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Lisbon's historic shops 2: portuguese Confectionery

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Much of the charm of Lisboa comes from the ever-evolving union of tradition and contemporaneity, of old and new, local and global living together. The city is full of amazing stores that, while maintaining the commerce that keeps the city alive, help remind us of this connection to the past, of its place in portuguese culture, and how important it is to preserve it aiming towards the future.

For the gourmands and cake lovers, there is nothing like having a pastry shop nearby, 'pastelaria' in portuguese. In your travels around Lisboa you will find those, and also ice-cream shops, cake shops, and bakeries aswell. The shops presented here are specially inviting, because they have lived through decades, constantly renewing their vitality for the modern days, and always offering a tradition of house-made quality products. Take your time to check their window displays, and dig in!

Pastelaria Versailles - a decades-old favourite

Pastelaria Versailles
Pastelaria Versailles
Av. da República 15-A 1050-185 Lisboa Portugal, 1050-185 Lisboa, Portugal

When it opened in 1922, Pastelaria Versailles was the first big pastry shop of Avenidas Novas, an area of the city that was just beginning to develop. Nowadays, you can find a table and enjoy its heavily ornamented interior and appreciate their pastries, breakfast, lunch and diner meals, and see how, after all these years, it still manages to gather a big crowd of costumers every day.

Confeitaria Nacional - the oldest in the trade

Confeitaria Nacional
Confeitaria Nacional
Praça da Figueira 18B, 1100-241 Lisboa, Portugal

The oldest bakery of Lisboa, Confeitaria Nacional dates back to 1829, always run by the same family! This is the birthplace of the famous portuguese christmas cake 'Bolo-Rei', after a recipe brought from Paris. It is still produced according to the original instructions, and a very popular sell. When you enter the shop, you will immediately notice the incredible amount of house-made pastries, cakes and sweets looking back at you. It is one of the most visited pastry-shops in the capital.

Pastelaria Benard - one of Chiado's wonders

Pastelaria Benard
Pastelaria Benard
R. Garrett 104, 1200-205 Lisboa, Portugal

This lovely pastry shop is 150 years old, and has witnessed a few memorable events throughout its history! Located in Chiado since 1902, Pastelaria Benard became a known meeting point for locals and visitors, serving fresh pastries and meals and offering a beautiful interior and a lovely esplanade. Because of its location in Rua Garrett, it can be hard to find room, but if you pass by, here's a suggestion: try their famous croissants!

A Veneziana - the ice-cream shrine

A Veneziana
A Veneziana
Praça dos Restauradores 8, 1249-970 Lisboa, Portugal

In 1936, an italian decided to leave his home to try his luck in America. On the way, he passed through Portugal and decided to stay in Lisboa to open A Veneziana, probably the first ice-cream shop in the city! Giovanni De Lucca passed on his recipes using all-natural ingredients, and today the store continues that family tradition, in several shops across the capital and constantly adding new flavors.

Pastelaria Mexicana - a modernist classic

Pastelaria Mexicana
Pastelaria Mexicana
Av. Guerra Junqueiro 30 C, 1000-167 Lisboa, Portugal

This peculiar pastry shop dates from the 1940's, and quickly became the preferred spot for artists and architects of the time to meet up. And that connexion materialized in the store itself! Upon entering the shop, you can enjoy the traces of surrealist and modernist influence in the design of the place, aswell as the ceramic panel by Querubim Lapa, nowadays a symbol of A Mexicana. The house regularly gets full, offering pastries and lunch and diner menus aswell.

Follow the rest of the Lisbon Historic Shops series by visiting the historic Cafes, discovering the classic Restaurants, and dropping by the Liqueur stores and Bars!

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The author

Vasco Casula

Vasco Casula

I am Vasco and I come from Portugal. Alongside playing guitar and working on animation films, I like to discover and let you discover places, such as Portugal!

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