Words: Rachel Lingham 

Invented by monks and enjoyed all around Portugal, a Pastel de Nata needs to be fresh, fresh, fresh.  This usually means they are best first thing in the morning, but some rare gems bake them two or even three times per day.  There’s not a lot better in life than a small, perfectly formed and crispy pastry, still warm from the oven, in our humble opinion. And they taste even better – if that’s possible – after a dip in the Atlantic.

Since starting our Portugal Pop-Ups three years ago, we have eaten our way through a lot of these little cakes, so below is a list of some of our favourite pastel joints in and around Lagos, in the Algarve.

Yum

It’s up to you, but I am pretty sure it’s mandatory to have an espresso while you eat them.

Pao d’Avo Maria  – Lagos

A bit of a hidden gem, this bakery makes fresh pastéis every day, which are the perfect size, shape and crispiness.

Pastelaria Gomba – Lagos

Gomba’s loyal customers claim that their pastéis de nata could just be the best in the entire Algarve.  You should probably try a few for yourself to see if that is true.  

Antonio Restaurante – Praia de Porto de Mós

The perfect spot to enjoy a pastel and a cafe espresso straight after a surf.  The waiters are smiley, and the cinnamon plentiful.

Padaria Central – Lagos

This traditional, family run bakery opened its doors in 1926, and has been pouring tasty tarts onto the streets of Lagos ever since.  Go early in the morning and pick up some of their delicious bread too.

Lidl (yes, really!)

For quality, consistency and price, we had to include Lidl on the list!  Recommended to me by a local, ideal for when you want to take a few home.

Visiting the Algarve to get your fill of pastel goodness? Come say hi….

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