The 4 Best Places To Try Custard Tarts in Lisbon

It won’t take long after arriving in Lisbon to notice Portugal’s affinity for sugar. Cafés showcase long, glass counters filled with everything sweet from cookies and cakes to a variety of tarts. And soon, you may notice a few of the usual suspects that are always on display. The most popular sweet is Lisbon’s pastel de nata, otherwise known as pastéis de nata or pastel de belém (or, as some foreigners simply call them: custard tarts in Lisbon).

Indeed, pastéis de nata are custard tarts filled with sweet egg cream and covered in flaky pastry dough. And they fit in the palm of your hand.

Now the difficult part: with so many amazing spots in the city, how do you choose one? Luckily, most locals recommend a few of the same places. Read along to be in the loop about the four best places to eat these iconic custard tarts in Lisbon.

Custard Tarts in Lisbon
Custard tarts in Lisbon? Yes please.

Pastéis de Belém

Begin your quest for custard tarts in Lisbon in the neighborhood where it all started: Belém. During the Liberal Revolution of the 19th century, monasteries and convents began shutting down. The monks from the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos sold pastries in the sugar refinery next door to raise money. Over time, the owner of the sugar refinery bought the recipe and the refinery became Pastéis de Belém, a café that still sells the original custard tart recipe.

Creamy and sweet on the inside and perfectly flaky outside, this recipe is Portugal’s best-kept secret and only found at Pastéis de Belém.

Pastéis de Belém
The original Pastéis de Belém are located in the Belém neighborhood of Lisbon, but you can find them all over the city. Photo credit: Helmut W.


Locals advise tasting the custard tarts from Pastéis de Belém, but many admit that their favorite natas come from Manteigaria. Manteigaria’s pastéis de nata practically drip with creamy goodness after the first bite. Originally a butter shop (manteiga is the Portuguese word for butter), Manteigaria is a specialty store where you can order pastéis de nata to-go (although some visitors like to order an espresso and watch the bakers make pastéis de nata through a glass pane).

One stall is inside Time Out Market in Cais do Sodré. The original shop, however, is in Lisbon’s Chiado. Visit Manteigaria when it’s time for breakfast in Lisbon, and then come back for a mid-afternoon snack.

making Pastéis de Belém
A sneak peak into the magic of making Pastéis de Belém at Manteigaria. Photo credit: Neerav Bhatt

Confeitaria Nacional

Confeitaria Nacional is an excellent place to try pastéis de nata and a photo-worthy landmark inside one of Lisbon’s grand Pombaline-style buildings. Open since 1829, it is considered Lisbon’s oldest pastry shop. You will find it in Praça da Figueira, one of Lisbon’s buzzing squares. Sit inside with a coffee, a pastel de nata or two, and enjoy the beautiful decorations.

Insider’s tip: Can’t wait until you get to Lisbon? Make our Portuguese custard tarts recipe at home.
sign displaying Confeitaria Nacional
Founded in 1829, Confeitaria Nacional is one of the oldest and most iconic pastry shops in Lisbon. Photo credit: Juan Antonio Segal

Pastelaria Versailles

Many cafés and pastry shops are recognized for their delicious custard tarts, but the dreamy Pastelaria Versailles stands out for a few reasons. The stunning dining room pops with Art Nouveau style, showcasing large mirrors, chandeliers, and intricate wood paneling. Even the traditionally-uniformed staff add to a romantic and old-world effect.

Pastelaria Versailles is also recognized for its long pastry counter. Some sources suggest that this is the home of the longest pastry counter in the Portuguese capital. Finally, in addition to the traditional egg-cream custard tarts, Pastelaria Versailles sells chocolate custard tarts, blending the best of two worlds.

Custard Tarts in Lisbon
Pastelaria Versailles is a historic pastry shop and cafe located in Lisbon known for both its delicious tarts and stunning building.

Update Notice: This post was updated on February 27, 2024.

No matter how much time you have in Lisbon, there are certain things you can’t leave without seeing. On our Best of Lisbon Walking Tour, you’ll check all of them off your list over the course of one fascinating day. Get early access at the Jerónimos Monastery, enjoy a relaxing river cruise with spectacular views of the city, explore the heart of Lisbon’s neighborhoods, and savor some delicious Portuguese classics (including the original custard tarts!).  

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