There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh baked bread… well, other than eating it, of course. For a while, the enjoyment of bread had a scare – people were going against the grain, literally. The staff of life’s reputation was getting muddled by the mass-produced.

The loaves sitting in grocery store aisles are highly-processed, low in nutrients and have an unnaturally long shelf life. Thankfully, good artisan bread is making a comeback and giving us the dough we all deserve. Here’s a list of the best bakeries around the city to carb load with zero regrets.

Blackbird Baking Co.

Blackbird Baking Co. is the Michael Jordan of Toronto bakers, the GOAT of gluten, the – it’s just really good, okay? Since opening in Kensington nearly a decade ago, Blackbird’s talented team has been working around the clock to ensure Torontonians have hand-crafted loaves and fresh pastries made with local ingredients.

Blackbird was the first Canadian inductee into Belgium's sourdough library (where starters from around the world are stored) which you can tour virtually. In light of the current situation Blackbird is now offering online home delivery

blackbirdbakingco.com

Primrose Bagel Co.

We didn’t choose the bagel life, the bagel life chose us. What started as a series of pop-ups and backyard parties has grown into a “bagel lifestyle brand” with its very own store on St. Clair West.

Primrose’s hand-rolled, malt-boiled circles of doughy goodness are baked every day and served with their signature schmears like wasabi-tobiko cream cheese and beet-citrus salmon gravlax. Primrose is accepting online pre-orders only which can be picked-up in store. 

primrosebagel.com

Drake Commissary

Leave it to the folks behind the Drake to come up with one of the coolest places to break bread. At this bustling corner in the Junction Triangle, chefs, bakers, patrons and artists come together over some darn good dough.

The Commissary is more than a bakery, it’s an 8,000-square-foot community-and-culinary hub set in a refurbished condiment factory. The Commissary is currently offering a small takeaway menu along with delivery on Uber Eats. 

thedrake.ca/drakecommissary

Brodflour

Good bread starts with good flour. Brodflour sources organic, premium Canadian grains which are gently milled in their on-site stone mill into fresh flour. From daily sour dough ryes to heritage grain challah, the range of breads and treats that the different flours produce are as diverse as they are tasty.

Inspired by Scandinavian bakeries who maintain a close relationship from mill to mouth, Brodflour is reinventing the greatest thing since sliced bread – fresh, live dough. Brodflour is open for contactless pick-up and delivery on Uber Eats and foodora. 

brodflour.com

Mabel's Bakery and Specialty Foods

Mabel's is like that friendly neighbour who bakes pies from scratch for you (anyone have that neighbour?). Everything at Mabel's from their famous strawberry-rhubarb pie to their sourdough – still warm from the oven – is made fresh without preservatives.

Whenever you step into any of Mabel's Bakery's four locations across the city, you are immediately transported back in time to a quaint little homestyle bakery of yesteryear. The Dundas West, Roncesvalles and Queen West locations are open for pick-up and you can also shop Mabel's goods online at Fresh City

mabelsbakery.ca

Forno Cultura

Half bakeshop, half laboratory, this bustling Italian house of carbs specializes in classic loaves from their Colomba Classico to the innovative Nero di Sepia Squidink sourdough. (Don't be alarmed by the colour, it's not burnt, it's naturally dyed black from the squid ink.)

Forno Cultura is constantly pushing the boundaries of baking. Their breads are handmade and naturally leavened, letting fermentation build flavour and rise. Plus, they've got the city's best focaccia. Both their King and Queen Street locations are open for pick-ups. 

fornocultura.com