Chances are very good that you’ll know you found it by the long line streaming out the door and down the calçada. Do not be deterred! Get in line and don’t doubt your decision. It moves fast and you’ll be handsomely rewarded for your patience.
Founder, Gelato Master, and Lisboa-lover Costanza Ventura started Nannarella in 2013, after moving to the city from Rome and discovering two important factors: the lack of artisanal gelato and the very high quality of raw materials such as milk and fruit in Portugal.
While Costanza is the Gelato Master creating the recipes and overseeing the lab, Diogo Silva is the Gelato Maker. And what a wonderful job he does! Diogo makes milk-based artisanal gelato and water-based artisanal sorbet. The production method is different from gelato to sorbet because gelato passes through a pasteurization process. All fruit is cut by hand and all preparations are housemade, respecting the rigorous, artisanal Italian tradition. The ingredients are fresh, no preservatives, no colorants, no chemical additives.
Salted caramel, pistachio, and mango are some of the best sellers but they also sell a lot of other flavors like basil, coconut, and seasonal fruit-based sorbets. Vegans are welcome, too, with Nannarella’s cashew milk gelatos. They’ve also developed special flavors for clients, including BoCA’s Contemporary Art Festival. For that event, they created BoCA Flower, salted and spicy caramel with dark chocolate chips, a sensory trip through the sweetness of caramel, spiciness of piri-piri, saltiness of Flor de Sal, and bitterness of dark chocolate. Yes please!
If as you are reading this, you’re thinking you’ve heard of Gelateria Nannarella but know you haven’t visited yet, you might be right. You may have seen them in the Lisboa episode of Somebody Feed Phil, Season 1 (First Course) on Netflix. There, Phil visits with Costanza, enjoys her mango gelato, and gets a lunchtime surprise, pizza!
In 2017 the Nannarella “family” founded Pizza di Nanna, an artisanal pizza shop next door to their São Bento gelateria, another successful project that is based on the same principles of Nannarella: genuineness, authenticity, and happiness. The pizza is Roman-style, very thin, a crunchy base, and fresh ingredients on the top. The flour and fresh ingredients like vegetables are Portuguese, the tomato sauce and other typical products are Italian. Try the traditional rosemary and potato for a taste-sensation.
They also have a small Italian-style neighbourhood coffee shop across the street in the Mercado de São Bento, Baretto. Customers can sit inside or stand at the sidewalk bar and enjoy some of the best espresso in Lisboa.
Nannarella is a family owned and operated business built on professionalism and deep respect for humanity. The management of their enterprise is based on a participative and responsible approach with workers, neighbourhoods, clients, institutions, and in general with social society and the environment.
Costanza came here to follow her dreams and spread joy throughout Lisboa, her favorite city. The Nannarella family’s gelato, pizza, and coffee are so good for that reason—they work with passion, commitment, and pleasure. Now go get happy!
Learn more about Portugal’s thriving food and culture scene in the award-winning, English-language Relish Portugal magazine. It’s a free, online, quarterly publication for Portugal lovers everywhere. Our Summer 2021 issue will soon be available! What are you waiting for? Sign up and be one of the first to get it: relishportugal.com