Headed to Portugal and looking for the best pastel de nata in Porto?! Keep reading to find out where all my favorite pastel de nata Porto bakeries are! Hint – there’s quite a few, but they’re not all created equal!
Pastel de nata: A deliciously indulgent pastry with a unique texture and flavor profile. Super sweet and rich and creamy. Best served warm with a dusting of cinnamon and powdered sugar. And oh so decadent and satisfying.
This past summer, I went to Portugal in search of the best pastel de nata in Porto! Pastel de nata are super popular and famous in all of Portugal, and they’ve been enjoyed for years and years and years (generations even)! They’re utterly delicious, so of course I made it my mission to eat quite a few…
I’m kinda embarrassed to admit this, but I easily had over a dozen pastel de nata during my time in Portugal. I mean, they’re that good – it’s hard to pass them up, especially since they’re only a euro or so each! I ate plenty as a mid-morning snack with some freshly-squeezed OJ, and don’t regret a single bite.
All in the name of research, right?! Some of my favorite memories in Portugal are simply relaxing at a cute bakery, indulgently biting into a pastel de nata (or two), and doing some people watching. The best kinda day!
I kinda got into a routine of sorts – wake up, head out to a different bakery to find the best pastel de nata in Porto, eat a few, then carry on with my day. Then I did that again mid-morning, and sometimes in the afternoon too, haha. Whoops! Lemme tell you – biting into a fresh, warm tart straight out of the oven is incredibly satisfying. You’ll see!
My dozen or so pasteis de nata are probably the best things I ate during my entire 3 days in Porto, Portugal. Scratch that – most definitely. I even took a pastel de nata baking class in Lisbon to learn exactly how to make them at home… although I’d totally rather head back to Porto instead, haha. Not sure I’ll ever be able to recreate that perfect custard filling!
It’s so fun to watch them being made at bakeries around the city – many have large windows and you can see the bakers whisking the custard cream, rolling out the dough, and eventually filling the shells.
Everyone loves these sweet treats for their unique flavor and texture combinations – a sweet and creamy custard filling with a perfect, flaky pastry crust. Put some cinnamon and sugar on top, and they’re the *chef’s kiss*!
So, if you’re traveling to Porto anytime soon, be sure to keep on reading! I’m sharing all the best spots to grab a few pastel de nata in Porto. I wish I could go with you — I’m missing these famous egg tarts so badly! Guess I’ll just need to get myself back on a plane to Portugal sooner than later, not complaining!
*All photos used with permission.*
Some FAQs About Pastel de Nata in Porto
What is a pastel de nata?
Maybe only the best thing known to man! And you think I’m joking… haha.
A pastel de nata is a traditional pastry from Portugal, better known as a Portuguese egg tart. It’s a small custard tart that’s typically served as a dessert or snack, and it’s absolutely delicious. No wonder I ate so many…
The pastry consists of a flaky crust made of puff pastry, which is then filled with a creamy egg custard that’s flavored with vanilla and cinnamon. The custard is made by whisking together egg yolks, sugar, flour, and milk, and then cooking the mixture over a low heat until it thickens and becomes creamy.
A pastel de nata is traditionally served warm, straight out of the oven, and is often dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar. It’s a popular treat in Portugal – enjoyed both as a breakfast pastry and as an afternoon snack, or really whenever you feel like it. Let’s face it – I ate them around the clock!
Egg tarts are massively popular in other countries as well, namely Hong Kong and Macau (both Chinese territories), but no one does the egg tart quite like the Portuguese. I can get some egg tarts in Chinatown in San Francisco (one of my favorite desserts in SF), but they’re nowhere near as satisfying as the pastel de nata I had in Porto.
Pastéis de nata vs. Pastel de nata?
Not sure which term to use?! They’re the same thing! Both “Pastéis de nata” and “Pastel de nata” refer to the same type of pastry – the Portuguese egg tart. However, the main difference between the two is that “Pastéis de nata” is plural and refers to multiple egg tarts, while “Pastel de nata” is singular and refers to only one egg tart. Kinda confusing, right?
Traditionally, pastéis de nata are served in a box or on a platter, and are meant to be shared among a group of people. Therefore, it’s common to use the plural form (pasteis de nata) when referring to them.
However, when ordering one egg tart at a time, it’s appropriate to use the singular form “pastel de nata”. In everyday conversation, the two terms are often used interchangeably depending on the context and the number of egg tarts being referred to. Don’t worry – everyone will understand what you’re talking about no matter which word you use.
How much does a Pastel de nata cost?
Thankfully, pasteis de nata in Porto are super inexpensive, only costing about €0.80 to €1.50 each. Good thing, because I ate plenty, haha! And after 10 days in Portugal, those little pastries add up!
Traditional bakeries and local pastry shops will be on the cheaper side, whereas prices will be a bit inflated in tourist areas and popular cafes. Of course, prices slightly vary depending on the quality of the ingredients used, as well as the reputation and popularity of the establishment.
Additional info about Pasteis de Nata in Porto:
Can you take pasteis de nata on the plane?
After indulging in quite a few, it’s completely understandable you’ll wanna take some home with you. I mean, they’re absolutely delicious afterall! So yes, you’ll be glad to know you can easily take them on the plane!
Thankfully, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will allow you to bring pastries through airport security in your carry-on baggage. You can bring both store-bought and homemade pastries through the TSA checkpoint.
My recommendation – buy the best pastel de nata in Porto itself, and not at the airport. Not only will they be twice the price at the airport, but who knows how fresh they are?! Let the restaurant/bakery know your plans – most bakeries will actually box them up for you to carry on the plane.
If you’re packing them yourself, make sure to wrap them securely to prevent them from getting squished or damaged during transit. It’s also a good idea to store them in an airtight container or plastic bag to prevent any spillage or contamination. You wanna make sure they’re in tip top shape when you get home, although they’ll still be delicious either way, albeit a little squishy!
If you’re traveling internationally, be sure to check the customs regulations of your final destination country to ensure you’re allowed to bring food items into the country. Some countries have restrictions on certain types of food or require them to be declared upon arrival. You don’t want them taken away at the last minute before you get to gluttonously indulge!
For reference, all travelers entering the United States are REQUIRED to declare meats, fruits, vegetables, plants, seeds, soil, animals, as well as plant and animal products (including soup or soup products). So, no, pastel de nata from Porto don’t count.
How long do pasteis de nata last for?
For the best tasting pastel de nata, eat them fresh, ideally straight away or at least that same day they’re baked. However, if stored properly, they can last for a few days without losing their delicious flavor and texture.
At room temperature, Pastel de nata can last for up to two days, depending on the humidity and temperature of the environment. To keep them fresh for longer, it’s best to store them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out.
If you want to keep them for a longer period, you can also freeze pastel de nata. To do this, wrap each pastry individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. They can be kept in the freezer for up to one month. Perfect if you’re bringing some back home with you.
When you’re ready to eat the frozen pastel de nata, simply thaw them at room temperature for a few hours, or reheat them in the oven at a low temperature for a few minutes until they’re perfectly warm and crispy. Yum!
Do they need to be refrigerated?
Pastel de nata can be stored at room temperature for a few days without the need for refrigeration, as long as they’re properly stored in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Whatever you do, you don’t want your pasteis de nata to dry out!
However, if you plan to store them for longer than a few days, or if you’re in a very hot or humid environment, it’s recommended to refrigerate them. Storing pastel de nata in the fridge can help preserve their freshness and extend their shelf life.
Again, it’s best to put them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap.
What’s the Difference between Pastel de Nata and Pastel de Belém?
Super confusing, and I didn’t understand the difference until I went to the actual Pastel de Belem restaurant in Lisbon!
Basically, pastel de nata and Pastel de Belém are both traditional Portuguese pastries that are very similar in appearance and taste, but there’s a few key differences between the two.
The main difference between the two pastries lies in their origin and recipe. Pastel de Belém is a specific type of pastel de nata that’s made according to a secret recipe developed by the famous pastry shop in the Belém district of Lisbon, Portugal.
The recipe has been kept a closely guarded secret for over 180 years, and only a handful of people in the world know the full recipe. As a result, Pastel de Belém can only be found at the original pastry shop in Belém or at a few licensed shops that use the same recipe. Did I taste a difference? Honestly, not really!
In terms of appearance, a Pastel de Belém is typically slightly larger than a regular pastel de nata, and it has a crispier, flakier crust. The filling is also slightly creamier and more custard-like than regular pasteis de nata.
In terms of taste, they’re both sweet, creamy, and rich, with a delicate balance of flavors from the custard, sugar, and cinnamon. However, many people believe that Pastel de Belém has a more complex flavor profile and a unique taste that sets it apart from regular pastel de nata. In my opinion, they taste extremely similar…
Quick history of the Pastel de Nata
Pastel de nata, also known as a Portuguese custard egg tart, is a pastry that originated in Portugal. Its history can be traced way back to the 18th century in the Belém district of Lisbon.
The story goes that in 1837, at the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery), the monks who lived there began selling the pastries in order to raise money. The recipe was a closely guarded secret, and it wasn’t until the monastery was closed in the 1820s that the recipe was passed on to the sugar refinery that had taken over the building.
The refinery eventually opened a bakery called Pastéis de Belém – yes, the same place that’s still in operation today and one of the most famous places to get pastel de nata in Portugal. The recipe is said to include a secret combination of ingredients and a special baking process that results in the creamy, custardy filling and crispy, flaky pastry crust.
Over time, pastel de nata has become a beloved dessert not just in Portugal, but around the world. It’s now commonly found in bakeries and cafes in many countries, and has even inspired variations and spin-offs, such as chocolate or fruit-filled versions. But I promise you, no one does it better than in Portugal!
Best Pastel de Nata in Porto
Let’s get to it – all the best places for pastel de nata in Porto!
Manteigaria Fábrica de Pastéis de Nata
This place sells one thing and one thing only – the famous pastel de nata in Porto! Manteigaria specializes in baking these, so you know they’re gonna be good.
The pastry is light, flakey, and incredibly crispy (with an audible crunch!), and the filling is a moderate, perfect sweetness of held-together creamy custard goodness. Wow, just wow. I could eat five in one sitting. The buttery flavor of the crust really compliments the custard filling, and the cinnamon and icing sugar really add to the overall taste.
I first tried the pastéis de nata from Manteigaria Fábrica in Lisbon a few years back, and am so glad they’re made their way north to Porto! The BEST pastel de nata in Porto in my opinion – these pasteis de nata were some of the best I had all across Portugal! There was actually a Manteigaria Fábrica down the block from my Porto apartment…so, you can guess how dangerous that was! Whoops!
You know the pastries are made freshly on-site, because you can watch the bakers in action! Some locations have large glass windows and you can see the pastry chefs working their magic. You’ll literally smell them baking before you even pop into the store! This bakery uses the original recipe (instead of a modified one to keep them on the shelves), so the pasteis de nata have to be eaten fresh.
This popular bakery chain gets busy – expect a line out the door some mornings. Well worth the wait in my opinion! The right size with high-quality custard. It’s busy because they’re so good at what they do… makes sense. Come early in the AM or later in the afternoon to escape some of the crowds.
There’s a cute coffee shop inside of Manteigaria, with lots of seating as well. Pastel de nata pairs perfectly with a delicious macchiato, just saying!
You know how people always say that the best place for pastéis de nata in Portugal is Pastéis de Belém, right? Well, some locals would argue that Manteigaria might actually be better now. And get this, the Manteigaria spot in Porto is supposedly just as good as the one in the capital. Can you believe it? If you only have time for one pastel de nata in Porto (the shock! the horror!), make it an egg tart from Manteigaria.
La Fábrica da Nata
La Fábrica da Nata is another popular chain of pastry shops in Porto that specializes in pastel de nata. Their pastries are made using a secret family recipe that includes only natural ingredients – no wonder everyone constantly raves about the texture and flavor of their pastries. The custard is silky smooth and perfectly balanced, while the crust is flaky, buttery, and downright delicious!
Some people say the pastry feels a bit richer and greasier than other pastel de nata in Porto, but I kinda liked it that way! The taste is a bit differentiated from other places, with a slightly sweeter filling than others too.
I had an original pastry (with a generous sprinkling of cinnamon of course), but you can also get a scoop of ice cream on top! Sounds like my kinda breakfast, haha! Definitely get some freshly-squeezed orange juice – I cannot believe how cheap OJ is in Portugal, around 2 euro or so (a glass of fresh OJ in San Francisco is at least 6-7 bucks).
As you enter the store, make sure to check out the display window where you can observe a live demonstration of the pâtissier at work. It’s such an art and takes so much skill.
La Fábrica da Nata serves other breakfast items here as well, including baguettes, yogurt fruit cups, plus other Portuguese pastries. But trust me, everyone comes here for the pasteis de nata. It’s not rated one of the best pastel de nata in Porto for nothing!
Try the fixed menu of a pastel de nata, pastéis de Bacalhau (fried codfish croquette), a glass of port (wine!), and a coffee – all for only €4.90! One of the best deals in the city.
This was another pastry shop that was less than a 3 minute walk from my apartment in Porto, so, ya know, I taste tested a few times. I loved the space too – I found it super impressive with all the azulejos covering the floor! And you know how much I love those beautiful Portuguese tiles in Porto! There’s also a seating area upstairs if downstairs is full.
Castro – Atelier de Pastéis de Nata
Castro – Atelier de Pastéis de Nata has been in business for over 30 years and is known for its commitment to using high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients in its pastries. Must be the reason their pasteis de nata taste so good! The custard filling is rich and creamy, and the crust is flaky and buttery. Makes sense that their tagline is “A delicious secret, ready to be unveiled”.
The freshly made pastéis de nata are out of this world, served warm and incredibly delicious. I read that they have the most perfect custard consistency – not too runny but not too thick. Freshly baked every time, they’ve always got that perfect balance of crunch, sweet, and oozy.
Plus, Castro’s got possibly the best hot chocolate in all of Porto. And it’s probably the prettiest cafe around! One of the more classy spots in Porto for pastel de nata for sure. I’m super bummed I didn’t make it here!
Not only do they have some of the best pastel de nata in all of Porto, but just LOOK at this space! A modern and beautiful little place, with the timeless gold-dipped dishes and classiest period-designed chairs and tables. You guys know I have a thing for interiors, and this spot checks all my boxes. Chic, sweet, and downright delicious! An absolute gem of a pastry shop in Porto for sure!
Looking for something a tad different? These pasteis de nata in Porto come in a bunch of different flavors! Perfect if you’ve already stuffed yourself silly with the traditional ones, haha. Think flavors like orange, port wine, limon, CHOCOLATE, etc. Of course they also bake the original flavor if you wanna get a few and compare.
I found Natas d’Ouro to be one of the best places in the city to have a relaxing pastel de nata experience. And of course I loved the different choices – my limon pastel de nata was excellent! The custard was smooth and delicious and perfectly sweetened with the perfect hint of lemon, while the buttery crust was flaky and crispy – just like it should be! I wanted to go back to try a chocolate pastel de nata but I completely forgot… next time for sure.
However, my friend who came here earlier that week said her custard was a bit lumpy and not as silky as other shops. And someone else who I met on a food tour complained that her egg was too runny and kinda fell apart the moment she bit into it. Guess it really depends when you come. The execution doesn’t seem as consistent as others. I still loved mine though, so I wouldn’t completely write them off. Especially if you wanna try the other flavors, as I didn’t see any other bakeries with them.
Majestic Cafe is a historic cafe located in the heart of Porto that’s been in business since 1921 – for yes, over 100 years! The cafe serves a variety of pastries, including a range of traditional Portuguese sweets and desserts and of course pasteis de nata!
While Majestic Cafe isn’t known specifically for its egg tarts, I still wanted to include it on this list of best pastel de nata in Porto! Why? Because the space is so glam and glitzy and fun!
Plus, it’s where J.K. Rowling supposedly worked on her Harry Potter books, with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and a gorgeous Belle Epoque atmosphere. Easily one of the most beautiful cafes in the world – meaning, yes, prices will be inflated (but a single pastel de nata won’t set you back too much). A mandatory stop on any Porto itinerary, for sure!
Majestic Cafe is located right on Rua de Santa Catarina, the pedestrian shopping street that’s one of the most popular and bustling areas of Porto. If you’re over here to do some boutique shopping, stop by Majestic Cafe for a hot drink and a pastel de nata.
Fabrica Coffee Roasters
Want some speciality cafe con leche or a flat white to go with your pastel de nata in Porto?! How about a little latte art? Head on over to Fabrica Coffee Roasters – not only are their pasteis de nata great, but this specialty coffee roastery uses a state-of-the-art Probat coffee roaster to roast their beans. Meaning you know the coffee will be high-quality.
They’ve got a wide range of coffee varieties, including single-origin coffees, blends, and espresso. But enough about the coffee! We’re here to talk about the best pastel de nata in Porto!
While the cafe is not exclusively focused on pastries, they offer a whole range of sweet treats, including a highly regarded version of pastel de nata. At Fabrica Coffee Roasters, the pastel de nata is made in-house using a traditional recipe that’s been passed down through generations. They’re the perfect golden brown on the outside and rich and creamy on the inside.
The space is known for its minimalist, industrial decor, and I loved sitting here biting on my warm pastel de nata. Fresh out of the oven, I might add. Such a nice setting with both outdoor garden seating and lovely indoor spaces.
Fabrica Coffee Roasters is a great place to meet up with friends or get some work done (yay for free WiFi). Also a great spot to choose if you’re looking to have a full breakfast with a pastel de nata on the side. Perfect for anyone on a workation with an appreciation for coffee.
Other Contenders for the Best Pastel de Nata in Porto
Confeitaria do Bolhão
Confeitaria do Bolhão is one of the oldest pastry shops in Porto, serving pastéis de nata since 1896 (yes, even older than Majestic)! Damn, over 100 years – they must be doing something right!
The shop is located across the street from the iconic Bolhão Market and is known for its traditional Portuguese pastries, including an excellent, excellent version of pastel de nata. Are they the best pastel de nata in Porto? Go and find out for yourself.
Besides an amazing pastel de nata, Confeitaria do Bolhão also sells cakes, an assortment of bread, croissants (yum!), plus much more. Another Porto “classic”!
Neta 3 – Padaria e Confeitaria
Another cute little bakery right in the heart of Porto serving pastel de nata (don’t they all!?!). And they’ve been open for over 100 years too! Are they the best pastel de nata in Porto? Probably not (there’s definitely better options out there) – but still worth a quick stop if you’re nearby and want a little snack.
They’ve got an extensive range of pastries and toasts, so perfect for a quick breakfast. Psst – I heard their croissants and brioche are really good!
One of my main gripes about Neta 3 is the fact that the pasteis de nata are not served warm… but they’re some of the cheapest natas in Porto so we’ll let that slide. A great option if you’ve got an early train since Neta 3’s only a few minutes walk away from the station. And they open way earlier than most bakeries around.
Nata Lisboa is a full chain of pastry shops, with multiple locations in both Porto and Lisbon. The dough is incredibly crispy and the cream is perfect and not too sweet. The prices are very reasonable even for being literally next to the train station in the whole center of Porto.
Yes, the pastel de nata are good, but there’s other places nearby that are just as good, or even better. Come here if you’re looking for a beer in a cafe culture kinda setting. A great place to relax on the side of a busy street, drink some delicious coffee (or beer!), and indulge in a few natas.
Vegana By Tentúgal
Vegan friends, don’tchu worry, there’s a shop specifically for you! Vegana By Tentúgal specializes in vegan versions of traditional Portuguese pastries, including a unique take on the pastel de nata in Porto. They only use high-quality, vegan ingredients. The best vegan “pastel de nata” in Porto for sure.
It’s actually a full-on vegan restaurant (and very cute and quaint), meaning there’s other vegan specialities to try. You can try a vegan “francesinha” here, perfect if you don’t wanna miss out on this famous Portuguese dish which is typically full of meat and eggs. Vegana By Tentúgal also has a delicious selection of quick bites and excellent coffees.
I think Manteigaria and La Fábrica da Nata tie for first place – they’re both super consistent, have that perfectly balanced creamy filling, and a crispy, flaky crust. It’s so hard to choose a clear winner, and thankfully, you can try both and decide for yourself.
And there ya have it – all the best pastel de nata in Porto! How many Porto egg tarts do you think you’ll devour on your trip?!