8 places to pick up artisanal products in Toronto
Artisanal products in Toronto are not, by any means, new (have you ever counted just how many places purport to create artisanal breads and pastries?), but they are expanding into new realms. Suddenly Toronto is plush with countless options for homemade gelato (not just on College), hand-pulled mozzarella, and exquisitely crafted chocolates and treats. While "artisanal" often translates to a few figures left of the decimal (see "$10 grilled cheese," below), the difference, to the discerning taste bud, is usually bar none.
Here are some of the newest spots to pick up artisanal products in Toronto.
Cheesewerks does artisan right down to its soda. The lower Bathurst grilled cheese shop creates divine sandwiches using fine cheeses and artisan breads, with bowls of house-made soup and hand-crafted sodas to go alongside. While artisan does not come cheap at Cheesewerks (yes, cheese and bread can actually cost more than $10), there's house-made ketchup to soften the blow.
Yes, "artisanal" is not limited to dainty breads and cheeses; Wvrst proves that sausage fests can indeed entice the foodie elites. Its menu offers 20 types of specialty sausages including kangaroo, pheasant, and dijon red pepper venison, with buns from Golden Wheat Bakery and plenty of local brews (and more) to wash it all down.
There are more than a few artisanal bread makers in Toronto, of course, but how many can say they started out with a homemade hearth in their backyard? The couple behind Cliffside Hearth graduated to industrial equipment last year, but they still do all of the rolling by hand and stick to the same backyard tactics that earned them such Scarborough esteem. Red fife loaves, golden raisin bread, and gourmet buttermilk hamburger buns are just a few of Cliffside Hearth's rising (pun intended) masterpieces.
SOMA opened a second location less than one year ago, granting the King West community easy access to its handcrafted chocolate and truffles. While most kept their gazes affixed to the shiny displays of dark seduction, a perceptive few might have also noticed the spread of fresh gelato, which SOMA prepares using natural ingredients including fresh and seasonal nuts and fruits.
Arte Gelato and Caffe
Speaking of gelato, Sebastian Silvestro joined the handcrafted Italian ice market this past September, bringing more than 45 flavours to the Bloor and Ossignton community. Silvestro spent decades working with his hands in the field of sewing machine repairs, since devoting them to a much more delicious enterprise in his creamy tiramisu, lemon, and raspberry gelato. Made on-site the old fashioned way.
Obika Mozzarella Bar
Front and centre at Obika Mozzarella Bar is its Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, naturally. The international cheese bar landed in Canada about one year ago, bringing with it hand-kneaded cheeses from Italy delivered twice a week. The mozzarella can be paired with a number of other artisanal products including handmade pastas, pizzas, and soups.
Stasis Local Foods
Stasis takes seasonal Ontario-grown produce and turns it into jams and spreads that can be enjoyed throughout the year; it's artisanal, local, green, natural, and all sorts of other descriptive buzz words that would make any PR guru squeal. Truthfully, though, it's just about quality cooking for Julian Katz, who pairs his preserves with other artisanal products including fine cheeses, breads, oils, and crackers.
Consider this the epicenter of artisan with food, clothing, crafts, and design all in one space. Opened this past December in the heart of Leslieville, Daniel Cohen had a vision of a year-round One of a Kind Show â and he made it happen. While the vendors do change from time to time, you can count on Arts Market for handcrafted chocolates and candies, homemade preserves, one-of-a-kind furniture design, and lots of clothes and knick-knacks.
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