Note: Please be aware R Bakery has moved and renovated a new space. The photos and information here may not be up to date; call ahead to ensure what you will be receiving upon visit.
R Bakery is a relatively new bakery and deli on Marlee Avenue that's destined to become a neighbourhood favourite. It's not too chic or pretentious, but rather it delivers delicious, high quality baked goods at some pretty common sense prices. Plus, everything is made in house and from scratch.
The bakery isn't very deep, with only a few steps from front door to main counter. But, what it lacks in depth, it makes up for in width. And the bakery display counter stretches practically the whole way. Now, they don't have any flyers or catalogues and their inventory is just too large to list, but I just wanted to press my hands and nose up against the glass and start drooling because everything just looked so good.
With a great selection of pies, cakes, tarts and squares, I had a pretty difficult time deciding what I wanted to try. I wasn't sure if I should go big and pick up an impressive looking black forest cake or an equally tempting strawberry shortcake ($24.99 each for 6") or maybe go for some of the smaller offerings.
I finally settled on some of the smaller squares. I chose a tiramisu, a mango square, a cream tart and a baba (polish yeast cake). At $1.25 each, the squares are really large and excellent value. In order to spare my waistline, I served them at a gathering I held later in the week. The tiramisu and the mango square went over really well. They were actually so big I cut them into smaller pieces before I laid them out on my plate. Everything tasted really fresh, not too sweet or rich. It really made me glad that I had company to avoid eating all of these myself.
R Bakery also offers fresh bread, rolls and a small lunch menu. For $5.99 they will make a chicken or steak on a bun, and they offer soup, salads and a few other cold cut sandwiches. There is also a reasonable selection of cold drinks, coffees and teas and there are a few tables and chairs available.
It's impossible to take in and see everything inside R Bakery's display cases. It's completely packed, but well-laid out at the same time. In addition to the squares, I also saw some homemade pies, some decorated specialty cakes and the guaranteed crowd-pleaser, the custard tart.
R Bakery is the type of practical and attractive bakery that is sure to satisfy everyone's cravings. I just don't have the stomach anymore for those overly frilly or pretentious shops, and I've never been a big fan of those sad bakeries that still somehow manage to smell like cigarette smoke.
R Bakery is that perfect spot between well-lit fridges and cabinets, but simple and unassuming seating that makes me wish I lived just around the corner from this sort of shop. Thankfully, it's just a short walk from the south entrance to Glencairn subway station, so next time I'm heading north and need a coffee, a pastry or a sandwich, then I will be sure to stop by.
Photos by Dennis Marciniak