I have never tried Pastel de Nata before visiting Portugal. For some reason, the egg tarts just didn’t look that appetizing to me. A lot of my friends are absolutely crazy about them though, so I knew I had to at least try them during my Lisbon trip.
Turns out they are one of the best things I have ever eaten! If you never tried Pastel de Nata you should really give it a try, too.
What is Pastel de Nata?
Pastel de Nata are small, Portuguese egg/ custard tarts, covered in fine cinnamon dust.
Back in the 18th century, egg whites were often used in monasteries and convents to starch clothing to make them appear crisper and free of any wrinkles. The nuns used the leftover egg yolks to bake cakes and create new pastry recipes such as the Pastéis de Nata or Pastel de Belém as they are also known.
Manteigaria- the place for the best Pastel de Natas in Lisbon?
There are many contenders for the best Pastel de Natas in Lisbon. One that stands out with a solid 5-star rating on TripAdvisor with over 4000 reviews is Manteigaria. Many people claim that this place has the best Pastel de Natas in Lisbon. I can only agree 🙂
The bakers at Manteigaria use a very thin pastry shell, giving it just enough crunch. As the Pastels are prepared fresh throughout the whole day, they will almost certainly be still warm when you buy them. The crispy shell, together with the warm, soft custard filling, makes them really irresistible.
Manteigaria is open every day from 8 am to 12 am. So you can get your pastry fix early in the morning or late at night.
The Pastel de Natas are only 1 Euro each which makes it easy to buy way too many, way too often. It was hard for us to not pass by Manteigaria (which we did quite often) and to not fall for the urge to buy “just one more”.
If you’re into sweets or pastries or just want to try some traditional Portuguese treats, then I really recommend visiting Manteigaira!