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My hunt for the best pastel de nata in New Jersey

goodparmesan | Nov 16, 201810:29 AM     2

I love the elusive Portuguese egg tart. I traveled to Portugal for it, and I’ve been on the hunt to find one that can match my nostalgia for it.

One would think that would be easy, as Newark is known as a hub for Portuguese, with there being plenty of restaurants, cafes, groceries. Everyone says Teixeira’s is the golden standard in NJ, but even they can be inconsistent.

It’s hard for an egg tart, with all its sweetness to be inherently bad, but you know when you’ve just had a perfect one. The custard isn’t eggy, the crust is perfectly flaky, but delicate, just the right amount of sweetness and caramelization. Most of the ratings will be around 3/5, average, good, but not memorable.
I’ve been to just about every enclave in NJ over the past couple years in search of the very best.

Here’s my results:

My all-time top five are:
1. Canela’s Bakery in Newark, NJ (5/5)
2. Roc’s Café in Elizabeth, NJ (4/5)
3. Princesa Bakery in Newark, NJ (3.5/5)
4. Busy Bee Coffee Roasters in Long Branch and Newark, NJ (3.5/5)
5. Legacy Café in Elizabeth, NJ (3.5/5)

South River, NJ
Sabor d'amor – 3.5/5
Cavaco Supermarket – 3/5
HeBrew’s Coffee – 3/5
Aldeia's – 3/5
Café Cirino – 2/5
Long Branch, NJ:
Busy Bee Roasters & Coffee Shop – excellent in-house roasted coffee and some of the best Brazilian baked goods in NJ. (3.5/5)
Beach Point Café – 2/5
BomDMais: Better as a lunch stop, they also have a selection of baked goods. 2/5

Newark:
Busy Bee Roasters & Coffee Shop – excellent in-house roasted coffee and some of the best Brazilian baked goods in NJ. (4/5)
Canela Bakery – My all-time favorite since my trip to Portugal. 5/5
Princesa Bakery – 4/5
Amanda's Bakery – poor 2/5
Bread of Life Pao da Vida – Average 3/5
Cafe Pao de Queijo - 3/5
Salgaderia Maranato – Inconsistent, sometimes good. 2.5/5
Vanessa Bakery – 2/5
Betel Bakery – 2/5
Lucy's Bakery – 2/5
Elite Bakery – 2/5
Wilson Bakery – 3.5/5
Pao com manteiga – 3/5
Pao de Terra – 2.5/5
Three Sister's Bakery – 2.5/5
Nova Allancia – 2/5
Veneza – 2/5
Arcos Doce – 2/5
Suissa Bakery - 1/5
Cafe Caffe – 1/5
Delicias Bakery – 3/5
Jordan's Bakery – 3/5
Teixera Bakery – 3/5

Union, NJ
Pinho's Bakery – 3.5/5

Elizabeth, NJ
Caribe Bakery – 2/5
Bella Palermo – 2/5
Legacy Café – 3.5/5
North Ave. Bakery – 2.5/5
Roc's Café – 4/5
Oasis Bakery – 2/5
Carloto's – 3/5
Ponto de Encontro in Hillside – 3/5

Canela Bakery
Princesa Bakery
Busy Bee Roasters and Coffee Shop
Legacy Cafe
Cavaco Supermarket
Cafe Cirino
Bom DMais Lanchonete e Pizzaria
Amanda's Bakery
Pao Da Vida Bakery
Cafe Pao de Queijo
Vanessa Bakery
Betel Bakery L.L.C.
Elite Bakery
Wilson Bakery & Deli
Pao Com Manteiga
Pao Da Terra LLC
Veneza Bakery & Deli
Arcos Doce
Suissa Bakery & Coffee Shop
Pinho's Bakery
Roc's Café
Oasis Pastry Shop
Carloto's Pastry Shop
Ponto De Encontro Cafe & Restaurant
Caribe Portuguese Bakery
Bella Palermo Pastry Shop
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