A Chique de Belém

A Chique de Belém

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 Belém, where in fact they are called pasteis de Belém, since here they make the tarts using what is believed to be the original recipe created by Catholic Sisters in the nearby Monastery.

Indeed one should never visit Belém without sampling these delicious cakes. But this weekend, we were taken to another cafeteria in the same area by a local Lisboan with the promise that the tarts would be “even better” than the originals!

“A Chique de Belém” is a typical Lisbon cafeteria on the corner of Rua da Junqueira and Calçada 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 Belém to the “A Chique de Belém”, order more “pasteis de nata” and let us know what you think. And ask the waiter to tell the owner that GoLisbon sent you – we had a brief chat with this very pleasant man and it’ll make his day!

A Chique de Belem

Pasteleria “A Chique de Belém”
Rua da Junqueira 524
Belém, 1300-341 Lisbon
Tel: 213 637 995