Best Portuguese Tarts in Sydney

Updated May 17th, 2022


The Portuguese tart has an interesting history. Back in the 1700s, it was common practice for monks and nuns to starch their clothing with egg whites. Rather than waste the yolks, they turned them into various cakes and pastries. Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon got inventive and turned their yolks into pastéis de nata ("cream cakes").

When Jerónimos fell onto hard times, it and its popular recipe were sold to the local sugar refinery. The refinery opened a cafe, Pastéis de Belém, just to flog the tarts. It's still there today, owned by the same family. There are daily queues.

Of course, none of this will seem relevant or interesting when a few of the flaky, eggy, cinnamon- and icing sugar-sprinkled tarts get within your reaching distance. Head to Sydney's own Little Portugal (Petersham) to find the highest concentration – Gloria's and Sweet Belem are right across the road from each other.

  • The sweets at this Portuguese bakery include a custard tart with legendary status. Actually, it might just be the best one in Sydney. People travel far and wide for its unforgettably flaky crust and cinnamon-sweet custard interior, made by a head chef who’s been rolling pastry since he was 14 years old.

  • This counter-only bakery is run by same the Portuguese family behind Village on Cloey up the street. Visit for note-perfect pasteis de nata, as well as cracker croissants, kouign amanns, pies and celebration cakes. Tuga regularly attracts massive queues. In a few years, it might just take Sweet Belem’s crown for most popular Portuguese tart in Sydney. Tuga now has a second location in Alexandria.

  • Ask anyone in Little Portugal about where to go for real Portuguese food, and they’ll point to Gloria’s. This institution has been kicking since 1988 thanks to its blend of taverna charm and rustic dishes with robust portions. When you’re browsing the desserts, make a beeline for the Portuguese tart – it’s made using owner Maria Gloria Belinha’s original recipe.

  • Royal Bakery's Portuguese Tarts are real destination-pastries. For owner and head baker Carlos Torcato, the baking and selling of these custardy delights has been a lifelong pursuit. His meticulous attention to detail has paid off: people travel from across Sydney to try Torcato's hand-crafted Portuguese treats.

  • This moody Double Bay spot specialises in food from the Iberian Peninsula. And Bibo’s owner also owns Sweet Belem, which means the latter’s famous Portuguese tart is a fixture on the dessert menu.

  • This popular cafe preceded its sibling from a couple of doors down, Tuga Pastries, by a few years. So it used to be the only way to enjoy Tuga’s Portuguese tarts. Ironically, now that Tuga is as popular as it is, it’s usually easier to buy a Portuguese tart at Village than it is from the bakery it was baked in.

  • Highly Instagrammable cakes aside, Blackstar’s daily range is flush with top-notch baked goods worth stopping in for. The flaky savoury pies are one example. Another is the custard tart. It’s a perfect little morsel of crumbly pastry and warm custard made in the Portuguese style.

  • If it's made in an oven, you'll probably find it at Baked by Keiran. This bakery's bread is rightfully renowned, but its Portuguese tarts, when they're on their menu, are worth seeking out.

  • Many of the recipes at this Bondi favourite, such as the standout Louise Cake, can be traced back to the owners’ homeland of New Zealand. The Portuguese tart, not so much. It’s still really good though.

  • Known for its cult-status sourdough, this Darlinghurst bakery is also an occasional peddler of the famous Portuguese tart. Whether you’re visiting the Darlo original or its Manly spin-off, there’s a good chance you’ll find one – best paired with a strong black coffee.

  • A second cafe-bakery for one the city's finest Portuguese tart makers. Find a grand display of traditional and less-conventional baked goods, and a cafe menu that plays with the Aussie idea of breakfast while paying homage to its Portuguese roots.

  • Don’t let the number of locations scare you off. The reason Sonoma is so popular has remained the same since it first opened: excellent and consistent high-quality baked goods, at a fair price. Sourdough bread is still the king, but you’ll find exceptional coffee and savouries, plus sweets such as croissants and the odd Portuguese tart, at its many locations throughout Sydney.