It's hard to imagine Smith St before Gontran Cherrier. It's the boulangerie that changed the foodie game in Collingwood, the sort of place (like Lune and Baker D. Chirico) that causes croissant-addicts to slip into misty-eyed memories and excuse themselves for a quiet lie down.
Gontran Cherrier (for those who don't know) has butter in his blood. He grew up in Normandy, working for his family boulangerie in the little town of Luc-sur-Mer, before going on to Michelin-starred restaurants and opening his own kickass bakery in Montmartre. Since landing on Smith St, Gontran has made its name with exquisite croissants and pain au chocolat (light, flaky and the perfect espresso companion) but also with a huge range of decadent French desserts. Most are traditional, others push boundaries. Anyone who's tried the Chausson Aux Pommes (apple turnover) will rest easy knowing there is a God and he loves us all.
Weekend mornings see this place packed the gunnels. It's generally a smart play to either pick up a few croissants in advance (and eat them at home) or come in for a lunch sitting. The filled sandwiches are ridiculous. Start with the Petit Déjeuner Viennois (Miso sourdough, Lescure butter & chives), but make sure you bring a mate to order the Montmartrois sourdough, roast beef, arugula, melted onions and horseradish with garlic mayonnaise. (Or just double up yourself. We won't judge.)
Image credit: Jenna Fahey White