Commisso Brothers

Commisso Brothers

Commisso Brothers & Racco Italian Bakery is a Castlefield Design District stalwart, offering everything from Italian groceries to fresh baked bread to veal sandwiches, available 24 hours a day. 

Home to a famous Italian hot table, the Commisso family has been operating this spacious corner store since 1964, in partnership with the now deceased Giuseppe Racco.

commisso brothersThere's a second location of the bakery on Eddystone Avenue in North York that's less popular for food and, perhaps, better known as the place where Giuseppe Racco was fatally shot in 2000. 

His business partner Franco Pizzimenti was shot to death in the same way just two years later, but here, in the parking lot of the Kincort location.

commisso bros raccoIt's a dramatic story, yet nothing about the shops's humble convenience store-look lends to any of that information. Stocking dried goods like packs of egg pasta and condiments, the store is more of an active community member than an establishment with a violent past. 

They even import goods from Italy, largely to the benefit of the population of Italians and Portuguese that have long dominated this area.

These days, the cash-only establishment is run jointly by the original owner's sons: Joe, Frank, and Mike Commisso. 

commisso bros raccoAnd in a way, everything here feels familial and genuine, despite being a little rough around the edges.

Housemade treats like Portuguese tarts beckon from a corner display full of cheesecake and Commisso's famous cannolis. In the centre of the main aisle you'll also find an olive bar – because it's not a real Italian joint without olives. 

commisso bros raccoOf course, the hot table is the main attraction here, and you'll find huge lineups here during lunch hours comprised of construction workers, contractors and designers from neighbouring businesses in the Castlefield Design District. 

commisso bros raccoLasagna, meat tortellini, parisienne potatoes, arancini and calzones are all on the menu here, many doused in Commisso's renowned tomato sauce.

Stuffed with cheese and mushroom, the veal sandwich is the star of the show: many will boast it's worth waiting in line for any time of the day (Commisso's gets plenty of post-party customers at night). 
commisso bros raccoAround the corner are the cold cuts and cheese, along with a selection of olive oil imported from Italy. commisso bros raccoAs you near the back of the store, you'll see a doorway that leads into the spartan bread area.

commisso bros raccoHere, the self-serve bakery features racks of traditional loaves and pizza bread. Prepare for the delectable smell of freshly made bread: a rare treat for the urban nose.

Grab some buns and take your meal outside to eat in the spacious parking lot. Just pop your trunk open, sit on the ledge and eat your veal sandwich there, like the regulars do.

commisso bros racco

Photos by

Tanya Mok

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