The Best Gluten Free Bakeries in Toronto
The best gluten free bakeries in Toronto respect the intolerances of those who suffer celiac disease - and the preferences of those who choose to avoid gluten for other reasons. Gluten is a protein composite found in several grains, including wheat, barley, rye, and triticale. It's the creation of gluten (by mixing water and flour) that provides traditional dough some of its elasticity and flavour - so you can imagine the difficulties of making baked goods, especially ones that taste good, without these usual staples.
Ground flours made from almonds, corn, rice, sorghum or legumes are substituted, plus additives like guar gum, xanthum gum, cornstarch or eggs to help hold shape. Some of these bakeries started small, selling in farmer's markets and wholesale before demand made it possible for them to find a more permanent home. As these bakeries experimented with the possibilities of gluten free baked goods, their menus expanded, and the best ones have come up with fabulous results.
Here are the best gluten free bakeries in Toronto.
No surprise here - Bunner’s makes the best. This all gluten free (and vegan, by the way) bakery in the Junction has been making fans of their cakes, pies, bread, muffins, cinnamon buns and signature ‘creamies’ - a delicious cookies and cream sandwich - since they opened in 2010. Get the Bunner’s cookbook and you can try their secrets at home. More »
Krista Tobias and partner Chris Brown began in the markets, but with the shop set up on College, you don’t have to wait another day for their great treats. The savoury galettes are favourites, but just try and resist their other offerings, like turnovers, brownies and pies. More »
You can kind of surmise from the name, but Goodbye Gluten is entirely gluten-free. Alongside the many packaged savoury and sweet products they carry (including gluten free pierogies), they also have a bakery that prepares cakes, muffins, cookies and biscotti in-house. Head to Avenue Road and check out the sheer magnitude of items. More »
The baked goods at Tori’s Bakeshop in the Beach are all organic and vegan and many, but not all, are gluten free. The lineup includes cupcakes, cakes, cookies, ‘butter’ tarts, bread, savoury and sweet scones; the muffins, like the chai-spiced pear, are especially good. More »
Owner Genevieve Finley took the gluten-intolerant into consideration when she opened her two bakeries in Liberty Village and Oakville. Gluten free cupcakes in flavours like red velvet, salted caramel, coconut and chocolate hazelnut are sure to please. More »
Urban Herbivore does all their baking at their College St., store, shipping them to their Kensington Market and Eaton Centre locations. Their focus is on gluten free cupcakes and baked doughnuts (they also have cookies, breads and muffins, which are not necessarily GF). Standout flavours include banana split, pink lemonade and black forest for the cupcakes, and French toast, chocolate mint and rum raisin for doughnuts. More »
King Street cafe and bakery Wagamama has been serving the neighbourhood for over 14 years. The gluten-free muffins are the biggest hit in walnut, blueberry or jalapeno cornbread. The menu is not all gluten-free, though, so ask when you are picking something up. More »
Annex stalwart Kensington Natural Bakery has been offering gluten-free baked goods for years. They specialize in healthy alternatives, catering to allergies and dietary restrictions, but ask ahead. Some are gluten-free or wheat-free, while others are vegan or made without dairy, yeast or sugar. Expect rice flour muffins, cupcakes and quinoa cookies among other items - all of them remarkably inexpensive. More »