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Best of Toronto

The Best Muffins in Toronto

Posted by Erinn Beth Langille / April 14, 2014

muffins torontoThe 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.

Bunner's Bakeshop

Bunner's Bakeshop

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 »

Capital Espresso

Capital Espresso

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 »

Manic Coffee

Manic Coffee

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 »

The Beet

The Beet

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 »

Wagamama Pastries and Cafe

Wagamama Pastries and Cafe

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 »

Phipps Bakery Cafe

Phipps Bakery Cafe

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 »

Cherry Bomb

Cherry Bomb

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 »

Cafe Novo

Cafe Novo

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 »

Ella's Uncle

Ella's Uncle

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 »

Mitzi's Cafe

Mitzi's Cafe

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 »

Kale Eatery

Kale Eatery

Vegan and macrobiotic muffins? Heck yeah. Kale Eatery, at Yonge and Eglinton, has lots of flavours, all made with spelt flour, and only $1.95 each. Try their blueberry, apple cinnamon, banana walnut, cranberry or chocolate chip. More »

Discussion

14 Comments

Jon / April 14, 2014 at 03:46 pm
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Only one good muffin east of Yonge.

[sigh]
mar replying to a comment from Jon / April 14, 2014 at 04:06 pm
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always... I'd say that these polls are skewed by a west end heavy voter turn out. Can't really get mad about it the west end is just more densely populated.

My favorite east end places for muffins in the east end are rooster, upper crust, Te aro and maple leaf garden loblaws.
really? replying to a comment from mar / April 14, 2014 at 05:20 pm
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Since when was Church & Carlton, where Maple Leaf Garden Loblaws is located, considered the east end of Toronto?
Jmons / April 14, 2014 at 08:23 pm
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Bunners:

Exposed brick wall? Check!

Chalk board menu? Check!

Exposed tattooes on employees? Check!

Gluten, please.
Aaron / April 14, 2014 at 09:52 pm
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When food staff have tattoos, I look elswhere where to eat. Just hate being grossed out.
Heterosexual / April 15, 2014 at 08:22 am
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Which of the places are NOT vegan?
Betsy replying to a comment from Aaron / April 15, 2014 at 01:31 pm
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Do you believe tattoos magically impart germs / disease to food?
You must be stuck eating exclusively food you've grown and prepared at home, because damn near all food you buy has been handled at some point by a someome with *gasp!* ink.
Rog replying to a comment from Betsy / April 15, 2014 at 03:47 pm
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For me its not really about the tattoos themselves its more about the killing off of the traditional "mom and pop" bakeries and replacing them with the more HIPSTER version where tattoo's seem to be mandatory.
Katie / April 15, 2014 at 03:54 pm
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That little bakery in Bathurst station, hands down. I'm a five minute walk from the station, and I think the best part of finally getting a Metropass is the ability to go get one whenever I want.
Lawal Tajudean Olalekan / April 16, 2014 at 10:14 am
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Jessica / April 16, 2014 at 10:45 am
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Saving Gigi!
Alice in Wonderland / April 18, 2014 at 01:32 am
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The ones in the main photo look like little cups of hardened concrete. When I see the proud gluten-free/vegan signs I just keep on walking. I know there is a market for that and I am happy for them to have that alternative, but it is a choice that I do not want.
Bob / April 18, 2014 at 12:37 pm
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I have had their muffins and they are hard pieces of concrete. Dry, hard, awful. Just like their cupcakes and….what is the hype? This is a hipster hangout and the demographic that would vote for this would be skewed and densely from the junction.
I just don't; get the press for these people.
peeta / April 24, 2014 at 08:50 pm
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Bunners is highly overrated. It is overpriced and I personally think baked goods that are gluten free are lacking in flavour. Mitzi's has the best muffins on the list.

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