April 17, 2012

Pastéis de Belém - home of the Portuguese Tart

Last December we travelled to Lisbon, Portugal for a weekend with our friends Sam and Julien to catch up and explore the city.  One of the highlights of the weekend was a trip to the town of Belém, not far from the centre of Lisbon.  There are many sights in Belém worth visiting but the main attraction for food-lovers like us is the Pastéis de Belém bakery, home of the famous Portuguese egg tarts since the 1830's.  

We visited the bakery for brunch on Sunday and were amazed at how big the place is with four rooms that can seat a few hundred people.  Based on the number of tarts produced onsite that could see through the viewing room into the kitchen, it's not surprising that the place can be packed out including a constant queue at the shop counter in the front.  

Given how famous these tarts are, and the fact that we were hungry, we ordered a dozen tarts between the four of us with coffees.  Our waitress asked us asked how many we were going to eat and how many should be packed to take away - much to her surprise we said we were going to eat all of them.

Pastéis de Belém - so good over 10,000 are sold every day!

A dozen tarts didn't seem a challenge at first when they arrived looking and tasting so scrumptious with their fresh, flaky pastry and the sweet but not too heavy custard filling.  It didn't take long to wolf down the first tart and follow up with a second tart, this time with a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar.  However, whilst the tarts are simple and tasty, they are rather heavy (especially due to the oil/butter in the pastry) and we found ourselves very full after our third tart.  At this point we understood why our waitress did not expect us to eat all the tarts in one sitting!  

Having said that, it was a great experience and no visit to Lisbon or Belém is complete without trying these legendary tarts.  Belém is also a lovely place to check out with plenty of walks and sights around which is just as well so you can work off any tart greed!   

What:  Pastéis de Belém
Where:  Rua de Belém 84, 1300 Lisboa, Portugal
How much:  only €0.90 per tart


  1. How cheap are the tarts? Were they the best you ever had? You guys were greedy thinking you'd eat so many. I like the photos! :)

  2. I get to eat Portuguese egg tart at some dim sum. Most of the restaurants only carry regular one but when they carry Portuguese ones, I place two orders, one for me, second one for my family. LOL! These look delicious! Wonder how it's like to eat in Portugal. Wonder how Chinese people make is similar to one from original place.

  3. Belém is a Lisbon district, not a town/suburb...