Its official, Toronto loves pie. We recently published an article called the Best Pies in Toronto. Our first list of the best pies in the city featured Wanda's Pie in the Sky, Madeleine's Cherry Pie and Ice Cream, Pie Squared, and Apiecalypse Now. After we published the article we received many recommendations of places we missed. Today we bring you The Best Pies in Toronto Part Two! This list involves purveyors of both sweet and savoury pies in Toronto. Grab a pen, you're going to want to write this list down!
On Duncan Street, near Queen and McCaul you will find an authentic Australian pie shop called Kanga. Kanga specializes in Australian meat pies. Traditionally these are individual sized pies with a buttery and thick flaky crust (made using real butter) encasing a rich meat and gravy filling. They are meant to be enjoyed like hamburgers and are served with "tomato sauce" (ketchup).
"We're the first to sell Australian style meat pies in Toronto. What makes our pies unique is the puff pastry on top of our pies, unlike the dense and crumbly pie crusts most Toronto bakeries serve. We also use 100% pure butter in our crust and a rich gravy inside. We use the best ingredients we can find. We use meat from local and ethical butchers. We serve pies we are proud of,"
says Megan, Kanga Co-Owner.
This takeaway offers traditional and innovative pie flavours for $6.50 to $7.25 each. Traditional varieties include the Traditional Aussie (steak and gravy pie), Kiwi Classic (a New Zealander favourite with traditional meat and white cheddar filling), and chicken pot pie (traditional style chicken pot pie with a splash of Chardonnay). Their new wave pie flavours include Butter Chix (butter chicken filling), El Diablo (BBQ Pulled Pork filling), Creamy Zucchini (zucchini, roasted onions, cream cheese sauce filling), Mates' Masala (chickpea, eggplant and sweet potato stew filling), Brekkie (bacon, egg and cheddar filling), and the Canadian (beer braised steak and bacon in gravy filling). Adventurous eaters can top their pie with cheese curds and gravy to make it poutine!
Kanga uses real butter and responsibly raised local meat in their pies and the quality definitely shows. Kanga pies are sold ready to eat for takeaway and frozen at their shop on Duncan street, and also frozen from several specialty stores. Kanga pies are also now available for Toronto home delivery. More than just a pie shop, Kanga also sells Australian style coffee drinks (think 'flat whites') made with locally roasted beans from Propeller Coffee Roasters, as well as traditional Australian treats like Lamingtons (sponge cake covered in chocolate and coconut). This is not a light meal, come hungry.
You'll find the popular Dessert Lady pastry shop in the heart of Yorkville. Started by a passionate French Culinary Institute trained pastry chef named Mandy, Desert Lady specializes in an array of natural and homestyle desserts including pies, tarts, ice cream, chocolate truffles, cookies, special occasion cakes, wedding cakes and more. Dessert Lady also sells products to numerous restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, hotels, and caterers across Ontario as well as overseas, meaning you may have tasted a Dessert Lady pie already.
The pastry shop offers 6" ($9) and 9" ($18) pies, and 5" ($15), 7" ($18) and 9" ($23) tarts. The pies come in humble flavours (apple, pumpkin, wild blueberry, cherry, apple crumble) while the tarts come in more sophisticated varieties (Blueberry Frangipane, Caramel Pecan, Key Lime, Classic Apple, Lemon Meringue, Poached Pear Almond Frangipane). Pies can be purchased in store and online. In 2013 Dessert Lady won #1 in Now Magazine's Best of Toronto for Best Dessert, Best Bakery, Best Patisserie and Best Cupcake! This comes as no surprise since Dessert Lady is bursting at the seams with passionate employees.
"We bake with love. Our pies are made from scratch in house. Everyone in our company constantly upgrades their skills by attending courses and training sessions.We even travel abroad every year to see what's going on internationally to compare and be inspired by others. We also try flavours on our own time and incorporate them into our menu. Everyone has to like it or it doesn't make the menu! You've got to try our pies!",
says Lori Monteiro, Sales and Marketing at Dessert Lady.
The Flaky Tart
Flaky Tart is a popular pastry shop in the Mt. Pleasant and Eglinton area. The whimsical and nostalgic bakery offers delicious pies, cookies, cinnamon buns, cakes and more. Chef Madelaine Sperry grew up in a home with a strong handmade baking tradition and decided to keep it going by opening Flaky Tart.
Everything at Flaky Tart is made from scratch. Pies are made with fresh ingredients and baked on the premises. Flaky Tart's fruit pies range from $14.00-$17.00, while their cream pies range from $18.00-$22.00. The bakery also sells some meat pies including chicken leek, mild curried lamb and potato, steak and mushroom, tourtiere, shepherds pie, and veggie cobbler. This bakery is a favourite with Toronto locals, and for good reason.
"Part of what makes our pies unique is that we pit our own fruit, peel our own apples. We use as much fresh, local, and in-season fruit as we can. But I think the main reason that our pies are so delicious is that they are rolled out by hand. It makes a world of difference to the texture and flavour of the crust. Everything here is made with care and with love,"
says owner and chef Madelaine Sperry. This is one homestyle bakery that you shouldn't miss!
Phipps is a tried and true bakery that has been baking pies for almost 30 years in Toronto. This beloved Eglinton West bakery has won awards for their butter tarts and outrageous chocolate pecan pies.
Their pies come in size small for $16.99 to $18.99 (8"), and size large for $28.99 to $34.99 (10") in flavours like Apple Crumble, Strawberry-Rhubarb, Key Lime, and Caramel Pecan. They even offer a gluten-free Lemon Mousse Pie in a coconut meringue shell! Their many pie varieties include double crust fruit pies, lattice top pies, mousse pies and buttery shortbread crust pies like their Lemon Shortbread Pie.
"Our pies are delicious because they are made with pure butter. We use the finest ingredients we can find in our pies. We make sure everything is very fresh and delicious which I think results in repeat customers and explains how we've lasted in Toronto for so many years",
says owner Janet.
Perhaps the best part about Phipps Bakery is their approach to food. Their food is free from preservatives. Their cookies and tarts are made with ethically-raised eggs. Their espressos and coffee flavoured cakes are made with fair trade organic beans. This is a mindful business. If pie is not your thing, be sure to check out their cakes like their award winning Mom's Chocolate Cake, and their delicious cookies as well.
The Pie Commission
Another popular pie shop selling individual savoury pies in Toronto is The Pie Commission. They sell ready to eat and frozen 5" gourmet meat and vegetable pies ($7.45-7.95 per pie) to hungry Torontonians from a takeaway window on the Queensway. No artificial ingredients are used, the crusts are made from real butter, and only premium Canadian meat, fresh vegetables and homemade stocks(meat, chicken and vegetable) are used in the filling.
The menu is short and savoury. Only five pie varieties are offered. Braised Beef Rib Pie (braised beef in homemade veal stock with sweet potatoes and mushrooms), Beef N' Beer Pie (ground beef and onion with beer-braised gravy), Butter Chicken Pie (chicken in butter curry sauce), Chicken Cheddar Bacon Mash Pie (chicken with bacon mashed potatoes), and Veg-ilicious Pie (kale, millet, broccoli, goats cheese and tomato sauce).
"The most important aspect of our business is that everything is made from scratch with real ingredients. Our process is not factory-style, we offer homestyle food. I hear all the time that our pastry reminds people of their mothers' or grandmothers' pies,"
says Patrick Blessing, owner The Pie Commission.
There you have it, five more amazing pie shops to visit in Toronto! From savoury to sweet, crumbly to flaky, these pies are love at first bite. We hope you wrote these business names down. You're going to want to remember these tips!