NATA Lisboa: A taste of Portugal in Peterborough

There’s more to Portuguese food than Nando’s


Portuguese food gets a pretty bad deal compared to other countries like France or Italy.

France is famous for snails, Italy for pizza – but could you name something Portuguese that isn’t Nandos?

NATA Lisboa, the latest cafe to hit Peterborough, plans on showing you some of the amazing drinks and dishes Portugal has to offer.

First opening in Lisbon, Portugal in 2011, NATA Lisboa now has over 25 restaurants across the world – including Vienna, Toronto, and Abu Dhabi. The UK is the next stop – starting with Peterborough.

I spoke to Fabio and Helder at the Peterborough branch to find out more about what NATA Lisboa offers.

I missed the lunch rush and headed to NATA Lisboa around 3pm, where the pastel de nata – Portugese custard tarts – were fresh out the oven.

Fabio explained to me that these tarts are the stars of the show, and showed me how the Portuguese locals enjoy them – topped with icing sugar and cinnamon.

Deliciously crunchy with a soft, buttery filling, it was difficult to stop at one.

Fabio passionately describes that NATA Lisboa’s entire concept is centred around bringing genuine Portuguese flavours around the world, as well as the Portuguese dining experience.

“You aren’t rushed,” he says, and it’s clear. Locals and Portuguese expats relax in the comfy armchairs, enjoying freshly made cocktails all day long. NATA Lisboa has a clear message: great food, at a great price, made fresh daily.

There are plenty of options for vegetarians and vegans too – with every item on the menu being customisable. A dedicated selection of vegetarian and vegan options is available, including the vegan Lisbon Platter featuring sliced artisan country bread, black olive tapenade, tomatoes, tofu, rocket, roasted peppers, honey and oregano.

Fabio explains that as everything is made fresh to order, almost every dish can be made vegetarian or vegan.

With a menu to die for, it’s easy to overlook the countless cocktails made fresh in front of you. Sangria? Easy. And only £3.50 a glass. Want something more exotic? Try out Portuguese cherry liqueur, known as “Ginjinha”.

With an outside lounge opening soon, NATA Lisboa looks to be the new place to enjoy cocktails out on the terrace with friends. Open until 10pm Sunday-Thursday and 12am Friday-Saturday, NATA Lisboa catches the pre-drink crowds too, being only a stones throw from Peterborough’s clubs.

“Nothing is from a bottle,” Fabio says: “Everything takes a little more time but is made with care. This is what Portugal really has to offer.”

With the first UK store doing massively well, I asked Fabio and Helder what the future had in store for NATA Lisboa in the UK.

There are plans in the immediate future to expand, with Fabio noting that in 10 years time, there could be 20 or 30 stores across the UK.

Now a firm favourite, it’s clear: the world needs NATA.