Smile Politely

Find a sweet treat at Tasty Tart

As the pandemic rolls on, it often feels as if everything has come to a standstill. Not so with Tasty Tart. This bakery opened for business in May with a wide variety of sweet tarts in addition to tea and coffee. Located on Neil Street just south of downtown, it can be easy to miss when you are not looking for it. A clue for finding the location is that it is the opposite side of the street from Fanny Mae and just north of Golden Harbor. I recommend using the parking lot near Golden Harbor as the parking lot at Tasty Tart is very tight, often requiring drivers to back out into Neil Street.

Tasty Tart exterior with a small door level with the parking lot. Photo by Matthew Marcomber.

Photo by Matthew Macomber.

After ordering ahead online, I parked outside Tasty Tart and made my way inside. While Tasty Tart offers curbside pickup, I wanted to take pictures, so I chose to walk in. Inside, I found a clean, open space with a board of handwritten messages from customers, two menus, and a beautiful display case full of tarts.

Tasty Tart display case showing all eight tart varieties neatly lined up in separate sections. Photo by Matthew Macomber.

Photo by Matthew Macomber.

Since I paid ahead of time, I just gave them my name and took my order home of all eight tart varieties offered by Tasty Tart.

Bright yellow lemon tart with tiny shavings of lime on top. Photo by Matthew Macomber.

Photo by Matthew Macomber.

First on my list to try was the lemon tart ($3.49). Their lemon tart also includes limes. Reminiscent of lemon meringue pie, this is a tangy tart with a thinner crust than the other tarts I tried. I recommend this tart for those who like a strong citrus kick but do not want to buy an entire lemon meringue pie to satisfy that craving.          

Light brown mocha tart with a chocolate covered coffee bean on top. Photo by Matthew Macomber.

Photo by Matthew Macomber.

In contrast to the lemon tart, the mocha tart ($3.49) skews more bitter. Covered in a thick coffee ganache over a chocolate custard, this tart will be a big hit for anyone who enjoys the taste of coffee. The strong coffee flavor in this tart pleasantly surprised me, as I have eaten my fair share of coffee sweets that give just a vague impression of coffee instead of the full experience I crave. I appreciated the chocolate covered coffee bean on top as well.

Blueberry tart covered in more than a dozen blueberries. Photo by Matthew Macomber.

Photo by Matthew Macomber.

Next was the blueberry tart ($4.99). With this tart, I appreciated the fluffy vanilla custard and blueberry cream cheese mixture as it did not overwhelm the hearty helping of blueberries stacked on top. Although a bit messy, it is a worthwhile price to pay for this refreshing tart.

Strawberry tart with one strawberry neatly cut into quarters on top. Photo by Matthew Macomber.

Photo by Matthew Macomber.

If you like the idea of a fluffy, light tart but do not like blueberries, then the strawberry tart ($4.99) is for you. It is identical in every other way to the blueberry tart. However, I will say the perfectly quartered strawberry on top is a nice touch that makes for a lighter, fruity taste overall since the blueberry tarts come with so many blueberries.

Unevenly colored cheese tart that looks very similar to cheesecake. Photo by Matthew Macomber.

Photo by Matthew Macomber.

The cheese tart ($3.99) stands far apart from all the others. Since parmesan is mixed into the cream cheese, Tasty Tart’s cheese tart does not quite taste like New York style cheesecake. However, it also is not savory. Stuck between different worlds, I recommend this tart to those who prefer their sweets more mellow than sweet.

Dark brown chocolate tart. Photo by Matthew Macomber.

Photo by Matthew Macomber.

For anyone with a sweet tooth, I put forward the rich, chocolate tart ($3.49). Although the chocolate custard base is shared with the mocha tart, the chocolate tart replaces the coffee ganache with a very rich dark chocolate ganache. This tart is made for chocolate lovers like myself, and as such, I recommend this chocolate tart to others.

Light brown milk tart with specks of black tea seasoning seen throughout. Photo by Matthew Macomber.

Photo by Matthew Macomber.

For something different, the milk tea tart ($2.99) is worth a try. Black tea blended with milk using gelatin, this tart can be off putting for anyone distressed by the texture of gelatin with the taste of spiced milk. I found this tart interesting, although not my favorite. Milk tea enthusiasts will likely enjoy this tart much more than I did.

Dark green matcha tart with a small white chocolate ribbon in the center. Photo by Matthew Macomber.

Photo by Matthew Macomber.

Knowing how much I like matcha tea, I saved the matcha green tea tart ($3.99) for last. This tart has a layer of adzuki bean paste on the bottom covered in matcha ganache and a simple white chocolate ribbon as a garnish. Although the wonderfully bitter and leafy matcha taste dominates, the bean paste and chocolate ribbon keep the flavor and texture profile from being too uniform throughout the tart. For those missing tea ceremonies at Japan House and the wagashi that go with them, this tart is for you.

Having tried every tart currently sold by Tasty Tart, I came away impressed. While I did not expect to love every tart I tried, I enjoyed all eight of these tarts in different ways, although the cheese tart I could not eat much of in one sitting. For miniature sweets in the Champaign-Urbana area, consider giving Tasty Tart a try. Keep an eye on their Facebook page because more tart options are in the works.

Tasty Tart 
405 S Neil St
11 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily

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