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Best of Toronto

The Best Baklava in Toronto

Posted by Elizabeth / April 21, 2010

baklava torontoThe best baklava in Toronto can be found in cooler cases in a vast array of places, from specialty supermarkets to cafes and pastry shops across the city, in almost every neighborhood.

The history of baklava goes back so far it's nearly impossible to pinpoint a single origin though some believe its earliest incarnations can be found in Central Asia. As the recipe traveled westward, various cultures in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Greece, Turkey and Azerbaijan (among others) each put their own spin on this sticky sweet treat.

The main thing they all have in common is nuts, and any number of varieties are made with almond, walnut and pistachio and sometimes a combination of these three. In Iran, phyllo is replaced with a sweet, more cake like dough. In Greece, you'll find baklava coated much heavier with syrup than you might in say, Lebanon or Syria. Regardless of the style in which it's made, every place on this list offers up the highest quality ingredients and a dizzying array of varieties that is enough to make you drool in anticipation.

Baklava is typically sold by the pound, though you can sometimes find a price by the piece. Expect to pay anywhere from $17 to $25 per pound and $1-2 per piece depending on where you are and when you're there.

Here is a list of the 9 best places to find baklava in Toronto.

Patisserie Royale

Patisserie Royale

Patisserie Royale near Victoria Park and Lawrence Avenue East has a huge assortment of baklava made fresh and available daily. Their baklava is infused with rosewater and orange blossom and not completely saturated in syrup which results in an almost cookie-like texture in some of their varieties. Catering trays are available, if by chance you want to be the most popular person at any party. More »

Arz Fine Foods

Arz Fine Foods

Also on Lawrence Avenue East, Arz Fine Foods might be known more as a general grocery store specializing in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods, but don't miss their piles and piles of baklava, all in different shapes and sizes, laid out at eye-height for your viewing pleasure. More »

Arabesque

Arabesque

This tiny restaurant/cafe on College near Dufferin might make the strongest cup of coffee you'll ever drink. But that's not what you're here for. Add to your 3pm java break a large piece of baklava, chosen from the 10 plus varieties in their cooler. More »

Ararat International Fine Foods

Ararat International Fine Foods

This small shop on Avenue Road is packed with a huge assortment of specialty food products from the Middle East and beyond. If you look behind the counter you'll find a few trays of delicious baklava made especially for the tastes of shop owners Peter and Aurora Kashkarian. More »

Serano Bakery

Serano Bakery

Serano Bakery on Pape north of the Danforth is insanely busy on weekends. You might be lucky to get a parking spot. But all is worth the effort as they have a vast, vast array of baklava and other greek pastries and sweets. Try not to get mesmerized by the many different shapes and styles available. More »

Stany Greek Bakery

Stany Greek Bakery

Stany Greek Bakery is tiny and might be easy to miss, tucked away on Pape Avenue but it definitely shouldn't be at any cost. Behind the glass sits the most delectable of baklava varieties, made in house and doused in high quality chocolate. Good luck trying to wait until you get home before you devour one of these babies. More »

Shirini Sara Pastry House

Shirini Sara Pastry House

Shrini Sara on Leslie is wildly popular within the Persian community. They offer a large amount of Middle Eastern treats all made in the huge on-site kitchen, including Iranian baklava which is slightly different from what you might be accustomed to with its cake-like texture and rosewater and cardamom flavour. More »

Athena Bakery

Athena Bakery

The Danforth storefront might be nondescript but inside Athena awaits trays of more than a half dozen varieties of large, dense baklava ($1.75 each) baked on site "almost every day". "They don't go bad", a lady working there tells me. "They'll only dry out a little bit." More »

Discussion

20 Comments

Cam / April 21, 2010 at 03:13 pm
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Not sure if they're the best, but I would add the Donlands Bakery, on Pape at Torrens. Great treats including lots of baklava variants, and amazing prices! (I'm still hunting for a recipe for my favourite, the kyrioke (spelling is wrong I'm sure))
Erin / April 21, 2010 at 05:46 pm
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I was wondering if Patisserie Royal would make your list, and they are #1! I agree with this 100%. The best baklava in town, hands down. Fresh, flaky and not too sweet. MMMM....having a craving right now!
Sibel Bowers / April 21, 2010 at 08:33 pm
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I'm surprised that Turkey gets mentioned once in this article. Baklava is one of the major deserts in Turkish cuisine and can be found everywhere you go in Turkey. The dough is flakier than phyllo. It's got many thin layers of dough coated with a thinner syrup. It comes with two only fillings: high quality walnuts and pistachios. What we find in Toronto is a pale ghost of what baklava is in Turkey. I have yet to find a good place that knows how to make it. If you see a thick chunky layers of dough dipped in thick syrup and filled with a thin layer of nuts stay away. Perhaps Anatolia Restaurant in Etobicoke..
Drea / April 22, 2010 at 01:25 pm
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I'm so sick of every poster here.... comparing everything to something better in ANOTHER country. This is best of toronto. Get off your high horse...
Jack / April 22, 2010 at 11:20 pm
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Drea: I know what you mean. This is blogto. What would it be like if the majority of people here were not some superficial NIMBY ijits? EX: Someone went to Italy and had the BEST pizza ever. Maybe the pizza was pretty good, but everyone knows there isn't bad pizza in Italy! Also fish and chips in England, burgers in anytown USA, etc.
Kevin / April 23, 2010 at 11:25 am
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Absolutely Patisserie Royal has the best bakalva in the city. That is an original baklava, the same taste that you get when you eat baklava in Syria and Lebanon.
Turkish baklava is a little bit different, but there is a good place right on the corner of Gerard and Pape which makes a very good fresh Turkish baklava.
Sibel / April 23, 2010 at 11:31 am
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Thanks Kevin. I'll try both. It's nice to read comments that contribute to the conversation.
Danielle / April 23, 2010 at 02:51 pm
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I know it's a bit far off, but Paramount in Mississauga is definitely worth the drive. Paramount is a huge bakery/ casual eatery specializing in arabic food/sweets.
Their baklava is amazing...along with other arabic delights, such as kanafe... and their lahmeh bajeen is the reason you won't be able to find parking or get a seat during lunch hour, any day of the week!
Brennan / May 29, 2010 at 11:42 am
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DEFINITELY think that Athena bakery deserves to be on this list. I have tried the majority of baklava mentioned in this article, and by far Athena is my favourite bakery.
stevieb / June 13, 2010 at 10:27 am
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everyone is so annoying with their nationalistic baklava fever.. calm down, noone cares
ambaji / June 16, 2010 at 12:04 am
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The almond baklava at the newly reopened Akram's on Baldwin St. in Kensington Market is YUM! Not too sweet, not too dry, not too wet, not too flaky: it's perfect!!
Enzo / February 7, 2011 at 11:27 am
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I would definitely replace Serano with Donlands bakery. I have tried both bakery goods, and Serano does NOT make anything good. Period. Donlands is pretty good, but they started to use corn syrup instead of honey a few years ago. So I stopped going. But there prices are great. Stany and ARZ are really good too, but ARZ is a bit pricy. I have marked down a few other addresses listed above, and will eventually try some.
hasan / February 22, 2011 at 06:35 am
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slm ben gaziantepten yazıyorum baklava tatlı ustasıyım acil iş arıyorum bana yardımcı olursanız sevinirim +905377677016
Cosplay / September 26, 2012 at 05:50 am
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Thanks Kevin. I'll try both. It's nice to read comments that contribute to the conversation.
Joseph Rodrigues / February 9, 2013 at 09:53 pm
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Babos Donerpoint @ Eglinton and Cladonia has Turkish Baklava and it is the best I have eaten in Toronto.
Gira / March 19, 2013 at 04:33 am
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Visit : http://www.torontocakery.com/ .. Order Online .. & Have your sweets delivered to you !!
jack / February 27, 2014 at 09:50 pm
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Are is pricey but good, definitely royal pastry would be the best, unless you drive to Montreal.lol
Bill / February 27, 2014 at 09:50 pm
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You guys have to try Meli Baklava. It's new and they really have a great product!
jack / February 27, 2014 at 09:55 pm
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Sorry *Arz
Dave / February 27, 2014 at 10:20 pm
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Baklawa King in Mississauga has the absolute best middle eastern baklava in the GTA and surrounding areas.

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