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Baked Goods

Butter Avenue

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on December 28, 2011

Butter AvenueButter Avenue has one of those salesmen-to-entrepreneur feel good stories. Calvin Su had been working at FedEx for years, settled in a stable position but less than thrilled with his daily work. Meanwhile, Calvin's sister, Tina, was honing her French pastry skills, working on perfecting the supreme macaron, and studying in France and at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa. It was last summer when Calvin decided he needed a change, and he paired up with his sister to start something new.

Butter AvenueEight months of permits, renovations, and countless batches of macarons later, and Butter Avenue opened its Yonge and Lawrence doors for the first time right before Christmas. It's hard not to note the p√Ętisserie's specialty, as alluded to by the giant macaron tower in the window. But the rest of is understated--clean and modern--with stark white walls, white chairs, and floating while shelves.

Butter AvenueAll the treats are elegantly displayed behind glass, including the 15 flavours of macarons ($2.25 each or $13.50 for six), and other French pastries and desserts. I'm told that croissants, baguettes, and sandwiches are soon to come, but on this, just the second day open, items are being rolled out slowly.

Butter AvenueCalvin and I take a seat at one of the tables and he urges me to try some of the shop's macarons. "We try to get the best ingredients," he says, scanning the rows of raspberry, lemon, passionfruit, and other macarons. "The chocolate for our dark chocolate macarons--that comes from France, and the matcha powder for the match flavoured comes from Japan.

To drink, Butter Avenue offers a handful of loose leaf teas ($1.65) including Earl Grey, Organic China Sencha, and Almond, as well as espresso drinks made with Social Coffee & Tea beans. But its his sister's pastries that Calvin is most proud of and he's visibly excited to see the shop finally off the ground. "We really think these are the best macarons around," he says.

Butter AvenueNot a strange claim to hear from a p√Ętisserie owner, of course, but after trying a couple, I must say Butter Avenue's macarons are remarkably delicious. Admittedly, I did have some reservations--my preconceived notions tell me only French chefs with butter in their bones can pull off a quality macaron--but these macarons could rival any Jean-Claude's.

I tried the matcha and salted caramel; both with pristine, crunchy shells and chewy middles that seemed to melt when they hit my mouth. The caramel was my favourite--rich and decadent. Calvin says they'll be rolling out new flavours as the shop finds its footing, but for now, they're simply sticking with the macarons that work. That's not a bad thing.

Butter AvenueButter Avenue offers free WiFi and is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Photos by Sandra Chow

Discussion

32 Comments

Jessica / December 27, 2011 at 12:57 am
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Looks amazing. Need to pay a visit soon...
Howard / December 27, 2011 at 03:03 pm
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I picked up 2 boxes yesterday, the sea salt caramel is amazing! the passion fruit one is awesome too! I would say it's better than the ones I tried at Laduree in Paris, my gf and I will def go back again.
Curious / December 28, 2011 at 04:45 pm
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Were they at the Delicious Food Show this year?
Gordon / December 28, 2011 at 11:20 pm
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Looks awfully similar to Nadege, right down to the Eiffel tower white Eames chair. Will pay it a visit to see if it fairs with its carbon copy Nadege.
Gabe / December 28, 2011 at 11:23 pm
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Bringin the real nd the raw to the masses ! Y'all!!!
Patricia / December 29, 2011 at 08:33 am
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I was in Paris 2 weeks ago, the macaron Eiffel tower is everywhere! I'm glad this shop is close to my place, it reminds me of the Sadaharu Aoki store I saw in Paris, will pay a visit this weekend.
isabella / December 29, 2011 at 10:17 am
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Very tasty macarons, I would say best in town. Great service as well, will be back again for sure!
Hung / December 29, 2011 at 11:36 am
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This is awesome! I can't wait to check it out. It sounds like my kind of place!
Richard / December 29, 2011 at 12:15 pm
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I actually compared them to Nadege and they are way smoother on the surface and the taste of the flavours are richer and more intense. I also tried the matcha or green tea cake...and it was amazing! We order a whole cake for the new year dinner. Thank you Calvin for introducing us to that cake and your great service!
Butter Avenue / December 30, 2011 at 10:19 am
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Our holiday hours, thanks :)

DEC 26 to DEC 31: 10 AM to 6 PM
JAN 01 to JAN 02: CLOSED
Lisa / December 30, 2011 at 02:46 pm
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This is a fantastic patisserie. Tina's macarons, cakes...anything she touches, is well made with pure ingredients. She doesn't cut corners, and you can tell when you try her food. Today I had an earl grey tea, chocolate croissant (so flaky...), a coffee and hazelnut macaron. Heaven!

If you want to enjoy special food in a beautiful atmosphere that appeals to all your senses, visit Butter Avenue! You won't be disappointed.
Maccha / January 1, 2012 at 03:27 pm
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I used to work at Sadaharu Aoki Paris for three years and I feel like they are inspired a lot .
It's absolutely good for Torontonian to be able to taste pattisserie cakes.
Can't wait to try them.
sarah / January 1, 2012 at 05:48 pm
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Fabulous little shop. That's a tricky spot on Yonge when it comes to traffic, but I am sure their macaron will do wonderful in the neighbourhood.
Jordan / January 2, 2012 at 10:15 am
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Complete Nadege rip-off.
D / January 3, 2012 at 09:13 pm
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Really great. Best I've had in Toronto. Check it out.
Heather / January 3, 2012 at 10:16 pm
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I did't see anything related to Nadege when I was at their store except the walls and chairs are white. Their store is actually warmer, brighter and the service is 100 times better for sure!I went to Paris last year, the macaron towers were everywhere including Le Louvre! so this is definitely not a Nadege rip-off.
Chitt / January 8, 2012 at 11:56 am
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The best latte I've ever had, macarons are great and the ham & cheese croissant is amazing. The only thing bothers me is the window, they need to put blinds or something on...
Mike / January 27, 2012 at 10:52 am
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Fantastic fresh macarons, the sea salt caramel is the BEST! great customer service and I'm in love with the latte they make!
Andrew / February 1, 2012 at 02:43 pm
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just got a box of their heart shaped macarons for my mom last night, absolutely fabulous!
Josh / March 20, 2012 at 01:37 pm
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Just bought a box in celebration of MacaronDayTO and man are they ever good. I've tried Nadege, La Bamboche, Morocco...Butter Avenue definitely holds up! I must say I love their passion fruit flavour. A great addition to the neighbourhood and a place I'll be frequenting more often.
Eileen Su / April 17, 2012 at 09:30 pm
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My husband treated himself to 1 macaron at noon and was so impressed by the taste, quality, and the fact that I share the same last name as the owners, he took me there tonight. We picked up a box of 6. OMG, the sea salt caramel is out of this world, very light, crunchy, chewy, and melts in your mouth at the same time, if that is possible. I will definitely be going back for sea salt caramel on a regular basis. These macarons bring back a lot of fond memories of France.
Julie / April 24, 2012 at 12:44 am
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Had these given to me as a present as I looooove macarons. Best in Toronto. I've tried several already including Nadege and I must say these are better. Pierre Herme still holds the #1 spot for me but these are pretty close. Probably at par with Laduree.
Tiff / April 29, 2012 at 02:15 pm
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My boyfriend brought me here on Thursday, I loved their macaron, one of the best I have tasted. Very unfriendly waitress, but will be back for more dessert.
DD / June 22, 2012 at 06:47 pm
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went to butter avenue today after hearing lots of good reviews. Love the decor, simple and elegant. Great selection of macarons, they even have tea flavors which is interesting too. The owner was there with his girlfriend, turns out chef is the sister. Very lovely store, will be back next time to try the cakes and tarts. Ps.It will be even better if they have patio under such great weather!
Leah S. / June 27, 2012 at 04:13 pm
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Finally got the chance to visit them last night! The macarons are
Just as amazing as I've had in Paris! They have very interesting names for cakes as well,such as sweet dreams, summer at the beach. Sweet Dreams was my fav,mixed berry mousse was heavenly.
Will defenitely visit again with my girlfriends, it's a perfect hang out spot for us!
Alexandre / July 22, 2012 at 03:41 pm
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Saw their macarons everywhere so decided to pay them a visit this afternoon, got a giftbox of 6 pieces for $13.50. Absolutely love the tea flavor macarons, very light but also flavorful. Thumbs up for the matcha flavor, absolutely a delight. Overall, excellent sweets and pastries, not so good service. I heard from my girl friends the owner is very sweet and patient, it will be definitely a plus if they can have nicer staff.
Genevieve / August 5, 2012 at 01:06 pm
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I went there 2 weeks ago to buy a box. The macarons were delightful, and much appreciated by my whole family. I'll definitely go back.
Shona / August 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm
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Welcome to the neighbourhood! Boy did they cost me a pretty penny! Dragged by my family to try some delicious pastries yesterday, Macarons are packed in a box of 6 with assorted flavors for $14. Can't compare with the ones I had in Paris but definitely Better than the ones around. I liked the music, the decor etc. only thing throws me off is the bad service. They should consider having a manager around to monitor the store because the new waitress doesn't seem like she cares! High end products should always accompanied by high end service.
Marrie S. / August 14, 2012 at 06:00 pm
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Best macaron ever! I've tried L'aduree and Pierre Herme, and these ones definitely reminded me of my time in Paris!Texture was soft and flavors blown me away! They actually use real vanilla bean in their caramel flavors(you can tell from the little black seeds in the cream), what a surprise!Also, I love the fruity ones, very outstanding work! Will come back soon for more!
Agie / October 25, 2012 at 06:00 pm
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My husband bought me a box of Macarons, better than flowers any day.
Beautiful presentation
Andy / December 21, 2012 at 02:07 pm
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Attracted by beautiful packaging, not familiar with the sweets, would appreciate some help from the staffs next time.
Mindy / January 23, 2014 at 10:20 pm
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Love!love!love their desserts!Met up with my girls on a Saturday afternoon,was jam packed!but staff were still so patient and friendly :) got a black tea mousse cake and some macarons,oh boy, what more need I say!flavors spot on,texture impeccable!wish they'll open up downtown,so I can stop by EVERY DAY!

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