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Best of Toronto

The Best Portuguese Custard Tarts in Toronto

Posted by Liora Ipsum / September 22, 2014

Custard Tarts TorontoThe Best Portuguese Custard Tarts in Toronto are also known as pasteis de nata (or just nata for short). The heavenly sweets were invented by monks in the 14th century who, as the story goes, were using egg whites to starch nuns' habits, and ended up with a lot of extra yolks. Their sweet solution was to bake these delicious custard tarts. Lucky for us, they became a staple Portuguese sweet - and now, they're easily found at Portuguese bakeries citywide.

Here are the best custard tarts in Toronto.

See also:

The Best Portuguese Bakeries in Toronto
The Best Portuguese Restaurants in Toronto

Doce Minho

Doce Minho

Located on Dufferin, this Portuguese bakery cafe has lots to offer, and it doesn't matter if you've just stopped in for a loaf of bread - no trip would be complete without a sampling of the gold, brulee-topped natas on display. More »

Seara Bakery

Seara Bakery

Established in 2006, this bakery boasts three locations where you'll find sublime pastry cups filled with sunny yellow custard and browned 'til they're blistered and caramelized on top. More »

Brazil Bakery

Brazil Bakery

Locals flock to this Dundas West bakery to savour the small tasty sweets along with strong shots of espresso. Order your java black and let the custard-filled tarts add all the cream and sugar you need. More »

Venezia

Venezia

First opened in 1979, this old-fashioned Portuguese bakery has since expanded to a second outlet, both found on opposite ends of Ossington. Here, the flaky, slightly chewy pastry shells are filled with light, creamy egg custard bruleed on top. More »

Courense

Courense

After 25 years in business, this bakery has established itself as the original (and freshest) pasteis de nata shop in Toronto. Their tarts are sold at bakeries and cafés citywide - possibly even at other spots on this list. Courense makes each sweet mini tart by hand, producing 4,000 each week. More »

Churrasco of St. Lawrence

Churrasco of St. Lawrence

Rotisserie-cooked poultry might be the main attraction at this Portuguese barbecue counter located inside Toronto's historic market, but the pasteis de nata are not to be missed. Strategically positioned next to the cash, the pastries are the perfect sweet ending to a mighty fine chicken dinner. More »

Alcoa Bakery

Alcoa Bakery

The iconic pastry is among the specialties at this bakery on Davenport that's always buzzing with chatter of Portuguese regulars. Here you'll find creamy, egg custard baked into crisp buttery pastry shells. More »

Jack's Bakery

Jack's Bakery

Open 24 hours, this bakery on Oakwood will let you mow down on sweet golden mini tarts any time the craving strikes. (You can also grab a latte and a lottery ticket while you're at it.) More »

Golden Wheat

Golden Wheat

The institution in Little Italy has been open for over 20 years, producing heavenly Portuguese tarts that are best ordered at least a half dozen at a time, because one is really never enough. More »

Nova Era

Nova Era

Portugal's most revered sweet is just one of the many pastries made from scratch by this local chain of bakery-cafés. Nine locations have proliferated the treat throughout the GTA and beyond. More »

Caldense Bakery

Caldense Bakery

Having grown to nine GTA locations since 1968, this family of padarias (bakeries) serves up thousands of pasteis de nata each day. Each location attracts its own strong local following. More »

R Bakery

R Bakery

Just a brief walk from the south entrance at Glencairn station, the slightly-burnt egg custard tarts are just one of many excellent house-baked delicacies available at this bakery and cafe. More »

Discussion

21 Comments

The CJM / September 22, 2014 at 04:07 pm
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The map distribution, following the Portuguese migration northward looks very much like the best bagel map, only this one goes up Ossington and the Allen instead of up Bathurst.
MrsP / September 22, 2014 at 04:52 pm
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I'm not Portuguese, so I'm going to ask this (with hopes of NOT sounding like an asshole):

Aren't these all made with the exact same ingredients?
Are they THAT different, one from another?
jae replying to a comment from MrsP / September 22, 2014 at 04:59 pm
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Ha! I was thinking the same thing...I've had them from a few of these places and they're pretty much the same.
Michael replying to a comment from MrsP / September 22, 2014 at 05:07 pm
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You don't sound like an asshole, but perhaps you eat for sustenance alone and not the pleasure of it. Yes, custard tarts are simply custard and pastry. But what are the eggs like that you are using, what about the cream? Are you making your custard at too high a temperature or too low, etc. You get my point. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Also, it's a lot of fun trying to find the "best" tarts.
Mike replying to a comment from MrsP / September 22, 2014 at 05:13 pm
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Sure, same ingredients, but they can very slightly in quality of ingredients used, preparation, and baking methods.
Relmar Boys / September 22, 2014 at 05:25 pm
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Deus Esperma ! DEUS ESPERMA !
karina Santos / September 22, 2014 at 05:54 pm
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Who ever wrote this list,never tried a real Portuguese pastel de nata . Sad!!!
joe shmoe / September 22, 2014 at 05:55 pm
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custard tarts are the LEAST important meal of your day
Kris / September 22, 2014 at 06:38 pm
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LOL nothing on the east side.
simpSon / September 22, 2014 at 06:50 pm
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Whoever wrote this spelled Portuguese wrong throughout - no proofreaders? You guys spell things wrong all the time !
d / September 22, 2014 at 07:29 pm
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In Mississauga www.applewoodbakery.com/
Maria / September 22, 2014 at 07:59 pm
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I do not detect any misspelling!!!Any way I'm Portuguese born and
I can tell you that a "nata"is nata!some places make them better than others and if you can not go to the ones in "Belem",Lisbon you should stick with Caldense!The best in Toronto and around!
Enjoy them!!!

deja vu / September 22, 2014 at 09:03 pm
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Hmmmm.... I just read something very similar to this the other day on the internet, but it was the best pasteis de nata in Portugal.
Artzila.com / September 22, 2014 at 10:30 pm
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#9, Golden Wheat makes some pretty great nata.

Suggesting that they all taste the same is like suggesting every pepperoni pizza tastes the same.
Raquel / September 23, 2014 at 09:39 am
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they were actually invented by nuns... not monks - and there is only one place in Portugal that makes the original recipe and they are the only ones that have the right to call them the original name "pasteis de belem" ... all the other places are copies and called "pasteis de nata" like the ones in Toronto... and YES there is a huge difference between that one bakery in Belem, Portugal and all others... the best in Toronto (I am Portuguese and have tried them many times) is Caldense bakery (but has to be the Symington location) because that's where they bake them... if you order a bunch at a time in advance (a dozen or two)and pick them up in the morning they will be warm and crispy - which is how you should eat them! you can order then as minis too which is my fav. but has to be this specific location - and no I don't work there nor am I affiliated... I am just sharing!
Alex / September 23, 2014 at 05:21 pm
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How is Tyfer Bakery not on this list? They make by far the best custard tarts I have ever tasted.
Ashley / September 23, 2014 at 08:32 pm
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The natas sold at St. Lawrence Market by Churrasco St. Lawrence are provided from Brazil Bakery! Had all Brazil should be #1. They are always consistant!
Miriam / September 24, 2014 at 04:01 am
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I would say Happy Bakery at the Galleries Mall should rank as #1 and then 2nd Coldness at Symington and 3rd Caldense at Dundas and Ossington. Also there are so many other just as delish desserts we make - I personally have always preferred our flan with that sauce YUMMY! The story about how Natas came about is wrong.
Miriam / September 24, 2014 at 04:03 am
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I would say Happy Bakery at the Galleria Mall should rank as #1 and then 2nd Caldense at Symington and 3rd Caldense at Dundas and Ossington. Also there are so many other just as delish desserts we make - I personally have always preferred our flan with that sauce YUMMY! The story about how Natas came about is wrong.
Guest House Jogja / October 14, 2014 at 08:51 pm
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That like delicious...
Adriana Isabel / October 18, 2014 at 05:29 pm
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Clearly who ever made up this list knows nothing about Portuguese natas. All of these bakeries fall no where close to Caldense Natas, It's actually insulting. If your looking for real authentic Pasteis de Nata without visiting Portugal have a trip to Caldense Bakery!

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