Yes, there will always be an endless debate amongst Lisbon locals on which is, truly, the best pastel de nata in town. Everyone has their favourites, and mine is, by far, the pastel de nata from Manteigaria. The cream is always the creamiest and richest in flavour, and the dough. Ah, the dough… Always crunchy and well baked.
The first place that opened was in Largo do Camões, the epicentre of tourism in Lisbon. It’s tricky when my favourite pastel is right in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Chiado, where gentrification and overtourism (which SpottedbyLocals bravely challenges) is happening in full force.
Still, I walk past Manteigaria very often,and never have I failed to go inside and quietly order a pastel, pour some cinnamon on top, and, in between hoards of tourists, trip on deliciousness for a minute.
Fortunately, just a 10-minute walk downhill towards the river, a second shop was opened recently! This one, located on the river facing the facade of Mercado da Ribeira, usually is quieter, and the quality is equal — guaranteed! It’s becoming my favourite, because I’ve developed this great scheme: I get a box of two and a pack of cinnamon powder, then I go to the river bank where there are plenty of benches and even grass patches, I pull out a book or computer to work for a bit, then I feast on this little piece of culinary genius and enjoy these little things that make Lisbon so special.