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Confeitaria Nacional is one of the most known Portuguese Cafés in Lisbon. Founded in 1829 by Balthazar Roiz Castanheiro, it has been a family business for 5 generations.
The Café was inaugurated during the Civil War between the Liberals and the Absolutists, and it became the favorite Café of the aristocrats of the city. It also gained great fame thanks to awards for several of its sweets. In 1969 the son of the family inherited the Café and continued the family tradition. In 1872 Diario Illustrado, a Portuguese newspaper stated for him: “he has established an elegant lounge with splendid cabinets, all revealing a certain level of good taste which has definitely attracted the leading families of the capital for whom it was not difficult to understand the usefulness of such an establishment in Lisbon which is the only one of its kind”.
Moreover, Balthazar junior wanted the products of the Café to be recognized. So he hired master confectioners from Paris and Madrid to make unique sweets and specialties that would make the difference. Sweets, jams and fruit liqueurs soon became famous. Distinctions followed and Confeitaria Nacional was the place to be, the “crème de la crème” of Lisbon.
The confectioners of the Café also created a new series of sweets, the “romantic sweets of Lisbon”, that soon became a hit. The Café had a strong presence in international expositions, and Balthazar junior imported from France to Portugal the famous recipe for the “King’s Cake”. That is the typical cake of the Christmas festive season!
The Café has amazing wooden décor, large mirrors, and elegant furniture. It is divided in two floors and it’s almost always full of people seeking to taste the famous deserts and the top quality coffee that Confeitaria Nacional offers.
Confeitaria National is still the supplier to the President of the Portuguese Republic and an attraction place for all Lisbon visitors.