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best bakery?? midtown or downtown?

f
freelancer Jun 9, 2011 08:53 AM

What i do miss about home is I now don't know where the best bakeries are! Specifically looking for a place that makes awesome brown or multigrain artisan breads. Are there any places within the yonge - eg - mt pleasant or downtown area? A patisierre would be nice too!

  1. f
    freelancer Sep 19, 2011 03:45 PM

    Finally went to EPI Breads and you were ALL right - AMAZING! love their whole wheat and Health Bread with the sprouts and carrots. Brilliant! Mucho thanks!

    1. Ediblethoughts Sep 4, 2011 08:08 PM

      I wanted to add about Flakey Tart: really good caramel-topped brownies----a real and true intensely chocolatey brownie (round though, not square) and I agree about the snowball cookies--only had one once but it was wonderful. Also, they do a pretty good chocolate pecan pie with chocolate chips in it. The cherry tarts and other fruity tarts I've tried have been very good too.

      I also am not keen on the pasteries at Cigogne but I'm usually pleased with the offerings at Jules or Thobor.

      I keep meaning to get to Epi more. I used to love their oatmeal cookies with apricot, I think it was... it's been awhile.

      -----
      Cigogne
      1626 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

      Thobors
      627 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

      1. c
        currycue Sep 4, 2011 02:38 AM

        For the type of bread you're looking for, the best that I can think of in town (that I've tried) would have to be St. John's Bakery on Broadview, just south of Dundas.

        www.stjohnsbakery.com

        1. s
          Sadistick Aug 31, 2011 10:53 AM

          Not sure how Jo said YUCK to Mad Italian - considering it has some of the best Pistachio and Hazelnut gelato outside of Italy.

          Far superior to Hollywood IMO.

          -----
          The Mad Italian
          589 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B2, CA

          3 Replies
          1. re: Sadistick
            f
            freelancer Aug 31, 2011 12:07 PM

            Maybe the one on College is different from the one on Bayview. I've only been to the College St one.

            1. re: freelancer
              s
              Sadistick Aug 31, 2011 12:30 PM

              It linked it automatically - I have only been to the one on Bayview.

            2. re: Sadistick
              TorontoJo Aug 31, 2011 12:31 PM

              I went to the Mad Italian on Bayview shortly after they opened. The gelato was gummy (strands of it would goop up when you pulled your spoon out) and the colors were day-glo. It was an awful experience -- the only time I've ever thrown out gelato. So if they've improved, I'm glad to hear it.

              I'm not a fan of the texture at Il Gelatiere either -- it's been too aerated when I've had it. But I love some of their flavours.

              -----
              Il Gelatiere
              647 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

              The Mad Italian
              1581 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G 3B8, CA

            3. a
              Arcadiaseeker Jun 9, 2011 11:24 AM

              Epi on Bayview is my favourite.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Arcadiaseeker
                kwass Jun 9, 2011 11:31 AM

                Mine too!!

                1. re: kwass
                  y
                  Yongeman Jun 10, 2011 08:49 AM

                  I'll third that. My faves at Epi are the rustic baguette, kind of a free-form baguette with a small amount of sourdough and awesome chew and the weekends-only 'doughnuts'--filled with creme anglaise or raspberry jam.

                  1. re: Yongeman
                    kwass Jun 10, 2011 10:05 AM

                    I agree with you about the donuts, although my favourite are the plain ones.

                    1. re: kwass
                      y
                      Yongeman Jun 10, 2011 11:35 AM

                      Ha ha. I imagine that the plain ones are great...sometimes on my first bite into a raspberry-filled, I just get plain doughnut and it's excellent, but that rarely happens since there's so much filling.

              2. TorontoJo Jun 9, 2011 09:12 AM

                Oh good lord, you live minutes from bakery/patisserie central. Bayview and Mt. Pleasant and Eglinton are loaded with amazing patisseries and a couple of good bakeries.

                For pastries (in order of my preference):
                - Rahier
                - Patisserie la Cigogne
                - Jules
                - Thobor's
                - La Bamboche

                For bread:
                - Epi Breads
                - Bagel House (for excellent Montreal-style bagels)

                For home-y baked goods (pies, tarts, cookies):
                - Flaky Tart (excellent cakes, too, but only by order -- they also have very good meat pies for sale frozen)

                And though you didn't ask, you are also near 2 excellent gelato places:
                - Hollywood Gelato
                - Il Gelatiere

                Avoid The Mad Italian for gelato. Yuck.

                -----
                Il Gelatiere
                647 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                Rahier
                1586 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                Cigogne
                1626 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                La Bamboche
                4 Manor Rd E, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                Bagel House
                1548 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                Flaky Tart
                711 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                Thobors
                627 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                Epi Breads
                1526 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                The Mad Italian
                1581 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G 3B8, CA

                16 Replies
                1. re: TorontoJo
                  TorontoJo Jun 9, 2011 09:14 AM

                  Oh, and Jake's is a sandwich place on Bayview that makes their own breads. If you catch them on a slow day (don't try this on the weekends), they will usually sell you a loaf. Excellent wheat and multigrain sandwich loaves.

                  1. re: TorontoJo
                    c
                    carocantcook Jun 9, 2011 11:58 AM

                    Jake's is gone. I think The Mad Italian took over their space.

                    1. re: carocantcook
                      TorontoJo Jun 9, 2011 12:02 PM

                      Oops, thanks. :)

                  2. re: TorontoJo
                    f
                    freelancer Jun 9, 2011 09:26 AM

                    Ah soooo nice to hear! Such a long list whiich makes me very happy. Have walked by flaky tart lots on the way to get groceries (which there was more than sobeys and metro).

                    May not have asked for gelato but you read my mind. Favorite thing ever!

                    1. re: freelancer
                      d
                      Degustation Jun 9, 2011 10:12 AM

                      There are a couple of places around Y&E that are offshoots of some of the places on Mt Pleasant that TorontoJo had mentioned.

                      - La Boheme Cafe Patisserie is located north of Erskine on the east side of Yonge. The owner is the same guy from Jules. Same stuff, larger place to eat in than Jules.

                      - Jedd's Frozen Custard is just acrosss the street from La Boheme and they carry some of Thuet's bread and desserts from Phipps. I found the frozen custard kinda meh but maybe I just prefer gelato.

                      - Gelato Simply Italian is just south of Eglinton on the west side of Yonge (just south of La Bamboche). Apparently, the owner is one of the original three partners from Il Gelatiere Artigianale on Mt. Pleasant.

                      -----
                      Il Gelatiere
                      647 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                      Thuet
                      609 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

                      La Bamboche
                      4 Manor Rd E, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                      La Boheme
                      2481 Yonge St, Toronto, ON , CA

                      Jedd's Frozen Custard
                      2470 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P, CA

                      1. re: Degustation
                        f
                        freelancer Aug 31, 2011 09:55 AM

                        Simply Italian, best gelato I've had yet. Not sure what's happened to Il Gelatiere but it's been terrible the two times I went and I won't be going back. Service is rude too sadly.

                        I went to Jedd's Frozen Custard - nice late hours... Great stuff. I noticed they get their desserts from Rahier, which would explain why the mousse cake i had was amazing.

                      2. re: freelancer
                        TorontoJo Jun 9, 2011 10:14 AM

                        You must try a butter tart from Flaky Tart...

                        1. re: TorontoJo
                          kwass Jun 9, 2011 10:57 AM

                          I agree TorontoJo. The butter tarts from Flaky Tart are awesome!

                          -----
                          Flaky Tart
                          711 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                          1. re: TorontoJo
                            kwass Jun 9, 2011 10:58 AM

                            Epi also makes really good butter tarts. They are different from anything I have ever tried...really rich and extremely yummy!

                            1. re: TorontoJo
                              kwass Jun 10, 2011 10:04 AM

                              You know what else is awesome from Flaky Tart...their snowball cookies. Honestly, to die for!

                              1. re: kwass
                                TorontoJo Jun 10, 2011 10:09 AM

                                Ooh, what are they?

                                1. re: TorontoJo
                                  kwass Jun 10, 2011 10:20 AM

                                  They are these cookies that are in the shape of small balls. I'm not sure what the actual cookie is, but they are covered in powdered sugar and they literally melt in your mouth. They are so good, that they have often run out of them when I go in to purchase some.

                          2. re: TorontoJo
                            t
                            torontofoodiegirl Jun 9, 2011 11:18 AM

                            I agree with most of TorontoJo's suggestions, but should add a few comments...

                            Haven't had Patisserie La Cigogne products much, but recently tried their almond croissants and pain au chocolat, and was a bit underwhelmed - much prefer Jules, Rahier and Thobors. My biggest complaint about Thobors is that they can be a bit inconsistent re freshness (occasionally things seem a tad stale to me) but their pain au chocolat aux amandes is really yummy, so I definitely think they're worth a try.

                            TorontoJo, not sure when you last tried the Mad Italian, but I've had some really good gelato from there. I seem to recall reading some mixed reviews on this board shortly after they opened, but not sure what others' recent experiences have been -- mine have been good. Mind you, that's not to say that I don't recommend Il Gelatiere and Hollywood - I love both of them. Freelancer, FYI, Il Gelatiere is more traditional Italian style gelato, and Hollywood has a bit moreo f a North-American spin (eg. they have chocolate bar flavours, etc).

                            For bread, I also recommend Cobbs (on Bayview) - I enjoy their 12-grain loaf, and their cinnamon scones are really good (though on occasion a bit undercooked, which isn't great...but when they're properly cooked they're awesome). Also, they make good hamburger buns.

                            Flaky Tart's ginger molasses cookies are delicious and also an item worth trying, by the way. The only thing I haven't loved from there was their meat pies. Tried them a long time ago, so don't fully remember what the issue was, but I seem to recall them being a bit dry and underseasoned. If it's meat pies you're after (not that you seem to be) I highly recommend Cumbrae's on Bayview - they're fantastic (as are most of their products).

                            -----
                            Il Gelatiere
                            647 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                            Cumbrae's
                            1636 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                            Rahier
                            1586 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                            Cigogne
                            1626 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                            Flaky Tart
                            711 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                            Thobors
                            627 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                            The Mad Italian
                            1581 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G 3B8, CA

                            1. re: torontofoodiegirl
                              TorontoJo Jun 9, 2011 11:42 AM

                              I love those ginger cookies! My husband is also addicted to the shortbread cookies with the bits of dried cranberries in them.

                              Fair enough on The Mad Italian. Hopefully they've improved. I only tried them shortly after they opened, and it was bad enough to not try them again. The flavour of the gelato was fine, though not exceptional, but the texture completely turned me off. It was... gummy? As in, I could take a spoon and lift it out of the cup and it was like pulling taffy. Eew. I was also kind of turned off by the day-glo colours of a few of the flavours. But they must be doing something right, because they are always full of people!

                              -----
                              The Mad Italian
                              589 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B2, CA

                              1. re: TorontoJo
                                s
                                Snarf Jun 9, 2011 05:47 PM

                                I recall equating their white chocolate with ivory soap when the Mad Italian opened. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to try a number of their flavours at a shop that carries their product. Much better, in terms of texture and flavours. The blood orange and grapefruit were particularly good.

                                On the bread end of life, Dough on the Danforth near Broadview does some really good artisanal breads that are worth the trip.

                                -----
                                The Mad Italian
                                589 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B2, CA

                            2. re: TorontoJo
                              f
                              freelancer Aug 31, 2011 09:52 AM

                              I tried the Mad Italian in Little Italy and preferred it to Il Gelatiere strangely. However, I didn't like the latter at all - the service was terrible - she didn't ask me to sign the cc receipt and then yelled at me across the cafe to sign it when it was her mistake. I found the gelato not at all creamy, just watered down. How can you screw up pistachio :( But I love the gelato at Simply Italian.

                              Tried Patisserie la Cigogne - lovely cakes! But a little dry :( Someone told me the pastry chef is brilliant but they leave their stuff too long out... Beautiful though.

                              Went to Jules to pick up a gorgeous sesame baguette after having a nice sandwich at La Boheme. The cakes weren't as good though.

                              The macarons at Thobors are sadly awful. But I look forward to trying their bread and cakes....

                            3. elvisahmed Jun 9, 2011 09:09 AM

                              Rahier is my pick. There are several other good patisseries in Mt. Pleasant area as well perhaps a fellow chowhounder can help you out there. TexSquared Rahier also has cookies but I haven;t tried them in a while.

                              -----
                              Rahier
                              1586 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: elvisahmed
                                sumashi Jun 9, 2011 02:43 PM

                                Second rahier, my fav bakery!! Actually, i'm not sure about their breads, but I love their croissants and danishes.
                                Patisserie La Cicogne would be my second pick for the area.

                              2. t
                                TexSquared Jun 9, 2011 09:03 AM

                                SInce you are asking about bakeries I thought I could piggy-back off this thread and ask, are there any bakeries in the GTA that produce cookies at par with Levain Bakery in New York? Someone sent me their cookies as a gift awhile back and we loved them, but I would like to purchase something like them locally (so they'll be as fresh as possible, rather than spending time being shipped in unknown temperature conditions).

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