(A couple of weeks ago, I had the dream project of visiting the top bakeries in Roncesvalles and writing about them for Wabash, a lifestyle magazine for the western area of Toronto. Check out my reviews below, and pick up a copy of the summer issue of Wabash in the Roncesvalles area soon!)
Where to go to get your sugar fix.
What would birthdays, weddings, and um, every day in between be without a baked treat to offer a sweet touch of delight? Whether it’s a heavily-frosted cake, crisp baguette, savoury pie, or an anything-but-standard chocolate chip cookie you’re after, here are a few of the best sugar joints in Roncesvalles.
(Images provided by Wabash.)
Yummy Stuff – 1660 Queen St. W.
A hop off the 501 streetcar one stop east of Roncesvalles Avenue lands you candidly at an inviting sweetspot for local families and sweet-toothed commuters. Inside, an oversized cookie cutter, pink wall trimmings and a glass display case filled with chocolate, vanilla and rainbow-coloured treats lend a childlike charm to the quaint shop. Place an order for their city-renowned red velvet cakes, popular for birthdays, weddings, events, and holidays. Or, join the 6pm crowd where those journeying home acquire their sugar rush with buttercream cupcakes, seasonal pies and classic cookies.
Wisey’s Pies and Bakehouse – 43 Roncesvalles Ave.
Visiting and resident New Zealanders mix with urban locals at the New Zealand-inspired pie and bake shop. Sipping on Flat Whites (a down-under original, not a Starbucks original), they choose between the most popular savoury pies: steak and cheese or butter chicken, individual portion or family size. As for the dessert, a wise pick would be the Lamington – a sponge cake dipped in chocolate, or raspberry and white chocolate, and rolled in coconut – unless already tempted by one of their fruit-filled pie selections.
7th Sister Bakery – 53 Roncesvalles Ave
Shelves of bake sale-style treats, strings of mini lights and pet-focused knick knacks set the picturesque scene of sweet clutter in this cozy neighbourhood bakery. Both gluten-free folk and full-on sweet lovers are welcome with a wide selection of treats, sandwiches and soups available as your diet dictates. Stop by before noon or risk missing out on their Montreal-style bagels, feta cheese and spinach croissants and triple chocolate pecan brownies. Whether choosing something sweet, savoury or downright nutritious (hello green organic smoothies), you’re sure to leave with a delicious pick-me-up… and possibly a date. With one of the owners having a background in matchmaking, you have the chance to pick up more than a treat at one of their single mingle events.
Hot Oven Bakery – 177 Roncesvalles Ave.
One of four locations in the city, Hot Oven Bakery on Roncesvalles Avenue is lined up out the door and down the busy sidewalk every weeknight at 6pm, as their fresh, hand-crafted breads are offered at $2 a loaf. While in line, consider adding their number one seller to the order, an Orange Chiffon cake. It’s a ring-shaped sponge cake smothered in a sweet orange glaze: an idyllically refreshing summertime dessert.
Mabel’s Bakery – 323 Roncesvalles Ave.
Between Queen and Bloor on Roncesvalles Avenue lies a homey bakery offering a variety of prepared dinner dishes, fresh loaves of bread and country fair-style baked goods. Made from the highest quality ingredients and using local or organic options wherever possible, Mabel’s bakery is where Roncy residents turn to when craving a comforting, home-style dish. Go for their popular kale salad with mustard-lime dressing for lunch, pick up a seasonal pie for a friend’s dinner party or grab their chicken curry to treat yourself to a night out of the kitchen.
Through Being Cool – 1277 Bloor St. W
Offering vibrantly-glazed doughnuts, zap-and-go lasagnas and an assortment of fluffy baked treats, this 100% vegan hotspot has understandably earned quite the following from both the animal-free pack as well as the diet-less crowd. Using mainly local and organic ingredients, their goods are baked in-house in the AM and again at noon to replenish their quickly sold-out selections (here’s looking at you, signature pizza rolls) and offer fresh picks all day long.
Glory Holes Doughnuts – 1596 Queen St. W
There are twelve doughnut options of ingenious combinations all glazed, iced and adorned to tantalizing rightness, at the highly praised retro-style shop on Queen West. Handmade fresh every day with natural ingredients, their creative flavours are changed at the start of each new season, providing customers fans with perpetual reasons to revisit. But don’t worry, their top sellers – toast and butter, topped with brown butter frosting, bread crumbs and cinnamon, and their PB and J, topped with peanut butter cream cheese frosting, raspberry jelly and cinnamon – are up for grabs year round, granted you get there before they’ve sold out.