A Portuguese delicacy of worldwide renown, [o] pastel de nata is a staple of any Portuguese snack bar or pastelaria. To call it a simple custard tart is to underappreciate its amazing taste and different textures: a sweet, gooey custard topped by a burnt and bitter crust supported by a crispy, crumbly, consistent pastry. A delight in all senses of the word.
Lisbon has many well known shops and cafés selling pastéis de nata – probably the most well-known is the famous Pastéis de Belém shop near the riverfront in Belém (and close to four important landmarks: the 16th century [o] Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and [a] Torre de Belém, a monastery and tower constructed to celebrate Portugal’s key role in the Age of Discovery, [a] Era dos Descobrimentos – or simply [os] Descobrimentos – in Portuguese; [o] Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a 20th century monument serving as a ode to the same events, erected during the Dictatorship; and [o] Centro Cultural de Belém, a modern museum, garden and cultural center).
In [o] Rossio (a large square in Lisbon’s downtown area, [a] Baixa), there’s also A Pastelaria Suíça, which also serves icecream ; and nearby is A Confeitaria Nacional, which serves all kinds of delicious sweets (you can take a look at them here); that means you don’t need to head to Belém to have a taste of any Portuguese delicacies – they are literally all around you!