Explore the Royal City
Take the Guelph Butter Tart Tour
Explore your own backyard
When you embark on a quest to find Ontario’s best butter tarts, an excellent place to start your journey is right in your own backyard. Explore the bakeries and markets in your town or city, and maybe you will discover a new favourite place to satisfy your sweet tooth.
We make our home in the city of Guelph, and there is certainly no shortage of options to find delicious sweets. We have many great sweet spots in and around the city to enjoy a taste of Guelph. For this butter tart quest, we bring you into the city for a mini butter tart tour to check out what sweet offerings you can enjoy here in the Royal City.
Located in the historic Douglas Street block of Downtown Guelph, you will find Wellington Cakes. For many years, this small, independently owned bakery has been offering the citizens of Guelph a variety of unique sweets to entice everyone. Anne Forestell is the genius baker behind and owner of Wellington Cakes. She and her team create dazzling custom cakes for every occasion, a myriad of cupcake flavours, fancy decorated cookies, bars, brownies, squares, and butter tarts.
Walking past Wellington Cakes one day, I saw their sandwich board sign proudly boasting: “the best butter tarts in Guelph”. That sounded like a direct invitation for me to come inside and check them out. When I went in, I was sadly disappointed that I did not see any butter tarts on display. I asked the lady working if they were out, and to my surprise, she informed me, “a fresh batch is just coming out of the oven; they will be ready in about 15 minutes”.
Enthusiastically, I placed my order, and I continued my walk while I wait for hot, fresh butter tarts.
The pastry on the butter tarts is a suitable thickness – not too much but substantial. It is flaky, fresh, crispy, and very buttery. It is a little crumbly but holds together very well.
The filling on these butter tarts is sweet, buttery, and a bit syrupy. It is thick and gelatinous and has a little bit of ooze factor to it – just the right amount for enjoying on the go. The filling on the top of the butter tart has caramelized into a crunchy, chewy toffee candy – which is a nice bonus.
It is a delightful butter tart. It is sweet and deliciously gooey. There is ample filling to give you the flavour you want with a slight taste of crust in every bite. The combination of thicker crust and the gelatinous filling makes it a great tart to eat on the go. There is no runniness of the filling that will drip down your arm to distract from the overall enjoyment.
As you explore the beauty of downtown Guelph, please drop into Wellington Cakes and grab a cup of Planet Bean organic coffee and a butter tart; or one of their many other delicious treats. You will be glad you did.
Ever since Miijidaa first opened its doors on Quebec Street in Downtown Guelph, it quickly became a favourite place for us to dine locally. We have made it our go-to spot to celebrate all birthdays, anniversaries, and any special events in our lives. The menu is unique and varied, taking inspiration from the many cultures of Canada’s rich history. Tapping into influences from the First Nations people and the many early settlers to Canada, the team at Miijidaa has curated a special menu to celebrate the history and culture of Canadian cuisine.
Our menu is a very modern take on, and mélange of, our northern gastronomic history.
I have never had room for dessert after one of their meals in their restaurant, so I never knew they made butter tarts. Over the past year +, we have ordered a lot of take-out dinners, and one day, they gave us a little nudge on Instagram to let us know about their freshly made tarts, so we include them in our Guelph butter tart tour.
The pastry on the butter tarts at Miijidaa has a cookie-like consistency, texture, and taste. It is thick, sweet, and very flaky – a little bit crumbly due to its cookie-like nature. It is a deliciously sweet & crunchy vessel to deliver the filling to my mouth.
Rich, smooth, creamy, buttery, and very sweet are all great words that describe the filling of these fantastic tarts.
It is a very sizeable butter tart. More significant, and they would have to change the classification from a tart to a pie. It would make a whole dessert with just a scoop of excellent ice cream.
Located right in the heart of downtown Guelph, Miijidaa is a gem in a sea of dining options within the city. We have eaten in, ordered take out, and participated in special pairing nights at Miijidaa on so many occasions and never a misstep. It is always a delight to visit.
We could never think about ordering from Miijidaa without including their jalapeno cornbread with tomato relish. It ranks as our absolute favourite cornbread we have ever had, but that is our little secret. So when someone says, “Dinner at Miijidaa?” I say: “Let’s Eat!”
Continue the Guelph butter tart tour at Strom’s Farm & Market.
University Square Bakery & Deli
In Guelph’s south end, tucked into a small strip mall at the corner of Kortright and Gordon Sts, is where you will find University Square Bakery & Deli. It is a lovely spot to pick up some groceries, fresh meats, deli foods, prepared meals, and of course, fantastic baked goods. The variety of treats they offer is overwhelming – pies, squares, cookies, cinnamon buns, danishes, turnovers, meringues, cream horns, and butter tarts.
Flavours: raisin, pecan, chocolate, and walnut. These butter tarts have the appearance of being mass-produced. They are similar to the ones you can find in many shops. When I asked the girl working there if the bakery makes them or are they ordered in, she said they make them, so I must trust her. They are very uniform in all aspects of their appearance, colour, consistency, texture, etc.
It is a very traditional pastry crust, light and flaky but dense enough to hold up as you eat the butter tart. It is not greasy or oily – it is a soft light pastry with no surprises.
The tarts are full of buttery, silky smooth filling with brown sugar and corn syrup taste. The filling does not flow out fluidly, but over time there is a slight oozing that occurs.
The Butter tarts at University Square bakery and Deli are delightful to eat. They are a classic butter tart in every sense of your expectations. They can be enjoyed on the go without concern as the filling will not run down your hand, and the crust holds up.
When you visit University Square Bakery, I suggest you try their cream horns and cannolis. They are delicious – my favourite is the lemon cream horn.
With The Grain
For over 20 years, With the Grain has been a fixture in the city of Guelph. It has become a landmark and a go-to destination for sweet treats, quality baked goods, and pantry items. In fact, over the years, the name “With the Grain” has become an icon in the city. It is a favourite place for locals to go for ‘made from scratch’ items that look good and taste even better.
In 2020, new owners took over this iconic business, including the recipes that made it famous. They are continuing the legacy of the With the Grain brand and making it all their own. All of the classic With The Grain goodies you have come to love are still there, like the decadent squares: bee stings, chocolate swirls, brownies, lemon squares, date squares, and others. They also have a large assortment of cakes, fresh-baked artisanal bread, English muffins, rolls, croissants, muffins, scones, and their seasonal iced shortbread – which is a must every time we visit.
The Butter Tarts
Plain & pecan. They have a lovely floret design; they are evenly baked, with an apparent hand-made appearance.
The pastry is very thick – but also flaky and light tasting. It has a nice classic pastry flavour and texture, and it is a little crumbly when you bite into it.
The filling on the butter tart is relatively thick, rich, and very buttery. It is smooth and creamy, with a decadent sweet brown sugar and butter taste.
It is a delightful butter tart at With The Grain. They would be easy to eat on the go without worries about crumbling apart as you eat or with filling running down your hand.
They have a delicious almond croissant, which is another favourite item for us. Recently we had the cupcakes for the first time – and WOW! Just wow. If you get the chance, try the cardamom bun; it was so good.
Extend your Guelph Butter Tart Tour with a visit to Belwood Country Market
Lady Glaze Doughnuts
In a very tight race – doughnuts are a close second to being our favourite sweet treat. So, when someone comes along and combines the best of both worlds, we must give them a shout out in our Guelph butter tart tour. When it comes to doughnuts, Lady Glaze is among the best and most creative doughnut shops around. They have a few locations, and we are fortunate to have one in our neck of the woods, so we go often and try their new flavours.
Their butter tart doughnut is a ‘classic ring, brioche yeast-risen doughnut hand-dipped in molasses glaze with brown sugar streusel and butter tart bar pieces’.
The first time I had it, I have to say I was not overly impressed. It was a good doughnut; I guess it just didn’t satisfy my butter tart expectations. However, that was then – I have now had it on a few more occasions and have grown to love it. A LOT! It is a spectacular doughnut with great butter tart flavours. As a butter tart and doughnut lover – this is a fantastic combination.
Discover more in our Hamilton- Wentworth area Mini Butter Tart Tour
*note: All butter tart reviews are the opinions of Roguetrippers only, based on our experiences and personal preferences. Your opinions may vary. If you know of a great bakery making what you think are Ontario’s Best butter tarts, we would love to hear from you. Let us know about them, so we can plan a future road trip to check them out
and include them in our #ButterTartQuest.
Contact Roguetrippers with your suggestions.