Super Bakers is a family-run bakery making empanadas and hopia: Filipino dessert buns filled with sweet paste.
Working out of an unassuming strip mall on the Queensway, this homey takeout counter has become a staple for flaky, delicious Filipino pastries.
Stepping into Super Bakers is like walking into your favourite auntie's living room. A comfy white couch beckons you forward, and flowers on the counter are hand-picked from the owner Mila Jazrawy's own backyard.
As with many Filipino establishments, there's a little section dedicated to kitchen essentials like packets of Mama Sita's seasoning and sinigang mix.
Jazrawy took over the original business in 2004, buying the recipe from its previous owner, a George Brown graduate from the Philippines.
They've been using the same recipe since then. Head to the kitchen (there's an entire wall dedicated to family photos there) and you'll find Jazrawy's sister and brother-in-law, Ma and Joe Garcia, working on the dough.
Their version of the colonial crossover food takes the Spanish empanada—most commonly stuffed with just meat, and sometimes cheese—and fills the plain dough with a base mix of potatoes, peas, and carrots.
It's either chicken or pork: you can buy them individually ($2 each) or by the dozen ($21).
They'll also have an occasional vegetarian version for the plant-based eater, filled with greens like kale or quinoa. Flakier and slightly sweet, these baked pockets feel less heavy than the Spanish version. The crispy corners of the crust are my favourite part.
The second menu item is hopia, which are small bites made from the same dough as the empanadas.
You can get them filled with paste made from mung bean or candied winter melon ($1.35 each), or purple yam ($1.60 each), delivered straight from the Philippines.
They're filling and dense, but not overly sweet. The yellowish mung bean filling is surprisingly my favourite, though they're pretty much all equally delicious.
According to Jazrawy, they bake up about 50 pans of empanadas a week, which isn't surprising considering they don't do wholesale, and these delicious home-baked goods make the perfect party favour.