While living in Ottawa two years ago, I was fortunate enough to be renting a house right across the street from the best French bakery in the city. With croissants voted as the best you could find outside of France, La Boulanger Franais has set the bar for all other pastry shops and bakeries I come across.
With that said, Wilde Grainz Bakery did not disappoint. This tiny bakery sits in the heart of Inglewood on 9th Avenue and is easy to miss if you don’t keep your eyes peeled. I walked past it several times before a friendly clerk at another bakery down the street pointed me in the right direction.
When you first walk in, you’re met with a mouthwatering selection of crusty loaves resting behind glass. They range from traditional baguettes and dinner rolls to dark rye, whole grain and muesli loaves, among others. Move a little farther down the counter and you’ll find a selection of fresh sweet and savoury pastries such as aged cheddar croissants, bear claw danishes and almond strudel. You can also pick up some sugary sweets at the checkout counter, with Turkish delights, truffles and chocolates all temptingly displayed.
The dcor is simple and understated – white walls with the daily specials scrawled across large, framed chalkboards, lanterns hanging from the ceiling and a small, light wooden counter and several chairs lining the wall. The bakery in the back of the house is visible behind the checkout counter and the overall ambience is comfortable and quaint.
The one flaw in the design was that the sun-soaked, front-of-house area doesn’t have seating. It’s occupied by the bread counter rather than being an area of tables and chairs for customers to sit and enjoy a treat. While the counter and chairs further along the opposite wall offer the same possibility, it’s far more relaxing and enjoyable to sit beside a large window, gazing out at the sidewalk and watching the world pass by than it is to stare at a blank wall.
The bear claw danish was incredible and the muesli bread is the perfect weekend breakfast indulgence. Full of raisins and deliciously sweetened, this fluffy, thinly-sliced loaf is perfect smeared with butter and enjoyed alongside a hot cup of tea. You might want to freeze half the loaf, as it will disappear astonishingly quickly if left freely available on the counter. The bear claw danish is a bit too sweet for my personal tastes first thing in the morning but makes a fantastic afternoon treat, perhaps with a shot of espresso to temper the dense honey and fruit within.
Whether you’re looking for something to satisfy a sweet tooth or a rustic loaf of grainy, homemade bread, you won’t be disappointed by Wilde Grainz. With spring making a much-anticipated appearance this week, why not pack up a blanket and a good book and stop by Wilde Grainz for pastries on the way to a picnic in the park. Or, bring some home ahead of the weekend for a lazy Saturday morning indulgence with a steaming hot cup of coffee on the porch. There’s no better way to start the day than with a little something sweet, and that’s where Wilde Grainz really shines.
Wilde Grainz Bakery is located at 1218c 9th Avenue S.E. and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Visit wildegrainz.com for times.