Sunday, August 31, 2014Mostly Cloudy 24°C
Baked Goods

Rustic Bakery

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on December 13, 2011

Rustic BakeryRustic Bakery is one of those places that has managed to slowly absorb the spaces around it. Like a taralli-filled version of The Blob, the Italian bake shop and grocery store expanded east after its inception in 1986, taking over a hair salon and turning it into an espresso bar. Then it moved north, seizing some apartment units and and old adjacent garage. That's where the shop's hot table sits, along with its racks of freshly baked bread.

Rustic BakeryRustic's humble, smaller square-foot past isn't evident from walking in the door now. The space is expansive with each section occupied, including a couple chatting away over a pair of espresso in the dining section and many more perusing the aisles. Like many venerable Italian bakeries in Toronto, Rustic's reputation for incredible cannoli preceded it, but I was surprised to find many non-bakery, non-Italian items in store.

Rustic BakeryDon't get me wrong, there were plenty of aisles of imported oils, chocolates, dried pasta, and drinks (including bottles of Valfrutta juices, a favourite I recall from my time in Italy), but there was also lots of standard supermarket fare including Cheetos in various sizes and incarnations.

Rustic BakeryNestled in a highly residential area on Rustic Road near Lawrence and Keele, thus I get the impression that this shop is as much a place for a quick grocery run as it is a destination for authentic veal sandwiches and fresh ciabatta.

Rustic BakeryI chat briefly with owner Mirella at the central register, who tells me the business is wholly family-operated. She says she and her husband were looking to run their own place back in the '80s, and saw the potential in this plaza space. Now, their son has joined the family biz, preparing his own roasted vegetable-infused bread, which Mirella says (with "proud mama" emphasis) is a customer hit.

Rustic BakeryI'm interested in addressing the cannoli rumours, so I head over to the pastry counter where I find it nestled among cheesecake and tiramisu. There I actually find four different varieties; Sicilian, custard-filled, chocolate custard, and a new Rustic creation which is a Sicilian shell dipped in chocolate, filled with custard, and topped with strawberries and whipped cream (all are $1.25). While the chocolate-dipped looks glossy and enticing, I suspect it too sweet for my current craving and stick with the traditional ricotta cannolo.

Rustic BakeryAfter a few bites, I determine this cannolo is probably among the best I've had in Toronto. The shell, though probably smaller than average in length, is of substantial thickness, crunchy, and sweet with a hint of cinnamon. The filling is so smooth it's akin to custard in consistency, while fresh and light, and sprinkled with chocolate chips. With cannoli like these, it's no wonder Rustic is slowly taking over the block.

Photos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

7 Comments

Jonathan / December 15, 2011 at 10:01 am
user-pic
I live down the street from this bakery and they have come a long way. They are amazing and have everything you need and they are always open on holidays. I was dissapointed there was no mention of the flawless gelato they serve!
María Antonieta Petricca / January 5, 2012 at 06:59 pm
user-pic
I love it.I live in Venezuela but my aunt´s lives near so when I come to Toronto I love to go there.Everything in there is excellent!!!
Janette Quattrociocchi / February 1, 2012 at 10:13 am
user-pic
This is a wonderful place to have a really good expresso & chocolate filled croissant ,after a mass or church. They have expanded their seating area, near the pastry counter.
anthony marcello / February 27, 2012 at 12:07 am
user-pic
A very good bakery for service.and espresso good, along with,yummy cannlis.reasonabl prices,very nice to come home too
Patrizia Forletta / February 27, 2012 at 08:43 am
user-pic
What can I say...All is great at this bakery. Love it!
Rosa / January 24, 2013 at 10:09 pm
user-pic
I love to go to this bakery for pastery's, bread, and their hot table. They never fail to impress me. And the staff are so sweet and kind.
elena / May 23, 2013 at 02:10 pm
user-pic
what a treat!!! i just had the best trippa in town, love their ice creams feels like you are in Pescara Italy. Great job Rustic Bakery I always recommend you to my friends.

Add a Comment

Search

Find a Bakery

Or use the options below to assist you in locating a Bakery in Toronto.

Search Results

Please select criteria from the dropdown menus above to start your search.

Reviews

Recent Reviews

Refine the list using the categories below:


Loading...
Other Cities: Montreal