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Best of Toronto

The Best Gluten Free Bakeries in Toronto

Posted by Erinn Beth Langille / April 28, 2014

best gluten free bakeries torontoThe 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.

See also:

The best wheat and gluten free restaurants in Toronto
The best nut-free bakeries in Toronto

Bunner's Bakeshop

Bunner's Bakeshop

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 »

de Floured

de Floured

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 »

Goodbye Gluten

Goodbye Gluten

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 »

Tori's Bakeshop

Tori's Bakeshop

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 »

For the Love of Cake

For the Love of Cake

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

Urban Herbivore

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 »

Wagamama

Wagamama

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 »

Kensington Natural Bakery

Kensington Natural Bakery

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 »

Dough Bakeshop

Dough Bakeshop

This customer-friendly bakery on the Danforth began experimenting and offering gluten free options soon after opening. Some gluten-free items include a chocolate torte, almond cigars, meringues and stellar gluten-free bread. Call ahead for availability or custom orders. More »

Discussion

41 Comments

Julie / April 28, 2014 at 10:56 am
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Yes. Love Wagamama! Go there almost every morning on the way to work!
Craster / April 28, 2014 at 11:26 am
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I don't see how Gluten Free and Bakery and Best can possible go in the same sentece. Barf!
Curious / April 28, 2014 at 11:55 am
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Which medical condition causes people to only eat gluten-free?
Marie replying to a comment from Curious / April 28, 2014 at 11:57 am
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Celiac
dm / April 28, 2014 at 11:57 am
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aside from celiac disease, what "other reasons" are there?
Toronto Personal Trainer / April 28, 2014 at 12:02 pm
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@ Curious Celiac disease. Gluten & Dairy free are obviously a very popular topic for not only people with intolerances but for lots of health conscious people, just have to be careful because a lot of gluten-free goods are made with starches that are actually higher on the glycemic index.
Lowentaste / April 28, 2014 at 12:12 pm
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Ah the old "Best of the Newest Fad in Food" category.
Cindy / April 28, 2014 at 12:14 pm
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Alot of people that work out either choose to carb load or not some choose not to eat a card heavy diet while training depending on their regiment. I've had personal trainers knowing my goals tell me to cut the carbs in order to reach my goals.

Laura / April 28, 2014 at 12:38 pm
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A lot of people who are not celiac still experience symptoms while eating gluten such as cramping, bloating and brain fog.

Al / April 28, 2014 at 01:05 pm
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If you want to cut out gluten, stop eating baked goods. Gluten-free baked goods are horrible. There are plenty of other things that people can eat.
Dirty Dan / April 28, 2014 at 01:36 pm
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"A lot of people who are not celiac still experience symptoms while eating gluten such as cramping, bloating and brain fog."

I've always been skeptical of this one, at least as it applies to gluten specifically. I've seen people eat a massive plate of pasta or 2 bagels in a row and then complain about feeling bloated and wonder whether they might be allergic to gluten.

I don't eat gluten myself, but if I stuff my face with anything else, I'm going to get a bit of cramping, bloating and brain fog too.
Curious / April 28, 2014 at 01:56 pm
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Thanks guys. I always thought it was some stupid hipster trend. Since a lot of people I know who are perfectly healthy still complain if places aren't gluten free.
Anna / April 28, 2014 at 01:56 pm
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I don't have celiac disease after going through chemo I developed an intolerance to gluten. Super thankful for this list :)
Anna / April 28, 2014 at 01:57 pm
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*but after!
Love me some gluten-free / April 28, 2014 at 03:10 pm
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Wagamama has delicious muffins and cookies, and other tasty homemade pastries for much less than the other GF-bakeries mentioned on the list. (less than $2 for muffins!)

Tried all but Tori's and Dough's, and I DON'T recommend Kensington Natural Bakery - I found their breads stale and lacking taste.

I'm not celiac but I do like to switch up my foods once in a while, and really love the list BlogTO put together!
dm / April 28, 2014 at 04:13 pm
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"A lot of people who are not celiac are susceptible to placebo effect and the power of suggestion, particularly in regard to fad diets for which there is no scientific support."

fixed for you. when do we get the post on the best eateries for those of us on the Atkins Diet?
Mita Hans replying to a comment from Curious / April 28, 2014 at 05:18 pm
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I developed an anaphylactic wheat allergy out of the blue 4 years ago after returning from a trip to Cuba where I was happily noshing away on Cuban pizzas on the beach.I had a reaction that took less than 10 minutes from first symptoms to completely seal my throat shut. I was told that the next time I wouldn't even have that much time. Gluten-free is not a choice for me. I was never diagnosed as a celiac before this happened.I am grateful to have options.
emily / April 28, 2014 at 07:16 pm
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Totally ignorant gluten-free diet comments aside, de Floured has far superior quality baked goods to Bunner's, and a bigger diversity of options. I sampled the goods at Bunner's, their bread is great, their cupcakes are overly sugary, and generally the baking is pretty soggy, which I never experience in my own gluten-free vegan baking. Unforgivable, and I would not go back but for the bread. The offer at de Floured always has something interesting, sophisticated, and seasonal, artfully done, and not made for the pallet of a 5 year old. Sorry Bunner's.
Tammy replying to a comment from dm / April 28, 2014 at 08:29 pm
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You're calling Gluten Free a fad diet and you want to know where to eat while on Atkins Diet? LMAO!!! Some people have had lab work done and not only does Celiac disease exist, so does "Dermatitis Herpetiformis" which is the dermatological manifestation of Celiac disease. This causes a person to have such a severe rash that they scratch until it bleeds and you can forget about being able to sleep. To have to take 8 pills a day to calm the rash is not a "FAD"!
Raymond / April 28, 2014 at 09:37 pm
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If your not into Gluten Free foods why does it bother you so much that other people are interested in it? Leave it alone - whatever.

We can all finger point at each other for who smokes, who drinks, who makes more money, who owns an home, who's a renter, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.
Roger / April 28, 2014 at 09:38 pm
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What I want to know is, which gluten free bakery in Toronto sells the raspberry turnovers in the pic
Annie replying to a comment from Al / April 28, 2014 at 09:42 pm
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I can't stand the taste of beer but I don't spew all over every beer post on this site because its not my taste.
ryan / April 28, 2014 at 10:42 pm
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Pretty sure 99% of people wouldn't go gluten free because of the taste.
Georgina replying to a comment from ryan / April 28, 2014 at 11:11 pm
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TRUE, but those people that do eat gluten free food easily acquire a taste for it, and really if you buy a danish or other pie pastry, its more about the apple filling, fruit and berry, blueberry filing. The pastry crust still matters and accounts for lots as well THAT'S why places that do pastries, breads, breads, breakfast and more should be listed for those interested. GREAT LIST!
R / April 29, 2014 at 03:25 pm
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I have a gluten allergy, so I can't eat wheat. Not a choice for me, just like many others. So grateful to have this list of good options. As with any food, there are good and bad options. I've had excellent gluten-free baked goods that taste like the real thing.
Dani / April 29, 2014 at 08:57 pm
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There are many people with autoimmune diseases (besides celiac) that cannot tolerate gluten.
Lisa / May 1, 2014 at 11:02 am
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de Floured is the BEST gluten free bakery I have ever been to! I will drive out of my way to get a galette or a cookie. They have some vegan, some lacto-ovo and some meat items which is great beacuse not everyone who is free is also vegan. I was speaking to the owner and they are nut free as well so if you are dual allergy like myself it is a great option.

Bunners is great if you are gfree and vegan, but once you taste a gluten free pastry crust with actual butter, there is NO comparison. Yum!

I feel luck to live in a city with such great gluten free options (and more every day!)

Carole replying to a comment from emily / May 1, 2014 at 02:56 pm
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I agree with you Emily. I have tried Bunners (albeit only once) and I am a regular at de Floured. I don't think Bunners is even in the same league as de Floured. Christa's goods are very tasty, moist and of real artisan quality. I did not have the same experience at Bunners - the cupcakes and pastries were dry and grainy. Of course, most of de Floured's goods are not vegan like Bunners. Butter and dairy products add a lot of flavour and moisture to pastries.

Carole replying to a comment from Roger / May 1, 2014 at 02:58 pm
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These turnover gems are from de Floured. They taste as good as they look!
TORY / May 1, 2014 at 09:26 pm
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Wagamama IS GREAT! I work right around the corner and I get my coffee there on the way in, and often go back at lunch for soup and a sandwich. Always good.
Alice replying to a comment from Al / May 1, 2014 at 11:52 pm
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I agree. Gluten-free substitutes are sometimes even worse than eating gluten itself... so much sugar and extra ingredients/refined foods like tapioca starch and carrageenan and xanthan gum. Best thing when being gluten-free (or in general) is to eat natural whole foods.
Gillian / May 8, 2014 at 12:22 am
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I wish gluten free was a choice for me. I was diagnosed with celiac disease over 10 years ago and there were almost no options for eating out safely. My concern with this list is the lack of understanding many bakeries and their employees have about what true gluten free means.

If you bake without gluten you would think it would be safe for a celiac but if you serve other foods containing gluten and then use the same untensils to pick the baked goods up, the food is no longer safe. Contamination is a real problem and those that eat gluten free as a fad make this difficult for the food and service industry to take seriously as they are the majority and are not concerned with true GF safe foods.

If I eat gluten I am sick anywhere from 2 - 4 weeks and require time off work and medication to make it through the day from pain. My doctor calls this gluten poisoning and requires medical attention.

I love having options these days (and de Floured is amazing!) but would appreciate those that just don't like gluten to stop saying they are allergic when it is convenient. Allergies are a systemic reaction (and a legitimate concern), celiac is a genetic autoimmune disease, but dislike of gluten is something entirely different.
bzine / June 22, 2014 at 09:56 am
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Bunner's is just the best bakery period.
Marcos / June 22, 2014 at 01:31 pm
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Gluten is a natural protein existing in wheat and other cereals and less than 1% of the population actually have intolerance to it. Wheat was the staple our civilization relied upon for thousands of years and our body are very adapted to it. However the industry has used it for business and transformed it into a villain, so that nowadays it has an image associated with non-healthy food. Hence many people without gluten intolerance choose to go gluten-free out of ignorance, lack of information, which puts them into an unnecessary, possibly harmful diet. It is impressive how the food industry can brain-wash us and transform a rare condition into a huge business.
Valter replying to a comment from Marcos / June 22, 2014 at 05:45 pm
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Funny how nobody commented on the books Wheat Belly and Grain Brain. Excellent books that will show you how the wheat today is not the wheat our granny used to know, what it is doing to us and more. It is not a new fad diet thing.
Before you go out saying this is nonsense read about the subject. It is not just 1% of the population with sensitivities. There is a very easy test you can make to find out. One week, absolutely no nothing with wheat. In 3 days, you should notice a difference in your energy levels if you have sensitivities to gluten. The problem for some people is that gluten is ''addictive''. The one week test may not be smooth sailing.
Bob / June 28, 2014 at 02:37 pm
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Bunner's is not the BEST Bakery. This bakery is one of the worst bakeries i have ever experienced. Customer service is deplorable too.
This blog must be biased.
I just don't get the hype over Bunner's. Small bake shop with stale bake goods and unfriendly staff.
Victoria / July 25, 2014 at 05:28 pm
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Almond Butterfly Bakery on the north side of Harbord; just west of Spadina, has got to be THE BEST gluten-free AND dairy-free bakery in Toronto and I have now tried them ALL! They just opened a few weeks ago. I didn't think it was possible for gluten-free, dairy-free baked goods to be so moist and delicious! And they use xylitol (plant-based) to sweeten. Amazing!
cathy / August 1, 2014 at 12:55 pm
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Queen street Gluten Free bread. Their ingredient labelling is not accurate. The small loaf of white bean and millet label indicates 8 grams of carbs for 2 slices and 70 calories, coming in at 70 grams weight. The large loaf label indicates 120 calories , 23 carb grams and the slices weigh less at 60 grams. Their posted phone number is outof service. These loaves are everywhere but when reputable health sfores such as the Big Carrot continue to stock these products, consumer trust is broken.
Shathy Aktar / August 16, 2014 at 09:27 am
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Wow! This is a very useful page and I really enjoyed reading article and all users’ comments. Buy Gluten free flour and Wheat free flour at our online store at reasonable prices. Thank you for sharing valuable information.
football / August 21, 2014 at 07:28 pm
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There are some excellent websites that offer live football matches,
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Mickie / October 1, 2014 at 08:22 am
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This is an awesome list, if you are in Hamilton, GTA or Niagara region and looking for gluten free vegan cake artistry, check out http://www.bakersmancupcakery.com/

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