Every travel blog I read states that "A visit to Lisbon is not complete without a visit to Pastéis de Belém." And they are right, I had the best custard tart of my entire life at this bakery! Just like what others expressed, I would go as far as to say you shouldn't go to Lisbon without trying it. By the way, they call these tarts "pasteis de nata" and they are so delicious, I dare say that they are even more mouthwatering than the pastries I had at Angelina, Paris. I'm looking for a place here in Montreal that makes these kind of tarts but sadly, I haven't found one yet.
Pastéis de Belém is a famous bakery that is also very rich with history. It's very close to the Monastery of St. Jeronimos, just a 5 minutes walk from it. Inside the cafe/restaurant, you'll find some artifacts and historical items that they still keep as memorabilia. They say that their recipe is still a secret and they've been making these since 1837. The monks at Belem were the first one who began selling these sweet pastries to earn a living, after the Hieronimyte monastery had been shut down. Well, I can tell you that they really are different from other pasteis de nata in Lisbon. I've tried other bakeries that sell these and they are not the same. I even told my boyfriend I want to go back to Belem just to buy these pastries again. hehe There is just something about the taste of Belem's pasteis de nata that is better.
Many people queue down the street to pick up takeaway tarts but you can also eat inside if you want. I opted to just buy a takeout because it was a beautiful day outside and we spotted a park on our way to to visit this bakery. Don't worry, the service is fast, we didn't wait for long to get our order.
I'm a massive pastry fan so I was adamant to taste these famous "pasteis de nata", my better half as usual, couldn't really care less about sweet stuffs. I was the only one who really enjoyed these but I don't mind, I can eat so many by myself! The crust is layers of crisp flaky pastry and the custard is soft, sweet and melts in your mouth. The "eggy" taste is just so delicious and they are are exceptional especially if they are warm. I could stuff my face with these tarts!
When in Lisbon, please dont forget to visit this bakery. It is definitely worth visiting and you won't regret it. These pasteis de nata are fairly cheap, you can eat as much as you can and your wallet would still be grateful it wasn't an upscale restaurant in Paris.