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Glazed and Enthused: 13 of Toronto’s best doughnuts

Fried dough is suddenly everywhere, infiltrating dessert cards and pastry cases and threatening to dethrone panna cotta as the sweet du jour. From rounds to holes, beignets to churros, here are a baker’s dozen of the city’s best

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  • Prettytastyreviews blogspot

    All those doughnuts put my city to shame.
    I have only managed to find 2 places that make fresh doughnuts in Ottawa.

    Rideau Bakery has a jam filled doughnut with powderd sugar on top (at the reasonable price of $2).
    The second place is Golden Baguette bakery on Bank st.
    They have a doughnut that seems to be made from an egg dough, and is sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, or else topped with real melted chocolate (instead of icing)-and that is a steal for $1.25!

    Most people in this city they go to “tim’s” it seems.
    When I go to Toronto I will sample the doughnuts listed here!

  • Margaret

    I’m a bit disappointed that the story completely misses out on the fantastic “paczki” Polish donuts which are available in all the little bakeries along Roncesvalles Avenue. They are light and fluffy and filled with either plum, rapberrry, or rose jam. They are absolutely delicious and go for about $.80 cents or so.

  • George

    While I’m sure that everything listed is quite tasty, this list seems to be a bit of a stretch for the traditional doughnut. I agree with Margaret about the Polish donuts on Roncesvalles; they are delicious. My all-time favourites are made by San Remo Bakery on Royal York near Evans. Everyone I’ve introduced these to could not believe that a doughnut could taste this good. They have a lot of variety too.

  • Anabel

    13 reasons to say goodbye to my summer wardrobe. But I think the list is missing one: Bonjour Brioche’s Royale…delicious, and unbelievable when fresh.

  • Amanda

    What about Little Nicky’s Coffee at Queen & Peter?! They make mini donuts hot & fresh to order :)

  • adam

    I agree about Little Nickys Coffee…made right before your eyes; the most amazing indulgence; melt in your mouth!..and their espresso rocks too…..

  • kate

    I agree with the many posters that this is not a very “workaday” list of donut purveyors. Besides the excellent Roncesvalles paczki mentioned above (my vote is for Granowska’s as the pinnacle of this art), I must also highlight the churros from Pancho’s Bakery on Davenport.

    While I wouldn’t call the churros “light on the stomach” they certainly have enough yeasty sugary goodness to be a guilty pleasure often worth repeating.

  • Andrew

    How very…Toronto.

    It is in fashion to offer an haute-cuisine donut with exotic and indulgent ingredients, so every chic restauranteur has their take. Perhaps next year it will no longer be fashionable and the donuts will be gone.

    I would love to find a place that makes classic donuts, well. A proper cruller, from cake batter, fried to crunchy perfection and glazed with care, say. Instead I have to choose between par-baked cardboard at Tim Hortons and pretentious gourmet masturbation.

    While we’re at it, how about a decent Quebec-style poutine? I don’t need foie-gras and duck confit on it, nor do I want 73 varieties or vegetarian gluten-free gravy. Just a proper poutine with crisp fries, tasty sauce and fresh curd. Not ironic enough for hipsters, I guess.

  • Christina Archer

    Crush Wine Bar? Crush Wine Bar? When would any customer go to a wine bar for doughnuts? This article is pretentious.

  • Raimund

    Enough with the Dulce Leche already, I don’t need caramelized goat’s milk with my sacrosanct doughnuts.

    It is truly a pity that the paczki’s were completely overlooked. You have to see a kitchen full of cooks go crazy over them to realize how good and down to earth they really are.

  • Natasha

    I also expected the Polish ‘pączki’ to be on this list; they definitely should be. On second thought, perhaps they are deserving of their own article!

    Pączki (POHNCH-kee) are surprisingly fluffy and light, made on a brandy-kissed yeast dough and allowed to rise high, producing a more airy and delicate doughnut than the traditional cakey ones we’re used to.

    The fillings are not overly sweet, and do not overwhelm the dough that enrobes them. Most popular is a dark, fruity plum butter – rumoured to aid digestion (LOL). It’s addictively good, and may be laced with a hint of brandy at some bakeries too – mmmm. Plum and raspberry are always available, but house specialty fillings are readily found: fruity preserves such as rosehip, apricot, strawberry, lemon, apple, or less traditional fillings, like poppy seed, cream, custard, or sweetened cheese.

    You can of course just enjoy a plain unfilled one too.

    The pączki come dusted with powdered or granulated sugar, or glazed
    with a flat sugar icing which contains a whisper of lemon.

    Pączki are available at all the wonderful European bakeries along Roncesvalles and in the Bloor West Village. Benna’s (135 Roncesvalles) bakes them daily and they sell for .85 each.

    Of course, donut afficionados should make an effort to try pączki posthaste!

    Recently, Roncesvalles Village has adopted a popular annual Polish tradition of celebrating Pączki Day – a Mardi Gras type celebration featuring donuts as the pre-Lenten indulgence. It starts on Fat Thursday (March 3rd in 2011), the week before Mardi Gras. In the past, there has even been a Pączki Day Parade on the Saturday before Lent along Roncesvalles.

    Now doesn’t a donut that has its own parade deserve a spot on the list of Toronto’s best donuts?!


    How can a list of Toronto’s best doughnuts not include Greek Loukoumades? The best in the city can be found at Athens Pastries

  • Mrs. Asher

    A feature on Toronto’s best “new” doughnuts that doesn’t include the spectacular “best in class” churros super chef Chris MacDonald has been serving at Cava (and for takeout at XOCAVA next door) since he opened and before that at his authentic Mexican spot below Avalon? Shame on you Toronto Life — in the days of Epicure or even James Chatto, you never would have credited copycats and latecomers to a trend while missing the chef who started the trend.

  • Matt Kantor

    Missing: Bar L’espresso Mercurio handmade donut from the owner’s mom, who makes them by hand with Brioche dough.

  • WalterP

    Haute cuisine Egg McMuffins and doNUTS seem to have a loyal and enthuiastic following and I was wondering if these establishments offer day old product or do they donate these to their local food bank? Back in the dark ages I was rewarded with a glazed donut fresh from a hole in the wall on Queen West and Niagara area. Licking your fingers after consuming the donut was part of the treat.