Tre Mari Bakery
Tre Mari Bakery has been a staple in Corso Italia since 1960. Fifty one years and three generations later, it's still a family affair currently overseen by founder Vincent Deleo Sr's children and grandchildren who carry on the tradition of providing fresh Italian goods at affordable prices.
Tre Mari is as old school as it gets with the space being split into 2 sections by a large display case featuring a variety of mouth watering Italian pastries, cookies and cakes. To the right of the case lies a miniature grocery store featuring fresh bread being baked continuously throughout the day.
From flour-dusted Vienna and Calabrese breads, to olive oil herb encrusted loafs and ciabatta buns, Tre Mari offers some of the freshest bread I've encountered in the city (all $4 or less).
To the left of the display case is a simple seating area featuring a full service hot table serving dinner specials (choice of meat plus veggies and rice/potato for $7), veal, sausage and meatball sandwiches ($6) and pasta ($5.50) along with a café which offers cappuccinos, lattes and espresso (each under $3).
The cappuccinos, lattes and espresso taste like something straight out of Italy. The espresso used in the drinks is pungent and earthy with rich and creamy steamed milk. On a previous visit, my latte ($2.75) tasted so rich and velvety that I had to confirm that it was in fact made from 2% milk.
This time I ordered a cappuccinos ($2.95) - rich dark espresso underneath a blanket of smooth hot milk and topped with light bubbly foam sprinkled with cinnamon and chocolate powder. The toppings on the foam gave a delicate nutty and sweet aroma, perfectly complementing the rich warm milk along with the bitterness of the espresso.
I also decided to try a cannoli (rated as one of the best in Toronto by this site). Crispy light golden brown shells filled with a rich, smooth and velvety ricotta cheese filling and topped with icing sugar ($1.25 for snack size, $1.95 for full size).
Tre Mari bakery is a simple, no frills bakery without any gimmicks. With quality this good, I expect them to be open for another 51 years.