Some of Toronto's best baguettes, breads and butter tarts are baked in the east end, their heavenly aromas pouring out of the oven and onto the bustling Queen Street East strip. Other bakeries in Riverside and Leslieville feel like true hidden gems, tucked up side streets that only the locals frequent. Here are the spots to visit on the east side. [Feature image: Bobbette & Belle]
Now let’s see – a fresh loaf of artisan bread versus store-bought. Is there really any comparison? Sinking your teeth into a fresh-baked slab of handmade bread is one of life’s great pleasures that shouldn’t be denied. Taste the difference real hands make at these local artisan bakeries. [Feature image: Blackbird Baking Co.]
For the city’s discerning carnivores, the best butcher shops go that extra mile (but no more than 100) to bring organic, locally raised meats from farm to table. With a bounty of Toronto butchers stocking grass-fed beef, heritage pork and free-range chicken, the (pasture-raised) bacon is in your own backyard. [Featured Image: Cote de Boeuf]
Just because you’re gluten-free doesn’t mean you need to feel deprived. You can have your cupcake and eat it too! Satisfy your sweet tooth with these bakeries scattered around the city. Each one offers specialized gluten-free cupcakes that are perfect for indulging any day of the week.
If finding the perfect bunch of kale for your smoothie or a chicken pot pie that tastes as good as mom’s is what really fuels your foodie mojo, it’s time to step away from the big box grocery store. We’ve rounded up our top independent grocers for premium produce, take-home fare, gourmet cheeses, all-natural products and ethical meats, plus a food co-op and a 24-hour neighbourhood favourite.
The 4th annual Toronto Tea Festival is coming up this weekend at the Toronto Reference Library. Whether you’re an aficionado who wants to learn more about authentic tea ceremonies or a new convert looking for ways to get your caffeine buzz on, this event is all about tea leaf love. Check out these vendors from across the GTA who will have their blissful brews on offer.
Valentine's Day shouldn't be stressful. But, it's time to stop relying on the typical box of chocolates, teddy bears and bouquet of flowers. Seriously. It's time, instead, to appreciate the moments spent together. When it comes to this so-called Hallmark holiday, it really is the thought that counts. Here are some thoughtful gift ideas that’ll make the day special for the both of you. (Photo taken at Crown Flora Studio)
Toronto is home to many chocolate shops that offer unique takes on truffles, chocolate bars and more! From vodka infused chocolate to artisanal hot chocolate, there are so many ways to indulge your craving for chocolate. Here are some of the best chocolate shops in Toronto. [Photo of Delight Chocolate’s ginger ganache-filled chocolates]
Move over caffeine and say hello to sweet, colourful, energy-boosting juice. Whether you’ve decided it’s time for a cleanse or you’re simply hooked on the limitless fruity elixirs nature has to offer, cold-pressed juice is the organic solution to your afternoon crash. Best of all, these healthy spots  in Toronto will deliver your daily or weekly supply of juice right to your door. [Feature image: Anti Vice Juicery]
Have you got hot sauce fever? Symptoms include craving cayenne, choosing spicy over sweet, and pouring hot sauce on just about anything (spicy mac ’n’ cheese, anyone?). If variety is the spice of life, turn up the heat with these Toronto hot sauce selections and you’ll be in for a flavourful ride. [Photo courtesy of Café Con Leche]
Whether looking to study the art of the tea sommelier or just trying to break your coffee habit, these special-tea shops pack a diverse selection of loose leaf brews from around the world, each with its own travel story. Sommeliers will happily tell you about the history of this beloved plant, creative ways to use it and prepare it, and send you away with a sweet smelling beverage to keep you warm and cozy on cold winter days.
Roncesvalles has long been a destination for Toronto’s foodies and at-home chefs. Known for its traditional Polish delis and indie produce markets, Roncey is also home to a slew of gourmet grocers, home-style bakeries and ethical meat shops. Spend an afternoon perusing this casual west end stretch and pick up the ingredients for your next kitchen creation.  [Image credit: iStock.com/martin-dm]
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