Ultra Vires


Treat Yo’ Self

Our favourite sweet and savoury treats in the city

It’s been a long winter. We think that you deserve a little treat for opening up your laptop everyday for the past two months to log on to Zoom School of Law. Though coffee and snacks are coming back to campus twice a week, you’ll still need to satisfy your mid-afternoon cravings during the other three business days. Whether you’re looking to indulge in your next guilty pleasure or pleading the fifth, we’ve got you covered.

Apologies in advance to the celiacs—this article is gluten-heavy. 

SOMA Chocolatemaker | multiple locations

Kaitlyn: If you’re looking for a last minute gift for a special someone, then SOMA Chocolatemaker has got you covered! SOMA has something for everyone—chocolate bars, truffles, fruit bars, and hot chocolate. Their Distillery District location is bright and airy, and gives you a behind-the-scenes view of the chocolate-making process. The hardest part of visiting SOMA was narrowing down our choices—there were too many things we wanted to try. We ended up going with a variety of bars (roasted white, starry night, mango chilli, raspberry) and a handful of truffles (rose pistachio, Vietnamese coffee, sea salted caramel). Everything was delicious and lived up to expectations. I highly recommend that you visit the next time you’re looking for a treat. 

Recommended treat: mango chilli bar, starry night chocolate bar, or any of their truffles!

Chocolate bars from SOMA Chocolatemaker. Credit: Kaitlyn Nelson

Roselle | 362 King St E

Lauren: If you’ve ever passed by Roselle’s King Street storefront, you’ve probably seen a line wrapped around the block and wondered to yourself, “Is this worth it, or is this just another classic case of Toronto residents blindly jumping in line for the newest trend?” We are here to tell you that Roselle is absolutely, 100% worth lining up for. I have never been disappointed by a single pastry I have purchased from Roselle and you can trust me because I have purchased a lot. My favourites are the Earl Grey shorties and the banana cream pie eclairs. My mom would also like to tell the world that this is her favourite bakery in Toronto and she highly recommends the chestnut vanilla entremet.

Recommended treat: Earl Grey shortie

Blackbird Baking Co. | multiple locations

Shae: If you’ve spent any time in Toronto, you almost certainly know Blackbird. Blackbird specialises in sourdough, so they’ve got you covered if you killed your pandemic sourdough starter (confession: I did). But Blackbird is no one-trick pony. They have all the classic bakery offerings you could ever need—croissants, scones, tarts, and more! If you don’t live near their Kensington Market or Riverside locations, have no fear. There are a ton of cafes around the city that stock Blackbird, so you can almost always satisfy your post-constitutional law croissant craving (Sorry Coffee Co. is the closest to campus). Like Roselle, Blackbird is another spot where you can observe the seemingly Toronto-specific social phenomenon of people joining a line with no idea what they’re lining up for. 

Recommended treat: pain au chocolat

Pain au chocolat and almond croissant from Blackbird. Credit: Kaitlyn Nelson

Barbershop Patisserie | 859 College St

Kaitlyn: If I had to pick a favourite pastry in Toronto it would be the lemon bichon from Barbershop Patisserie. Run by Jill Barber, formerly the head pastry chef at Blackbird Baking Co, Barbershop Patisserie at College and Ossington is definitely worth a visit. The staff is friendly and the shop is small but bright. Barbershop opened in the middle of the pandemic and currently has a limited menu of baked goods, specialising in puff pastry items (both savoury and sweet). I will definitely be going back soon to try more!

Recommended treat: lemon bichon 

Robinson Bread | 6 Brock Ave

Lauren: I nearly got hit by a car biking to Robinson Bread but the focaccia was so good that I (almost) forgot about that part. Located in Parkdale, Robinson Bread has a minimalistic storefront offering an assortment of breads and baked goods. Their seasonal cookie boxes are the perfect compliment to a coffee—and they are conveniently located in the same space as the wonderful Sam James Coffee Bar. The star of the show for me was their focaccia. I have personally posted desperately on several baking forums asking for advice on how to recreate their focaccia with no luck. I guess I will just need to continue to risk my life on the not-so-bike-friendly streets of Toronto for Robinson Bread, and I would recommend you do the same.* 

*not legal advice.

Recommended treat: rosemary sesame and garlic honey focaccia 

Forno Cultura | multiple locations

Shae: If you’re looking for a bread with that wow factor, Forno Cultura is the place for you. Bring their focaccia to parties and you’ll secure yourself a permanent invite. I almost can’t put my thoughts about the focaccia into words. It’s airy, flavourful, and downright delightful. Their focaccia barese has the perfect balance of olive oil, flaky salt, and acid from the tomatoes. Besides focaccia (which I’m obsessed with), Forno Cultura makes phenomenal biscotti. You can find Forno Cultura on Queen West and King West, and for our Bay Street friends, they also have outlets in both First Canadian Place and Union Station. 

Recommended treat: focaccia barese 

Bread for days at Forno Cultura! Credit: Shae Rothery

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