5 places for pastéis de nata in the Cape

The king of all custard treats, the pastel de nata (plural: pastéis de nata), was allegedly created in the 18th century by Portuguese monks. The holy men would use egg whites for starching clothes, and found a perfect use for the unwanted yolks: These little custard tarts. Flaky pastry, combined with creamy filling with a slightly charred top, makes for a satisfyingly rich bite that’s perfect at any time of day. Here are five places around the Cape that are baking up these sweet bites.

Pastéis de nata at The Hoghouse. Photo supplied.

Pastéis de nata at The Hoghouse. Photo supplied.

Jason Bakery (City Bowl)

The Jason pastel de nata is bite-sized and a little more charred on top than most. This lends it a beautifully burnt caramel flavour that cuts through the rich, sweet custard filling. These beauties are R14 a pop and pair beautifully with a Salvador coffee to go, or as dessert after a bacon-filled croissant.

Hoghouse BBQ & Bakery at Spier (Stellenbosch)

At Hoghouse Bakery, vanilla custard made from velvety soft egg yolk and buffalo-milk custard is baked in a very crispy pâte brisée (shortcrust pastry) shell. The creamy custard is made using Farmer Angus’s free-roaming chicken eggs, which have very yellow yolks, giving the tarts a gorgeous colour. The yolks are combined with nutritious buffalo milk from Wayne Rademeyer’s herd at Buffalo Ridge. The tarts are then baked in the wood-burning oven at a very high temperature, and finished with the characteristic slightly browned top for that extra flavour dimension. R20 gets you one. They’re also available at Hoghouse Brewery in Ndabeni as well as at the Oranjezicht City Market in Granger Bay at the V&A Waterfront every Saturday.

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Loading Bay (City Bowl)

This buzzing coffee hub and stylish apparel store is known for its killer brunches and delicious coffees from Espresso Lab Microroasters. When it comes to pastries, you can expect pastéis de nata from non other than Hoghouse itself. The Spier bakery delivers glorious treats fresh on Saturdays.

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Le Jeune Bicycle Café (Woodstock)

What goes well with Tribe Coffee? Homemade pastéis de nata, that’s what. This café is located inside Woodstock Cycleworks and fuels bicycling customers with fresh bakes, sandwiches and hot coffees. Its mini Portuguese custard tarts are small but pack a serious sweet punch. The pastry is flaky and the custard is smooth with a slight hint of smokiness from the caramelised edges. The Le Jeune team also runs a decent special in conjunction with these sweet treats: Grab a flat white with a pastel de nata for only R25. Alternatively, fill up a box of them for R10 a pop.

A coffee and pastel de nata at Le Jeune. Photo supplied.

A coffee and pastel de nata at Le Jeune. Photo supplied.

Schoon de Companje (Stellenbosch)

For a pre-wine tasting treat, visit this hip, retro bakery nestled in leafy Stellenbosch. On offer are superb breads, ice creams and freshly baked pastries, including their take on the custardy Portuguese tartlets. These golden morsels have a full on vanilla flavour and are wood-fired to perfection before being topped with a sprinkling of warm and spicy cinnamon for R20.


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