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Baked Goods

Hot Oven Bakery (The Kingsway)

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on February 6, 2011

Hot Oven BakeryHot Oven Bakery opened its third location in at Bloor Street West and Royal York Road about a year and a half ago, and business is already booming. So much so, that you have to take a number when you walk in.

Hot Oven BakeryI had almost forgotten what those old, red ticket dispensers looked like until a woman swooped around me to pull a paper slip out of the end. But those are the things you need to do if you want to snag a prized loaf from Hot Oven's wall of breads. By 2 p.m. it seems its already half empty, with a few stray cracked pepper breads and challah loafs sitting lonely on the shelf. The ones that will make it past 6 p.m. will be sold for $2 each, so that's something to look forward to.

Hot Oven BakeryIn the meantime, I seem to be awkwardly holding up the rush as I scan Hot Oven's endless chalkboards of hot drinks, lunch food and bakery treats. From the entrance towards the back, the shop seems to evolve from cakes and pastries, to breads and loafs, to meal options and take-home dinners. It's a lot of food for what seems like a small space, but then again, the door never seems to stay closed.

Hot Oven Bakery"There's tons of variety," a regular tells me. "I work in the area and I always stop by for something, and still, I don't think I've tried everything." All of Hot Oven's products are either made onsite or at one of the other locations in Toronto. Its cookies, especially its chocolate chip, oatmeal shortbread, and peanut butter and jam cookies ($0.50 each), seem to fly off the shelves, as well as its cinnamon split buns ($1.25), which I found had that authentic, homemade taste--sweet and fresh, with just the right amount of cinnamon.

Hot Oven BakeryOther big hits at the bakery are the cakes, notably the orange chiffon cake ($10), which are intricately decorated with professional-looking designs. And for lunch, there's an assortment of pot pies (beef $3.25) quiches (broccoli and cheese $3.25) and items that can be ordered of the menu, including meatball subs made with Hot Oven's fresh bread ($4.99) or a bowl of chili ($4.99). Finally, if you don't feel like making dinner, you can pick up a whole lasagna (12.95) or homemade perogies stored in Ziploc bags ($6.50/dozen). Just remember to take a number.

Hot Oven BakeryHot Oven BakeryHot Oven BakeryHot Oven BakeryPhotos by Dennis Marciniak

Discussion

19 Comments

Jen / February 7, 2011 at 10:27 am
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Looks great- what are the other locations? Is there a website with hours?
S / February 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm
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Shocking! People are actually reading newspapers. :-)

Any WiFi? I agree with Jen, you need to post the hours.

Looks very inviting and I do plan to go. Thanks.
S / February 7, 2011 at 12:35 pm
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Shocking! People are actually reading newspapers. :-)

Any WiFi? I agree with Jen, you need to post the hours.

Looks very inviting and I do plan to go. Thanks.
S / February 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm
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Shocking! People are actually reading newspapers. :-)

Any WiFi? I agree with Jen, you need to post the hours.

Looks very inviting and I do plan to go. Thanks.
Mike / February 7, 2011 at 04:08 pm
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I live in the area and in my honest opinion the Sanremo Bakery on Royal York blows this place away. If you don't go by 12:30 the majority of the goodies are scooped up. The place is always busy.

As for the Hot Oven Bakery, I walk past it every day on my way to work but I've only stepped inside once. Nothing stood out to me so I ended up with a scone. It tasted salty with not much else flavour-wise. I haven't been back since. To each his own I suppose.

Joey replying to a comment from Mike / February 7, 2011 at 06:45 pm
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"Sanremo Bakery on Royal York blows this place away"

How on earth would you know? According to your comment you've only eaten one scone from Hot Oven Bakery.
former HOBer / February 7, 2011 at 07:35 pm
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As someone who used to work at the hot oven for several years at another location I can guarantee that the majority of the food is brought in and very little is cooked on site. The employees are treated terribly by the management but it slides because most are about 14 and don't know labor laws.
Mike replying to a comment from Joey / February 7, 2011 at 07:37 pm
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Yes, I only had a scone but I didn’t see anything on the menu or on display that made me want to go back. I didn't look in from the street. I went inside and looked at everything and debated for a few minutes before I placed my order.

By the way all I did was give my opinion from my experience of going there. Also, have you been back to a place numerous times when you didn't enjoy it or feel it was necessary to try anything else after your first experience? Just a question... If I don’t enjoy my first and only experience why would I go back? I’ll go to a place I enjoyed the first time.

If you’ve been to both or just Hot Oven Bakery and you enjoyed it, that’s great. To each his own!
Michelle / February 8, 2011 at 10:09 am
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Hot Oven is one of my not-so-secret Toronto treasures! I live near the Bloor West Village location and I probably go in 5 times a week. Their baguettes are perfectly made and always warm, and the cheese buns and croissants are amazing. I would also suggest the walnut fig loaf.
Jeff / February 8, 2011 at 11:20 am
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The Hot Oven (at all locations) has the best butter tarts I've ever had in my life (and the rest of my family agrees). It's too bad you didn't highlight them in this review! Maybe we have strange tastes, but I think they're just exceptional.

Instead of the usual semi-solid filling like many butter tarts, the ones from the Hot Oven are runny, so be careful of drips when you bite into one! They also have raisins in them as fair warning for those strange anti-raisin people out there.

The Hot Oven's goods are really great in general. Other favourites of mine include the turkey and chicken pies, the macaroni and cheese, the nanaimo bars, the cookies with jam inside, among others. I've never had something bad from any of the locations and I highly recommend it.
Sara / February 10, 2011 at 10:29 am
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They have free wifi (ask for the code). The coffee is strong and the carrot muffin is delicious! The coffee muffin combo is $2.09 with free refills before 11am on weekdays. I could sit there all morning!
HOBbit / February 10, 2011 at 08:45 pm
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it is true. management treats us like crap. we all get paid minamum wage, no matter what our age. 75% of our food is made out of factory owned by same owner, quality has gone down big time and is NOT worth the money.
Laura / February 16, 2011 at 11:23 am
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I am the store manager and appreciate your feedback and comments! Our store hours are Mon-Sat. 7-7 and Sunday 9-5.
With regard to the scones, we heard you and have changed our recipe! Come in and try them! When you are in the store ask for me, I would love to meet you. I am most happy to answer any of your questions or concerns. Happy shopping! Laura
Former HOBbit replying to a comment from Laura / February 18, 2011 at 05:32 pm
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any response to the comment that employees are treated terribly and most of the food is factory made and brought in?
Brano / February 20, 2012 at 09:49 pm
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We visited today (Monday, Feb 20 - Family Day in Ontario) Hot Oven Bakery at Bloor/Kingsway Location. It was at 4:50 PM, we didn't know when they were closing. Only after purchasing couple cakes and tea/coffee, they said they would close at 5 PM. We probably needed say 15 minutes to, at least, eat our cakes - but since they yelled at us (two of them, especially one young lady who started cleaning around us 2 or 3 minutes before 5), we left right away. I know customers can be rude or so, but this certainly is not the way to treat customers. Anyway, that was my friends and my last visit to that place.
Awesome. replying to a comment from Former HOBbit / November 3, 2012 at 02:23 pm
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Laura,won't respond to that. I mean to your questions.
( "employees are treated terribly and most of the food is factory made and brought in")

Because she doesn't have an answer for such straightforward questions other than conveniently ignore it. I do agree with you that most of the products are brought in from somewhere but that is not what 'the world' out there understands.
Stephen van Egmond / December 14, 2012 at 03:33 pm
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I'm a fan of the Roncesvalles location. It's pretty obvious that a small kitchen like that can't turn out that massive variety of goods.

I don't care.

I'm happy with the quality. Four nice quiches for 10 bucks, satisfying baguette, good croissants, interesting breads sliced just before you buy them.

The retail experience is a bit bizarre. The cash register is smack in the middle of the store rather than by the door. Probably better for sales but it makes movement through the store unaccountably awkward, particularly if you're pushing a stroller, as I usually am.

A / January 22, 2013 at 10:35 pm
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I work near the Roncy store, and have bought a couple of things from there. Their bread is awesome, however, there's a lot of inconsistency with the baked goods. I bought their apple tarts and loved them the first time, the next time the crust was still raw and then the third time they had a terrible freezer aftertaste (I bought a couple for my coworkers and we ended up just throwing them out). The same goes with a couple of other things I've tried from there.

The employees are very friendly, thats a huge plus! I'm probably just going to stick to their bread from now on.
Mel / October 20, 2013 at 01:48 am
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I don't care how good their breads are. If they treat their employees like crap then they don't deserve my business.

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