La Rosa Chilena Toronto

La Rosa Chilena

La Rosa Chilena is an extremely tiny, unassuming Chilean bakery that’s been around for decades. They still make all their baked goods in the oven that originally came with the space, a relic from when it was a wholesale Italian bakery.

While they make alfajores and other products here recognizable from Latin American bakeries in general, they also make and carry specific Chilean products like Chilean empanadas.

La Rosa Chilena Toronto

The tiny space mostly has baked goods on one side and grocery items on the other, but it’s all a mish-mash of litre soda bottles, marmalade in bags, and preserved Chilean fruit, a baker making the occasional appearance to deposit a fresh batch of baked goods, which are all made in the back and basement.

La Rosa Chilena Toronto

Small, round Chilean breads (50 cents each, $6 for a dozen) are typically eaten with butter for tea, or made into sandwiches. You’ll notice most bread here has little holes poked in it, done with a special rolling pin or else the bread would shrink to half the size during baking.

La Rosa Chilena Toronto

Milagros (which means “miracles”) are the same price, salty, bready spirals.

La Rosa Chilena Toronto

Brazo reina (which, awesomely, means “arm of the queen”) is sponge rolled into a spiral around dulce de leche, $18 for a full log and $1.80 per slice. The crumbly, sweet cake goes excellently with coffee.

La Rosa Chilena Toronto

The basement is where the magic of making typical Chilean-style empanadas by hand takes place.

La Rosa Chilena Toronto

They’re stuffed with slow braised ground beef mixed with onions, a slice of hard-boiled egg and a pitted black olive. 

La Rosa Chilena Toronto

Chilean empanadas are recognizable because of their rectangular shape: apparently every country that makes empanadas makes them in a slightly different shape, and this one is the most complicated.

Rosa Chilena TorontoThe filling of the steamy, crusty empanada is very oniony, creamy from the egg and salty from the olive.

La Rosa Chilena Toronto

Milhojas ($1.80) have a type of dulce de leche called manjar, which is thicker, in the middle and on the outside. It’s dusted with icing sugar, a sweet and messy bomb, and apparently it even comes in a cake size.

La Rosa Chilena Toronto

The store also stocks a ton of imported Chilean candy, including popular Super 8’s made by Nestle and banana chocolate lollipops.

La Rosa Chilena Toronto

Pap and Bilz are two popular and surprisingly tasty Chilean sodas, which mostly taste like cream soda.

La Rosa Chilena TorontoOther than that Chileans mostly drink lots of instant coffee, which they have imported here.

La Rosa Chilena Toronto

The bitterness is made palatable with liquid sugar.

La Rosa Chilena Toronto

La Rosa Chilena has always been owned by the Farias family, and however much they’ve been begged they don’t do resale or wholesale as it puts a huge strain on the process of baking by hand.

La Rosa Chilena Toronto

Photos by

Hector Vasquez


La Rosa Chilena

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