Established in 1829, Confeitaria Nacional is Lisbon’s oldest confectionery, and was at one time the official confectioner of the Royal Family. Founded by Balthazar Roiz Castanheiro, the cafe and pastry shop is still in the family and continues to be run by his descendants.
Confeitaria Nacional is located in the heart of the city overlooking the Praça da Figueira. It is well known for its traditional Portuguese pastries and its elegant interior, with dark wood paneling, classic marble counters and mirrored ceiling. But it is perhaps most famous for its Christmas cake, known as the Bolo Rei (King Cake), which is a national tradition. The bread-like cake is a variation of the recipe that Balthazar Roiz Castanheiro brought from his native France. It is shaped like a crown and contains raisins, nuts, and candied fruit, and is in very high demand, especially during the holiday season. The cakes are sold whole, but luckily you can order a piece of cake in the cafe. Since they only bake 200 cakes a day be sure to go in the morning, as they often sell out by mid-afternoon.
Photo credit: Confeitaria Nacional
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