Manteigaria makes the best pastéis de nata in Lisbon, and without the endless queues of tourists that you’ll find at the more famous Pastéis de Belém. Instead, you will see a steady stream of (mostly) locals entering the pastelaria, going in for a quick cup of coffee and a snack before they leave again. There are no seats or tables here, so prepare to lean against the bar counter. As a bonus, you can observe the production happening behind glass walls! Watch those puff pastry cups being filled with a custard of cream, sugar, and eggs.
What Makes a Perfect Pastel de Nata?
A perfect Portuguese egg tart pastry has a caramelized, crunchy, and layered pastry shell, filled with a silky, smooth egg custard that is just slightly runny inside and burnt on top. Preferably, it’s still warm, but even a cold one should be tasty if it’s made right. If the tart is dry or doesn’t flake, or the cream is hard and curdled, then the recipe isn’t right or the baker has cooked the egg mixture too rapidly, causing the proteins to become over-coagulated, which separates them from the liquid and leaves a grainy curd. We returned to Manteigaria several times, also at their location inside the Time Out Market, and the pastéis de nata were perfect every time!
Where did you eat your best pastel de nata? Please share your recommendation in a comment.