Pastel de Nata
The "pastel de nata" is Lisbon’s best-known cake and best served hot, with powdered cinnamon and, preferably, in pairs. Try it in the city’s cafés and patisseries.
The pastel de nata is Lisbon’s most famous cake. Particularly well-known are Pastéis de Belém and the huge queues which form as they emerge straight out of the oven. But the only thing you need to know about this pastry is that the hotter it is and the more caster sugar and cinnamon is sprinkled on it, the better. Its roots can be found in the traditions of convent-style desserts and its ingredients are misleading – very often, the pastel de nata, or “cream pastry”, doesn’t actually contain cream. But its flavour is always sublime, mainly when accompanied by a bica, as the espresso served in Lisbon is traditionally called. Try several, choose the best and remember: a pastel de nata eaten at a pavement café in the sun in Lisbon is always the best thing in the world. Come and give it a try.