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Best of Toronto

The Best Portuguese Bakeries in Toronto

Posted by Robyn Urback / August 1, 2011

Portuguese bakeries torontoThe best Portuguese bakeries in Toronto have to offer more than just a good custard tart. While quality pastel de nata is certainly a must-have, it's the ambiance that can define whether a Portuguese bakery in Toronto is truly great. Personally, I like to feel as though I'm getting the full experience of my custard tart or malasada, so if that means listening to conversations I don't understand, watching TV shows I can't follow, or flipping through magazines about people I've never seen, I'm more than happy to endure if it means a taste (no pun intended) of the authentic.

Many of the bakeries that have made it on this list exude just that, plus they each can bake up something fierce. Here is the list of the best Portuguese bakeries in Toronto.

See also:

The best Portuguese custard tarts in Toronto.

Venezia Bakery

Venezia Bakery

Amazing, amazing pastel de nata (custard tarts), so don't be put off by the bland exterior. Venezia Bakery is probably the further thing from hip and trendy, but that only adds to its charm. A classic mom and pop that's been on Ossington before Ossington became Ossington, Venezia Bakery offers lots of sweet treats, along with sandwiches, breads, and espresso. More »

Doce Minho

Doce Minho

Doce Minho is the place to go if you're looking for a Portuguese gossip fix (and I'm not talking about the banter on the patio). With all the best rumour rags straight from Portugal, you can feel like you're getting a taste of life across the Atlantic each time you stop in to pick up a loaf of cornbread. More »

Brazil Bakery

Brazil Bakery

Brazil Bakery is one that certainly takes pride in its bread. There are stacks of them--cornbreads, buns, and other loaves--but I don't know if it's enough to distract from Brazil's decadent desserts. There are lots of Bolos de Arroz (Portuguese rice muffins) Folhados Travesseiros (apple turnovers), and of course, lots of custard tarts dusted with sugar. More »

Nova Era

Nova Era

With six Toronto locations, Nova Era is less old-school mom and pop charm and more free WiFi and burgeoning business, but that doesn't make its pastries any less delicious. Nova is famous for its cornbread, though it also makes rye, multigrain, fibre, and more, as well as tarts, squares, mousses, and cakes. And there's a giant tree in its Rogers Road location. Authentically Portuguese? More »

Caldense Bakery

Caldense Bakery

Caldense, like Nova Era, is a growing Toronto enterprise, in business since 1968 with several locations throughout the GTA. You'll find Portuguese buns, sweet bread, and custard tarts whenever you drop by, or else can order up a fresh sandwich, such as presunto or roast beef, on a soft, bakery-made bun. More »

Courense Bakery

Courense Bakery

Courense is one of those places that always boasts a great atmosphere with lots of seating and customers munching and sipping away. Courense offers many Portuguese favourites, including beef rissoles, cod croquettes, cakes, and pastries, and its custard tarts are good enough to be found at various places throughout Toronto. More »

Seara Bakery

Seara Bakery

While we all love freshly made, Seara Bakery does have an already prepared favourite on hand - Chocapic cereal. It's akin to chocolate Frosted Flakes, and terribly popular in parts of Europe and Latin America. Seara does make its own pastries, breads, and buns, however, and you should expect them alongside some vibrant conversation emanating from tables by the window or outside the front door. More »

Alcoa Bakery

Alcoa Bakery

Alcoa Bakery at Ossington and Davenport has a little bit of everything, including deli meats, pantry items, dry goods, and lots of baked treats. Known again for its custard tarts, Alcoa makes them crispy and creamy--and just a little burnt--which, of course, is the authentic Portuguese way. More »

Jack's Bakery & Pastry

Jack's Bakery & Pastry

Jack's is the Portuguese bakery for those late-night cornbread cravings (do those exist?) since the Oakwood shop is open all hours of the night. Jack's is a neighbourhood favourite with many regulars chatting away or watching Portuguese TV, and the custards, unsurprisingly, are usually the top-sell. More »

Discussion

19 Comments

morga / August 1, 2011 at 11:29 am
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#1 sells day old baked goods. Don't bother with anything but the Pastel de nata.
Nata is gross / August 1, 2011 at 11:48 am
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I've yet to find a Portuguese dessert that I'm crazy about.
infernalmachine replying to a comment from Nata is gross / August 1, 2011 at 12:26 pm
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you bothered to post that you think pastels da natas are gross? why did you even click on the "Best Portuguese Bakeries" thread in the first place? please retreat to troll-land and stop wasting our time.
DaughteroftheNonLight / August 1, 2011 at 01:33 pm
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I went to Venezia once and found myself alerting them to the moldy food housed in their display case. Not sure how this place made it to #1.
What? / August 1, 2011 at 03:02 pm
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I'm honestly shocked by the inclusion of Venezia. Venezia is certainly an authentic Portuguese bakery. But it's awful. Pastries are never discarded; they sit until someone buys them. You want one day-old doughnut? At any time of the day or night (I've been in there first thing in the morning, same deal)? They've got it for you. Yum! You want to know what's on offer? Hope you speak Portuguese, because the clerk/owner will just look at you if you ask in English.

This is quite frankly one of the worst bakeries I've ever been in. I wanted to like it, because I live very nearby.... but no, it's just bad. I assume it's still in business because they own the building and don't pay rent.
gorf replying to a comment from What? / August 1, 2011 at 03:55 pm
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I just got home from Venezia with a loaf of fresh baked bread as well as some great cheeses and meats. I only spoke English and was greeted with a friendly smile and attitude.
Kenny / August 1, 2011 at 04:50 pm
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This was an interesting. Being from a Portuguese family, I read this ranking to them and we all came to a consensus that Doce Minho is the best bakery hands down because they make all their items to true Portuguese recipes. No disrespect to the other bakeries but Doce Minho is number 1!!!

Also just a quick note about the natas, they are all basically made by the same two or three bakeries around Toronto and delivered. The reason being is that to make the custard is very delicate process, can be time consuming and expensive, so it just makes more sense for some bakeries to just buy them from somewhere else. So a nata at one place could be exactly the same as another so judging a place on it's nata wouldn't be my first criteria to judge a bakery on.

Just my two cents....
sandra / August 2, 2011 at 06:32 am
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It sounds like the reviewer(s) has never had an authentic Nata or is not familiar with real Portuguese baked goods. Venezia is definitely not the best Portuguese bakery in town.
the lemur / August 2, 2011 at 11:22 am
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Aargh, stop calling them 'natas'. That's like calling custard tarts 'custards'.
Harry B / August 2, 2011 at 03:25 pm
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Like many others on this thread, I truly don't understand how Venezia made it on this list. That place is terrible. Then again if you're looking for old stale bread, it would be #1. As far as natas are concerned Kenny is right. Unfortunately, even in Portugal these are no longer made in house in many cafes. If you like flaky and crispy outside go to Brazil bakery, if you like the custard go to Nova Era (which has terrible customer service).

Honestly, I think these top ten lists seem to be randomly aggregated. I tried following a couple of these lists but the recommendations were truly disappointing.
Seishin / August 3, 2011 at 04:39 pm
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Been to all of these, and would rank them as Doce Minho for the pasteis nata, Seara's for their pasteis de bacalhau (cod pastries), then Courense.
Sunny / August 3, 2011 at 11:05 pm
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I went to Jack's once and got their pastel de nata, as well I asked the girl who was working there at the time what she would recommend. She suggested the chocolate eclair. The pastel de nat a was alright. Unfortunately, the eclair was cold and stale. Definitely not going back again.
SNEAKERS SHOP / August 9, 2011 at 05:39 am
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I have not found a Portuguese dessert shop, I was going crazy, I eat dessert! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Jimmy Choo / August 14, 2011 at 11:40 pm
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Just my two cents....
Jimmy Choo / August 14, 2011 at 11:40 pm
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JUST my two cents.................
UGGS UK / August 17, 2011 at 07:06 am
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(which has terrible customer service).
Barbara / December 12, 2011 at 07:06 pm
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Nova era should NOT be ranked #4!!! Everything there is amazing, there is no reason for #4!!!
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 11:36 pm
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I went to Venezia once and found myself alerting them to the moldy food housed in their display case. Not sure how this place made it to #1.
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