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Baked Goods

Francesca Italian Bakery

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on September 27, 2011

Francesca Italian BakeryFrancesca Italian Bakery is one of those places that could probably thrive off its cannoli alone. Legends of the sweet Sicilian-style treat are carried far beyond its Invergordon and McCowan Road origin, enticing all who love ricotta to travel to the shop for one of its best-reputed indulgences.

Francesca Italian BakeryAnd indeed, I made the trek--LRT and all--and the cannoli ($2.35) did not disappoint. The shell was solid, crunchy and delicious, housing a generous amount of the sweet ricotta filling. Owner Angelo Battaglia prepares the cannoli himself, using the tricks of the trade her learned from his father growing up in Sicily.

Francesca Italian Bakery"My father was a baker," he tells me in a thick Italian accent. "He mostly did bread, but I, you know--I was in the bakery since I was 10 years old. I grew up with flour."

Francesca Italian BakeryAngelo took over this Scarborough bakery from its previous owner in 1994. From there he did a total overhaul--expanding the pastry selection, breads, and deli--and named the revamped shop after his wife, Francesca.

"That way," he says smiling, "I can never forget her name."

Francesca Italian BakeryFrancesca Italian Bakery boasts a spread beyond just its well-reputed cannoli. There are dozens of different types of cookies, priced collectively at $20/kg. The pastry selection includes everything from mini cheesecakes ($2.00) to Sicilian Cassata ($3.75) and chocolate mousse ($3.75), and the deli selection offers an assortment of meats and cheeses. Beyond the sweet there's a wall of bread, plus a hot table with dishes such as eggplant parmesan and veal on a bun, also available for catering. As if that wasn't enough, Francesca bakery also makes its own gelato (though the offerings are dwindling, and will halt when winter is in full swing) in flavours such as tiramisu, lemon, and peanut butter and jelly.

Francesca Italian BakeryFor all of its delicious offerings, Francesca Bakery isn't much to look at. But perhaps that's part of the charm. When I first walk in I head over to explore the seating area, which is stocked anonymous table arrangements and a couple of framed pictures of the Pope. Classic, uninspired, comfortable. But then Angelo tells me it's all going to change.

Francesca Italian Bakery"We're going to put the door here," he says pointing to wall by the gelato counter. "The bread behind that," he says, spinning around. "And the seating's going to look nicer." Angelo details the rest of his planned renovation, which, if all goes to plan, should be finished by Christmas. And fear not, cannoli fans; Francesca will be open all throughout its renovation.

Francesca Italian BakeryPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

9 Comments

Ayan T / July 12, 2011 at 12:22 am
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I've been living beside this bakery for over 17 years and I can tell you the smell it gives off is amazing. I rarely ever visit the bakery because it is quite expensive for their baked goods. Although they make amazing pastries, I sometimes find the Chinese bakeries within the same area just as amazing in taste and fabulous with the pricing.

My favourites would have to be the mini fresh-strawberry cheesecakes (around $3 a piece) and the spinach pizza slices (around $4). It's always packed at lunch and the bakery is lucky they're located in a residential area because the parking lot is always jam packed.
Wazoo / September 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm
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I have been in here a few times. The baked goods and the hot table look amazing. But never had either....
Mark / September 27, 2011 at 04:37 pm
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So many Indian and Chinese places around this neighbourhood. I think this is one of Scarborough best kept secrets!
JasonS / September 28, 2011 at 12:32 am
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I have been here quite a few times. The pastries are amazing, the lunch hot table it up there too. The rice balls are out of this world.
Price point is on par with most similar places.
zkpxo / April 21, 2012 at 10:45 pm
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arancini was good. had one with a veal sandwich, shared with my sister. so good that i had to buy two more to take home.
Julia Stimes / October 16, 2012 at 04:36 pm
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Definitely do not like it. This place gave me food poisoning. THANKS. WILL NOT EVER COME BACK HERE.
aka replying to a comment from Ayan T / August 22, 2013 at 02:35 pm
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I'm not sure how Ayan can compare Chinese pastries to Sicilian pastries....basically, there is no comparison. Francesca's Bakery is by far the best bakery in all of Toronto (and yes I include the west end into this statement as well as Woodbridge)!!
Zee / August 29, 2013 at 12:09 pm
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This place is not all that the food is not all that fresh the veal is very hard and the cookies are terrible niño adversa or for pastries highly recommend sweet boutique is way better in Woodbridge
Louise Cappellucci replying to a comment from Zee / December 2, 2013 at 02:36 pm
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Sweet Boutique fails in customer service... they stink in fact....

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