Antiga Confeitaria de Belém

Restaurants Belém
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
The world-famous pastéis de Belém - warm, creamy tarts with puff pastry made according to a secret recipe - fairly fly out of the door here. Customers with time to spare scoff them two at a time in a warren of rooms lined with tiles depicting Belém in the early 17th century. Others take them away by the half-dozen in specially designed cardboard tubes.

Posted:

Venue name: Antiga Confeitaria de Belém
Contact:
Address: Rua de Belém, 84-92
Lisbon
1300-085
Opening hours: July-Sept 8am-midnight daily. Oct-June 8am-11pm daily
Transport: Rail to Belém from Cais do Sodré. Tram 15
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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tastemaker

Did you really visit Lisbon if you didn't come here to have an excessive amount of Pastel de Nata? I think not. 


My friends and I popped in here to have lunch after visiting the Jerónimos Monastery. We were lucky that we didn't have to line up to get a table, as we came before the lunch crowds. Once seated, it didn't take long for us to figure out what we wanted. All of us had two Pastel de Nata each - generously sprinkled with cinnamon powder provided on the table. Alongside, we also had something savoury to counter the sweetness - we got two different types of quiche. These obviously weren't as great as the Pastel de Nata, which were the obvious star of the menu. 


The Pastel de Nata did not disappoint! It had a perfectly flaky crust in all the right areas, no soggy bottom, and the custard was creamy to just the right point. It wasn't overly sweet and the top of the custard formed a thin baked layer, which bursts nicely when bit into to let that creamy custard out. An absolute delight to indulge in! You can see why we each had two!

It was incredible to see them preparing and baking them in the windows and to see just how many they produce! I loved the packaging used for takeaway orders, as they are shaped to protect the tarts from crumbling while in transit. After our meal though, we were too full to order more to takeaway. I thought they were best consumed fresh and at the café, or at the very latest on the same day. 

Tastemaker

The birthplace of the renowned Portuguese pastel de nata, this place has acquired near mythical status over the years which meant that a visit on my first trip to Lisbon was inevitable…however, just because you were the first to do something, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re now the best and I have to say, I was disappointed.


It probably doesn’t help that I’d had an amazing experience at fellow custard tart mecca, Manteigaria, earlier in the week but everything about this place felt rushed and nothing about it felt particularly special. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nowhere near the worst thing I’ve ever eaten but it’s not something I’d go back for given the competition which was more enjoyable, more delicious, easier to get to and cheaper to indulge in.


You’ll be able to spot the shop a mile off – it’s the one with the blue awnings...and the massive queues outside. Like Next at 5am on a grim Saturday in January, there are hordes of people clawing at the windows and clamouring to get in and get their fill. To say that service once you’re in is brisk is like suggesting the Titanic had a slight issue with an ice-cube. I was barked at for my order, thrust a receipt and then barked at again when being told where to wait.


My tart was plucked from a tray roughly the size of a football field, tossed in a bag and pushed into my hand in record time – make no mistake, this is a slick operation people – and whilst I’m not saying I enjoy hanging around forever waiting for something, having the chance to breathe for 5 minutes and enjoy the pastry as staff smile, work quickly but pleasantly around you and ask if you enjoyed it was a massive selling point for Manteigaria and a massive hole in the experience here.


The pastel de nata itself was very creamy without much flavour to the custard and the loose texture of it made it hard to eat without spilling everywhere. Not quite as glossy topped or crispy edged as the one from 'that other shop', it was fine…but you don’t travel make a pilgrimage across the city for fine.


Clearly the place has a fan-base (apparently they sell 20’000 a day) but quantity doesn’t always mean quality and if you have to pick one spot in which to try something that should be one of the most amazing things you’ve ever eaten, my advice would be to head for Manteigaria.