When recommending one of the most typical examples of Portuguese food, the custard tarts known everywhere as “pasteis de nata”, one would quite rightly think immediately of the Antiga Confeiteria de BelÃ©m,Â where in fact they are called pasteis de BelÃ©m, since here they make the tarts using what is believed to be the original recipeÂ created by Catholic Sisters in the nearby Monastery.
Indeed one should never visit BelÃ©m without sampling these delicious cakes. But this weekend,Â we were taken to anotherÂ cafeteria in the same area by a local Lisboan with the promise that the tartsÂ would be “even better” than the originals!
“A Chique de BelÃ©m”Â is a typical Lisbon cafeteriaÂ on the corner of Rua da Junqueira and CalÃ§ada da Ajuda, just across the road from the Monastery. Much less crowded than the Antiga Confeiteria, it has a pleasant outside terrace area and tables inside where you can order the famous tarts. I must admit, although they were delicious as always, I couldn’t really tell the difference between the original and its less well known cousin. Perhaps if I had tasted one after the other I would have been able to better compare, but our guide insisted on the difference and who am I to argue with such passion?
The only thing I can recommend is that you try them yourselves to see which you think is the better in this unofficial custard tart contest. Sample the original and then go back to BelÃ©m to the “A Chique de BelÃ©m”, order more “pasteis de nata”Â and let us know what you think. AndÂ ask the waiter to tell the owner thatÂ GoLisbon sent you – we had a brief chat with this very pleasant man and it’ll make his day!
Pasteleria “A Chique de BelÃ©m”
Rua da Junqueira 524
BelÃ©m, 1300-341 Lisbon
Tel: 213 637 995