Who says you can’t have your egg custard tart and eat it too? There are plenty of great cafés and pastelarias in Portugal’s southern region that are popular among those who love pastéis de nata and other traditional Portuguese desserts, and we have compiled a list of the best spots just for you. You’re welcome!
Pastelaria Beira-Mar is a popular spot with tourists and locals, in part for its seaside location, and even more importantly, for its delicious pastries and lunch menu. Try to get there early so the pastéis are still warm out of the oven, and to beat the crowds. After lunch is another good time to visit (after 2:30–3:00 p.m.). The terrace seating will let you soak up the Algarve sun while also people-watching and enjoying the ocean views.
If you’re looking for pastéis de nata in Faro, head over to the Pastelaria Padaria Centeio, a pastry shop, bakery, café, and lunch spot all in one. Not quite in the center of the city, it only takes about 10 minutes to walk from Faro’s old town (characterized by its medieval walls and archway) to the shop, which usually lacks tourist crowds. Both locals and the tourists who know about this hidden gem boast about the quality of the pastries and bread that come from Pastelaria Padaria Centeio.
While exploring Lagos, the smell of baked goods may beckon you to the Padaria Central, a local, family-run bakery that first opened its doors in 1926 and has been passed down the generations ever since. Among their specialties are the natas (which customers rave about) and other traditional sweets like bolos de arroz (rice cakes), bolinhos de amêndoa (almond bites), and arrepiados (almond cookies).
Another popular spot for dining on decadent pastries in Lagos is Pastelaria Gombá. Cozy and traditional, this pastry shop is a favorite for breakfast, lunch, coffee, and snacks, and customers suggest that Gombá’s pastéis de nata could just be the best in the entire Algarve – but you may want to try them yourself to make sure.
Try not to confuse this shop with another, because a few pastry shops in different cities go by the same name. Located in Lagoa (not Lagos) and Carvoeiro, Pastelaria Algarve is a family-run pastry shop that has been producing traditional Portuguese sweets for more than 10 years and has become a favorite with both locals and tourists. There are two stores; the Carvoeiro store is also known locally as Fábrica Velha.
Set in the historic town of Silves, Café DaRosa is a traditional-looking espresso bar decorated with azulejo mosaics and offering terrace seating with views of the surrounding square. Just down the road from the Sé Cathedral and Silves Castle, it is ideally located for a bite after a day of sightseeing, and the pastéis de nata are particularly recommended.
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