Few basic life joys are as reliable as freshly made bread. Over the last decade, a sourdough boom has swept across Toronto, and the city is now blessed with a variety of new-school bakeries dedicated to creating bread the (very) old-school way, as well as numerous stalwarts famous for their time-tested processes and century-old starters. Here are our favorite locations to stock up on boules, baguettes, batards, and all breads in between, as well as other premium-quality baked items.
Blackbird Baking Co.
When Blackbird Baking Co. opened, decades before we all began making our own starters at home, sourdough was not revolutionary. However, everything changed when Simon Blackwell’s store opened in the heart of Kensington Market. The bakery initiated a new bread-buying craze in Toronto. The distinctive Blackbird sourdough has become the standard by which all other artisan loaves are evaluated. Blackbird Baking Co. offers a variety of boules, baguettes, and Pullman bread, as well as outstanding pastries, to bread aficionados. But the bakery’s most popular item is the oblong batard made from seeded sourdough. It is comprised of a powerful mixture of wheat, red fife flours, and nigella and pumpkin seeds.
Forno Cultura resembles a production kitchen and offers an abundance of baked delights, including Italian pastries and breads of various varieties. Additionally, they provide as a handy grocery store for Italian products such as imported olive oils. The processes of the bakers at this underground Italian bakery may be antiquated, yet they make innovative bread. The speciality is sourdough filone, smaller filoncini made with semilona flour, and long loaves with rounded edges. The bread is infused with substances reminiscent of Willy Wonka, such as squid ink, resulting in vibrant and tasty loaves. The filone al cacao, which is flavored with grape must and bitter chocolate chunks and then covered in poppy seeds, is unlike any other bread in town. Not to be overlooked are the rustic pizza slices, salumi-stuffed sandwiches, and assortment of biscotti and pastries.
King East’s Roselle Desserts specializes in Earl Grey-infused cakes, coffer caramel biscuits, and lemon tarts, to mention a few of its most popular desserts. This famous Toronto pastry store is accompanied with a wonderful love story. Bruce Lee and Stephanie Duong met and fell in love in France while working in restaurants with Michelin stars. In Corktown, they opened their first French-inspired, quirky, and contemporary pastry store four years later. In 2019, they later constructed its Queen West headquarters. From the banana cream eclair to the lemon tart, everything at Roselle is delicious. On the relatively short list of viennoiseries, however, the cinnamon kouign-amann is a must-try. It has layers of exquisitely caramelized crust, a very buttery and flaky surface, and a cinnamon dusting.
Almond Butterfly offers the greatest dairy-free and gluten-free pastries and croissants in Toronto for those who have dietary limitations but still want to enjoy delectable baked foods. After opening its Harbord location in 2014, this bakery makes gluten-free food taste wonderful. Almond Butterfly’s west-end locations, which are labeled as a bakery, bistro, and café, may accommodate your desires and dietary restrictions. Their exquisitely designed cupcakes come in a variety of flavors, including vegan chocolate cookie dough and strawberry milkshake without milk. Their naked cupcakes, sometimes called as muffins, are airy, fluffy, devoid of dairy, and delicious.