The Best Muffins in Toronto
The best muffins in Toronto are mmm, mmm good. When I was growing up, nothing signified breakfast pleasure more than a fresh-baked muffin. In fact, the muffin seemed like the comforting answer to any problem. New neighbour, illness in the family, bake sale contribution, death of loved one? Drop off a basket of muffins. After-school snack, morning commute, feeling blue? Grab yourself a muffin.
There were mini muffins and muffin loaves, stuffed muffins and jumbo muffins, muffins that tasted like pillows and muffins that tasted like pucks. There was the muffin man song, then muffins hit the malls (Mmmuffins!). My next door neighbor loved muffins so much she named all her cats Muffin, one after another; Muffin One, Muffin Two and so on, five Muffins in all.
Muffins enjoyed a moment in the pop-culture spotlight in the '90s: Who could forget the Seinfeld episode when Elaine has her muffin top shop idea, and her old boss stole it, and then they have to hire Newman to get rid of the muffin stump problem? (Top of the Muffin to You! Or was it Top of the Muffin TO YOU?)
By the 2000's, muffins came to signify the extra padding that spilled out over skinny jeans, and then new food trends stepped in to take the poor muffin's place. Thankfully, muffins are back, and they're being baked all over Toronto - to happy cheers across the city.
Here are the best muffins in Toronto.
Junction bakeshop Bunner's has a reputation - for fabulous muffins, that is. Baked fresh daily, their muffins are soy, dairy, egg and gluten-free, yet they're still moist and tasty. I think it's their use of starchy-sweet tubers whipped within, like in their sweet potato cranberry and pumpkin chocolate chip flavours. More »
Cordon Bleu pastry training makes a damn fine muffin. As anyone who's taken a bite can attest, Maggie's muffins at Capital Espresso are delicious. Watch her pull out trays of berry with mascarpone cheese, morning glory, carrot coconut, blueberry bran and banana chocolate chip ($2.50), and Parkdalians will scoop them up just as quick. More »
Despite the name, Manic Coffee begs you to slow down, grab a coffee and a muffin, and linger over the paper. The muffins are baked fresh in-house, and like their gelato, use the best ingredients in both sweet and savoury combinations. Blackberry blueberry is a favourite. More »
A mecca for all things organic, The Beet (located in the Junction) also has fresh-baked low-fat muffins that have garnered rave reviews. The banana chocolate chip and mixed berry are vegan and wheat-free and priced at $2.75 each. More »
King Street staple Wagamama has been an on-the-go breakfast beacon since it opened 14 years ago. I think it's the fresh baked muffins like apple crumble, pumpkin and low-fat cranberry bran ($1.75) and the gluten-free options - walnut, blueberry and jalapeno cornbread each for $1.80. More »
Cute and kitschy Phipps Bakery is chock-a-block of baked goodies, but the Eglinton neighbourhood rises early for their muffins, which often sell out by noon. Favourites include the cornmeal, bran and morning glory flavours. More »
Coffee isn't Cherry Bomb's only specialty. You'll be hard pressed to ignore the wafts coming from the baking ovens, with the warm muffins lined up on trays just waiting to be snatched up. The mixed berry has a crumble on top that you won't forget. More »
With a menu that caters to a variety of diets, one of the things that fit all the customer tastes at the Bickford Flexitarian is their muffins. Among the $3-a-pop flavours are blueberry walnut whole wheat, and a raspberry-blueberry that's vegan and gluten-free. More »
Sadie at Cafe Novo bakes their muffins each day, delighting the neighbourhood with new combinations and flavours like walnut ricotta, vanilla pumpkin seed, and blueberry buttermilk. Take one to go and eat it as you saunter through High Park. More »
For such a little coffee shop, Ella's Uncle does big things with baking. Their muffins ($2.75) are moist, jammed with berries and fruit, and deliciously light and fluffy. Best eaten on the bench outside in the sun. More »
In Mitzi's Cafe the muffins, along with everything else on the chalkboard menu, are made in the open-air kitchen, giving you full view of the proceedings. Sit down and add one of the many types of muffins to your breakfast (I love the morning glory) or take one to go with a coffee. More »