Many locals consider Pastelaria Mexicana to be the best pastelaria in town. Don’t be distracted by the ‘Mexicana’ part to think you can’t get typical Portuguese pastries here. This company has been in the hands of a Portuguese family since 1946. The pastelaria is named after the location where it is located: Praça de Londres was once Praça do México.
Enjoying life in Lisbon
The pastelaria is usually full of locals, all day long. The pastelaria is located in a neighborhood that is mostly populated by upper middle class people and you can see that in the audience that visits this place.
We came for lunch and there was a high average of elderly couples in expensive clothes, complete with expensive jewelry. Nothing wrong with that, and besides, this is not a posh place where you feel uncomfortable in shorts and with kids who are dirty from playing.
The pastelaria/restaurant has 3 parts to it: there is the terrace, there’s the front part of the pastelaria with simple seats and the counter where you can order sweets, snacks, sandwiches and coffee / tea. If you walk to the back, you’ll find yourself in the restaurant area.
Good lunch, slow service
We entered the restaurant with quite an appetite, which is not helping the state of mind of our toddlers anyway. We asked for some salgados like a croquette de carne and chamuças to combat the biggest hunger (and keep the sweet peace at the table). But unfortunately the waiter didn’t understand our requests and we had to ask for it 3 times before the savoury pies were placed on the table.
As the main course we ordered the bacalhau of the house and a bitoque with extra fries. The food was really delicious and the dessert, the mousse chocolate, was also spot on.
The downside of our experience was that we spent almost two and a half hours in the restaurant. We didn’t have a special dish which had a longer preparation time, or did we ask complicated questions. In itself it is not a disaster to dine a bit longer, but constantly asking for a drink, appetizers, dessert and the cheque (which is not coming) was quite annoying. It’s not that there wasn’t enough waiting staff around either. By the time we got our main course there was almost no one in the restaurant anymore and from that moment on our lunch lasted for at least another hour.
Paying the bill didn’t go smoothly either. We were told that we could pay by card. But during the checkout it turned out that they only supported multibanco (Portuguese cards). Luckily we still had some cash in our pockets.
Next time we’re here we’ll only get some sweets and hope to be outside again within 15 minutes to enjoy it.
The ambiance in the restaurant is very cool, or as the waiters described it, a “soft Portuguese architectural style”. What he meant by that is still not clear to us.
Much of the interior was designed during the Salazar regime (1932 – 1974). There are many ceramic panels and retro decorations that create a specific atmosphere in the restaurant.
En de vogelkooi is een attractie voor als je met een peuter en kleuter in het restaurant gaat eten.
Dat was het buffet trouwens ook, het was een beetje lastig om aan de kinderen uit te leggen dat ze daar niet aan mochten komen.
And the birdcage is definitely an attraction when you eat in a restaurant with toddlers. Same with the buffet by the way, it was a bit hard to explain to the children that they were not allowed to take food from there.
Where can you find Pastelaria Mexicana
Address:Av. Guerra Junqueiro 30 C, Areeiro
Opening hours: Every day 7:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.