- Pastéis de Belém in Lisbon is the most reviewed eatery in the world, garnering 10,000 reviews on TripAdvisor in 2017 alone.
- It’s famous for its Pastéis de Belém cream cakes.
- The “secret recipe” has not changed since the bakery opened in 1837.
A bakery in Lisbon, Portugal has been named the most reviewed eatery in the world by TripAdvisor – and it will only cost you less than £1 to find out why so many travellers flock to it.
Pastéis de Belém – meaning Cake of Belém, named after the iconic pastry from the Belém district of Lisbon – received over 10,000 reviews from travellers on TripAdvisor in 2017 – more than any other food establishment in the world.
Established in 1837, it’s known for its Pastéis de Belém – circular pastries that are similar to Portugal’s famous pastéis de nata cream cakes.
It’s easy to see why they’re so popular – the bakery told Business Insider the pastries only cost €1.10 (£0.97 or $US1.34) each.
Here’s what they look like:
The bakery has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5, and it’s possible that it only falls short of 5 stars because of the queues travellers often have to experience in order to get inside.
However, I visited the bakery back in 2014 and can confirm the pastries (and the coffee) are delicious – and well worth the wait.
The “secret recipe” has remained unchanged since the very beginning, when, during a time when all convents and monasteries in Portugal were shut down following the 1820 liberal revolution, someone from Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (the Heironymite Monastery)began selling sweet pastries in the general store beside it, which was also attached to a sugar cane refinery.
They became known as “Pastéis de Belém,” and in 1837 the bakery was officially founded.
Patissiers work in a “secret room” to make the cream and the pastry which form the Pastéis.
The multi-room bakery is always buzzing.
It also sells other specialities including Bolo Inglês (English cake) and Marmelada (Marmalade).
But really it’s all about the Pastéis de Belém.