of course I had to try it! One of the main highlights of Manteigaria is that a fresh batch is made every 30 minutes, which means you are always guaranteed fresh pasteis.
LOCATION. In the center of the city, in the adorable Bairro Alto neighborhood.
WAIT TIME. When I visited, I arrived right when the shop opened and did not have a wait time. However, when there is a wait, it is not quite as long as Pastéis de Belém.
THE SHOP. A trip to this quaint little storefront offers you a peek into the pasteis baking process — you can enjoy your pastel de nata while watching the pastry chefs make the tarts through a large glass window. I came here twice while in Lisbon: the first time, Shahzeb and I stood at the counter and devoured our pasteis with a cup of espresso, and when we returned for a second time, we I took our pasteis to-go and enjoyed them outside, near the fountain. I love that they gave us little to-go packets of the powdered sugar and cinnamon so we could top them the right way even later in the day!
THE PASTEIS. The crust of their pasteis are slightly chewier and though the custard filling is richer and full of flavor, it is not at all overpowering.
So … which one wins?
It all comes down to personal preference, so you’ll just have to try them both for yourself to find out! Personally, my pick is Manteigaria for its rich (but not overly intense) custard filling, ideal location and pasteis-only concept. Plus, nothing beats a fresh, warm pastel!
Other Notable Places To Try Pasteis De Nata
Should you have more time on your hands, here are a few other places to try pasteis when in Lisbon:
Fábrica da Nata