Made from crispy, flaky dough piped with pastry cream and traditionally topped with chocolate icing, éclairs have caught food-trend fire in Toronto, with expert pastry chefs serving up fun variations that rival those found on the streets of Paris. Head to these Toronto patisseries when you’re craving this classic French dessert, they’ll be offering rich flavour fusions that are absolutely to die for. [Feature image: Nugateau]
Nugateau is a bright bakeshop on Queen West serving a variety of colourful éclairs. The open-concept space channels a modern Parisian patisserie with awe-inspiring arrangements of éclairs displayed under glass. The Persian pistachio is a neighbourhood favorite as well as the peaches ‘n’ cream, while the fruit is in season during the summer. You may be set with something truer to a traditional éclair but elaborate creations like the Annabelle (whipped Zephyr pistachio gaache, strawberry mint compote and fresh strawberries) are also must-tries. Éclairs are available in single servings and half-dozens, with sweet and savoury options as well as limited editions.
The Tempered Room is a Parkdale patisserie showcasing Parisian pastries in a hip café environment. Flaky éclairs are filled with creams and custards and easily devoured. The Tempered Room is also known for its tarts, mouse cakes, savoury croque monsiers, puff pastries and more (and with expertly rendered espresso-based drinks, it’s pretty hard to leave without something that’s entirely delicious). Plus, with its warm, wood-clad interior, exposed brick and high ceilings, this is the perfect blend of Toronto cool and Paris chic.
Delysees is a modern French bakery with white walls, contemporary furnishings and a long glass pastry case stocked full of sleek French treats. Éclairs are elegantly decorated and come beautifully packaged, the perfect gift for the dessert lover in your life. The Gianda Gold is the pride and joy of Delysees’ éclair lineup, a golden-painted éclair with a hazelnut ganache filling. It’s so beautiful it’s almost a shame to eat (almost).
Roselle Deserts is a cute café and bakery in Toronto’s Corktown neighbourhood. Roselle specializes in a banana cream éclair that definitely qualifies as upscale comfort food at its finest. A crispy, flaky éclair shell is filled with layers of vanilla bean custard, followed by caramelized bananas and topped with heaps of whipped white chocolate ganache. The whole thing is finished with a dusting of icing sugar for a gorgeous, homey treat.
mon K Patisserie is a café that creates classic French pastries with a Japanese twist – case in point: their green tea éclair with a light and fluffy cream filling. This rustic chic café also creates cakes, tarts and macaroons and offers take away boxes for an assortment of treats. The éclairs are everything they ought to be: flaky, delicate and delicious.
Maman’s first location is in trendy SoHo New York but sweet-lovers of the 6 got lucky when they set up shop in Toronto’s First Canadian Place. You can find the Financial District crowd flocking to the food court for their artisanal pastries, sandwiches, soups and croissants made fresh daily (but note: it’s only open Monday to Friday for breakfast and lunch and Saturday for brunch). And if you’re thinking the food court location means bad interior vibes, guess again. Maman is sectioned off and hosts lots of white-washed light, rustic communal seating, lush greenery, and a huge patio.
Thobors is a Davisville bakery that puts an emphasis on traditional baking and French bread. Their café serves lunch, pastries, coffee, beautiful tarts, truffles, macarons and of course, éclairs. The éclair here is very traditional with a light pastry and chocolate, coffee or pistachio pastry cream. Thobors is celebrated across the city for their authentic, classically rendered version of the Parisian treat.