By: Jim Bamboulis
When you talk about Italian bakeries in Toronto, you talk about a look back in time. Italians in Toronto have been creating and serving authentic desserts, using family recipes from the old country for generations in this city. Since the beginning, the family run bakeries have continued to consistently deliver the true taste of Italy for new generations of customers to enjoy and savour. These 10 bakeries below show us how it’s done in Italy and demonstrate that good taste and great quality are timeless.
Last night I dreamt of San Remo. You would too if you had any of their pastries, including and especially their donuts. Loads of people dream about this west-end institution. So much so that the recent expansion still can’t hold back the hoards of people who continuously pop in to order a plethora of Italian breads and treats ready to be devoured. The kitchen here works non-stop to keep up with the demand. And the demand for their authentic, rich and delicious sweets is always high, for good reason!
North Pole Bakery
For almost 50 years, this Danforth Avenue bakery has kept its Old-World charm alive with plenty of traditional Italian sweets. Walk in here and you’re immediately family. North Pole is one of those local gems where locals drop in (even people from as far away as Ottawa) catch up with engaging, laughter-filled conversation all while enjoying an espresso and a picking up some of the best, authentic pastries anywhere in the city.
Open for only a few years, Forno Cultura is one of these places where you can have anything on the menu and it will be an instant favourite. From traditional biscotti to breads made with organic flours, this authentic Italian bakery won’t be going anywhere any time soon.
From fresh salads and incredible sandwiches to fresh pizza and fresh breads, Sud Forno is a Queen West hotspot for a reason. And we haven’t even talked about the desserts yet. How does rum soaked chocolate sponge filled with chocolate pastry cream sound? Or Sicilian cannoli, tiramisu and traditional biscotti? Ya, I thought so.
Francesca Italian Bakery
Bright, inviting, friendly and spacious, this Scarborough bakery offers many Italian specialties, including fresh breads and tasty pastries made in-house. Pasta and sandwiches are on the menu too. You should try the trio chocolate mousse, pure hazelnut mousse, mango mousse or the fresh fruit tarts. They’ll change your life.
Located near the Rouge Valley in East Scarborough, Lamanna’s has moved into the neighbourhood and has become an instant favourite with locals and die-hard Italian food enthusiasts who often travel from far distances just to eat here. Go ahead, try to resist the fresh pizza and lasagna to Sicilian cannoli. I dare ya!
Tre Mari Bakery
You think Little Italy, you think Tre Mari. Of course! This bakery’s been busy for about 50 years and counting. When you create some of the best and most authentic Italian pastries in town, with incredible quality each time, you tend to get several loyal customers!
Commisso Italian Bakery
An institution off Caledonia Road for nearly 60 years, Commisso is a favourite for many from across Toronto and beyond. These guys have perfected the art and flavour of traditional Italian fare and desserts. And they do it 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
This is your classic Italian bakery complete with food and atmosphere. This North York bakery has a wide variety of sweets to choose from. It’s been a local favourite for generations – those who came as kids here, continue to come as adults. Sit, chat, dig into a dessert and enjoy the experience!
You’d never think of going down Rustic Road in North York unless you knew someone who lived on the street. But right in the middle of this residential street, you find an oasis called Rustic. A bakery that does everything from exceptional and elaborate wedding and birthday cakes as well as fine breads, sandwiches and of course, delicious and decadent Italian treats.