The Best New Bakeries in Toronto, 2010
The best new bakeries in Toronto will sell you everything from a Louis XIV wedding cake to a humble oatmeal raisin cookie, but they all prove that, talk of recession notwithstanding, we can't be doing that badly if there are so many new shops willing to cater to our sweet tooth, whether it's sweetened with agave or plain old white sugar.
Wedding cakes might be tending to a baroque sumptuousness, but the standard for baked goods is comfort food simple - gypsy cookies and scones and muffins straight out of a stained, well-used Betty Crocker cookbook. This latter-day love of bygone baking probably explains why the biggest trend in our new bakeshops is the Red Velvet cake, once a best-seller in the food court at Eaton's during and after WW2.
Here are the best bakeries that opened in Toronto in 2010.
The Junction’s tiny vegan, dairy and gluten-free bakery has to work hard to deliver flavour, but it delivers, with traditional-styled baked goods like their everything-but-the-kitchen-sink gypsy cookies, which are almost too much for one mouth. Locals know to get there early, as stock sells out at least once a day.
Big and light-filled, this Leslieville wedding cake specialist also offers a selection of perfect little pastries, like their rainbow of macarons in shades from pistachio to passion fruit to double chocolate. Cold winter months also see a run on caramelized homemade vanilla marshmallows floating in hot chocolate. Go ahead, read that sentence one more time.
The amazing thing isn’t just that the cupcake trend has proved to have such legs, but that it’s actually seen some real innovation, in places like this Liberty Village shop. Alongside cupcake classics like the inevitable red velvet, there are manly variations on this girly staple, flavoured with stout and bacon that are as good as you imagine.
With just a few stools, this tiny Wychwood shop does most of its business take-out, and doubles down on the comfort food baking, from savoury treats like cheese straws and hand-cut potato chips, to candy-studded clusters, Smartie cookies, and a dense, rich butter tart that will give your dentist nightmares.
Clean-lined and perfectly presented, this West Queen West cupcakery eschews excessive ornamentation in favour of simple icing swirls, dustings of sprinkles and drizzles of chocolate. Julia Child would be proud, as they proudly use butter to maximize flavour, and offer – yes – a rich little red velvet cupcake.
Big and open, this Danforth and Woodbine bake shop aims for the goods that once dominated Toronto bakeries – big, dense scones, thick, dome-shaped cookies, danishes, date squares, brownies and butter tarts. Their Red Velvet cake comes with berries, and their pizzas studded with black olives – little revolutions that thankfully don’t overthrow the glorious old order.
There’s retro and then there’s traditional, and Paris opts for the latter, moving into an established bakery space on the border between Bloordale and the Junction Triangle with a tried-and-true Portuguese padaria. Everything’s here, from the corn and sweet breads to the cod fritters and custard tarts that are a new contender for the best in the city.
Join the conversation Load comments