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Best of Toronto

The Best Latin American Cafes and Bakeries in Toronto

Posted by Erinn Beth Langille / December 8, 2014

latin american torontoThe best Latin American bakeries and cafes in Toronto offer tastes of home for the many South American communities in the GTA, but they also open their doors to newcomers who have opened their eyes, and their tastebuds, to the region's vibrant cuisines.

From big bakeries to tiny cafes to supermarkets with tucked away counters to Cookie Martinez's container stall, each location sells their signature take on traditional goods like alfajores, arepas, churros, empanadas and more. Those may be the familiar favourites, but take a step into the unknown, ask the helpful owners, bakers and servers what to try, and you'll be rewarded greatly.

Here are the best Latin American bakeries and cafes in Toronto.

See also:

The best Latin American restaurants in Toronto
The best empanadas in Toronto
Where to eat arepas in Toronto

Columbus Bakery

Columbus Bakery

The Columbus Bakeries (there are two) has an amazing array of Colombian baked goods, marked by their signature use of guava, queso fresco and Arequipe. Go for the alfajores, pandequeso, aperas and stellar flans. More »

El Almacen

El Almacen

El Almacen, the yerba mate cafe also home to two locations (on Queen and Dupont), is also home to fine South American pastries and snacks. The alfajores sandwiched with dulce de leche or jam are a great follow-up to their equally good empanadas, and of course, the massive selection of mate lets you enjoy life, southern style. More »

La Merceria

La Merceria

This sweet little cafe on Adelaide near Bathurst has wonderful Argentinian treats, small cookies, biscuits, alfajors, tartas and empanadas, that you can enjoy in the quiet corners of shop while you peruse their boutique items. The café con leche is delish. More »

Arepa Café

Arepa Café

I hope the name gives you at least one indication of their offerings - arepas! Besides the many variations (chicken, chorizo, fish, steak, cheese and more) this Venezuelan café has great cold and hot drinks, soups, sandwiches and pastries. More »

Pancho's Bakery

Pancho's Bakery

The three locations of Pancho's Bakery in Toronto owe much to the Mexican business of the same name that has existed since 1927. Mexican pastries, tamales, empanadas, coffee, shakes and of course, churros. The real question is, does anyone not love churros? More »

Juan Meat Market (El Gaucho)

Juan Meat Market (El Gaucho)

This Latin American supermarket is full of fantastic food, including a bakery and confection selection (you can wash it down with coffee, but just on the weekends). Otherwise, you can take home some masas dulces, tortilla Española, tarta jamonyqueso, fatura, churros and alfajores. More »

El Cafetal

El Cafetal

St. Clair's El Cafetal celebrates the cuisine of Colombia, Peru and Mexico at their restaurant and bakery. Standouts include delicious almojabanas (a Colombian cheese bread), alfajores, great Mexican hot chocolate and much more complicated dishes like aji de gallina and tortilla soup. More »

Pasteleria Barreda

Pasteleria Barreda

This little shop on Christie near Dupont is run by the sweetest old couple, and they trade off between watching their South American soaps and selling you their delicious, but limited selection of pastries (usually four or five types of alfajores) and empanadas. More »

Ave Maria Latin Café

Ave Maria Latin Café

This winning combination of Latin eatery/grocery store works in part because one taste of the house made goods and you'll be aiming to replicate them at home. Ave Maria has it all - empanadas, cubano sandwiches, arepas, alfajors, tamales, ceviche and more. More »

Autentica Spanish Food and Empanadas

Autentica Spanish Food and Empanadas

Made by owner Elena Bazaes, the food at Autentica is the real deal - empanadas, humita, churros, milhojas, pan amasado, tres leches cake and more. Find it all at the shop in the Plaza Latina. More »

Cookie Martinez

Cookie Martinez

You can find Cookie Martinez at Market 707, that collection of container shops along Dundas, or her Latin American cookies can be bought at several coffee shops - but whatever you do, track down those delicious treats. More »

Gordo Ex Café

Gordo Ex Café

This Venezuelan café opened at Dupont and Bathurst so you can hop off the subway to grab the tenquenos, cachapa, empanadas, arepas, hayacas, and tacos. They also make their own traditional drinks - guava, papelon con limon, and more. You can take it to go, but I suggest staying in and lingering over their many offerings. More »

Discussion

6 Comments

Na / December 8, 2014 at 04:17 pm
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Went to El Cafetal and it's amazing! Try the Heuvos Rancheros!
steph / December 8, 2014 at 05:48 pm
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anyone know what the lead picture of the almojabanas are from?
kirsten replying to a comment from steph / December 8, 2014 at 06:14 pm
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Steph, the picture is from El Cafetal #7 in this list. ( More photos accompany the BlogTO review of this place).
Mr. Wong / December 9, 2014 at 10:26 am
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Such a shame! you guys missed the arepas from El Arepazo! They open late on weekends and are located in a latin american food court in kensington market!
John Kimbel / December 9, 2014 at 01:09 pm
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Emporio De Los Sandwiches has much better baked goods than El Gaucho and it's just down the street.
SinNombre / December 10, 2014 at 02:55 pm
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I agree with John Kimbel, El Emporio De Los Sandwiches (on Wilson just west of Dufferin) has much better baked goods than El Gaucho. El Emporio's bizcochos ALONE (especially the dulce de leche filled) should have placed the bakery in the top 5 of your list. And if I am not mistaken, it is also one of the longest running Latin American bakeries in the city. I think you should pay El Emporio a visit and reconsider your list.

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