Delicious, locally roasted coffee? Check. Drool-worthy baked goods? Check. Ice cream for the hot summer months? Check. Open late? Check.
Home Baking Co, located at 1242 Bloor St W, checks all the boxes for what a dream café should be. They’re open 10am-8pm daily*. Given its hours are longer than most coffee shops you’ll come across in the city, Home Baking Co is perfect for a mid-afternoon caffeine buzz or late night treat.
Be warned: You’ll walk right by the café if you’re not careful. Its unassuming storefront is only distinguishable by its large glass window lined with baked goods. Keep an eye out when on Bloor - missing out on the café would be a pity.
What makes Home Baking Co so special could be that its owner was also one of the co-owners of Baker Bots, another Toronto bakery/café serving major mouth-watering envy located east of the café (less than a 15 minute walk away).
Although the real reason for its success has to relate to its namesake. All of the baked goods sold at Home Baking Co are made from scratch on-site. With around 2 dozen goodies to pick from daily, this is an impressive feat.
Home Baking Co sells more than just pastries, however. They serve Toronto-based Ezra Pound’s beans and Bang Bang ice cream (infamous Toronto ice cream shop & sister company to Baker Bots). It is obvious that the café triumphs quality in their menu offerings.
MENU & PRICING
DRINKS: You can find your basic coffee shop fare at Home Baking Co (i.e. lattes, americanos). For the summer, the café has introduced harder to find (and super delicious) coffee shop beverages, like cold brew & espresso tonics. I’ve been loving their cold brew served straight (no shade to any milk/sugar drinkers). For tea lovers, Home also serves Sloane tea, my favourite tea company. For tea lovers, the shop serves Sloane, my personal fav tea brand (that Heavenly Cream… yum).
BAKED GOODS: It shouldn’t be a surprise that the baked goods at Home Baking Co are incredible. Baked from a scratch and with a large variety to pick from… they’re hard to resist when visiting. At the café, you’ll find extra moist chocolate cake, gooey butter tarts, heavily glazed cinnamon buns… and so much more. To visit without getting at least one pastry seems like a sin.
I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the options. In my most recent visits, I indulged in their chocolate raspberry éclair and fleur del sel brownie. The éclair was oozing, and the brownie was moist and fudgey – just how a brownie should be. The only downside of the baked goods are the lack of gluten-free options.
ICE CREAM: In the summer months, you may see a small line form outside the shop because of Home Baking Co’s ice cream – offered in cones, cups, and even ice cream sandwiches. A small and unique touch from the café is the ability to order a half ice cream sandwich; but don’t be fooled, they’re so good you’ll probably want the other half once you’re done.
For those who never had Bang Bang ice cream, they’re known for their unique and flavorful scoops. When visiting Home Baking Co, I opted for the Golden Oreo; the cookie chunks were prominent & paired well with the ice cream’s base. It was so good, I was close to getting another (thank you to my partner who had the willpower to stop). P.S. The line is shorter at Home Baking Co than it would be at Bang Bang.
$$$: To give an example of price, roughly, you can expect to spend around $7-9 on a drink & baked good. Considering the sustainability efforts of the coffee producer and the delicious, homemade baked goods… I find this price incredibly reasonable for the quality you get. Same goes for the ice cream (in which prices are pictured below).
In dealing with the pandemic, the café has taken precautions to minimize the risk of spread and protect their staff and customers. Besides being takeout only, Home Baking Co has blocked entry into its shop, and instead serves patrons from the doorway with a make-do serving counter. Instead of entering the café to place your order, staff will peek from the doorway to do so. Hand sanitizer and contactless pay is also available for guests.
The service is always speedy and filled with kindness at Home Baking Co. So please, continue to visit the café and tip your baristas… wear your masks, stay 6 feet apart, and when you’re in a quieter area – dig in.
*Given the COVID-19 pandemic, hours depicted in this post (& others) may be skewed as businesses adapt to better serve its staff, customers, and community.