Food local products Reviews and Such

Winnipeg’s Best Butter Tart

Over the last little while I’ve written a couple of posts, where the purchase of a Butter Tart was part of my visit to the establishment. I’ve had some good response to this, so I thought maybe now would be the time to do a post on Winnipeg’s best Butter Tart. Obviously, such a post is only the opinion of one man. So, I don’t expect that

Winnipeg Hot Sauces for a Time of S...
Winnipeg Hot Sauces for a Time of Self-Isolation.

everyone, or anyone for that matter, will agree with my choices. This is just a chance to have a little fun with the blog. However, please feel free to leave your agreements and disagreements in the comments. Also, this post is not complete.

While I managed to get into the double digits in terms of the number of different Butter Tarts I tried, I know there are more Butter Tarts out there in Winnipeg. In that case, if you feel I missed one please let me know. I’m happy to make this list continue to grow over time. A few ground rules.

1. The Butter Tart has to be available commercially available in Winnipeg(and accessible by Transit). I am sure everyone in Winnipeg that reads this knows of an old family recipe that they are certain is the pinnacle of Butter Tart goodness(I have one of my own), but if you are not selling it publicly it doesn’t count.

2. My Butter Tarts INCLUDE RAISINS, or not. Both types are acceptable for this post. However, I have not included Pecan Tarts, the close relative of the Butter Tart. Also, runny doesn’t necessarily win out over firm as far as the filling is concerned. 

3. I haven’t really focused on price other than to let people know when the tarts are only available for purchase by mulitples. Basically two of the small ones work out to the same price as one of the large ones, with only a couple of exceptions, which I will note. 

4. Even the lowest rated tarts in this list have something about them that make them worthwhile.

5. I’m working from the bottom to the top. Pictures appear above the description and ranking.  As a final note, if you have any spare insulin please feel free to send it my way.

cottage bakery
The Cottage Bakery butter tart

23.) Cottage Bakery

This butter tart was a real disappointment. I had visited Cottage Bakery a couple of times and really enjoyed there food and baking. However this butter was pretty much devoid of syrup, and as a result devoid of flavour as well.

Butter Tart number 15
The Starbucks Butter Tart is no longer on  the bottom of the list.

22). Starbucks

I came across this one by accident. I went in to purchase a beverage, and noticed that they had a Butter Tart in the display case. So, I figured, it’s available, so I might as well try it. It’s a good sized tart, but that is all it has going for it. I found the pastry dry and the filling unremarkable in flavour. Of all the tarts I tried, this is the one that most reminded me of a packaged tart from 7-11(and not in a good way).

Gunns butter tart
The Gunn’s butter tart leaves a bit of an aftertaste.

21). Gunn’s Bakery

Gunn’s offers one solution to the raisins-no raisins dilemma. You can pick up either of them at the counter. They have a very thick syrup, which is almost at the point of being gummy. They also leave a bit of an aftertaste in the mouth.

Winnipeg Best Butter Tart Nosh
Butter tart from Nosh on This.

20). Nosh On This

Like most of the tarts towards this end of the list, these are sold in packaged amounts. $4.00 for a package of four. The pastry is quite good, and the filling is sweet.

Winnipeg Best Butter Tart Omas
Omas are all right but nothing special.

19). Oma’s Bakery

From a flavour perspective, I didn’t find anything special about the Oma’s Bakery entry. However, you get six smallish ones for $4.69 which makes them a better value than the ones below them.

San Vito Butter tart
I was told this was by Goodies, but unless they make two different types it may not be.

18). San Vito Coffee House

I tried this one when I visited San Vito Coffee House. When I asked where it came from, they said Goodies, but it’s much different from the Goodies one I purchased from Second Cup. I’m trying to seek confirmation and will adjust the post to reflect any answer I get.

Winnipeg HML Butter Tart
This is the best value Butter Tart, and has lots of raisins.

17). Homestead Bakery 

The Homestead Bakery Butter Tart is closest to mass-produced, but it does benefit from selling at 6 for $6.00. Also, if you really like raisins in your Butter Tarts, these tarts are packed with them.

Stellas Butter Tart Winnipeg
The Butter Tart from Stellas was the biggest disappointment in terms of what I expected and what I received.

16). Stellas

I purchased this one at the Sherbrook Street bakery location, and would call this the most disappointing Butter Tart. More because that being Stellas, I expected better. The pastry was pale and bland, and the filling wasn’t overly flavourful either.

Winnipeg Butter Tart Goodies
This is from Goodies Bakery but purchased at Second Cup

15). Goodies Bakery

This is definitely the Butter Tart with the thickest syrup. If that’s what you like this may be the butter tart for you. I do find that the pastry is a little overcooked for my liking. I purchased this one at the Second Cup on Edmonton at Graham.

St Pierre
Although the bakery is out of town, the St. Pierre Butter Tarts are available at many Winnipeg locations.

14). St. Pierre Bakery

So, this is a place where the bakery isn’t in Winnipeg itself. However, there are multiple locations in the city. This is one that a reader swears by. I enjoyed it, but it’s not quite up there with the best.

nathan detroit
This is a smallish but enjoyable butter tart from Nathan Detroits Sandwich Pad.

13). Nathan Detroit’s Sandwich Pad

This is another reader suggested butter tart. I quite like this one. There are lots of raisins and a nice, flavourful syrup. If the pastry was home made and if the tart was a little large, this one would probably crack the top five.

Belle Baguette Butter Tart

A tart from Belle Baguette.

12). La Belle Baguette

While this Butter Tart falls in the middle of the pack, it’s still quite a good tart. I simply find that the crust on tart was a little on the dry and bland side.

Bake Oven Tarts
The Bake Oven tarts may be small but they pack a big flavour punch.

11).Bake Oven

Tucked away in North Kildonan. I was a little surprised to see that these were quite small Butter Tarts. However, I really liked the sticky, gooey filling and while the tart shells are pre-made they still are quite good.

The tart from Lisbon Bakery
This butter tart from Lisbon Bakery is the highest ranked tart with a commercial tart shell.

10). Lisbon Bakery

This tart comes with a commercially made tart shell. However, I put it this high up, because the filling is among my very favourite. It is rich and thick, with a real brown sugar type flavour. 

The Cocoabeans tart is gluten-free.
The priciest of the butter Tarts, but not surprising, as its gluten-free.

9). Cocoabeans Bakery

This Butter Tart is different in that it is gluten-free. As a result, it’s the most expensive tart on the list, going for $5.00. However, it has a really good crust, and I like the brown sugar emphasis in the filling, along with the fact that it has a whole lot of raisins.

Gluten-Free Tart
The Butter Tart from Gabby’s Gluten-Free Goodies.

8.) Gabby’s Gluten-Free Goodies

I tried this one at MB Food Fest. You would not know that it was gluten-free. Plus the filling is very good. 

Winnipeg's best buttertart, the new one from Thom Bargen

7) Thom Bargen Butter Tart

I tried this one for the first time this morning (Dec. 22). The pastry is good and flaky. I really like the filling in this one. It has a caramel, toffee flavour to it, which I really enjoy. Down the road I’m going to need to do a taste off between this one and High Tea to determine an undisputed number one. 

I ended up dropping this one quite a few places, because while it is very good, it is not available on a regular basis. 

White Birch Bakery Tart
The White Birch Butter Tart.

6.) White Birch Bakery

This place is a recent discovery, down on Henderson Highway. The tart itself is interesting because it is made with a pâte sablée crust. This is a light, cookie like crust. Very delicious with a filling that is lighter and not as sweet as some, but which I quite like.

 Lilac Bakery tart entry
The Lilac Bakery Butter Tart is tasty and a bit lighter than some of the other top Winnipeg choices.

5). Lilac Bakery

This Butter Tart has a really light filling. It’s still has a good amount of sweetness and the crust is quite light and flaky.

Eiffel Tower tart
The Eiffel Tower just misses second place.

4). Eiffel Tower Bakery

Eiffel Tower’s Butter Tart shares a lot in common with the Hildegard Bakery Butter Tart but comes in slightly behind it. This visit was the most interesting one I did, as I visited on a Saturday, as the person serving me told me that Butter Tarts had been her Saturday Treat ever since she was a child, when she had to go get them from the freezer where her mother had stored them in attempt to hide them and make them last a little longer.

Butter tart lady butter tarts
A six pack of Butter tarts from the Butter Tart lady.

4.) Frenchway Cafe

This is the only entry on the list I don’t have a photo for. When I purchased them, I got them to go. However, as I was traveling, they sloshed around a little bit. So, while I was able to get a good sense of the flavour, they didn’t look good enough to post.

They are a little on the small side, or they might make it a little higher on this list. They are just the right amount of sweetness with a flaky crust. 

3. The Butter Tart Lady

The Butter Tart Lady started out in Gimli, but has recently opened a storefront location on Ness Avenue. These come in a six-pack. I was very heroic in my restraint and I didn’t finish them until the day after I bought them. This shop will be a great addition to the Winnipeg bakery scene. 

Hildegard Butter Tart
The Butter Tart From Hildegards Bakery falls a close second behind the winner.

2). Hildegard’s Bakery

Hildegard’s Bakery has only been in business for a few months, but Mike Friesen, the man behind their tart has been producing them for quite awhile. Most notably for Folio Cafe. The pastry is slightly heavier than High Tea but still really, really, good. The filling is also nicely thick but still runny.

Thom Bargen has started producing a butter tart, and it comes in toward the top of this list.


Winnipegs Best.
The  High Tea entry qualifies as the best Butter Tart in Winnipeg

1). High Tea Bakery  No. 1 Butter Tart

When I wrote my review of the bakery I said their Butter Tart was the best that I had tasted in Winnipeg. Well, I’ve tried several since then, and none of them have done anything to convince me otherwise. The crust is the really exceptional part. It is buttery and crispy and flaky. The filling, somewhat but not overly runny matches up perfectly with the crust.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.