Opened in 2011 by the cheerful Portuguese barista Victor Silveira, this hole-in-the-wall bar in a chic corner of the Marais may be impossibly small, but it has become a runaway success with its irresistible freshly-baked pasteis de nata accompanied by traditional Portuguese coffee. The pasteis, succulent custard tarts, are baked according to Victor’s mother’s secret recipe, while the coffee is prepared just as if you were in Lisbon, with Victor proudly telling everyone that the Portuguese are as coffee-mad as the Italians. Although he uses an Italian Conti espresso machine, chosen because it was tiny enough to fit into his shop, the coffee beans are imported directly from Portugal.
Victor has chosen Diamante, the top-line of coffee importers Delta, who blend mainly Tanzanian and Brazilian beans, explaining ‘I chose this because first of all, the taste is as it should be – suave and creamy – and then there is a super “mousse” when you serve the espresso, very important for Portuguese coffee drinkers.’ In the morning, you can also order the classic galao, literally a ‘galleon’, a cross between a French crème and an Italian cappucino served in a big glass cup, though Victor hasn’t yet jumped on the barista bandwagon to use fresh milk rather than pasteurised. Although there are no seats and just a small bar to sip your coffee and nibble a pasteis, there is a delicatessen section, with Delta coffee to take away, along with a host of traditional Portuguese goodies like Tricana sardines, olive oil and ginjinha, a delicious cherry-based aperitif. A second Comme à Lisbonne will open soon in Abbesses.