We have been meaning to give this bakery a try since we heard about it a few months ago. Father’s day was just the perfect excuse for it, as our parents are big fans of Iceland.
APPEARANCE & NOSE
We were pleasantly surprised to find Viking Bakery is in a pretty new and clean area on the Danforth. The sign on the facade consists of a large black strip with red sans serif letters - bold and aggressive. It is followed by a small blue image of a viking ship. A couple of photos on the window help assure those confused of the kinds of treats they are signing up for. Inside, it is a very friendly place - plenty of light, white walls and a bright yellow one with unique illustrations, tiled floor, some chairs and tables, as well as two refrigerated displays with pastries.
SWIRL & PALATE
We were welcomed by Birgir, a smiling Islandic man, who came from behind the wall after hearing us chatter at the front. It was charming that there was no formal menu, one had to utilize their eyes and social skills to decipher their choices. We had to ask our host what’s popular and what he would recommend. We ordered exactly what he listed - Vinarterta with prune, Viking Waffles and Kleinur. Our favourite was the Vinarterta - a small, unique cake made of five layers of soft biscuit-like crepes with prune paste in between. It was not too sweet and ideal for sharing. The Viking waffles looked a bit like eclairs, but covered in powdered sugar with sides dipped in chocolate. This pastry is definitely for the sugar lovers - sweet and fluffy. Last, but not least, the Kleinurs were very unique. They were one of the smallest items available, oddly shaped and deep-fried. The one of a kind dough was the most intriguing part. We thought we felt hints of cardamom, ginger and a tad of cinnamon in the mix.
Birgir was very friendly, and in chatting with him we learned that he came to Toronto three years ago and had a fairly successful bakery in a small Manitoban city. Everything is baked by him, same way he had always done it.
We left Viking Bakery feeling as if we made a friend. For those interested in a bold, new pastry adventure, don’t let the bold storefront drive you away.
Beware that most delicious sweets are fried, so indulge when off your diet.
Also, bring cash as no plastic rules in this bakery. Mon Cheri might have convinced Birgir to look into solving this problem though.