"Who made these? We need more!"
Way back in 2022, long before Bella Baxter was stuffing pastéis de nata down her gullet with impunity we noted a rising trend of the custard tarts in Dublin, with three spots specialising in them opening in quick succession.
Cut to now and Yorgos Lanthimos' feminist Frankenstein sensation Poor Things has everyone craving the sugary yellow treats - even if Bella does end up puking a significant portion of them up after chowing down too enthusiastically.
Poor Things invites the viewer on a visceral journey through Victorian London, Paris and Lisbon, and one of the moments that best epitomises the wide-eyed, childlike way Bella experiences life is her first taste of a pastel de nata, which compels her to gorge on enough tarts to make her sick. We've all been there.
If you're a Dubliner who has just watched the film and now yearn for a taste of Lisbon yourself, you're in luck. The rise of de nata in town has been steady and bountiful, and we've rounded up three of our favourite spots to cop one.
Named after one of the most traditional parts of Lisbon, Alfama opened in Windy Arbour, Dublin 14 in September 2022 and is a real slice of Portugal in the leafy Dublin suburbs. On the menu you'll find salty, crispy skinned anchovies, comforting risottos and hearty seafood stews, along with homemade pastéis de nata made three ways - classic, Nutella or creamy dulce de leche.
Mary Street Little, Dublin 7
To the north of the Liffey you've got the cosy, welcoming Café Lisboa, revered by regulars for its friendly staff who serve up de nata that rival those found in Portugal. It's a real gem that achieves a neighbourhood feel while still being in the middle of town, and the tarts are fresh, flaky and delicious every time.
At our last spot on the list you'll find fresh batches of de nata hauled out multiple times a day, alongside very reasonably priced coffee by Dublin standards and authentic Portuguese sambos like the ‘Francesinha’ - layered with ham, sausage, chorizo, steak and melted cheese and the Frango Piri Piri chicken roll with tomato, lettuce and a spicy mayo finish. Lisboa have some very unique offerings by way of their multiple pastel de nata flavours - chocolate, raspberry and blueberry, if you don't mind - and they even have a vegan version so no one needs to miss out.
Happy munching, one and all.
Header images via Searchlight / Instagram / cafelisboa_dublin