Top 5 Bakeries in Burlington

The smell of freshly baked bread is downright intoxicating and when I enter a bakery in Burlington I’m immediately reminded of why I spent so many years damaging my knees by running because kaiser buns … at any rate, some bakeries specialize in bread while others serve up great pie or pastries. We’ve already told you where to find excellent dessert in the city, so now we’re looking at loaves, etc. Here are the top 5 bakeries in Burlington.

5. Denninger’s

We really love a small business success story from the Hammer ... Denninger’s currently has six retail locations (the head office is on King St.), a manufacturing plant, and a warehouse employing approximately 300 people across Southern Ontario. Burlington has got nothing but love for this little shop (that’s going to double in size when its Guelph Line location relocates to Burlington Mall and doubles in size! It’s expected to open in 2018). The majority of items aren’t made in-house … there’s a table of bread - in baskets - which are freshly baked. We love the Pumpkin Filone artisan bread, which is great for a sandwich or a midnight snack. It’s made with pumpkin puree and pumpkin seeds, or pepitas. There’s also a small display case with goodies, such as the yummy, savoury Spinach Feta butter pastry (the Tomato Olive one tastes like a mini-pizza!). While you’re there, try the $1.99 Strawberry Cheese Croissant, Sweet Cheese Croissant, Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish, and the cookies — Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chunk go for $0.99 apiece. This store has been going strong for 60 years and shows no signs of slowing down.

4. Eastway Bake Shoppe

It’s a charming little bakery on New St. that’s all about the Mocha cake, which you can buy by the slice or as a whole at an affordable price (around $20, taxes in) for the coffee lovers in your life. If you’re into Black Forest, you’ll be all over the cupcakes, which come in chocolate or vanilla. Pies are offered in regular or mini sizes (so you can sample all varieties, such as Key Lime, Coconut, and Banana). Seasonal/summer pies are also freshly baked, while bran cookies are a staple here and are offered in a few flavours. Eastway is also a great place to pick up a fresh loaf of bread or buns for lunchtime sandwiches at a decent cost — and they taste way better than anything filled with supermarket preservatives. Service is friendly. Check it out already!

3. Clarke’s Home Style Bakery

This long-running bakery on Mt. Forest Dr. has been satisfying sweet tooths in the north end for 20 years (and the original owners are still on board!). With meat pies (steak, ground beef, chicken), muffins (carrot is delicious), eclairs, cookies (fantastic — all of them), and cakes (simple selection), it offers a great variety of sweets. But my favourite items are the peach pie and the currant crisps (puff pastry with sugar) which make me think my uncle and aunt who live closeby would enjoy them with their 3 p.m. chai and so I’ll have to return to drop off a bag for them on the weekend. Keep in mind, though, it’s a tad expensive. Prices aren’t visibly listed, so don’t be surprised when your bill winds up being $50. Service is great.

2. Pane Fresco

Service is exceptional at this downtown gem, where the chocolate walnut pie is to absolutely die for. I mean, really, I’m not a pie lover by any means but this combo of cacao and walnuts is on another level. Then there’s the biscotti, which comes in four flavours! The pistachio one is all I need. While you’re there, grab a fresh loaf of bread and get in line for a square of their yummy pizza. Baked fresh, the price of each square varies depending on your selection. This veggie one was taunting me with its glorious roasted onions, peppers, tomatoes and balsamic. City Hall worker bees and downtown residents are lucky to have access to this Locust St. gem whenever they want! Keep in mind prices are reflective of geography.

1. The Brick Oven

Authentic Italian cuisine is in store at this north end bakery on Guelph Line, just south of Dundas. Lunchtime lineups are common for dishes such as fresh veal sandwiches, pizza squares (pepperoni or veggie), and eggplant parmigiana. Fresh bread is a hot seller, and the cannoli is excellent, along with the brownie and mini cheesecakes. Their strawberry-rhubarb pie is equally on point. If you haven’t ventured north, you must go and try the best bakery in Burlington!

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