I only learned that butter tarts were a Canadian thing a few years ago. I feel like the rest of the world is missing out though.

The origin of the butter tarts is accredited to the Filles du Roi, using syrup, dried fruits, and other simple ingredients to create sweet treats. Today, you can find butter tarts in the grocery store, and at the farmer’s market, and there are butter tart festivals around the country.

But, let’s get to the details of what you really came for.

Who makes the best butter tart at the St Jacob’s Farmers Market?

There are 5 vendors that I could find selling butter tarts at this year-round farmers market, located just outside Kitchener-Waterloo, about an hour’s drive outside of Toronto. If you haven’t been, it’s worth the trip.

Find seasonal fruit, local meats and cheeses, fresh baked goods, and small handcrafted goods in this market with over 250 vendors. There are 3 permanent market structures, with an indoor food court and at least 3 coffee shops.

The Best Butter Tart at the Farmers Market

First place goes to the Stone Crock Bakery Market Booth. The bakery in town was founded in 1975, and they have that beautiful handmade look and taste. Light, flaky pastry layers encase a good portion of fragrant filling, and sugar bubbles in the oven create gorgeous chewy bits. Their filling is thick and well-balanced.

The Runner Up

The second best butter tart at the St Jacobs Farmers Market is by Country Style Products, who have booths outdoors and in. Square in shape, they are only sold by the half dozen. Well-cooked, golden brown pastry, fat, rounded flavour, with a fair amount of salt. A well-polished version of the classic dessert, these won’t disappoint anyone.

For the Novelty

If you like flavour and novelty, you have to check out the Bake My Day stand. They have over 18 flavours of tarts, not all butter. There is a lot of crust, so they aren’t overly sweet. But the crust is great. I took home salted caramel (one of their longest-standing flavours), Maple Pecan Bourbon, and a mini-pumpkin pie.

Other Butter Tarts at the Market

Mennonite Bakery Stalls

There is a large Mennonite community close in St. Jacob’s, and many of them take their horses and buggies to the market and sell at tables and stalls. If you are driving around the countryside in the area, take it slow as you’re bound to happen across them.

Their butter tart was good but pretty heavy on the vanilla.

Old Thyme Kettle Kitchen

Found in the main building, these butter tarts were middle of the road. The runniest butter tart at the market, the pastry was okay. Stick to their fudge or sweets.

Shopping Local

One of the best parts about getting out to the farmer’s market is shopping for incredible fresh produce and supporting local farmers. One of the best ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your food is by eating locally. A big benefit is that it stays fresher in your fridge longer than produce that has had to spend time in transport and food terminals.

Happy Snacking!