Where are the best local bakeries?

If you are looking for something to do to get you out your house during these long winter months, a drive to the “country” might be just the thing!  There are so many little towns just a short drive from Ottawa, and each offers their own unique mix of shops and restaurants to explore.  You might not be looking for a lunch or dinner out during your visit, but you should consider sampling some of the best little bakeries around.  A little treat with an amazing cup of coffee or delicious cup of tea might be just what you need to help pass these long winter days!

Baker Bob: If you are visiting Almonte, you need to be sure to stop on Mill Street and visit Baker Bob’s shop.   A long-time fixture in Almonte’s Downtown core, Bob Graff has been baking buns and cookies, pies and cakes for Almontonians since 1995.  The shop features Almonte’s largest display of candy as well as other food items including jams and preserves.  You need to go early in the morning if you want to enjoy one of his chocolate croissants or fruit-filled Danish, but you are sure to be able to snag a delicious butter-tart or date square if you don’t make it in until the afternoon.  He even serves his own blend of Equator coffee!

Sunflower Bake Shop: Another long-standing bakery on Gore Street in Perth, the Sunflower Bake Shop has also been in existence since 1995.  More than just a bake-shop, they are famous for the delicious lunches and yummy baked goods.  Sunflower offers gluten-free goodies and cakes; hand-crafted artesian breads including peasant bread, flax-seed sunflower bread, focaccia and spelt; cakes such as tortes and pound, and chocolate and carrot; squares and cookies, pies and flans and an amazing variety of eat-in/take out lunches.  I love to stop by in the summer and grab a sandwich and coffee and head to the park.

Antrim Truck Stop:  Although not exactly a destination location, if you are heading to Arnprior on the weekend, you can’t go wrong if you stop at the Antrim Truck Stop on White Lake Road for a little snack.  Baked on the premises they offer a variety of Bread and Rolls, Squares, Cookies, Cakes, Pies (fruit pies and cream pies), Tea Biscuits, Cinnamon Buns and Cheese Sticks.  They are best known for their pies, with “mile-high meringue”.

Maberly Bake Shop: Another out of the way bake shop, off Highway 7, west of Perth near the little town of Maberly, this bake shop’s claim to fame is that they have sold more than 40,000 butter tarts since their opening in the summer of 2017!  Now, that’s a lot of butter tarts!  It’s very much a Mom and Pop shop, with owners Bonnie and Ross Palmer behind the ovens.  They do offer an array of lunch items as well as cinnamon buns, breads, cookies and lemon squares, but if you are considering a stop here – you really need to test their coffee and butter tarts!

Equator: Everyone knows Equator for their amazing coffee, but do you also know that they sell THE best gluten-free baking around?  Sweet-cheeks Kitchen is their local supplier of gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan baked goods – and they are delicious!  They offer a variety of cookies and squares from Tutter Barts (as delicious as a butter tart without the gluten), to Turtle Oat or Nanaimo Bars.  With more and more people dealing with food allergies and intolerances, it’s nice to have some delicious options… and of course you can’t go wrong with the coffee at Equator!

Little Stream Bakery:  Located in the hamlet of Glen Tay, not too far from Perth, Little Stream Bakery has been baking bread since 1992.  In order to meet new certification requirements for gluten-free baking, they established an off-site bakery in 2017, but still run the day-to-day operations from their bakery by the river.  They use a traditional wood-fired oven for their spelt, kamut, and wheat artisanal sourdough breads, and rustic spelt pastries. The breads contain only whole grains, artesian deep well water & unrefined sea salt with the occasional addition of seeds, or raisins. Their pastries are made with organic butter and spelt flour crafted into a puff pastry and filled with organic apples, and unsweetened fruit spreads and they also make a vegan version of these pastries.

 Whatever shop you choose, whether you are looking for a sugar-fix with a home-made butter tart, or something a little more suited to your needs like a spelt-flour, organic-apple filled pastry, there are lots of options available to you on your Saturday drive to the country.

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