Where can you get the best mince pies in Norwich?
- Credit: Ella Wilkinson
The Christmas season is finally here and after a difficult year there is no better time to indulge in one of the most popular festive treats, the mince pie.
As the second lockdown only lifted a few days ago, it's more important than ever for shoppers to support local businesses and a tasty mince pie is the perfect way to get customers back through their doors.
From the traditional recipe to a more unique twist on the classic, there is plenty of choice in Norwich - and we put some of them to the taste test.
Two Magpies Bakery, Timber Hill
Verdict: 4.5 out of 5
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Fresh out of the oven first thing in the morning, Two Magpies' signature mince pie recipe set the bar high.
The lightly sugar coated pastry, which was cooked to perfection, crumbled in the mouth during the first bite and was quickly followed by a generous serving of mincemeat filling inside.
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For those who like their mince pies to taste a little bit sweeter, this is the perfect pie for you.
Yasmin Wyatt, 27, general manager, said: "Our mince pies are the best in Norwich because they are our signature recipe that we have had at two magpies since we started and they got awarded best in Suffolk last year... Last year we sold 5,000 mince pies and we are planning to sell 7,000 this year."
Cupcake & Co, Upper St Giles
Verdict: 4 out of 5
At Cupcake and Co, they had three tasty offerings including a traditional mince pie, a dinner party mince pie with torched meringue and a gluten free version.
Owner of the business, Anne Falgate, said: "Our pastry is pretty damn good" and after trying her mince pies it's hard to disagree.
The pastry was slightly thicker than Two Magpies', with a little less filling, but they were just as tasty.
On the fancy 'dinner party' version, the sweetness of the meringue complimented the spiced mincemeat nicely.
Ms Falgate said: "We thought we would do something a little different this year. They have been very popular."
You can buy the traditional mince pie at the shop, but the dinner party and gluten free version can only be ordered online.
Bread Source, Norwich and Aylsham
Verdict: 3 out of 5
Bread Source's mince pie was another strong contender.
From its boozy mincemeat to buttery pastry, Norwich's popular artisan bakery has their own secret mince pie recipe which they bring out every Christmas.
In a pack of mince pies there is a variety of sizes including deep filled and regular, to appeal to every appetite.
Each one has been handmade and topped with a star and icing sugar, which gives it that homemade feel.
They are available in its shops in Upper St Giles Street, Bridewell Alley and the market.
St Giles Pantry, Upper St Giles
Verdict: 3.5 out of 5
St Giles Pantry is filled with decadent Christmas treats, including homemade mince pies and Nog cream liqueur.
The pies were delivered piping hot which is perfect on a cold winter's day.
As an added treat, the creamy Nog was poured on top.
Alan Sabol, owner of St Giles Pantry, said: "We get our pastries and mince pies from The Green Grocers on Earlham Road and they are freshly baked every day.
"They are very buttery, moreish and full of delight... They have been a huge seller, we actually sold out and we are waiting on a delivery right now."
The Feed, Prince of Wales Road
Verdict: 4 out of 5
The Feed's 'mince pies with meaning' are an extra special option for mince pie lovers who are looking to give back this Christmas.
Lucy Parish, chief executive, said: "The Feed is a social enterprise we are based here in our community cafe on Prince of Wales road.
"We have a catering business as well and we use those businesses to provide training for people who face barriers to employment.
"We work with people who have perhaps had previous addictions issues, perhaps been to prison, have mental ill health or facing homelessness.
"When you pie a box of our mince pies all the profit we make will go towards the work that we do to help people in Norwich."
Within your box of mince pies The Feed also offers a free drink voucher which can also be paid forward to help someone who is in need of a hot drink this winter.
Cafe Gelato, Opie Street
Verdict: 4 out of 5
Ice cream might not be your first choice at this time of year, but the owners of Cafe Gelato have teamed up with The Feed to come up with a refreshing mince pie flavoured treat.
Mixing mince pies - made at The Feed's community café - with creamy vanilla gelato, they have created a new way to enjoy this festive favourite.
The flavour of the pastry and spiced mincemeat within the sweet ice cream would make a great addition to any Christmas dessert.
Tofurie, St Gregorys Alley
Verdict: 2.5 out of 5
It might not be to everyone’s taste, but Tofurei’s vegan deep fried mince pies are definitely worth a try.
Ruby Bardwell-Dix, team member, said: "We wanted to do something that was a little bit different and a little bit mad as we usually do here.
"We thought it would be good as our mince pies are already quite unique being vegan, we thought we would deep fry them as well to make it extra special.
"We are also serving them with 100pc plant-based soya cream - a nice hot sweet treat."
The kitchen opens at 12pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays as well as deliveries through Norwich Urban Collective.