Q: What is it? A: A temple where hordes of tourists flock to worship a particular little egg tart.
A higher force obviously played a part in the creation.
Some time before the 18th century kicked into action, Catholic Monks at the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos of Belém, in Lisbon created the creamy dessert that even outlived the monastery itself. It’s a nice little egg tart that is eaten warm out of the oven. Any preparation? Just sprinkle it with cinnamon and powdered sugar. In this area they are called Pastéis de Belém, after its famous bakery. Most bakeries around Portugal have developed their own, local interpretation of this kind of tart.
It’s rated as a top restaurant although it’s not a restaurant.
I’ve looked at TripAdvisor several times in the last few months. The Casa Pastéis de Belém is firmly parked in the #1 position, being the most highly rated restaurant out of 315 in Lisbon, (even though it is not a proper restaurant – no dinners here!). No matter what time of the day you arrive, this is likely to be a crowded place with hordes of tourists waiting in long lines, sometimes the wait will be more than hour-long, to get a table, (the locals are smarter and order their stuff to go).
You’d better believe the hype.
The Casa Pastéis de Belém boasts several hundred chairs and that is the only thing that makes it a bit unsettling. Even closing time there’s a rat race going on for seats and you will get the feeling of eating in a hangar. Also, you might find the waiters a little too cool for their own good. But the tarts… Do believe the hype. The tarts are worth the wait. No doubt about it.
Casa Pastéis de Belém
Rue de Belém 84
+351 21 363 74 23
1st November – 30th April
Monday to Saturday 08.00–23.00
1st May – 31st October
Monday to Sunday 08.00–24.00