Taste 4 Delicious Pastries in Cascais and Sintra
Categories: Café

Taste 4 Delicious Pastries in Cascais and Sintra

Publish date : October 12, 2022

You’ve probably noticed the variety of pastries on the display window of bakeries and confectioneries. But if you’ve learned anything in your travels it’s that sometimes it’s better to save yourself for the right food in the right place. The same applies to Cascais and Sintra pastries. Don’t get me wrong: the overall pastry quality is quite good, you might have great food experiences at random. If that’s your thing, go for it! However, you know you’ve hit gold when you eat a travesseiro at Piriquita. This is the kind of combination we want to give you.

Find out the whats and wheres below.

Areias de Cascais

Were you even in Cascais if you didn’t try areias? Debatable.

These shortbread balls made of flour, sugar, butter, sprinkled with sugar, are perhaps the most famous sweet in Cascais. You can find them in a lot of pastry shops, bakeries, and even at supermarkets. Our experience points to Sacolinha, a bakery that’s been branching out due to its success, so — lucky for you — you can find it at different addresses in Cascais and around.

Their origin is said to come from the late 19th century or the beginning of the 20th century, and they are usually served as a snack. Fun fact: if left inside a bag, the areias (literally, ‘sands’) start crumbling, looking like sand from the beach.

Travesseiros

Sintra, a town recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, is absolutely rich in pastries. So, come for the cultural landmarks, stay for the sweet stuff!

A good place to start are the travesseiros from Casa Piriquita in the center of town. You’ll know you’ve found Piriquita when you see a long queue at the door. It’s a centennial pastry shop that makes amazing narrow pillow-shaped pastries (we’re not making this up, travesseiro means ‘pillow’). They’re made of puff pastry, egg yolks, almonds, and sugar, among other secrets.

Now you’re not limited to Sintra anymore, though. Thanks to the pandemic, Piriquita opened an online shop with deliveries to the whole country (free on orders over €19.50). On their website, you can order the famous travesseiros and other delicacies. You might need the help of Google Translate, but the process is pretty straightforward.

A cute alternative is Dona Estefânia, a much newer addition to pastry making in Sintra, but equally committed to keeping local traditions alive. Here, you can order travesseiros to be delivered at home, the minimum being set at €19.99. Everything is in English, including short descriptions of the pastries.

Queijadas

If you know some Portuguese, you know queijada sounds similar to queijo (‘cheese’). This is no coincidence. Queijadas are sweets prepared with cheese or cream cheese, milk, eggs, and powdered sugar. A great place to try them is Fábrica das Verdadeiras Queijadas da Sapa, a tea room with a recipe they’ve kept a secret for over 200 years. They make them cheesy, crispy, and delicious! A true challenge is to keep it down to one.

And, because we don’t always want to put up with the crowds in the center of Sintra, Casa do Preto provides the right shelter. It opened in 1933 as a confectionary, but the owners later developed their own label of pastries. The queijadas here are a true classic and they're also sold to other establishments in the Lisbon region.

Pastéis da Cruz Alta

Piriquita has other things in store for its customers: pastéis da Cruz Alta. After you’re done eating a travesseiro, and with the sole purpose of getting you ready for a day of hiking in Serra de Sintra, order one of these pastéis. They're actually named after the highest peak in the Sintra Mountains, so you see how it all makes sense.

The tarts’ flavor is composed of sweet egg cream, almond, and white beans. If you’re not used to egg yolk in Portuguese pastry yet, this will do it!

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