This allergy-friendly restaurant review was written by AllergyBites founder, Kathleen O’Hagan. Kathleen is a writer, a foodie, and the mom of a toddler with multiple food allergies. She loves seeking out accommodating eating spots and sharing them with the food allergy community. All opinions are her own.
I’ve decided to break my Sorelle and Co. review up into 2 posts because (a) there are 2 locations, and (b) the experience is vastly different. So let’s start with the downtown Toronto location, shall we?
Conveniently located at Queen and Yonge, Sorelle’s downtown location is nicely nestled under Saks Fifth Avenue. Just head down to Pusateri’s in the basement, and you’re bound to happen upon it eventually. (It’s a bit of maze down there—but a fun maze!)
As I weaved my way through the colourful aisles, I finally spotted Sorelle and Co. I don’t know what I expected (a typical cafe, I guess), but it kind of took my breath away. I mean—look at it—it’s so darned pretty! (My photos don’t do it justice, but you get the idea. Check out Sorelle’s Instagram page for some drool-worthy shots of their sweet and treats.)
I felt like a kid at a candy store as I slowly took in the cookies, eclairs, cupcakes, scones, loaves, brownies and cakes that were on display. Maybe because this beautiful spot was first created as a safe space for the owner’s food-allergic daughters. Sorelle, meaning sisters in Italian, can likely be attributed to these 5 sisters with serious food allergies. If it weren’t for them, this allergen-free cafe and bakery may not have been born.
If the food allergies you’re dealing with are in the top 8, being greeted by this big pink sign will help put your mind at ease before you order. And if the server you chat with is as helpful as mine was, you’ll be even more impressed. Not only did the young woman make me feel normal (I have a feeling this will be a running theme in my reviews), but she took the time to patiently go through the ingredient list of each baked good I was interested in. Why? Because Sorelle doesn’t share their recipes publicly and my little one may have several new (yet to be diagnosed) food allergies that, sadly for us, Sorelle and Co. uses in their baking: chickpea flour and sunflower oil. But hey, I can’t really blame them. Healthy baking at its finest!
Luckily the server was able to help me find at least 1 treat for the little dude: a delicious cranberry pumpkin seed cookie*. And I felt comfortable bringing 4 more nut-free desserts home to the hubby (who is very much missing his evening tea & treat tradition).
*Because Sorelle and Co. uses chickpea flour and sunflower oil in much of their baking, there is a possibility of cross contamination.
(From top left: chocolate brownie, cranberry scone, coconut macaroon, Nanaimo bar, cranberry pumpkin seed cookies)
The only downside to Sorelle’s downtown location is that there aren’t any tables (though there’s some cafeteria-style seating nearby), so I wasn’t able to sit down with a coffee and relax for a bit. But I was intrigued by these milk alternatives. (Mmm, coconut!)
If you prefer to sit in and enjoy your treats, good news! When it comes to fancy seating, the Vaughn location does not disappoint. Make sure to stay tuned for my Sorelle and Co. review – part due to learn more about my lovely Alice in Wonderland-esque experience.
**Don’t forget to join the AllergyBites Facebook group for your chance to win 1 of 3 delicious prizes from Sorelle and Co—that’s right I’m holding a yummy giveaway—and the grand prize is High Tea for 2 at Sorelle!
Have you been to Sorelle’s location in downtown TO? Share your experience with the allergy community in the comments below!
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Restaurants that appear on AllergyBites may have updated their menu or changed management since a review was posted. Please confirm that they are still allergy-friendly & that menu items don’t contain your allergen(s) before visiting or placing your order.