Harbord Bakery is one of the oldest Jewish bakeries in Toronto – located in the Annex/Kensington Market area since 1926. Now owned by the Kosower family (since 1945), the bakery aims to “hold on our Jewish roots while embracing a diversifying menu”.
The Harbord Bakery is much more than a simple bakeshop. It relishes in old favourites which have been present since the bakeries origins, such as Challah bread, crunchy Mandelbrot (a Jewish biscotti), custard apply cake, honey cake, sweet cheese buns. Over the years, non-traditional items have been added to celebrate the diversity in the surrounding area. Items such as spicy chicken, buttery croissants, mousse cakes and more have been added to Harbord Bakery’s palette, and appeal to a wide variety of customers. Harbord Bakery offers a wide selection of assorted baked goods that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
One of the most noteworthy aspects about the Harbord Bakery is the wonderful fresh food items that can be combined to make a wonderfully delicious and healthy meal. The dairy case is brimming, with smoked salmon, fresh juice, yogurt, cheeses and more, while the prepared food counter contains large bowls of items (all made daily) such as cucumber salad, three-bean salad, Chinese noodles, freshly made soups and more. Customers can create their own delicious lunch or tap into the vivacious menu for take-out parties! Harbord Bakery also offers specialty items. I was dazzled by the gorgeous gingerbread house they had on display to viewing and the bakery is famous for their birthday cakes that feature creamy frosting and moist cake.
The few items that I sampled were delicious: the chocolate madeleine tasted like almond brittle in rich dark chocolate, providing a juxtaposing contrast between smooth and crunch. The double chocolate fig was also quite interesting – it is dipped and stuffed with ganache (a mixture of chocolate and cream) textured chocolate that mixes with the fig seeds. We also tried a delicious apple pastry which was topped with granulated sugar and cinnamon. One of my favourites was the carrot cup cake with cream cheese frosting – fresh, delicious, and just a perfect mix between sweet and creamy goodness!
The reviews of Harbord Bakery online only highlight one complaint: some of the commentators argue that the bakery is overpriced and has service that’s “a bit on and off”. Notably, no one argues about the quality of the food, with people citing the bakery’s carrot cake, cheese blintzes, fruit cakes with fresh fruit, and Challah bread as being amazing. If price is a concern for you, the bakery has a special “day old” section which offers reduced-prices for delicious, left over stock from the previous day. Certainly, if you are looking for a break from the fast-food, overcooked Toronto restaurant scene, Harbord Bakery is the perfect place to satisfy a healthy craving with delicious and fresh breads, pastries, salads, and more. If you are craving the comforts of home, Harbord Bakery is the perfect place for you!
115 Harbord Street
Hours: Monday – Thursday 8 AM – 7 PM
Friday & Saturday 8 AM – 6 PM
Sunday 8 AM – 4 PM