The top 10 coffee shop baked goods in Toronto
The top coffee shop baked goods in Toronto make our city's collection of independent cafes that much better. In case we weren't lucky enough to have a ton of great coffee at our fingertips, these java joints take it that extra step, baking batches of fantastic treats in-house. Some of those muffins, scones, cookies, tarts and croissants are so good, they threaten to outshine the coffee offerings. No worries, though - just think of it as having your cake, and eating it too.
Here are the top 10 baked goods made by coffee shops in Toronto.
Owner Sameer Mohamed was smart to compliment his enthusiasm and coffee knowledge with extremely-talented pastry chef Nesreen Mroueh when Fahrenheit had to move locations some years ago, He ditched the Circles and Squares and brought in her fabulous offerings (think chewy and fruit-filled muffins, flaky croissants and perfect cookies) and took the whole business to the next level.
De Mello Palheta
In-house pastry chef Danielle De Roo preps everything with care and a touch of fancy. There are classics like scones, muffins and croissants (I suggest the almond croissant, chocolate pretzel cookies and apple rhubarb muffins) but she also ventures into upscale dessert territory with some cheesecake, tortes and homemade ice creams.
Cordon Bleu training can't hurt when it comes to café baking. They may be relying on the one oven and simple kitchen place of Capital Espresso, but Maggie does very great things with what's there. The muffins are studded with fruit and nuts and mascarpone cheese, croissants and cookies and buttery and soft.
Manic's muffins are notoriously good, as are the giant cookies (try the pink peppercorn ginger cookie), and you've got your scones and croissant options too. While not technically qualified as baked goods, I'd be remiss not to mention their homemade gelato as well - it's truly fantastic.
The opening of Cafe Olya was not just for great coffee, but a way to showcase the amazing baking skills of one of its owners - the eponymous Olyana. She sourced local ingredients and whips up rich tarts, like their blackberry white chocolate ricotta, plus muffins, scones, croissants, squares and more.
This Roncesvalles institution (I can call it that now, right?) bakes up fresh scones, muffins, cookies and croissants throughout the morning so there is always something straight off the tray, still warm and heart melting. The date almond scone has legions of fans, but I'm a sucker for the blueberry muffin.
Former Cherry Bomb employees opened a competing shop - in a friendly way - just north of their former employer on Roncy. They've got an advantage in terms of seating - and they really do deliver that pat of extra butter with every bite. Their breakfast tart, with bits of bacon in a pastry and eggcup, is a major mouthful.
Beaches favourite The Remarkable Bean provides a bevy of great baked goods for the whole neighbourhood. Classics abound, but the highlights include the savoury muffins, like sweet chilli, red pepper and cream cheese, broccoli and cheddar, or blue cheese and pear. Make it a meal!
With two locations now to satisfy your cravings, Sense Appeal's unique offerings are never too far away. Brownies, date squares, muffins, loaves and more are baked in-house using the same scientific/sensual principles that lead the coffee program - knowledge plus experimentation equals taste pleasure.
The man behind Le Gourmand, with its famous cookies and croissants, recently opened a great café and restaurant at the corner of King and Portland that trumps the first for the variety and deliciousness of it's sweets. The financiers and molten chocolate cakes, in particular, are fantastic.
Did we miss any? Leave your favourite house-made cafe baked goods in the comments.