Always full of people this old bakery makes delicious pastries called "Pasteis de Belém" - iam! - but the rooms really worth a visit too! The history of the place runs in its walls! The waiters aren't always very nice (some are old and have difficulties in understanding foreign languages...) and you may need to wait for a wile, but if you have the time don't miss it.
Favorite Dish: The "stars" here are the small pastries called "Pasteis de Belém". They are made with cream and its recipe is a well kept secret! Better of when are still hot! Go well with tea, coffee, juices and almost every thing.
Tip: One is never enough!
I had read so much about this place, here on VT, in travel guides, etc that I just had to experience it myself. Well, I wasn't disappointed!!
Just walking in and smelling the pasteis, I knew I had done the right thing...
The place was full of people and the waiters kept walking past us with huge trays of pasteis. We sat down at a little table and were able to order quite quickly. The drinks came and so did the pasteis. The waiter told us to sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on the pasteis before eating them and... it was soooooo good, we had to order some more!
Favorite Dish: Pasteis, what else??
It's so crowded I believe to have found another tourist trap. After the first Pastéis (custard tarts), I understood I was wrong. Pastéis are still warm and so tasty and delicious. The receipt is obviously secret. We bought the take-away packet but after, I realized they cost 0,80€ each also served at the table. Do not miss to go to the toilet there, because, before reaching it, you will see its laboratory with all woman preaparing Pasteis.
Favorite Dish: It's basically a cafeteria; besides Pesteis, coffee and teas I havn't seen much more.
If you go to Belém (and of course, you will), you have to go to this amazing cafe. The interior is sumptuous with rich decorations that hint at the richness of the desserts that are made here.
Favorite Dish: Try the famous pasteis de Belém, a rich, egg yolk laden, cinnamon-topped creation that will leave you asking for a glass of water to cleanse your sinfully sweet and satisfied taste buds.
Mmmm, little creatures of heaven, this is what the pasteis are! Catarina (VT-member mcb) took me to this place to taste them with a glass of port. I was immediately hooked! How to describe them? Well, they are a kind of custard pastries, traditionally eaten with sugar and cinnamon. And truly delicious!
Catarina told me that the only real recipe is guarded here. Lots of pastelerias sell “pasteis de nata” in Lisbon, which isn’t bad either, but nothing compared to the pasteis de Belem.
I bought 3 packs with me back home. A week later, they were all eaten :-)
You can have a good breakfast for around 5€ or less in any café and other than lazyness there's absolutely no reason to have breakfast at the hotel :P. I think there's no better way to start your days than being out in the city having a relaxed breakfast.
Many of our cafés are called "Pastelaria" which translates into "pastry shop". There are tons of pastelarias everywhere throughout the country. Try as many portuguese pastries as you can eat :P
You may already know about the famous "Pastéis de Belém" (http://www.pasteisdebelem.pt) that you can try only in the pastelaria next to the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Belém. I presume it will be a little bit difficult to have some for breakfast but you simply can't miss them. Remember that you must eat them while still hot. If you try them cold you will ruin it completely. For breakfast you should consider to try "Pastéis de Nata" which are similar to "Pastéis de Belém" but that you can find everywhere. If any pastelaria doesn't have pastéis de nata then it's not real portuguese lol.
Personally I love to eat pasteis de nata while drinking a very short and strong expresso with no sugar.
Regarding the coffee, if you're not into expressos you should ask for a big cup of coffee because our regular coffee is the expresso lol. If you want coffee with milk you should ask for "Galão" or "Meia de leite". You can order in english in most places so this is just in case you need it.
Don't miss the portuguese croissants available at any pastelaria. There are other places in Lisbon famous for their croissants but my favorites are the ones from the Pastelaria Bénard in Chiado (Largo do Chiado). Croissants with cheese, ham, chocolate, a soft and sweet egg cream... heavenly yummy. A bit more expensive than average but well worth it. Also the location is great. If the weather is good enough and above all if you find an empty table LOL you can just sit outside and watch Lisbon life passing by.
Well... I just got hungry by writing this. I'm gonna grab something to eat.
This cafe is very famous for its Portuguese egg tarts which are delicious. You can get take away (pay first then collect food) but we choose to sit in and have coffee, beer and egg tarts. The building is beautiful with absolutely lovely tiled walls. The cafe is really big and, though it was busy, we were seated and served straight away. Service was friendly and efficient. Prices very reasonable. Lovely building. Clean toilet.
This famous cafe/shop was the first place outside the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos to sell the original creamy dessert, Pasteis de Belem, after the monastery was closed in the 1820s. For those who don't know, Pasteis de Belem are a delicious Portuguese egg custard tart pastry that was created before the 18th century by Catholic nuns based in the monastery. Since 1837, locals have come here to get them warm out of the oven and sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar. Ever since then, they're spread to bakeries all over the country and internationally around the Portuguese empire to such countries as Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, Timor-Leste, Goa, and Macau. Expect long queues to buy them straight from the counter and even longer queues to sit down at a table and eat them. Instead, you could do what I did and eat them sitting outside at a cafe next to the National Coach Museum called Chique de Belem.
This Cafe is the culinary place not to miss in Lisbon and Belem!!!!
There you will find the most wonderful portuguese pastry : the pastéis de Belém! A real delight that leaves you a wonderful sensatio.. even after you have eaten it!
Here is a little bit of history taken from the website of the Confeitaria
At the beginning of the Nineteenth Century, in Belém, next to the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (the Heironymite Monastery) there was a sugar cane refinery linked to a small general store.
As a result of the liberal revolution of 1820, all convents and monasteries in Portugal were shut down in 1834, the clergy and labourers expelled.
In an attempt at survival, someone from the monastery offered sweet pastries for sale in the shop; pastries that rapidly became known as 'Pasteis de Belém'.
At that period the area of Belém was still far from the city of Lisbon and could be reached by steam-boats. At the same time, the grandeur of the monastery and the Torre de Belém (the Belém Tower) attracted visitors who soon grew used to savouring the delicious pastries originated in the monastery.
In 1837, the baking of the 'Pasteis de Belém' was begun in buildings joined to the refinery, following the ancient 'secret recipe' from the monastery. Passed on and known exclusively to the master confectioners who hand-crafted the pastries in the 'secrets room', this recipe remained unchanged to the present day.
In fact, the only true 'Pasteis de Belém' contrive, by means of a scrupulous selection of ingredients, to offer even today the flavour of the ancient portuguese confectionary industry.
Favorite Dish: Pastéis de Belém of course!
Our host and guide to Lisbon was Antonio, who also worked so hard to make the VT meet there so fantastic, and he is one guy "in the know". When he said that this was the best place in Lisbon to try the Pastias de Belem .....well let me put it this way, I usually do not eat cakes, cookies, pastries and the like, but this was GOOD. ^O^
Favorite Dish: Pastias de Belem.....
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