Your Favorite Loaf
It seems the price of a decent loaf of bread in the GTA nowadays is about $3.50-$4 or thereabouts. Some designer loaves are higher, some ethnic loaves somewhat lower. I'd be intrigued to learn which loaves Chowhounders regard as their favorites from bakeries across Toronto. Whether under or above the $4 average, let them be loaves you continually go back to for their consistently good taste and which you regard as well worth the price, whatever it might be.
And just to start us off, let me mention my favorite, the Calabrese loaf by Nino D'Aversa, which I stumbled upon a few years ago. Nino D'Aversa's is a small chain of Italian bakeries whose loaves are also available at Highland Farms (I get mine at Highland Farms on north Dufferin St.) and perhaps other major markets as well. For $1.89, it's a big loaf with a good crunchy crust and airy, slightly chewy innards that seems to keep its taste and flavor for four or five days, and, even after five days, still makes good toast for several days more. In my view, a mad buy, though not something I buy every time out, variety being important. But I always come back evertually to that Calabrese loaf.
So what's yours?
I love the fig and almond with raisin loaf from Ace bakery ($5.99), the portuguese corn bread from Carousel in St Lawrence ($2.99 I think) and the olive fougasse from Brick St Bakery ($2.99 for the small loaf I think?). I also love the foccacia they serve at Five Doors North. I always order the mussels just so I can dip the bread in the broth. Yum. I would love to find a chocolate bread in Toronto equivalent to Olive & Gourmando's one made with valhrona chocolate ($6.00). I used to trek over to the farmer's market at Nathan Phillip's every Wednesday last year for the fruit and nut loaf from Farmer's Daughter ($6.25). They broke my heart this year when they didn't come back to the market :-(
I'm going to let you in on one of my secrets. There is an Asiago/Pepper bread made at the Whole Foods Market in Yorkville that is absolutely one of the best breads in the city, in my opinion. I think it's pricy but boy is it worth it, I have trouble getting it home intact because it smells so good I have to resist the urge to pick off the cheesy crust while I'm on the subway. The funny thing is, I don't believe anyone ever mentions Whole Foods breads on thier list of best breads in the city. I tried more than the Asiago bread and I think they're all really great. They're made on the premises and I don't believe that they've gone to the pre-frozen route which ruined Ace bakery for me.
For a simple white bread I love St John's Brie Loaf.
St John's Bakery
155 Broadview Ave, Toronto, ON M4M, CA
Ace bakery's fig and almond loaf is amazing. It's pretty much dessert! They also on bake a great baguette. It's now availble pretty much everywhere.
Stonemill at St Lawerence Market makes a great cheese loaf (approx $4.00). Now that I think of it I should've picked on up this morning. It makes a super decadent grilled cheese.