Wednesday, April 23, 2014Mostly Cloudy 3°C
Best of Toronto

The Best Danishes in Toronto

Posted by Nadine Blum / November 27, 2012

Danish TorontoThe best danishes in Toronto come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, flavours and colours, proving that the danish has moved far beyond its humble origins, and evolved into a modern, endlessly flexible pastry to suit all tastes. Apparently, the danish was born in 1850, when foreign workers were brought into Denmark to work in the bakeries while domestic bakers were on strike over wages. The strikebreakers included Austrian bakers, who used their own traditional recipes, which the Danes loved and continued to demand after the strike ended. The Austrian-made pastries evolved into what is now called the danish, and Toronto bakeries continue to put their own spin on it.

Here is the list of 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

Harbord Bakery

Harbord Bakery

In a fast-paced world of culinary trends, Harbord Bakery's popular cheese and poppy seed danishes have been made with the same recipe and care since baker Albert Kosower bought the shop in 1945. Also popular are their chocolate, almond and traditional fruit danishes (approx. $2.50 each). If you feel like sharing, try one of their specialty danish rings, which serve 6-8 people, for $7.99. More »

Hansen's Danish Pastry Shop

Hansen's Danish Pastry Shop

Hansen's danishes ($1.45 before tax) are never dry, due to the thin layer of almond paste at the bottom of each pastry. The danishes are made under the direction of owners Reiff and Susan Hansen, using recipes Reiff's father and uncle brought over from Copenhagen. Try their traditional custard and raspberry wienerbrod, or sample their many modern flavours, including lemon, cherry, and apple blueberry (you can score a pack of 6 for $7.95, and there’s no tax). More »

Pain Perdu

Pain Perdu

Pain Perdu's danishes are made using recipes from the Southwest Basque region of France. Their cinnamon danish ($2.50) and raisin and custard ($2.40) danishes have been a staple since the shop opened about nine years ago. But their new raisin, goat cheese and walnut danish is causing a buzz, and selling out most weekends ($2.40). More »

Patisserie La Cigogne

Patisserie La Cigogne

Head to Patisserie La Cigogne for danishes on the weekend, when they have their largest variety of "French-style" pastries on offer. Their most popular is the blueberry and apricot, but their fluffy and sweet apple, pistachio/apricot, custard and hazelnut danishes never disappoint ($2.85 each). More »

Celena's Bakery

Celena's Bakery

Co-owner Richard Cambridge says that the philosophy behind Celena's fruit danishes is to "let the fruit speak for itself." The danishes are baked every morning using seasonal fruit (never with syrups) and are therefore, refreshingly, less sweet than most. The pastry is flaky and French-style, but the textured swirl shape is a Celena's original. They're a steal at $1.75 each. More »

Rahier's Patisserie

Rahier's Patisserie

On a Saturday afternoon, this Belgian bakery is bustling with clientele, including many from Europe who have found that Rahier's delivers light, flaky, mouth-watering pastries that taste like home. Their danishes come in a mind-boggling assortment of flavours including cherry, apricot, pistachio, cinnamon, citrus, hazelnut, honey twist and chocolate ($2.10 each). More »

Zane's Patisserie

Zane's Patisserie

If you find yourself wishing your danish had more filling and less dry edges, you must head to Zane's. These compact danishes are covered with decadent homemade custard, and topped with fresh, colourful fruit. Blueberry, apricot, strawberry, hazelnut, raisin swirl, vanilla custard, and cranberry flavours are available every day ($2 each). More »

Gilead Cafe

Gilead Cafe

At Gilead Cafe, the bakers make one type of danish a day, using preserves that are made in-house. But you'll have to get up early if you want to try one, as they often sell out before 10am. One loyal patron, I'm told, visits Gilead seven days a week for a 3-danish breakfast; good thing there's plenty of variety with something new and seasonal on offer daily. Some flavours in regular rotation include apple, peach, plum and pumpkin seed ($3). More »

Discussion

22 Comments

Parker / November 27, 2012 at 10:17 am
user-pic
Great list!
Mr. Europa / November 27, 2012 at 10:24 am
user-pic
http://www.thedanishpastryhouse.ca/
these guys blow all of the above outta the water. serious. worth the drive...
Gizelle / November 27, 2012 at 10:49 am
user-pic
Rahier Patisserie is missing. Best custard danish I've had in town.
Cyril Sneer / November 27, 2012 at 10:55 am
user-pic
Wonderful. None of this trendy cupcake nonsense!
Tim replying to a comment from Gizelle / November 27, 2012 at 10:56 am
user-pic
Rahier is number 6 on the list
Dee replying to a comment from Mr. Europa / November 27, 2012 at 11:25 am
user-pic
I agree with Mr. Europa - technically they are in Mississauga but The Danish Pastry House has the best "spandauer" that I have tasted outside of Copenhagen! It's a good idea to "preorder" for pick-up on the weekends though - otherwise they might all be gone before you make it there! :)

http://www.thedanishpastryhouse.ca
bazlur / November 27, 2012 at 11:35 am
user-pic
These are mostly french pastries, not danishes. How about all of the bakeries on Bathurst North, Haymishe Bakery, Grodzinski's, United Bakers...In the category of French Pastries, a big mission is Thobors Bakery on Mount Pleasant - best apricot pastry in town!
nicole replying to a comment from Mr. Europa / November 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm
user-pic
Hello deliciousness! I've been to all the places listed above but have never heard of this one. Thanks for the tip!
Sandman / November 27, 2012 at 02:28 pm
user-pic
WOW?!? Nothing in the west end of the city???
J / November 27, 2012 at 05:23 pm
user-pic
Hansen's Danish Pastry sells the real stuff. Their North American and French-style pastries are good, but their real Danish pastry is the best.

Go there, order their Kransekage and Wienerbrod. Take a bite of each and you'll be in heaven. I personally love to pair a piece of Kransekage with a cappuccino. It's way better than biscotti.

Real Danish pastries are never dry, aren't overly sweet and are often filled with almond-flavoured custard (rather than the sickly sweet red or yellow goo that most "danishes" are filled with).
Bob / November 27, 2012 at 08:48 pm
user-pic
I have had the Danishes from Ma Maison in the kingsway area, they are delicious. Light, crispy not overly sweet. They have around 10 different fruits or garnishes. My family enjoys the treat on Saturday mornings.
Aimee O'Connor / November 27, 2012 at 08:56 pm
user-pic
I've been keeping a lookout for a piece on BlogTO about danishes.... Well done!
PS. Nice meeting you at The Dep the other night!
r2d2 / November 27, 2012 at 09:52 pm
user-pic
Nice! Anyone knows if these places have kringles? I noticed on the Danish Pastry House website they have them, and although I will make it there someday, wondering if any of the places listed above has them. It has been a while since I had a good kringle.
nicole replying to a comment from r2d2 / November 27, 2012 at 10:22 pm
user-pic
Hansen's. Sooooooo good.
K. / November 28, 2012 at 07:48 am
user-pic
Whole Foods (Avenue Rd. north of Bloor) also has excellent danishes worth a try.
j / November 28, 2012 at 03:56 pm
user-pic
There's a french bakery east of royal york, on bloor, across the street from the Kingsway LCBO. It's run by this crazy french guy, who (as legend has it) earned that moniker after throwing a cake at a woman after she asked whether or not it was fresh. This place has the best croissants in the city, and their danishes are phenomenal. Since the owner goes to France quite a bit, they're often closed at inopportune times, but worth checking out nonetheless: http://www.blogto.com/bakery/patisserie-st-honore-toronto
Sherry replying to a comment from j / November 28, 2012 at 04:45 pm
user-pic
Aaah, how well I know the crazy French guy's place! I used to work there years ago. He has tempered the crazy somewhat, but a lot of the rumours you hear about him are true. I'm not sure if he actually threw a cake at someone, but he has told people to go have a donut if they weren't convinced his stuff was worth it. That being said, I agree he makes the best croissants in the city... They are full of butter (30% butter if memory serves). He uses the same croissant dough to make danishes, so they are worth a try too.
M / November 28, 2012 at 10:03 pm
user-pic
Hansen's sounds great. Along the same lines is an established Estonian bakery called HILLSIDE BAKERY that was originally in Scarborough but is now in Leaside (on Mt Pleasant). The danishes are the best I've ever had. They are buttery and the fillings are incoporated in the overall yumminess not just plopped on top. I've tried the other danishes in the article but I must admit some are what I'd consider more commercial bakeries. You have to try Hillside! The breads are amazing too. I will go check out Hansen's and the Danish Pastry House for sure though.

M replying to a comment from r2d2 / November 28, 2012 at 10:04 pm
user-pic
Try Hillside Bakery on Mt Pleasant. They have something they called "Bulla" (sp?) but which our family has always called "Kringle". :)
the lemur replying to a comment from M / November 29, 2012 at 12:40 am
user-pic
That sounds like either the Scandinavian type of kringle/kringla (pretzel-shaped pastry) or pulla, the Finnish cardamom roll ...
A.D / January 13, 2013 at 11:48 am
user-pic
i miss cakemaster's danishes in yorkville. those were incredible!
Gira / March 19, 2013 at 04:43 am
user-pic
Visit : http://www.torontocakery.com/ .. Order Online .. & Have your sweets delivered to you !!

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal