Location: 205 Delaware Avenue, Toronto
Chocolate cream pie is one of those desserts that’s incredibly simple (it’s basically just chocolate pudding in a pie crust), but incredibly satisfying.
There’s not much to say about this; it’s exactly what you’re hoping it’ll be.
The filling is dense and rich, with a very pronounced bittersweet chocolate flavour that’s nice and intense without being overpowering.
The cream helps to cut the richness from the chocolate filling, and the little bits of chocolate on top add additional texture and flavour.
The crust is nothing to write home about, though the pie was in the “day old” section of the bakery at a discount, so it’s possible it might have been better when it was just baked. There certainly wasn’t anything wrong with it, but nothing about it jumped out at me. The balance between the chocolate and the cream was so tasty, however, that it really didn’t matter.
Location: 348 Yonge Street, Toronto
What if you had bubble tea, but without the tea? That’s not a question I would have thought to ask, but it turns out that the answer is seriously delicious.
Tiger Sugar serves a drink called brown sugar boba milk, and yeah — it’s basically bubble tea without the tea. It’s sweet, creamy, and amazing. I actually tried Tiger Sugar on a recent trip to Taiwan, and I found it so delicious that I thought “I should bring this to Canada! I’ll be rich!”
I have zero desire to run a bubble tea shop, but I was so confident that this would be a hit in Toronto that I actually reached out to the company to see if franchising was a possibility (alas, I was too late).
And, so far at least, I was right. Tiger Sugar opened a location downtown about a month ago, and on a recent visit (during the afternoon in the middle of the week, no less), the place was absolutely packed.
Their flagship drink is brown sugar boba milk with cream mousse, which is just as rich as it sounds. The brown sugar gives it a nice depth of flavour that helps it not feel too sweet, despite the fact that it’s incredibly sweet. The combo of the milk and the cream mousse is rich and satisfying. And the tapioca balls are chewy, sweet, and tasty.
It’s definitely not something to order if you just want to quench your thirst — it’s a full-blown dessert, and it’s surprisingly heavy — but it’s so good.
Location: It’s a truck; check Instagram to see where they’re parked
Fact: it’s impossible to read this article without immediately being overcome by an extreme desire to go check out that gelato. High quality gelato with really interesting, Indian-inspired flavours? Yes please. Put that in my belly ASAP.
I was hoping to try the pistachio cardamom, but alas, it wasn’t available when I went. I guess I’ll have to go back — what a hardship.
It’s as delicious as advertised. The gelato itself is great; it’s rich, creamy, and smooth, with a perfect consistency.
As for the flavour, I got the Carrots and Cream, which is apparently based on a traditional Indian pudding called carrot halwa. I can’t say I’ve tried that particular dessert, but if this gelato is any indication, it’s good.
I’m not sure what to compare the flavour to. I guess carrot cake? But not really. It has a similar flavour profile to any number of Indian desserts, but it’s also got its own thing going on. I don’t know. It’s delicious. That’s the best way I can describe it. It’s delicious and you should eat it immediately.
Location: 1596 Queen Street West, Toronto
I checked out Glory Hole Doughnuts when it opened and was thoroughly unimpressed. That was a few years ago, and in the meanwhile it’s been piling up accolade after accolade. Another visit was in order.
Yeah, everyone is right about this place: it’s great.
I had the bread and butter doughnut, which is a classic raised doughnut topped with brown butter icing, toasted breadcrumbs, and cinnamon.
The doughnut itself was perfect; just the right amount of fluffiness and chewiness, with a really nice flavour and no oiliness (this was an issue on my first visit, but not even a little bit this time).
The icing was creamy, slightly nutty from the brown butter, and perfectly sweet. The breadcrumbs add some crunch and a mild toasty flavour. The sweet cinnamon-infused flavour, the creamy icing, and the crispy breadcrumbs are an irresistible combo. It’s an amazing doughnut.
Location: 342 Westmoreland Avenue North, Toronto
Knockout Ice Cream is a new ice cream shop in a formerly industrial area that’s recently become a foodie hotspot — places like Parallel and Famiglia Baldassare are right around the corner.
I’m interested in a new ice cream place by default, but the fact that this is the latest venture from Arthur Pezzelli, who was also involved with Bang Bang and Koishi, clinches it. Bang Bang serves what is clearly the best ice cream in the city, so of course.
The set-up is quite Bang Bang-esque, with the flavours listed on the wall behind the register, a freezer selling to-go tubs to the left, and a space that’s basically just big enough to order and then leave (they have a few chairs outside the entrance).
No ice cream sandwiches, however, though they do have a machine to make bubble waffles.
I tried the dulce de leche, which has a deep, intense caramel flavour (the ice cream itself tastes like dulce de leche rather than having sauce swirled inside). It was also incredibly rich and creamy, so it’s clearly top-tier ice cream.
It was a touch too sweet, however, and the texture was gummier than I’d like, so I don’t think Bang Bang has anything to worry about quite yet. But the place literally just opened (June 21st, according to their Instagram); assuming they work out the kinks, I think it could easily become one of the better ice cream shops in the city.