Roadtest: Portuguese Tarts

With the Inner West’s annual Bairro Português festival on the horizon, it seems only right that we taste test a few (or a lot) of Portugal’s most well-known dessert export, the Portuguese Tart. Here is the best of the flaky, custardy, bunch. Thank us later…

The Sweet Belem Cake Boutique, Petersham

Google ‘best Portuguese Tarts in Sydney’ and all avenues point in one direction: Sweet Belem. People travel far and wide to visit this small cake boutique on New Canterbury road. Legend says the tarts are still based on the original recipe handed to the current owner Jose Silva by the former boss John De Almeida. With all this (well-deserved) press, make sure to get in early. The shop has been known to sell 1000 tarts in one weekend.

La Patisserie, Petersham

Known as ‘Little Portugal’, is it any surprise Petersham is a hot spot when it comes to Porto tarts? While Sweet Belem is the go to for tourists, locals and those in the know head to the less glitzy local bakery down the road, La Patisserie. With an unassuming exterior, the real magic is happening out the back under the watchful eye of master Fernado Ramos, who has been baking since he was 11 years old. Fernado starts cooking at midnight each night to ensure enough tarts to please the hungry hoards.

Fernandes Patisserie, Dulwich Hill

Ask any local where to find a tart and they will direct you to Fernandes’. Here the pastel de nata are traditional and delicious in their simplicity and at two dollars a pop, you can afford to go a little crazy. With the good comes the bad, however, and due to the popularity their best selling Portuguese Tarts are frequently sold out by midday. Make like the locals and get in early for a breakfast visit.