Sweet Gallery is considered one of the last truly vintage bake shops in Toronto to pump out traditional and intricate European treats.
Take a visit to the Etobicoke bakery to be whisked back in time to 1974, brass decor and retro tiles included.
Known for its old-school European treats, The Sweet Gallery was once a busy chain of multiple bake shops, started by the very talented Radenic Jelenic.
Immigrating to Toronto in 1967, Jelenic worked at a number of prestigious hotels like the Royal York and the Park Hyatt before opening his own shop focusing on his European roots.
He grew his business to five very-popular locations including Sweet Gallery's first location in Bloor West Village, Toronto's Eaton Centre, a facility in south Etobicoke, Queen's Quay Harbour and the fifth on Mount Pleasant.
Now, his son, Gordie, and wife, Angela work tirelessly to continue his legacy, traditions and pastry work in the shop near Kipling and Dundas.
The shop's two top coveted items and fan-favourites include the light-as-air Strawberry Romanoff cake and decadent Dobos Torte.
Sandwiched between layers of fluffy sponge and whip cream, the Strawberry Romanoff ($5.50 a slice) quickly flies off the shelf once it's baked in-house and ready to be sold. It's similar to a Strawberry Shortcake and just as tasty.
The Dobos Torte ($5.50 a slice) is a Hungarian layered cake. It's also made from sponge cake (seven layers to be exact) but this time on a vanilla biscuit, sandwiched with creamy hazelnut buttercream and topped with buttery caramel.
For Easter, you cannot go wrong with their intricate marzipan eggs, which are carefully decorated with intricate flowers and spring designs. They're more like a piece of art than a delectable dessert.
If, for some incredibly strange reason, none of these cakes or cookies appeal to you, don't fret.
There are literally dozens of more items Sweet Gallery does impeccably well like walnut croissants, rum balls, and flans. Pastries are priced between $4.45 and $4.90, while linzer cookies start at $1.
The Viennese strudels ($4.95) are incredibly popular.
They also make Christmas stollens, which are specially priced, and about 50 other items.
And don't forget about their roster of savoury items like Hungarian goulash ($9.50), quiches ($13), sandwiches ($12 to $13) and breakfast plates ($4 to $12).
While most pastries are sugar-forward, Sweet Gallery prides itself on authentic recipes that showcase nuts, homemade whipped cream and real Belgian chocolate - no stabilizers here.
Even the shop's atmosphere exudes a warm, homey feeling with a sweet fragrance, almost like visiting your grandmother who just baked a fresh batch of her famous cookies for your arrival.
With old newspaper articles highlighting the bake shop's heyday and decades-old family portraits on the wall, it's not hard to recognize that The Sweet Gallery is not only a Toronto stalwart but a family-run institution through and through.
Absolutely everything is made in-house and it's a laborious process to do so. However, once you try a bite of their creations, you'll be hooked on the love that's baked into them - and of course, the flavour.
For a taste of classic European pastries visit The Sweet Gallery at 350 Bering Avenue in Etobicoke.