If there is one thing I can’t live without, it’s dessert. Luckily, the GTA never disappoints with what it has to offer. From delicious churros in Scarborough to creamy milkshakes in Brampton, the GTA has it all. If you have a sweet tooth like me and are looking for some amazing desserts to try out after lockdown, here is the perfect list for you!
1. Pablo Cheese Tart (Toronto, Bay St & Dundas St)
This popular Japanese bakery took Toronto by storm with their delectable cheese tarts. What’s a cheese tart? Pablo Cheese Tart is known for its unique, fluffy and rich cream cheese filling that's like a classic cheesecake but with a one-of-a-kind texture. The decadent filling is piped and baked into a buttery and crunchy cookie crust, and comes in mini sizes and flavours. Pablo Cheese Tart offers unique flavours like tiramisu and white chocolate raspberry (my personal favourite). Check this place out if you are down on Dundas and Bay St.
2. Holy Shakes (Brampton, Main St N and Gillingham Dr)
Holy Shakes is a fitting name for this cozy milkshake spot because god bless whoever created it. This Brampton based milkshake bar is known for its crazy freak shakes and new menu items like cake jars. Holy Shakes offers a large menu consisting of flavours of almost any chocolate bar out there (Kinder Bueno is my recommendation). They also offer many rotating flavours on their seasonal menu like pumpkin spice cheesecake, which features a whole slice of cheesecake that debuted for the fall season. The flavours on the menu are unique and endless with options such as Pistachio Crème Brule and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, so there is something for everyone. Also, ordering is made easy with their online pay and pick-up service, and the milkshakes are served up in adorable milk bottles making them exceptionally easy to take on the go. Wherever you may be located, the drive to Holy Shakes is 100% worth it if you are craving some heavenly shakes.
3. El Habanero and Churro Bar (Scarborough, Steeles Ave and Brimley Rd)
El Habby is a well-known spot for its insane churro desserts and mouthwatering Cuban cuisine. Chef Angel and his wife Michelle run the cozy spot located in Scarborough serving up stunning churro cakes as well as many churro desserts (made fresh on the spot). If you didn’t know, churros are a pastry dough fried to perfection and coated with cinnamon sugar. El Habby offers the classic churro, as well as options for churros filled with decadent dulce de leche. They also serve up some amazing churro sundaes in flavours such as Ube and S’mores. Despite the incredible variety of delicious desserts at Churro Bar, the churro stack is what actually keeps people coming back. The churro stack consists of 8, 12 or 23 mini churros stacked up like a game of Jenga with a heap of ice cream in the center. It’s the perfect treat to share with the family or even just for yourself, no judgment here. There is a reason why El Habanero and Churro Bar is featured on countless blogs such as Blog TO and even Buzzfeed! Don’t walk but run and grab yourself a fresh churro (or few!).
4. Espresso 21 (Markham, Main St Unionville)
Espresso 21 is an adorable mom-and-pop café run in the beautiful streets of Main St Unionville. The cute café offers a variety of delicious drinks and brunch items, but the amazing array of fresh pastries and sweet cakes is their main draw. Espresso 21 features a delicious variety of cakes like fresh cheesecakes from The Cheesecake Factory and addicting mango crepe cakes. Be sure to try out their freshly-baked cookies and iced matcha lattes. It’s a great spot when you want to wind down with a comforting drink and freshly-made dessert.
5. Bar Ape (Toronto, Eglinton Ave and St. Claire W)
Pronounced Bar Ah-pay, this cute gelato shop operates out of a little window tucked away on the corner of St. Claire W and Rushton Rd. They’re only open for business during warmer months, between May and October . What makes Bar Ape unique is that they feature only two to three weekly flavours that are made from local, farm fresh ingredients like apricot and pear. They also create some amazing feature flavours like mango lassi and chocolate malt. Every day you can find folks lined up to try Bar Ape’s new weekly creation. As well, St. Claire W is a beautiful neighborhood to take a stroll with your tasty gelato. Be sure to check out Bar Ape’s weekly flavours for a taste of delicious authentic gelato.
There is nothing I love more than dessert, and these are my favourite places to get it. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the east end or the west, there are definitely choices for you to try out some of the best spots in the GTA.