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Pastel de Belém

When you think about Portuguese sweets, Pastel de Belém is one of the first specialties that comes to mind.

The famous puff pastry cream pastries, egg, milk, sugar and a perfect blend of lemon and cinnamon are the most popular sweets in the country, and are delicious either hot or cold.

History of Pastel de Belém

In 1834, all convents and monasteries in Portugal were closed, as a result of the liberal revolution of 1820, including the emblematic Monastery of Jerónimos, located in Belém.

Some of the monks expelled from the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, to try to survive, decided to sell, next to the sugar refinery that was beside the Monastery, their own sweet tarts and called them “Pastéis de Belém”.

The Belém area, even far from the city of Lisbon, attracted visitors because of the imposing Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower, and with that, the tarts originating from the Monastery began to gain fame.

In 1837, they opened their own confectionery, attached to the refinery, and started the factory of “Pastéis de Belém” according to the old “secret recipe”, coming from the Monastery.

This recipe was transmitted and exclusively known by the pastry masters who make them by hand, in the so-called “Oficina do Segredo”, the “Secret Factory”. Legend has it that the recipe remains the same to this day.

Difference between Pastel de Nata and Pastel de Belém

The difference lies in its origin. Only the pastries made at the Pastéis de Belém Factory can be called Pastéis de Belém. The name is even patented!

All others, from other patisseries in Lisbon, from other areas of Portugal or even exported to other countries, are called Pastéis de Nata.

The recipe varies, the ingredients too. Some are more crunchy, others are softer. This does not mean that they are better or worse, they are simply not Pastéis de Belém, which are absolutely unique in the world!

How to get to Pastéis de Belém

The fastest way to get from Lisbon to Fábrica Pastéis de Belém is by taxi, uber or Tuk-Tuk.

But it’s also pretty easy to get there by public transport. From Praça da Figueira, in the center of Lisbon, take the bus (line 714) and tram 15E, both arriving in Belém in around half an hour.

It is also possible to go by bicycle or electric scooter. It is 7 km from Praça do Comércio to Belém on the bike path that runs alongside the River Tagus.

  • Address: Rua de Belém nº 84 a 92, 1300 – 085 Lisbon Portugal
  • Opening hours: Daily from 08:00 to 21:00
  • Approximate price of one Pastel de Belém: € 1.15
  • Website: https://pasteisdebelem.pt/
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Uni - The Unicorn of Productivity

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This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)