The Best New Bakeries in Toronto, 2013
The best new bakeries that opened in Toronto during the past 12 months haven't, for the most part, heard of the wheat belly phenomenon. Ditto on the idea that you should either be cutting out sugar, or chocolate or dairy or that cupcakes and doughnuts are no longer "cool." They all threw caution to the wind somehow and opened up anyway, and secretly, or not-so secretly, we are happier for it.
These best bakeries run the gamut, from vegan to gluten-free, chocolate-focused or pie-crazy, Italian, Japanese French, relatively guilt-free or totally gluttonous. Whatever the style, each place will certainly have a bevy of treats with which to shut your cake hole.
Here are the best new bakeries in Toronto from 2013.
Situated in a basement off King West, you walk down and find yourself right inside the production. The oven is front and centre, with the bread and pastry counter continually getting fresh and hot top-ups of the scrumptious offerings. Try the corn and anise loaf, or the sourdough - called filone integrale. I hate anything too sweet, but here the balance is achieved between tantalizing and cloying.
The latest addition to the Terroni empire, Sud Forno is right next door to the original Queen Street location. The pastries are Italian classics - bomboloni-custard and nutella filled doughnuts, bigne, slices of pizza and beautiful breakfast croissants and sandwiches. Crusty Italian bread, rustic seed and whole grain breads sit in sophisticated repose on wooden dowelling. Take home potted jams, imported amaretti, pastas and other Italian products displayed to great effect on the towering dark wood shelving.
Take away the cream, the butter, the honey, the eggs and you take away the taste, right? Not if you are as savvy a bakery as Through Being Cool Vegan Baking Co. The name alone is a mouthful! Owner and head baker Amanda Somerville sold to Sadie's Diner before beginning TBC, but the line has expanded greatly since she opened up her old-timey shoppe. In addition to the baked goods there are take-away casseroles and lasagnes, but seriously, those pizza rolls, those doughnuts - they'd make a vegan convert out of anyone.
Well, you don't have to be a genius to figure out what this Queensway shop specializes in. Not sweet, however, but savoury pies - five in total - braised beef rib pie, beef n' beer, butter chicken, Canadian cheddar and bacon mash, and vegetarian, all harkening back to our colonial past. Flaky crust hides the meaty insides. You can have the pies there or take them cold to cook later in your own oven.
de Floured owner Krista Tobias and her partner Chris Brown began by experimenting with gluten-free baking when Tobias herself was found to be gluten intolerant. Fast-forward four years, and after many seasons serving their perfected creations at farmers' markets across the city, they've found permanent digs on the far west tip of College Street. Famous for their savoury gallettes and chocolate chip cookies, de Floured continues to add new items to their gluten-free roster.
Any new bagel joint is divisive - will it serve Montreal-style or New York-style or those dreaded dough balls on offer at grocery stores? Thankfully Nu Bugel in Kensington market serves the Montreal-style, boiled and wood fired in their huge oven. Thin, chewy rings with that sheen of crust, you can take mix and match and take them to go, or sit in the cafe and have them make you up the classic lox and cream cheese, or the college favourite hummus.
Begun in Calgary as Canada's premier gourmet doughnut shop, Jelly Modern Doughnuts took up shop on College Street this past year and at Holt Renfrew, too. Sleek modern interior belies the gooey truth, display cases chock-a-block with yeast and cake doughnuts, hand-dipped, hand-filled and criminally good. Try flavours like maple bacon, whoopee pie, creme brulee or Madagascar bourbon vanilla. They make sandwiches too, but why? Why I ask you, when you could stuff yourself with so many different types of doughnuts?
A Japanese Patisserie did you say? How odd, and, as it turns out, oddly good. Combining the best of both worlds- the restrained toothsomeness of Japanese desserts, with the delectable pomp traditional to a French patisserie, mon K Patisserie aims to bridge any palate gap. Husband and wife baker owners Ryosuke and Naomi Kita opened in their neighbourhood of East York but they've had no problem with customers making the trek for their macaroons, eclairs and croissants.
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