Lisbon is one of Europe’s most spectacular cities, from its dizzying selection of restaurants to its rich variety of neighbourhoods. But whatever you do while you’re there, a trip to the Portuguese capital isn’t complete without at least one creamy, crispy pastel de nata: the Portuguese custard tart that’s as essential to the city as trams and tiled walls.
But not all pastéis de nata are baked equal. In fact, that’s the whole point of Lisbon’s Melhor Pastel de Nata (Best Custard Tart) competition. Each year, several judges conduct rigorous blind tastings of natas from across the city, judging stuff like flavour, dough consistency and appearance, to crown the city’s best pastry. All pastelarias in the wider Lisbon metropolitan area are eligible to compete.
And this year’s winner? That’ll be Casa do Padeiro in Pontinha. It’s way out in the city’s suburbs – but clearly worth a special pastry pilgrimage.
Looking for something a little closer to the tourist sites? Then check out the second-placed bakery: Pastelaria Aloma in Campo de Ourique, central Lisbon. Completing the podium was Pastelaria Patyanne in the northern suburb of Castanheira do Ribatejo. You can read the full list of finalists here, which also includes last year’s winner, Padaria da Né in the suburb of Damaia.
The most famous pastel de nata spot in Lisbon, Pastéis de Belém, did not feature on the list – despite serving up its signature pastries since 1834.
So now you know where to head for Lisbon’s finest pastéis de nata… until next year’s epic battle, anyway.
Did you see that Lisbon’s Cais do Sodré was crowned the coolest neighbourhood in Europe?
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