The Best Challah in Toronto
The best challah in Toronto is a staple of every good Jewish diet — or so has been engrained in me ever since I was wee. But more than just a Sabbath bread or quaintly braided loaf, challah has garnered a well-deserved following of leavened-enthusiasts from all walks of life. Blame it on the fluffy texture and slightly sweet egg-glazed crust. Challah is known to make a mean French toast, as well as a great grilled cheese, and with a fresh loaf from any of these places, you're pretty much assured the start of a terrific feast.
A moment of mourning for the lost challah of the late Open Window Bakery; here is the list of the best challah in Toronto.
Photos by Jesse Milns
The downtown availability of quality challah is stark compared to what you'll find in North York, but Harbord Bakery in the Annex is (futilely) doing its part to even out the status quo. Harbord's sesame and poppy seed-decorated egg and whole wheat loaves ($4.50) are the best you'll find at Bloor and below, not to mention its mean raisin challah crown that's baked up around the Jewish holidays. More »
Hermes always has such a delicious-looking spread of baked goods, it's easy to look past its humble challah loaves. But this would be a mistake, I assure you. Hermes' challah has that home-baked taste, twisted just so in water, egg, or raisin loaves. And eh, might as well pick up some rugelach while you're there. More »
Grodzinski touts it started baking in 1888, but don't expect to find evidence of the Bathurst Street bakery in the Toronto Archives from that time. From Lithuania to England to Canada, Grodzinski's offers a whole variety of challah loaves (starting from small at $3.30 to crown at $8.95) and will even make a 5lb loaf for special events. More »
For years it was only those in North York (or determined drivers) who were privy to Kiva's scrumptious non-bagel signature, but that all changed earlier this year when the business opened a second location midtown. Now everyone can get their hands on regular egg loaves ($4.50) during the week, and whole wheat and the occasional raisin round in store on Fridays and Saturdays. More »
Technically in Thornhill (and yes, still on Bathurst), My Zaidy's evokes all of those warm Zaidy-like feelings not just in name, but in bread. Its challahs are, of course, all baked fresh (I'm sure with lots of love) in egg, whole wheat, multigrain, and raisin varieties. Easy on the wallet too. Loaves start at $3.25. More »
Isaac's is just a stone's throw from Grodzinski, but wins when the two are compared for price. Isaac's regular egg loaves start at $2.85, and vary depending on size and variety. They're on par, though, when it comes to options, as Isaac's also offers water, whole wheat, multigrain, and raisin. More »
Forget the name, What A Bagel can do more than just bagels. Challah masters may be able to detect slight differences between loaves with so many locations throughout the GTA, but What A Bagel is still known to make a consistently good, thick challah. Usually you can grab them on Fridays ($4.50), and raisin loaves during the holidays. More »