forno cultura toronto

Forno Cultura on Queen

Forno Cultura on Queen is the fifth outpost of the popular Toronto bakery serving Italian cookies, bread, and coffee. 

Each Forno has its own function — the Union Station location specializes in biscotti, the original King West location is the main production house for bread — but this is easily the brand's most interesting standalone store. 

forno cultura torontoTaking over an old truck rental shop (and brief home to a Sweet Olenka's pop-up shop), the bakery has transformed an old building with a moat-like parking lot into a sleek space full of arches, light, and more importantly, baked goods. 

forno cultura torontoToronto-based firm Ja Architects has kept up with Forno's signature minimalist look. Keeping the exterior industrial, they've brought some amazing accents inside, like vaulted windows with fading creases, and ash wood chairs from Finefolk Furniture

forno cultura torontoThe open kitchen lets you peer into the pastry production, watching the process from start to finish as you walk west along the bar. 

forno cultura torontoYou'll find all the usual Forno offerings here: shelves stocked with olive oil and jars of giardiniera bianca, 24 different types of cookies sold by weight ($6 per 100 grams), and loaves of bread. 

forno cultura torontoBut the staple here is the focaccia bread, which is made in cast iron-like pans at the King West location and brought over.

forno cultura torontoCurrently the only location to use these fluffy Pugliese breads for their sandwiches, you'll find a seasonal version that rotates daily, and another: the signature barese con patate e pomodori. 

forno cultura torontoThe roasted eggplant and zucchini sandwich on focaccia ($10.50) is olive oil-drenched, arugula heaven, with fresh mozzarella inside. 

forno cultura torontoThe mortadella sandwich ($10.50) has pickled veggies and emmental cheese. You can get either sandwich fresh or grilled. 

forno cultura torontoAlso signature to this Forno is the granita ($5): an icy, Italian coffee classic. You can only have it in-store (no to-go cups), so drink it quickly before it melts. 

forno cultura torontoThere's also cold brew ($5) served in a stainless steel cup. 

forno cultura torontoAs usual, there's a pourover station offering brews from Kenya, Ethiopia, or a rotating roaster. You can grab an espresso using Forno's Riserva espresso beans, or a cappuccino ($3.70). 

forno cultura torontoGrab it with some crostatas ($4 each). The apricot and chocolate hazelnut are staples, but a seasonal option (in this case, peach) might surprise you. 

forno cultura toronto

Photos by

Hector Vasquez

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