Pasteis de Belem

by Amy Sherman
Print Email

portugal.jpg"I just returned from Lisbon and only have one thing to say - Belem Pasteis de Nata"

Thanks to a reader for reminding me of what is the can't miss taste of Lisbon. While there are wonderful wines, tasty sausages, perfect cups of espresso and crispy salt cod fritters that all deserve your attention, you haven't truly experienced Lisbon until you have made it through the winding labyrinth of the cafe and bakery, Pasteis de Belem, in a pretty waterfront neighborhood of Lisbon and had a few fresh warm pastries.

Belem is a lovely area, right near the river Tagus, with views of the 25 de Abril bridge which looks amazingly similar to the Golden Gate bridge. It's green and spacious and filled with elegant architectural wonders; there are museums, monasteries, gardens and an outdoor market to explore. But one bite of the pastry, and all that is forgotten.

portugal2.jpgKnown as Pastel de Belem, Pastel de Nata, (pasteis is plural of pastel) this little egg tart is the original version of the one you might find in a dim sum parlor. The crust is layers of crisp flaky pastry and the custard is eggy and sweet and melts in your mouth. Originally they were made by nuns with the eggs that were given to them as offerings. While the pastries can be found all over, I even had good ones at the airport, they are most famous here, the first place they were sold outside of the convent.

The blue and white tiled cafe also serves excellent coffee, and other things to nibble, such as salt cod fritters, but the pastries are what have people lining up and jockeying for tables. Dust them with cinnamon and powdered sugar, check out the production behind a glass window and enjoy a treat loved by tourists and locals alike.

 

Amy Sherman is a San Francisco–based writer, recipe developer, restaurant reviewer and all around culinary enthusiast. She blogs for Epicurious , Bay Area Bites and Cooking with Amy

 

Comments have been closed for this piece.

 

restaurant news

Via Alloro
Los Angeles
by Annie Stein

FrontofGrillWhen relatives come for the holidays in the words of the Eagles, it can be “heaven or it can be hell”. In our case it was delicious!

My favorite Aunt and Uncle escaped the blistering cold of NYC...

Read more...
Payards's
New York
by Sara Mohazzebi

painchocolat.jpgMy father has a way of making everything unforgettable.  He’s loud, temperamental, incredibly passionate, and a romantic to the core.  So it seemed completely natural to me when he took me to...

Read more...
Claire's Corner Copia
New England
by Melanie Chartoff

claires.jpgI hail from New Haven, although I've frankly never in my life hailed, even for a taxi cab. It's simply not my style. I visit the Elm City (although I'm not sure why it's nicknamed thus as all the...

Read more...
Dr. Cabbage Patch
Los Angeles
by Maia Harari

ImageHeadaches are the worst. And if you don't catch them right when they start, they're hard to cure. I've had one for four days. My mom told me to drink lemonade.

Lemonade?

I've taken naps, sat in...

Read more...