Treat Yourself In Toronto With These Holiday Favourites

By Jeffrey Hernandez

The holiday season brings family and friends together, and in a diverse city like Toronto there’s no better time to explore all of our cultural traditions. Whether you visit the east, west or north ends of the city, here are a few festive snacks and sweets to enjoy with friends and family spanning from South America, to Europe and Asia. 

Akropolis Pastries & Pies

708 Danforth Ave; akropolispastries.com

Just east of Pape Station along the north side of Danforth stands Akropolis Pastries & Pies, one of Toronto’s first Greek bakeries. Since opening in 1979, Akropolis has become well known for holiday favourites such as melomakrono (walnut and honey cookies) and kourabiedes (shortbread-style almond cookies). And don’t worry –  their savoury phyllo pastries, including the popular spanakopita ( spinach pie) are available all year round. 

A plate of shortbread cookies.

Baker’s Best

4915 Steeles Ave East; bakersbest.ca

Baker’s Best is a popular Filipino bakery at the border of Scarborough and Markham on Steeles Ave. Ed and Digna Gonzales first opened their bakery in 1995 and it quickly became an institution. There’s typically a line out the door for their pandesal and monay bread rolls, as well as their ensaymada, a soft doughy pastry covered with butter and sugar that’s topped off with grated cheese. Baker’s Best is also a great spot to pick up festive party sweets like leche flan (caramel custard), cassava cake and biko (sticky rice cake).

A slice of yellow flan cake.

La Rosa Chilena

760-788 Wilson Ave

A couple minutes northwest of Yorkdale Mall on Wilson Ave, La Rosa Chilena has served traditional Chilean baked goods and groceries for 24 years. During this time of year, the folks at La Rosa Chilena (meaning The Chilean Rose) sell Pan de Pascua, a traditional Christmas fruit cake baked in-house that includes almonds, walnuts and dried fruits.

Two half slices of fruit cake.

Grodzinski

3437 Bathurst St & 3-1118 Centre St; grodzinskibakery.com

Since 1888, Grodzinski has become an iconic family-owned bakery serving Toronto’s Jewish community with high-quality kosher baked goods. Popular for their bubkas, you can also grab Chanukah treats like sufganiyot (donuts with a wide range of toppings and stuffings such as fresh fruit, jellies, creams and chocolate), as well as menorah and dreidel cookies. 

A pan of colourful holiday cookies and yellow donuts with powdered sugar on top.