If we have a craving for tarts in Champaign-Urbana, we’ll be able to find a bakery or two with tarts on the menu, but Tasty Tart bakery’s whole thing is tarts. It’s the only place in town with a menu specifically specializing in tarts.
Tasty Tart opened in May of 2020, and shortly thereafter, Smile Politely‘s resident Dessert Expert Matt reviewed every single tart offered at the bakery. Since it’s been several years — and I had a weekend guest with a sweet tooth, I revisited Tasty Tart for a review.
The tart shop was small and stylish inside. There was a seating area by the front window with two comfy couches and an Instagram-able pink flower accent wall. There were two other tables for dine in, too.
The store is open with a selection of tarts for walk-in customers six days a week, but pre-ordering is available.
Over the years, I’ve ordered Tasty Tart’s tarts for holidays or when we have weekend guests because the tarts are individually sized, have a pretty presentation, and cost less than $5 each. Moreover, the tarts are exactly as advertised. The strawberry tart tastes like strawberries; the chocolate tastes like chocolate, and the lemon tastes like lemon.
This weekend for my chocoholic guest, I ordered one of each chocolate tart available that day at Tasty Tart. We tried cookies ‘n cream, chocolate, raspberry chocolate, and white chocolate blueberry. The tarts were pretty easy to cut into four slices while maintaining the tart’s structure, though tricky to split garnishes.
All the tarts had the same crust: thick and sturdy with a graham cracker-like taste. To me, the crust tastes better when it’s had time to soften on the counter instead of straight from the fridge, but eat your tarts how you want, babe.
The cookies ‘n cream tart ($3.99) had an adorable, teeny-tiny Oreo cookie garnish. Committed to the theme, the tart was topped with Oreo cookie crumb, and the center had a full-sized Oreo cookie hidden in the chocolate filling. The chocolate cream was fluffy and sweet, and the cookie dust added that classic crumbly texture to the dessert. This tart was definitely Oreo overload, but that’s what we wanted, and we loved it.
Next up was the chocolate tart ($3.49), garnished with a small piece of white chocolate bar. Initially, I thought it was unusual choice for a chocolate tart, but then I thought it was a clever way to incorporate more chocolate variety in the tart. I liked this one; the chocolate custard, crust, and white chocolate bar tasted good, but I felt the flavor could have been more chocolate-y.
Of all four chocolate tarts, this raspberry chocolate ($3.99) was everyone’s favorite. The raspberries were fresh and a little tart, which really balanced the sweet chocolate ganache. The chocolate-y center had puréed raspberries with rich dark chocolate, and the raspberry-chocolate flavor was delicious with the buttery crust. This tart is a serious must-try.
The white chocolate blueberry ($3.99) came topped with twelve — twelve! — fresh blueberries, and that’s not even counting the softened blueberries in the center. The filling was a blueberry ganache with a very sweet white chocolate taste. It reminded me a little bit of a blueberry cheesecake but more unctuous.
In addition to tarts, Tasty Tart also sells drinks. I love the strawberry cloud, and Jess does, too, but the cafe also offers espresso, lattes, hot chocolate, hot tea, milk tea, and iced green tea, each cup made to order.
I returned for a second visit for the in-person Tasty Tart experience. I ordered a black tea with a lemon tart and a latte with a mocha tart.
I’ve loved the lemon tart since 2021 and a friend recently told me it was his favorite, so I wanted to be sure to review the lemon ($3.49), too. The vibrant lemon flavor was tart but not overly so, and the citrus custard tasted sweet like the curd of lemon meringue pie. With a minimalist lime zest garnish, this tart was all about the sweet, smooth lemon filling, and it was totally delicious.
The final tart was the mocha tart ($3.49). The garnish was a piece of dark chocolate in the shape of a coffee bean, which I thought was cute and very on brand for a mocha tart. It had a creamy coffee ganache and a chocolate custard. Starting with rich chocolate notes, the tart finished with a smooth coffee flavor that tasted really good, especially with a latte.
For my drink, I ordered a latte ($3.75), which came with a heart in the foam. Online ordering offers customizable sweetness on a scale of 0 to 100% and even options for how much ice. However, when I ordered this latte in person, the barista didn’t check about sweetness, and I didn’t ask for any, so it was made with 0% sugar. I’m not going to lie: it was a bitter latte, and I wasn’t prepared for it.
The main flavor was coffee, bitter and aromatic coffee — and that’s to be expected in a coffee drink with zero sugar. The latte’s foam was not sweet at all either, but the pretty latte heart art stayed until the very last sip, so I read the foam’s fortune as good vibes. Next time, I’ll be sure specify my sugar preference.
Pairing nicely with the lemon tart, this Assam black tea ($3.49) was served hot in a quite large mug. I’m not sure the significance of the “U” on the cup. To me, the cup should have had the letter “T” for Tasty Tart or even a “T” for tea, but the brew was strong and tasted good.
Truly, Tasty Tart is a great choice for tart-lovers in C-U. Though it’s small and a little easy to miss, you should stop by the shop for tarts à la carte. Tasty Tart is located on Neil Street between Green and Springfield just north of Golden Harbor and Fresh International Market.
Learn more about Tasty Tart in Matt’s interview with the owner, and order tarts here.
405 S Neil St
T-Th 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
F-Su 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.