Looking for a little something-something to sweeten up your day? Let us help with some pastry recommendations from some of Toronto’s top bakeries and cafes! Toronto’s pastries are like edible works of art and are perfect for pick-up. Not to mention it’s always great to support local businesses – especially ones this sweet! So with that in mind, here’s 12 Unmissable Pastries and where you can find them in Toronto (in no particular order).
1. Roselle Desserts: Madeleines
This fun and modern french pastry shop near the Distillery District offers all sorts of goodies – it was hard to just pick one! Of the many tasty offerings, we’d recommend the madelines which are either glazed with lemon or raspberry.
2. Nugateau: Ispahan Paris Brest Cake
Nuagateau is Canada’s first all-eclair Patisserie and it’s products are almost too beautiful to eat (almost). The Ispahan Paris Brest Cake is no exception. It is filled with raspberry rose and mascarpone ganache, whipped lychee ganache, raspberry rose and lychee gelee, and topped with a rose petal. The original Paris-Brest cake was created to look like a bicycle tire in honour of the bike race from Paris to the coastal town of Brest. This mix of flavours inspired by ancient Persia replaces the traditional hazelnut flavour.
3. Rahier Patisserie: Clementine or Amelie Cake
In the heart of Leaside, Rahier Patisserie offers stunning artisanal European fare. The Amelie and Clementine cakes stand out with their cheerful colours and are sure to delight fans of fruity desserts. They also come in different sizes by advance order, so whether you’re just looking for an individual cake or are catering to a group, there’s an option ready for the picking.
4. Butter Avenue: St. Honoré Pistachio Tart
This tart is topped with Butter Avenue’s signature raspberry macarons – it’s the crossover we didn’t know we needed. Filled with Creme Chantilly pistachio and fresh mixed berries it’s a refreshingly light tart that we think is a must-try.
5. Little Pebbles: Cannele Box (6 flavours)
Cannele is a French pastry from the Bordeaux region where they are a regional pride. And for good reason too – they are truly textural masterpieces. The canneles at Little Pebbles in Kensington Market are inspired by Japanese flavours and we recommend not trying just one, or two, but going for the box of six to sample all the delicious variations. The ensemble flavours include: vanilla rhum, earl grey, matcha, salted caramel, banana, and Mont Blanc (a traditional Japanese-style chestnut puree).
6. Neo Coffee: Japanese Roll Cakes
With a menu of up to 10 different roll cakes at a time, Neo Coffee Bar is the place to go for this spongetastic treat. It’s also worth noting that all of their house-made pastries are made with organic whole wheat pastry flour, organic free-range eggs, organic cane sugar, and organic milk.
7. Sud Forno: Bombolini with Custard or Nutella
You’re in for a nice surprise if you haven’t yet tried the Bombolini at Sud Forno. These mini sweet buns are fried and filled with either vanilla pastry cream or nutella. And because they’re mini you really should try both! For the Canadians reading this, we give you a gourmet upgrade on your Timbit.
8. The Tempered Room: Almond Croissant
Advertised at the best croissants in Toronto, our expectations were high for this Parkdale pastry, and boy were they met. The taste, texture, flakiness, and caramelization is perfect thanks to the team of experienced bakers and pastry chefs. What’s more impressive is that they get it right without fancy machines or temperature controlled anything. They literally pound frozen butter with rolling pins. We appreciate the effort!
9. Patisserie Royale: Baklava Heaven
Live like a royal with an assorted baklava tray from Patisserie Royale. This mixture of baklava offers a taste of Assabeh, Borma, Mafroukeh, and Swar. You’ll be an expert by the time you’re through!
10. Millie Creperie: Matcha Mille Crepe Cake
The matcha Mille Crepe cake is a delicate, hand-made assembly of twenty paper-thin crepes with pastry creme between each layer. The matcha crepe cake in particular is made with premium, stone-ground green tea imported from Japan. Itadakimasu!
11. Le Gourmand: Financier
Le Gourmand is a busy meeting spot near the intersection of Queen St. West and Spadina. They are known for one of the best chocolate chip cookies in the city, but they are also flexing their pastry making skills producing traditional French patisserie.
Try the Financier, a brown butter almond cake made in the shape of a gold bar. An ancient treat said to have been renamed in Paris as it became popular near the stock exchange for business people who wanted a durable cake that could last in their pocket!
12. Venezia Bakery: Pastel de Nata
Venezia Bakery on Ossington is the go-to spot for Portugese breads, pastries, and tons of specialty grocery items. And you’d better think again if you plan on leaving the bakery without a historic Portuguese custard tart (Pastel de Nata). They are, in fact, amazing.
So are you craving pastries yet? If the answer is yes, why not amp up your exploration by joining a Pastry Crawl led by a passionate foodie guide! You’ll eat your way through Queen West while hearing the stories behind your favourite treats. And if this sounds like the perfect experience for someone in your life, we also have gift certificates!