You know what’s better than a bakery that has cakes, donuts, pastries, tarts, mousse cups, cupcakes, and meringues? A bakery that has cakes, donuts, pastries, tarts, mousse cups, cupcakes, meringues AND fresh baked bread, sandwiches, breakfast, pasta, hot food and plenty of space to sit and eat! With Christmas decorations! And a Christmas tree by the window! Can you tell I’m excited?! I absolutely lovelovelove bakeries that double as cafés and I happened across a fabulous one in Bloorcourt Village on Bloor Street West, sandwiched between Ossington and Dufferin just west of Dovercourt Rd.
Courense Bakery is a pretty bakery that lights up from the inside out. Its dark chocolate brown and frosted gold exterior beckons you inside like a homey Christmas gingerbread house and when I passed by it for the first time a week and a half ago, there was something warm, welcoming, and cozy about the way the lights from the inside shone through the front windows. It felt like a place I could enjoy some hot cocoa in while inhaling the smell of warm bread and sugary spun desserts.
I had no idea Courense was a bakery and a sit down café! I was so delighted when I walked in and saw all the tables and chairs to sit and eat on and I was even more delighted when my eyes landed on the trays and trays of beautiful white meringues with Christmas sprinkles! The dessert and pastry display cases curved around in a J shape – like a candy cane – and carried everything from whole cakes, jelly roll cake slices, frosted cake slices, sweet puff pastries, vanilla cupcakes, donuts, tarts, meringues with Christmas sprinkles and chocolate sprinkles, custards, eclairs, cannolis, chocolate mousse, and more.
It was so cute how some of the dessert were also decorated for Christmas. The meringues and chocolate mousse had Christmas sprinkles and some of the pastries were coated in melted chocolate and/or powdered sugar with chocolate cigar biscuits and adorned with a little rainbow candy cane! The dessert selection is AMAZING. I can’t imagine anyone not being able to find something that strikes their fancy here!
Courense Bakery isn’t just a place to tickle your sweet teeth though. They serve sandwiches, pasta, hot food, and breakfast! Behind the display cases sits a wooden wall rack of fresh baked bread in the form of buns, kaisers, and giant loaves. When you walk further into the bakery, closer to the back, you’ll find their selection of deli meat, cheeses, and hot food selections for the day. Here’s the thing though: they don’t have a menu. Which would probably confuse first-timers big time. I’m here to the rescue though! Once you figure out how their portions and pricing works the first time, you’re set for life.
I know not having a menu with prices to look at might irritate some people (or at the very least cause a little confusion), but for me, it’s okay. Of course I would prefer a menu to look at. I can look over something slowly, consider my options, and order my food accordingly. But the way I see it is that I have no qualms asking the nice girls who work here about the food and pricing. I have vocal cords. I am capable of asking questions to find out whatever information I want to find out. It may not be the most ideal situation, but the food is great and I personally don’t mind because their food falls into 3 categories (sandwiches, hot food, and breakfast), making the situation manageable. Some might counter back and say that one shouldn’t have to ask about food menu items and pricing and that’s fair. I’m here to give you the good though, so this is just fair warning!
Courense Bakery serves sandwiches with their deli meats, lettuce, tomato, cheese, mayo, and mustard. The flat price of a sandwich starts at $4 and lettuce and tomato are an extra $.50. Their deli meats for sandwiches probably change on a regular basis depending on what they have on hand, but they have turkey, salami, and ham among others, and their selection of provolone and havarti cheese is delicious!
Their hot food includes pasta, meats, and potato dishes and they serve them on large square plates fit for a hearty meal. Each hot food plate entree comes in at $8.50 and you can mix and match your mains to fill your plate. For example, you can have half a plate of pasta and half a plate of one of the other selections. On this particular day, they had penne pasta with olives, feta cheese, red onions, tomatoes, and red pepper in olive oil dressing and herbs, roast beef in a marinara sauce, and a fabulous hot food dish of scalloped potatoes, tuna, flaky cod fish, and herbs. I shared a plate of penne pasta and potatoes and fish with my mum and brother and shared a turkey sandwich with my mum while my brother enjoyed a whole turkey sandwich on his own.
The food is delicious. We were especially over the moon with the scalloped potatoes and flaked tuna and cod! I love scalloped potatoes and don’t eat them often enough so this was a scrumptious, shovel-the-food-off-the-plate-and-into-my-mouth treat! The cod fish was white, meaty, soft, and flavourful and it was just all-around yumminess. It was a warm meal that really packed a punch and it was great that we were given an ample portion of food on our plate. I love potatoes and I love both flaky and meaty white fish so I was so excited to see a dish like this here!
And their sandwiches? SO.DARN.AWESOME! Aside from grilled cheese, and vegetarian and cheese sandwiches, turkey sandwiches are my favourite. You all know how much I love my turkey sandwiches from Raymerville Deli & Bakery and I’ve always tooted my horn that nothing would ever come close to those scrumptious sandwiches. I think I’ve found an almost tie for my favourite turkey sandwich! Courense Bakery uses this amazing soft-on-the-inside, crunchy-on-the-outside bread (I was enjoying my half of the turkey sandwich so much I forgot to ask what kind of bread they used! I’ll remember to ask next time!) and the havarti cheese was deliciously rich and combined with the turkey breast deli meat, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and mustard (just the way I like it!), it was a heavenly sandwich.
I can’t report back on the breakfast because I didn’t have any, but I know they serve breakfast because I saw egg breakfasts being brought to some people’s tables! Courense is a great bakery with a ton of sweet options at very reasonable prices (we picked up huge jelly roll cake slices for $1.65 each!), and I can’t wait to come back for the breakfast, another turkey sandwich, more hot food, and those chocolate mousses!
Courense Bakery is located at 1014 Bloor Street West between Ossington Ave. and Dufferin St. The bakery is located just one block west of Dovercourt Rd. In addition to the dizzying array of desserts and fresh bread, they serve breakfast, coffee drinks, hot food, and deli sandwiches.