We've tracked down and taste-tested Lisbon's most delectable bakeries to bring you this definitive top 6 of Lisbon's best bakeshops to go for breakfast or brunch, tea, or even lunch.
Lisbon's best bakeries and cake shops
You catch the fish with bate and with bate you hook up this pastry’s clientele. Tartine bakes his own artisanal bread and with no hurry at all. They put natural yeast (or bate, as they call it) in their dough which leavens overnight. As a compensation, because this dough is naturally more sour, they bake something called Chiado cake, with puff pastry and “doce de ovos” (a delicacy made with eggs and sugar), to sweeten your mouth.
Founded in 1838, Príncipe Real’s confectionary was part of Eça de Queirós’ routine, who used to stop by for an expresso and a custard cream tart before heading towards Chiado. This is the pastry where the famous bronze shaped marmalade is made, according to the monks of the Cistercian Order’s recipe – who ran the house since the beginning of the XX century up until the mid 1940’s. Every year 400 kilos leave this place, but there’s more, like small cheesecakes and merengues baked by the pastry cooks, who start working at 4.30 in the morning.
Matthiew Croiger left Paris to open one of the best French pastries in Lisbon, where you can find good almond praline éclairs, with hazelnut and 40% Valrhona cocoa; or with pistachio from Iran and raspberry, or with crème brûlée with vanilla from Madagascar. “Everyday we make 10 types of éclairs”, besides macarons, croissants and all sorts of other pastry orders”, says the owner.
Scones, puff pastry tarts with “doce de ovos” called wonders, “jesuítas” (puff-pastry cake covered with a thick layer of egg and sugar), small cheesecakes from Sintra (known as “queijadas de Sintra”), muffins, “trouxas de ovos” (another Portuguese traditional sweet made with egg yolks and sugar), “quindins” (sweets made with sugar, egg yolks and coconut) and strawberry pies. We could sit here all day and list the numerous specialties that this pastry, which was founded in 1934, has, but the best thing to do is to stop by and dive into this sweet sea of sugar.
It was founded in 1976 and every day they have “línguas de veado” (butter cookies that resemble a dear’s tongue, which is literally what they are called in Portuguese), milk bread, “mil folhas” cake (which is named after the number of layers it has – a thousand), simple or stuffed croissants. “The custard cream tarts are also good. And people have already asked us why we didn’t attend the annual contest to elect the best cream custard tart”, underlines José Carvalho, the manager.
Fim de Século pastry, in Benfica, won Lisbon’s annual Custard Cream Tart Contest, in April 2016, organized by Peixe Festival. Time Out took this opportunity to talk to pastry chef Carlos Oliveira, that said that “the secret lies in the dough”. “The dough is what takes more time to bake. First you have to knead the puff pastry and let it rest for a few hours, then you add the butter and you turn it around a few times, but I can’t tell you how many times”, he laughs. “That’s where the secret lies”. Then, you must stretch it, cut it in small pieces and put it into cake bins. What we want is for it to rest in the fridge overnight before being stuffed, not to risk getting the dough to shrink.
On Saturdays, on market days, the queue outside this pastry – which is 27 years old and has only a few square meters – goes almost all the way to Benfica’s Market, which is 200 meters away.
“There was a Saturday that was insane. We sold over 3000 tarts in one day. He had 12 Brazilian tourists that as soon as they landed they got here to eat them”, says André Santos, the manager. “Each day we spend an average of 30 dozen of eggs, 20 kilos of margarine, 50 kilos of sugar and another similar amount of flour to bake them”. “We are also very known for our bolo-rei (a Christmassy traditional Portuguese cake), which even won several awards, and for being the ones baking all the pastries at Brasileira, in Chiado. Every day we send them cream custard tarts, muffins, jesuítas and palmiers”.