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Best of Toronto

The Best Danishes in Toronto

Posted by Erinn Beth Langille / April 23, 2014

danish torontoThe best Danishes in Toronto are made, like other viennoiserie pastries, with a laminated yeast-leavened dough that turns flaky and airy, like a puff pastry. Finding that perfect combination of flour, yeast, milk, eggs and the ever-important butter is what marks a truly stellar Danish from an average one: The effect should be a fluffy flakiness and buttery taste, but not overly sweet. In North America, the Danish is most often topped with fruit, custard or sweet baker's cheese, while in the native Denmark, chocolate, jam and marzipan are used.

Funnily enough, the Danish isn't even really Danish. It evolved around 1850, after bakers in Denmark went on strike and bakeries were forced to hired foreign workers, mainly Austrians, who incorporated their talent for making that wonderfully flaky, croissant-like pastry. Danishes made their way across the Atlantic around 1915 when they were baked for Woodrow Wilson's wedding by L.C. Klitteng. Klitteng also popularized the Danish in a series of New York restaurants, and thus began the pastry hit we know today.

Here are the best Danishes in Toronto.

See also:

The best croissant in Toronto
The best bread in Toronto
The best baguette in Toronto
The best challah in Toronto

Patisserie La Cigogne

Patisserie La Cigogne

French-trained master pastry chef Thierry Schmitt has perfected the Danish pastry at Patisserie La Cigogne's two locations (Bayview and the Danforth). The man taught courses in French baking and advanced patisserie at George Brown, which suggests he’s ‘schooling’ the competition. More »

Rahier

Rahier

Rahier is famous for their pistachio Danishes, but you’ve also got custard, cherries, fruit puree, nuts and more for your taste buds to contemplate. Owner and chef Francois Rahier, along with partner Souvannaraj Keopraseuth, both trained in pastry in Belgium (just a hop and skip away from Denmark) and brought back their incredible skills to Leaside. More »

Gilead Cafe

Gilead Cafe

The brunch at Jaime Kennedy’s Gilead Cafe in Corktown is exceptional, and the Danishes (around $2.50) are a wonderful plus. Often featuring a berry puree at the centre of the flaky pastry and crisscrossed with a thin drizzle of frosting, the Danishes are an addictive addition to his already great menu. More »

Mabel's Bakery

Mabel's Bakery

They already make a stellar croissant, so it's no wonder Mabel’s Bakery (with locations on Queen and Roncesvalles) also has a grasp on its distant cousin, the Danish. Pinwheel apple Danishes, sprinkled with a little confectioner’s sugar, are as lovely to look at as they are to taste. More »

Harbord Bakery

Harbord Bakery

The Harbord Bakery has a handle on the viennoiserie pastries, like the Danish, as an extension of their role as one of Toronto’s oldest Jewish bakeries (open since 1929). Their Danishes feature pastry dough, wrapped slightly with a lemony and cheesy filling and dusted with white icing sugar. More »

Hansen's Danish Bakery

Hansen's Danish Bakery

As the only bakery on the list with the word Danish actually in their name, Hansen’s is the most authentic. It's been an East York staple for over 40 years. Here the Danish is rectangular, and features raisins, marzipan, custard or fruit swathed in a dough that’s light and buttery. More »

Zane Patisserie and Boulangerie

Zane Patisserie and Boulangerie

Find a range of classic viennoiserie pastries at Zane Patisserie in the Beaches. The pastry is twisted and flaky, filled with yellowy custard and studded with blueberries or strawberries, and makes a fine breakfast treat. More »

Patisserie 27

Patisserie 27

This patisserie on Jane is noted for unusual flavour combinations, and their Danishes lead the way. Fruit flavours include mango and blueberry or rhubarb, and savoury types include leek, bechamel and cheddar or ham and broccoli. Their most traditional? Cinnamon raisin swirl. More »

Thobors

Thobors

Traditional French patisserie and friendly neighbourhood standby are not contradictions, at least, not at Thobors at Mt. Pleasant and Davisville. Owners Marc and Sylvie Thobor brought over their baking skills from their native France. The apricot Danish is a beautiful confection of folded pastry, golden apricots and a little icing sugar dusting for $2.90. More »

Discussion

23 Comments

Rick / April 23, 2014 at 08:40 am
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Um.... Del's Pastry?????
K. / April 23, 2014 at 08:50 am
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Whole foods
jlodge / April 23, 2014 at 08:58 am
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You forgot Klorpy's on East 7th.
p / April 23, 2014 at 09:05 am
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Always with the "you forgot ___" or "what about ___?"
Camilla / April 23, 2014 at 10:57 am
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The Danish Pastry House (although located in Oakville) should be on the list. Their pastries is the real stuff and authentic danish. It's worth the trip :)
J / April 23, 2014 at 11:53 am
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Where I can get beef tongue danish?
Q / April 23, 2014 at 12:42 pm
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Mon K has the best danish! fluffy and not too sweet!
Audio Blood / April 23, 2014 at 12:50 pm
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These look absolutely fantastic.
NC / April 23, 2014 at 01:24 pm
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Zane's gets my vote. They are amazing!!
beenieman / April 23, 2014 at 01:44 pm
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Looks like you guys have started running out of things to review. Danishes? Seriously?
bob loblaw / April 23, 2014 at 01:47 pm
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Likely to get trashed for this, but Tim Hortons always a good bet.
Myer / April 23, 2014 at 02:15 pm
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What about Aroma? What about What a Bagel? WTF?
bazlur / April 23, 2014 at 02:29 pm
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What about United Bakers?
jeffy replying to a comment from bob loblaw / April 23, 2014 at 04:33 pm
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This is me trashing you and mentioning you have terrible taste.
Ron Mexico / April 23, 2014 at 04:39 pm
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Uhhhh so let me get this straight.......you do a list on Danishes in Toronto and don't include the buttery perfection from Sobeys ???.....this list is bogus
BillyO / April 23, 2014 at 05:14 pm
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Jules Patisserie is great, they supply to many indie coffee shops like Rooster. Their store is in the Mount Pleasnat/Eglinton area
friv / April 24, 2014 at 04:09 am
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Funnily enough, the Danish isn't even really Danish. It evolved around 1850, after bakers in Denmark went on strike and bakeries were forced to hired foreign workers, mainly Austrians, who incorporated their talent for making that wonderfully flaky, croissant-like pastry. I like it
Mar / April 24, 2014 at 08:43 am
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I was gonna say rooster but I guess I mean Jules. Also islington station!!
bob loblaw replying to a comment from jeffy / April 24, 2014 at 09:26 am
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Ok sure Jeffy. Like the bizillions who go to Horton's everyday must be wrong??
jeffy replying to a comment from bob loblaw / April 24, 2014 at 12:20 pm
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You are confusing popularity with quality. Much like the people who buy Nickelback albums and think they are a good band, Tim Hortons patrons are wrong.
Friv replying to a comment from friv / May 30, 2014 at 09:32 am
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Are you sure? I thought that the best Danishes at Toronta are made at Chuck's bakery.
friv2 / June 4, 2014 at 04:47 am
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creative process from flour cakes can make many different shapes! looks very tasty.
friv10 / August 26, 2014 at 11:05 am
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I love what you have shared. thank you.
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