Grodzinski Bakery is one of Toronto’s oldest and most historical kosher bakeries. Traditional items like challah and bubka are still made by hand here as well as elaborately decorated cupcakes and cookies.
It’s a bastion of the local Jewish community, mezuzahs adorning doorways. Its century of history globally and decades of existence within Toronto have solidified its position as one of the best Jewish bakeries in Toronto. It’s not stuffy or fancy at all in here, though, the space filled with yelling and camaraderie.
Wholesale is just as much a part of this business as retail, which is evident from the hubbub and clanging of carts on the multiple floors of this bakery, the production area of which can be seen slightly around the corner from the pastry case that runs the length of the store.
Cinnamon buns go by many names, and here they’re called “icy buns”: absolutely massive with a drizzle of sticky sweet icing that isn’t too gratuitous and a thick but airy coil of pastry, these heroes of the morning are $2.25 each or $8.95 for a tray.
Fresh, beautiful, sweet, moist and dense challah with a shining lacquered egg wash surface is the star of the show here.
Prices range from $3.30 for a small size to $35 for a huge five-pound simcha challah.
They also offer spelt, raisin and multigrain challah, and most are topped with poppy seeds, sesame seeds or powdery streusel, a mixture of fat, flour and sugar.
Grodzinski also does many varieties of full-size cakes from $6.50 honey cakes to slab cakes that can range up to nearly $200.
If you’re looking for a cookie with a specific theme, odds are you’ll find it here: at $2.50 each, designs on sugar cookies range from piano keys to soccer balls, bunnies, tea pots, flowers, butterflies, and the list goes on.
There are some traditionally Jewish savoury items here, too, like schmaltz herring, schmaltz herring with wine, spicy mustard herring and honey mustard herring (all roughly around $6). They do Israeli potato salad ($3.95) too.
In addition, savoury sandwiches and wraps made with their bread and packaged with little cornichons or cherry tomatoes are made in the basement, like this upper crust chicken breast on rye ($13.95).
The bakery actually all started as a market barrow in London, England run by Lithuanian immigrants, gradually growing to a shop in London, the original location of which was destroyed by war.
Grodzinski didn’t come to Toronto until 1999, where it’s now run by heir Daniel Grodzinski. Lovers of kosher baking are glad they did.