Confeitaria de Belém
If you’re paying a visit to the cultural district of Belém, don’t leave without sampling the wares of Antiga Confeitaria de Belém, the world-famous bakery in Lisbon. Any Lisboeta worth their weight in flaky pasty will agree that Antiga Confeitaria de Belém is the best place to savour the national dessert of pasteis de nata (custard tarts). Only three bakers know the exact quantities of this top secret recipe, which dates back to the monks of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos of the early 1800s.
Each morning at 7am, the bakers lock themselves into the Oficina do Segredo (secret workshop) to prepare the cream and dough. On an average weekday up to 10,000 pasteis de Belém are sold and the counter is constantly rammed. There’s a take-away service available – you’re provided with special paper tubes that will accommodate half a dozen – or, if you prefer, you can take a seat in the blue-tiled interior; but a sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon is essential wherever you eat them.