When you’re in an unfamiliar place and looking for a place to eat, my dad always taught me to go off the beaten track.
Don’t get me wrong… you can stick to the restaurants and cafes on the main streets where tourists go, but I usually find that the gems are hidden away on an unassuming side street.
That’s exactly where I found a little place called The Bakery — a little bakery (obviously) tucked away in a cobbled side street in Évora’s city centre.
I’d usually expect to find a rustic-looking cafe on a road like this, but The Bakery has been designed with a fresh, modern and cosy look.
There’s a huge splash of colour from the artwork on the wall as you walk in — and just before your each the counter, the “dishes of the day” are hand-written on a long sheet of brown paper hung off the wall. It’s a cool mix of modern, yet homely and rustic.
Once we walked towards the main counter I couldn’t help but get drawn in by the beautiful colours of pastries and cakes everywhere. I thought after five weeks in Portugal I’d be used to fighting my sweet tooth’s temptation, but I was really struggling here. (I know, I’m weak…lol.)
Between their pasteis de nata (custard tarts), chocolate twists, fruit tarts and other treats — it was hard to pick just one or two!
Both Geets and I decided on a cheese toastie each — we had to have something savoury! — shared pot of English tea, and indulged with a chocolate twist and strawberry tart.
Speaking of that strawberry tart… Oh boy. Where do I begin? Just writing about it is making me drool!
I really am convinced it’s the best strawberry tart I’ve ever had. Don’t get me wrong, this mixed fruit tart we ordered in Turin was divine and nothing has trumped it yet, but in terms of just strawberry fruit tarts this kicked ass.
The pastry was tough enough to hold the base together when I bit into it. The fresh cream was silky and soft while maintaining a thickness to it. And those strawberries tasted so fresh and juicy.
The whole thing was spot on.
We loved our breakfast so much that we wanted to try some of their other goodies, so we ordered four of their macaroons to go: two pistachio and two coffee. These macaroons weren’t quite what I’m used to — the shells had a light but dense texture, rather than a soft and chewy texture they’re known for — but they were still very good.
So, how much did our meal cost?
I forgot to grab an itemised bill, but the total came up to €14 which is pretty reasonable. The macaroons alone were €4, so the bulk of our breakfast for two — two cheese toasties, a large pot of tea, a strawberry tart and a chocolate twist — came up to €10.
It’s not as cheap as our usual breakfasts that cost €6-8, but considering the modern decor, wide selection of food & drink and very friendly service, it’s a small “premium” I’m willing to pay when I visit Évora again.
If I was a local there, this place would definitely be my local coffee spot.