Top 5 Bakeries in Oakville
Kneading dough is an excellent form of stress relief - you can smack it around, throw a few left jabs, then eat it (along with an egg and bacon muffin!) - and each time I enter a bakery in Oakville I’m equal parts excited about sampling bread as I am sad that I didn’t get to beat it to a pulp beforehand. There are bakeries which specialize in bread while others excel in pie, pastries, and the like. We’ve already told you where to find excellent dessert in town, so now we’re looking at loaves, etc. Here are the top 5 bakeries in O-Town.
This little downtown shop offers so much it’s overwhelming at first. There’s bread, cakes (the Orange Chiffon cake has been tops since 1957, they say, and the carrot cake is also a top seller). Pot pies are popular, too — 4,000 are made by hand each week, for those of you who fancy all things savoury. Then there are cookies … I loved the chocolate chunk. You can’t go wrong with pie (I’m a sucker for rhubarb-anything … #realtalk). The most unique item on the menu: an egg and bacon muffin! One bite in and I’m realizing this could become a problematic indulgence. As far as vegetarian offerings go, there’s a veggie samosa as well as cabbage rolls, plus soups and energy salads. Enough healthy stuff — let’s go sweet. The Jamaican Brownie Bar is filled with two types of Belgian chocolate and will have you feelin’ irie in no time. As for bread … So. Many. Varieties. I wound up getting a loaf of the multi-seed bread. It was sheer perfection and competitively priced at about $4. There’s also a discounted area near the entrance (go left when you enter) if you’re down with day-old bread and what not. Speaking of prices, the bakery serves Toronto-based Propellor Coffee (for you socially conscious peeps) and Numi organic tea. Regular coffee goes for $1.95, with a large ringing in at $2.15. Tea is $2. The bakery has a handful locations: four in Toronto plus one in the 905 … Oakville. Service is great!
Friendly service is the first thing you’ll experience at this quaint family-run shop. Black Forest set up shop in downtown Oakville in 2002 and has been serving up favourites such as Butter Tarts, Chocolate Fudge Brownies, and Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake since. All goodies - including cupcakes, cookies, pies, etc. - are baked daily in-house. My hands-down favourite items here are the Hello Dolly Bar (if you think Starbucks has a tasty HDB, try Black Forest’s version) and the multigrain bread — it’s made so many delicious sandwiches and avocado toast concoctions taste that much better. The lemon squares, cookies, and apple crumble are also worth mentioning, plus there are two varieties of brownies, including a gluten-free version (their Chocolate Raspberry Mousse cups are gluten-free, too). The shop serves up a few lunchtime options, such as ham and cheese melts, sandwiches, salads, etc. And their rosette cakes are stunning to look at (I’ve yet to taste one … same goes for the Brownie Cookie Sandwich. Next time!)
Tucked away on Thomas St. is an adorable little shop boasting all things chocolate, plus some freshly baked croissants. You’ll find a cute little bakery/chocolate shop serving up some seriously delicious goodies in the former Circus Chocolates & Ice Cream spot. We’ll start with the Hazelnut Almond Crisp. Oh. My. Goodness. My grandmother in south India used to make something remarkably similar, although I have no idea what it’s called. (Sugar, not music, truly is the great equalizer, no?!). I wish I could ship them to my aunt there so she could bite into one and fill me in on the family recipe. Anyway, the Apple Walnut Strudel, which was served warm, also made me pause to enjoy the sugar high. Cakes are nut-heavy and deliciously filling. If you’re here for lunch on the go, there are house-made soups, sandwiches on croissants (turkey, ham, etc.), beet salad, chick pea salad, and more healthy options. The shop has been running for about two years and serves up a delightfully delicious beverage: Mexican Spicy Hot Chocolate. Using real chocolate powder and chili powder (reverse the ingredients when cooking a pot of chili), it’s $3.95 and best enjoyed in a mug while seated. It’s amazing — no sugar or sweetener added. Service is stellar.
If you’re a big fan of authentic European baking (who isn’t, really?) and exceptional service, you’re likely a regular at this bakery along Cornwall Rd., just west of Chartwell Rd. Let’s wax lyrical about the menu. Begin with the Spandauer — that’s how business started booming. The flaky pastry is filled with almond paste and you can choose between custard, raspberry jam, or apricot spread varieties. It’s topped with almonds and white icing. Yum! I also really loved the Gateau Marcel … it’s a divine little gluten-free cake that’s creamy, light, and perfectly sweetened, complemented by a raspberry (my favourite fruit-chocolate combo). It tastes more like mousse than cake. Yummers! Several varieties of fresh bread are sold here, too, and samples are ridiculously generous. My favourite is the multigrain version — so, so hearty and healthy and filling. The bakery offers all the authentic staples which most popular Danish establishments specialize in: pastries, freshly baked handmade bread (with no preservatives), butter cookies, and rum balls. The Kontra coffee is cheaper than most big-box chains and tastes a zillion times better. Founder Anita Lauritsen began baking during childhood and has recruited some of Denmark’s finest pastry chefs, who could create those 27 layers blindfolded (they probably can, though). A brand new location in the $550 million Sherway Gardens expansion wing (it’s 250,000 sq. ft. and anchored by Nordstrom), complete with a Viking ship motif, was unveiled in Sept. 2017. This means there’s another option for a fabulous cup of joe at Sherway — anyone who’s traveled overseas knows what I’m talking about!
It’s not just Loyola students who flood the place for lunch everyday. With personal pizzas at $2.99 apiece (sometimes 2 for $5!), and other super-affordable hot foods… Monastery Bakery tops the list. Their bistro turkey sandwich with fresh cheese and meat was simply outstanding, and they boast the finest selection of artisanal bread in Oakville (it’s even served at Pasquale’s), with dough made in-store. There are samples and lineups at the bread section in the back. The hot foods counter requires you to take a number (pack your patience ‘cause everybody and their mama go here). Staff are friendly and quick. An array of pasta - such as gourmet mac and cheese, cheese tortellini in rose or alfredo sauce, and meat lasagna - are offered at a flat rate ($5.99) and aren’t weighed, meaning staff aren’t stingy. They’ll pack as much into the container as they possibly can. With everything from Italian sausage to rice balls to stir-fry to frittatas, there’s plenty of options to ponder while waiting your turn — sample fresh juices and pick up a small container of freshly-squeezed OJ for $1.69. Staff will offer to heat and cut your sandwich for you - say yes!