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donuts!


Endy'
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I've never really bought donuts at anything other than a chain store. I'll need to bring a few dozen to the office in a few weeks. Anyone have suggestions of places they love? Something easily accessible from the DVP or Yonge, between downtown and North York is best.

I don't even know if this question makes any sense, are there donut shops which aren't chains? High-end donuts? Artisanal donuts??

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does it absolutely have to be donuts? can it be baked goods that go well with coffee?

what-a-bagel! (I go to the one at Yonge & Wellesley) makes a really terrific cinnamon roll; it's got a bit more butter in the breaded bit so it's not so heavily bready as a Cinnabon. More like a 1/3 croissant, 2/3 cinnamon bun. With a supergenerous layering of cinnamonny crumble that pools nicely in a pocket at the bottom

The rugeluch, croissants and pastries are very nice too.

all baked fresh every day

k!

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yeah, I figured it might end up being TimHo's. Just thought I might use the chance to broaden my donut horizons. I'd never thought about it before but it's odd that with all the donuts consumed here, nobody's tried to carve out a high-end niche.

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The donuts at Xacutti are brilliant. Here's a mention from the magazine:

Xacutti

Coconut-banana brûlée. Ginger doughnuts with cardamom caramel and vanilla ice cream. Warm apple lassi with champagne granita. Chef Brad Moore’s love affair with Indian cuisine even extends to desserts—and for this we should all be thankful.

I haven't been to these places, but I pulled them out of our guides. One caveat: they may be out of date, so call first. Hope they help.

Piegus European Bakery

How many kinds of rye bread does one small Polish bakery need? Those who flock here (especially on Saturdays) have their favourites: dark or light, with caraway or poppy seed or dried onion, or (best of all) old Polish, with its crunchy crust and moist crumb. Huge cheesecakes have a multitude of toppings; Danishes and doughnuts filled with plum jam are always available. Closed Sunday. 3478 Lawrence Ave. E. (at Markham Rd.), 416-431-6081

Milbree-Viking

Owners Heikki and Liisa Ottavainen are a talented team. While Heikki is busy in his smokehouse, preparing all manner of pork, fish and fowl, his wife, Liisa, labours in the kitchen, turning out a full repertoire of traditional Finnish fare. For starters, there’s cold-smoked salmon, double-smoked bacon, pork chops and ham, homemade sausages and smoked chickens. Customers travel from afar for Liisa’s rye bread (her mother’s recipe, prepared without preservatives, fat or yeast), and her heavenly doughnuts. There’s also a vast selection of pastries and meat patties. More space still is devoted to imported Scandinavian delights: crispbreads, chocolates, and herrings in various shapes, sizes and marinades. Closed Sunday and Monday. 133 Laird Dr (at Eglinton Ave. E.), 416-425-7200

Also, in 2003 we did a best donuts quest. The answers were Granowska's Bakery on Roncesvalles, the Little Pie Shoppe at 3147 Yonge St., and Xacutti.

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now we're talking!  Many thanks C. Nuttall-Smith.  Sounds like I'll have to do a mini quest of my own to decide what to bring...

Let us know what you find. I'm interested to know, too, if you could find a Chinese take on donuts at any of the great Chinese bakeries north of town. Betcha could.

Cheers,

CN-S

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Let us know what you find. I'm interested to know, too, if you could find a Chinese take on donuts at any of the great Chinese bakeries north of town. Betcha could.

Cheers,

CN-S

many of us at the office are Chinese, so I'd rather avoid this route -- I wouldn't be introducing anything new (same reason I'd hoped to avoid TimHo's).

in that vein, though, "pineapple" buns are a classic that might work well...

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I like oil sticks as much as the next person, but again, not suitable for the purpose I have in mind ;) (I'm always really confused when I see menus translate them as "donuts", btw, they just occupy a really different headspace for me...although I knew a girl who dipped them in white sugar to eat them...)

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My sister used to live in NYC, and she'd pick up the most amazing donuts at Balducci's, made by The Doughnut Plant. She brought some with her on a visit once, and they were incredibly delicious.

Having tasted those donuts, I just cannot stomach anything available in Toronto other than the crispy, greasy chocolate-glazed donuts available at kosher bakeries.

Edited by FlavoursGal (log)
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endy',

i have tried the donuts at milbree-viking and they are very good. they are made with a fluffy yet dense yeast raised dough. i believe they make 3 flavours:apple, strawberry and blueberry. you might want to order ahead as they run out of flavours.

i agree that granowska's makes exceptional doughnuts as well. of course there are many bakeries that have "Paczki", pronounced "Pontshki" on roncesvalles, however i have found that granowska's are the freshest and offer more flavours. prune/plum filled is the norm, but granowska's also has poppyseed, as well as rose petal jam. which they often run out of.

hope this helps, enjoy.

pastrybaker

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I tried Granowska's plum jam doughnuts yesterday. Very good. About $0.50 each, too.

endy',

i have tried the donuts at milbree-viking and they are very good. they are  made with a fluffy yet dense yeast raised dough. i believe they make 3 flavours:apple, strawberry and blueberry. you might want to order ahead as they run out of flavours. 

i agree that granowska's makes exceptional doughnuts as well. of course there are many bakeries that have "Paczki", pronounced "Pontshki" on roncesvalles, however i have found that granowska's are the freshest and offer more flavours. prune/plum filled is the norm, but granowska's also has poppyseed, as well as rose petal jam. which they often run out of.

hope this helps, enjoy.

pastrybaker

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I just remembered a place in Toronto where I have had really good, homemade donuts - at a Portuguese bakery, of all places!

It's called Girassol ("sunflower") and it's located at 191 Geary St. (just northeast of Dufferin and Dupont).

They carry good Portuguese breads, and sell decent cod cakes, sausage rolls, and pastries. The best donuts are the ones filled with custard. Go early - they tend to sell out quickly.

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I never imagined I'd get so many varied responses. Thanks to everyone who's posted, I'm getting all this down. It's starting to sound like I'll have to do a walking (or rolling!) tour...

I've had paczki before and I wasn't a big fan, so I may not end up going that route, although I'll add them to the taste-test if I have time...

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  • 2 weeks later...
I like oil sticks as much as the next person, but again, not suitable for the purpose I have in mind ;) (I'm always really confused when I see menus translate them as "donuts", btw, they just occupy a really different headspace for me...although I knew a girl who dipped them in white sugar to eat them...)

some restaurants here (vancouver) serve them with a dish of condensed milk for dipping. no congee. you just order/eat them like that! i think it may be a shanghai thing...

album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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  • 2 weeks later...

thanks for all the suggestions. I ended up not having enough time to pre-scout, but I went to Milbree-Viking this morning and cleaned our their supply -- 16 donuts (sugar, apple, strawberry, and blueberry). They were excellent. The most striking thing I noticed was that they (and this sounds trivial) SMELLED like something when I bit in. Instead of that vaguely sterile quality of chain donuts.

I liked the blueberry version the best -- real fruit in the fruit fillings, not just petroleum jelly-like goo.

cheap too. $18-something for 16.

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I just remembered a place in Toronto where I have had really good, homemade donuts - at a Portuguese bakery, of all places!

It's called Girassol ("sunflower") and it's located at 191 Geary St. (just northeast of Dufferin and Dupont).

They carry good Portuguese breads, and sell decent cod cakes, sausage rolls, and pastries.  The best donuts are the ones filled with custard.  Go early - they tend to sell out quickly.

I went to Girassol last week for the first time in a long time. I picked up the last 2 custard-filled donuts, thrilled that they weren't sold out.

They were awful! The custard, which used to taste homemade, was very chemical-tasting, and the dough did not have the same bite that I remembered.

I have a craving for Viking's cardamom bread. I think I'll head out there and pick up some of their donuts at the same time.

Edited by FlavoursGal (log)
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