The Sweeter Side of Toronto

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Toronto, Ontario

While traveling I must have told dozens of people not to bother coming to Toronto. It is an amazing city to live in but I think the tourism options are terrible.

Personally I don’t have any desire to go to the CN Tower or drive out to Niagara Falls and for the ten years I lived here I did neither.

It’s like Auckland: amazing to live, boring to visit.

But coming back to Toronto is a fresh start so instead of jumping back into old haunts I want to discover new ones and I was so excited when I saw Tasty Tours.

Audrey who runs the Toronto food tour loves cakes, pastries, chocolates and pretty much anything sweet.

I’m more of a savory person but what caught my eye was that the tour is in Chinatown and Kensington Market – two of my favourite neighborhoods in Toronto.

chinese bakery

We all met at the Butterfly Pastry Shop in Chinatown and Audrey introduced the first sweet, an egg tart.

She shared the history of the tart from Hong Kong and how it was likely influenced by Europeans coming to the area.

But then she also shared the history of the shop we were in and how it had grown recently under new management.

Not surprisingly before we left I picked up a bacon and green onion Chinese bun.

We visited 4 more stores but these were by far my favourite.

chocolate addict

Chocolate Addict

Now while sweets aren’t my thing I do covet chocolate. And I have scurried down the street of Chocolate Addict so many times to get to my favourite Mexican grocery store.

It may have been a good thing because after drinking pure milk chocolate and trying a chili flavoured truffle it was all I could do to only walk out of the store with only 5 more.

rosca de reyes

Pancho’s Bakery

So it goes without speaking that I am a Latinophile, and I have already spent too much time in Kensington Market in the Latin stores but I had never been to Pancho’s Bakery.

Today they made us something very special cake, a rosca de reyes made for Three Kings Day.

A small trinket looking like a baby is hidden inside and one of the people in our group was fortunate to find it for he is now blessed, although he is also supposed to throw us a party.

churros

It was my favourite part of the day because I felt like my old life was now in my new one. I only wish I had enough stomach space to eat a churro.

Audrey’s Toronto food tour is great for both locals and visitors.

You see the best of Toronto and learn strange things like where marshmallows come from, how cupcakes got their name or where to find the best chocolate.

She gives the right amount of history and facts and whips her iPad out to demonstrate more complicated things.

She gave me the tour for free but is worth the $30 price tag.

Frankly Toronto needs more enthusiastic entrepreneurs like her to show you just how great a city this is.

Join the Conversation

  1. Stephanie - The Travel Chica says:

    Very cool to find something like this in your home city. When I was in Columbus a few months ago, I heard about a new food tour. I didn’t have time to go on that trip, but I will definitely be doing it when I get back.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Food tours in any city are my favourite. I am now on the prowl for one in Little India.

  2. Camels & Chocolate says:

    I’ve never been to Toronto, but funny, I also thought Auckland was a bit bland (if not an awesome city if you were based there). Though I would come to Toronto for these baked goods alone! Then again, I have a sweet tooth like nobody’s business.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Kristin you have never been to Toronto? For shame!

  3. I LOVE pastries! Those pink cupcakes look SUPERB!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I am not a cupcake person but I will vouch they were amazing.

  4. Hi, I live in calgary and I’ve never been to Toronto. But I have heard so much great thing about Toronto~

    We also have China town here . I visit the bakery in china town all the time. Egg tart is my favourite!yum:)

    Have u tried the Taro Bun? They are really gd as well~

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I didn’t know Calgary had a Chinatown but that makes a lot of sense. I love Taro Bun, in fact I pretty much love all the buns except the ones that have hot dogs in them.

  5. I used to go to Pancho’s all the time when I lived in Kensington!

    Way to go…now I miss Toronto even more! Hmph! πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You can always come back…

  6. Those egg tarts looks great! I’ll definitely try to grab a few pieces the next time I drop by Toronto.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I think they are quite popular in most Chinese bakeries if you are near one.

  7. “It’s like Auckland: amazing to live, boring to visit.”

    Maybe that’s why I hated my visit but my friends who live there LOVE the city?

    Anyway, now I want food. THANKS.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I know Candice, I keep telling you Toronto is awesome and there are so many East Coasters here.

    2. Marie Lock says:

      Boring? Toronto? Weird? I live in the city and enjoy all the wonderful festivals. “Taste on the Danforth”; The “Bloor Village Ukranian Festival”; “Roncesvalles Polish Festival” and more. I love walking the “Clinton Bar & Nightlife Strip”. I love the fact that I have shops open 24 hours and as a 50 plus lady can go most places by TTC at night.

      Candice. Live it up. I’ve been to “London”; “Chicago”; “Prague” &c. and come back loving TO even more. As in all of those cities; unless you love booze or theatre, after 7 the towns shut their doors and stores.

      1. Ayngelina Author says:

        I really do love Toronto as well but it is a difficult city to love at first. Like Candice I came from the East Coast and it took 3 years for me to love the city. Now I can’t imagine living anywhere else in Canada.

  8. Natasha @ Wandering Kiwi says:

    Ha ha your aside about Auckland made me laugh. Actually it is really boring to live in Auckland also, Wellington is much more interesting πŸ˜‰

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I visited some friends in Auckland and had a great time but I think it was because I was visiting and we were always out doing things. A few times I was on my own, navigating the city by bus and it was atrocious.

  9. Only 5 more! Everything looks so good!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I know it was so hard to choose, I ate them all when I got home!

  10. My boyfriend is from GTA and says the same thing. We’ll have to take a tour when I visit him there this summer!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      It’s so much fun and Audrey is adorable, you really should do it.

  11. The World of Deej says:

    Yum indeed…You’ve made it very hard for me to skip the chocolate donut for breakfast…

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I have to say I would much rather have a sandwich than a donut for breakfast. I’m not sure if that is a blessing or not.

  12. 50+ and on the Run says:

    Also love the Auckland comment. My city, San Antonio, has so many cool places. I’m still finding them and I’ve lived here 18 years! Thanks for another great post.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I have actually heard great things about San Antonio. As much as I have plans for travel internationally I’m quite drawn to heading down South to explore the US, especially the Southern States.

  13. Oh Ayngelina.. your posts keep making me hungry!

  14. Cute post! I also wrote about this tour on my blog. I talk a LOT about Toronto from a local perspective. Take a peek!

  15. I agree – Toronto totally needs more entrepreneurs to show off what the city has to offer!

    I just got back to Toronto after spending almost a year in Delhi. I plan on exploring my hometown as much as I did Delhi – so if you need someone to discover new haunts with drop me a line…seriously!

  16. 30 bucks doesn’t sound bad at all for a tour like this. I want some of that chocolate! We can get plenty of churros in Mexico.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Churros and tacos…yum. I’m thinking we should plan a jaunt to Oaxaca.

  17. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures says:

    Ummm chocolate my have! What a fun tour!!!

  18. DTravelsRound says:

    These look and sound absolutely delicious!!

  19. Arghh man now I’m hungry lol

    Never been to Toronto myself on time I’ve been to Canada was skiing in banff which I love

    You guys have some great steak houses in Canada

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You know I’m Canadian but have never been to Banff, it’s shameful.

  20. What a fabulous tour of delicious places!! What fun to discover these marvelous spots in your home town. πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      It’s nice to see a new side of Toronto, especially when it involves food.

  21. Scott - Quirky Travel Guy says:

    I’ve been thinking of ways to be a tourist in my own city this winter, and a food tour might be the way to go. Thanks for the inspiration πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Food tours are great, I have also heard of a beer tour which may be good to discover new places in the city. It takes a while to find the more interesting tours which is unfortunate because it means tourists probably never hear of them.

  22. Bula - The Irreverent Traveller says:

    Ah, brilliant. A fellow Canadian travel blogger who is a foodie. Love your site, by the way. After I finish travelling around the globe, I am moving my home base from Calgary to Toronto — a move I am even surprised by because I thought Toronto was always kind of uninspiring. But upon further research about its funky neighbourhoods, I came to the exact same conclusion you did: terrible to visit, but amazing to live. This post reaffirmed it! And gorgeous photos. Love, love, LOVE food porn.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      There is a thriving blogging community in Toronto and it’s been really great to get to know. Make sure you let me know when you arrive and I’ll introduce you to everyone.

  23. i like that comment “awesome to live in, boring to visit.” – heehee. I am fortunate that my work is close to Chinatown / Kensington area. Guess where I’m always at during lunch breaks?? But now that I’m on mat leave with baby #3, I miss my daily walks there…

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I moved down to Queen and Spadina because I really wanted to be close to all the things I loved and it makes my day when I get bored I can just wander around there.

      But how did I miss the chocolate!

  24. Jeremy Branham says:

    This is a side of Toronto I really need to explore! πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Have you crossed over into the foodie world?

  25. Holy cat! The pink muffins look so delicious!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I’m not a cupcake girl but it was pretty damn good.

  26. Ahhh I am SO hungry for something sweet now…

    And good for you for seeking out a new side of Toronto!

  27. Jade - OurOyster.com says:

    MMmmmMMM Now im hungry…..

  28. Nomadic Samuel says:

    When you mentioned not visiting CN Tower &/or Niagra Falls, despite living in Toronto for 10+ years it reminded me of when I was in Edmonton. I was always planning to check out the water park in WEM but always put it off again & again and when I ended up leaving 6 years later, I never did go.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I may never go up the CN Tower, I just don’t understand people’s need to see things from the top of a building.

  29. That food tour sounds awesome! I would of made room for the churro πŸ˜‰ I actually just did my first one last week in Seattle! A Gourmet food tour, 7 restaurants and a market it was delicious! πŸ™‚

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Oh now I need to hear about that!

  30. Oooh, this is definitely my kind of thing. There is never a bad time for the sweet things of life.

  31. How did I miss this one? Yum, it looks like a great tour, multiple places to try chocolate. Heavenly….

  32. Khrystena says:

    I found this post while searching food tours in Toronto. I did see how you were searching for more tours and at the same time,

    they do a tour of Little India as well as Davenport or Culinary Adventures!

  33. I just attended a food tour from another new company called Foodies on Foot and was really impressed. It is led by foodies with great connections to a lot of restaurants and shops, and, a huge passion for the city. We got to meet the owners at most of the restaurants and shops and had 1 on 1 experiences we could not have walking in on our own.

  34. mmmmm…those fresh churros are making my mouth water!

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