6 Ways to Get Your Sweet Tooth Fix in Thunder Bay |
loader image
hand grabbing a truffle with two glasses of wine

6 Ways to Get Your Sweet Tooth Fix in Thunder Bay

Settled on the banks of Lake Superior, Thunder Bay is home to loads of unique tastes of place. Seriously, check out our guide to three delicious days here. On our last trip, we couldn’t help but notice (read: stuff our faces with) the many, many amazing baked goods that find a home in the city.

Discover the Delicious Sweet Treats of Thunder Bay

So without further ado (how formal!), keep reading for our can’t-miss baked goods you need to try in Thunder Bay!

Don’t feel like reading the whole thing right now? No worries, skip ahead.

The Persian

Where to get it: The Persian Man, 899 Tungsten St. Thunder Bay, ON. (View Map)

close up of a persian

Boy, oh, boy would we be remiss if we didn’t mention The Persian. This sticky-bun donut hybrid is Thunder Bay’s claim to fame when it comes to sweet treats. No really, we’ve written blogs that didn’t include them and well, let’s just say, the locals noticed.

Topped with a light pink, raspberry icing, one simply can’t visit Thunder Bay without having one (or two or three). The Persian has a storied history with the city, making it a truly unique taste of place.

There are a few places in the city to get your hands on the sweet treat and the best of them all is up for massive debate. We recommend checking out The Persian Man for its classic dedication to the baked good.


Where to get it: Swell Bakery, 15a St Paul St. Thunder Bay, ON. (View Map)

close up of counter at swell bakery with croissants, pain au chocolat and danishes

Okay, we say croissants but…really we mean that any baked good from Swell Bakery is worth a trip to Thunder Bay. Owned by baker extraordinaire, Emily Kohne, the menu changes up here monthly- always with a new croissant to try.

Bicolour pistachio? Reuben Croissant? Red velvet? They’ve all made appearances and they’re all delicious. Paired up alongside other treats like egg and bacon danishes, Earl Grey caramel blondies and more, you’re going to want to get a box or two of whatever greets you upon arrival.

Emily rolling out dough on machine at Swell Bakery in front window

Here’s the key insider scoop. You need to show up early because Swell sells out every day. Opening at 9 am Thursday to Saturday, we recommend popping next door for a coffee from St Paul Roastery and then heading over to get in line. Trust us, it’s worth it.

Giant Cookies

Where to get it: Kamview Nordic Centre, 851 20th Side Rd, Thunder Bay, ON. (View Map); Uncommon Baked Goods, At Goods & Co. Market -251 Red River Rd, Thunder Bay, ON. (View Map)

Lake Superior isn’t the only giant thing around these parts! Massive cookies are also on the menu.

Person holding a giant cookie in front of their face at Kamview Nordic Centre

If you feel like getting a little active, check out Kamview Nordic Centre for a variety of activities like snowshoeing, cross country skiing and hiking. La piece de resistance though? The giant cookies waiting for you when you finish. Hop into their on-site café for a sweet treat and winter warm up (chilli, coffee AND a cookie- go you!).

The cookies come in a variety of flavours- cranberry-raisin, chocolate chip and oatmeal chocolate chip for starters. With a crispy exterior and chewy texture, we think you’ll love them.

uncommon baked goods

Downtown Thunder Bay, you’ll find the Goods & Co. Market- a hub for local artisans, food producers, restauranteurs and more to sell their wares. We recommending pulling up a stool at Uncommon Baked Goods and enjoying yet another giant cookie alongside other treats like twice-baked croissants, coffee cake, bagels and more.

The double chocolate chip is a fan fav but the variety is always changing so check out what’s on when you visit and take it with you wander through the market!

Sticky Buns + Breakfast Rays

Where to get ’em: Sweet North Bakery, 10 Court St S, Thunder Bay, ON. (View Map)

overhead shot of sticky bun, breakfast ray, breakfast sandwich and two coffees at Sweet North Bakery

The smell wafting out of this bakery will greet you before you’ve even opened the door. A local fav in the city, Sweet North Bakery started when baker Erinn DeLorenzi was asked to bake some pretzels for the city’s Sleeping Giant Brewing Company‘s anniversary party. They were a hit that inspired her to take up shot at Thunder Bay Country Market an eventually open the bakery with her partner, Kris DeLorenzi. Inspired by Kris’s global travels and the ingredients available in and around Thunder Bay, Sweet North was born!

We’ve been here a couple of times now and are always inspired by the inventive flavours coming out of the kitchen! From strawberry tarts in June to the oh-so-popular breakfast sandwich and classic cappuccinos, they won’t disappoint. We need to give a special shout out to the breakfast rays and sticky buns though!

The breakfast rays created by Sweet North Bakery are savoury little concoctions! Picture a soft yet slightly crispy pastry stuffed with egg, sausage and of course, cheese. It’s the perfect way to start the day!

Now let’s talk sticky buns. These bad boys are simple but are so popular among locals that they come in a bake-at-home option too. With a short list of simple ingredients (think vanilla, cinnamon, walnut and more), these ooey gooey treats are sure to hit the spot and have a certain je ne sais quoi we can’t quite put our finger on. You just have to try it for yourself!

Finnish Pancakes

Where to get ’em: Kangas Sauna,  379 Oliver Rd, Thunder Bay, ON. (View Map); Rooster’s Bistro, 32 St Paul St, Thunder Bay, ON. (View Map)

Did you know that Thunder Bay is home to the country’s highest concentration of Finnish Canadians per capita? It’s no wonder then why the city also happens to be home to some epic Finnish pancakes. If you ask us, you cannot leave the city without having at least one (read: five).

overhead shot of diner food at Kangas Saunas

For a truly Finnish experience, head to Kangas Sauna and Restaurant. You can take advantage of the on-site saunas before (or after) heading to the diner for a delicious breakfast!

Serving up large, Finnish pancakes (they’re similar to crepes in that they’re large and thinner than a traditional pancake but they have a carmelized finish) topped with strawberries and optional whipped cream, they’re sure to hit the spot. If you’d like to keep the Finnish cuisine rolling, order up a bowl of borscht. You can even grab both from the freezer store to go!

Across town, Rooster’s Bistro also serves up some great Finnish pancakes alongside a full eggs benny menu (you need to try the walleye eggs benny). We recommend this spot for that classic-diner feel, particularly if you had a night of sampling the local craft beer the evening before!

Rooster's Bistro grid of two photos: one of pouring maple syrup over pancakes, one of walleye eggs benny


Gourmet Truffles

Where to get ’em: Cardinal Chocolate Company, 16 Cumberland St. S. Thunder Bay, ON. (View Map)

hand grabbing a truffle with two glasses of wine

Cardinal Chocolates is where chocolate meets wine in a hush-hush speakeasy setting, hidden away in a cozy corner of The Red Lion Smokehouse. It’s the clandestine spot for private shindigs and fancy high teas, with whispers of longer hours on the horizon.

And what’s the dish you simply can’t skip? Dive into a treasure trove of truffles that’ll make your taste buds sing—from the nutty notes of hazelnut and coffee to the decadent delight of chocolate peanut butter. Absolutely divine! We recommend visiting and doing a wine and truffle tasting. The staff is amazing at pairing the two!

In a rush and don’t have time for the full sit-down experience? No worries. You can pick up truffles to go from Red Lion Smokehouse!

Happy Eating!

Want to continue eating your way through Thunder Bay? Check out our guide for 3 delicious winter days there or our list of 7 things we ate that we can’t stop thinking about!