The Best Latin American Cafes and Bakeries in Toronto
The 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.
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, 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »