Just around this time of year I get the hankering for some post-Halloween candy. Ever since I outgrew my trick-or-treating years (is there such a thing?) I’ve been
sad and alone holding my own day of sweet celebration that I call “Cavity-Inducing Day of Awesome” - CIDA for short. Not to be confused with the other important, government-y thing, CIDA is the one day of the year I let my glucose-coloured glasses colour my world awesome.
Every year, I used to gorge on fright-night loots (back in the glory years of candy bags and generous neighbours), but more recently I satiate my sweet tooth with CIDA! It’s been a few years now that I’ve been gone from the childish land of trick-or-treating, so this year I decided to grow up the right way. I wanted to branch out a little bit - away from the fun pack of chocolate and the dollar-store candy, into the land of refined pastries and top-tier baked goods.
I wanted to use terms like: “baked to perfection”, “heaven for my tastebuds”, “bite your way to bliss”… and CIDA gave me just the excuse. But, being a creature of comforts, I didn’t want to travel very far. So I did my research and here I am sharing with you all, the amazing bakeries and cafes we have in our own neighbourhood!
Major Intersection: Military Trail and Meadowvale Rd.
Right down the street from campus, this cute part-bakery/part café/part awesome cake shoppe offers a variety of specialty cakes, cookies and pastries for all occasion (along with the cursory sandwiches and snack type thingamabobs!) A view of the blissful Highland Creek Village, let's you forget about the concrete walls of UTSC. This Katy Perry-esque dreamland of delectable delights is run by a husband-and-wife duo, so you know you'll always get the personal touch. This is a perfect spot for some catch-up over a plate of your favourite flavour of bite-sized baked goods and the food is as good as it looks.
Lamanna’s Bakery –
Major Intersection: Kingston Rd. and Sheppard Ave.
With music straight from the streets of Italy and a head chef that bakes like the Cake Boss, this place is a go-to for anyone craving tiramisu, cannelloni or any other authentic Italian cuisine. With the added bonus of being a café, a bakery and a mini-restaurant, the convenient location (right next to a Rogers!) also makes Bakery L just a stop on the road to a very good night. Impress your significant other with a signature personalized mini-cake. You won’t be disappointed - the bakers are more like artists here! Check out their Facebook page for albums of the delicious and decadent cakes!
Mr. Beans Coffee Co. –
Major Intersection: Lawrence Ave. East and Port Union Rd.
This favourite of former Mowat Collegiate students (and some proud UTSCers) is the best place for a quick bite during all seasons. In the winter, “Beans”, as it’s known, specializes in hot chocolate and mocha lattes of all kinds and combination. This is your mom-and-pop version of Starbucks. And if the servers (some of them high school students with promising careers as coffee baristas) feel good, they’ll even do a bit of latte art for you! Delight in the freshly baked, croissants, cream puff pastries and cozy up with your favourite brand of authentic Italian coffee. Ask any kid from "the Island" (Rouge Hill), even in the summer Beans is the top spot for anything that will please you palate.
Coffee Culture –
Major Intersection: Ellesmere Rd. and Markham Rd.
Nothing goes better with your slice of triple chocolate hazelnut crusted brownie than a sip of your favourite blend of coffee. Or as the German and the super-stylish say: koffee. This café is a favourite hangout of Woburn Collegiate kids, but many a UTSCer has been known to frequent this haven of delicious coffees and cakes for a bite of some amazing baked goods topped with a generous dollop of nostalgia.Also, check out their other locations all over Canada! Tip: That entire plaza is a goldmine for food options off-campus (check out Tangerine!)
So if you have a craving for sugar, need your daily dosage of delicious baked goods, or just a post-exam pick-me-up don’t be shy to take a trip down the street. You’d be surprised to see all it has to offer!What other sweet spots do you know around campus?
Where is your favourite place to hang out and take a break? Let me know in the comments below and as always, tweet me anything and everything :) Until next time, om nom nom!