Francesca Italian Bakery & Delicatessen on Urbanspoon
I do enjoy the big-name eateries but every now and then, I like to venture into the smaller establishments and I rarely regret my choices.

Francesca Bakery at McCowan and Sheppard seems to have always been there (I measure this against my pre-and post-disappearance to HK for 10+years) but I've never paid it a visit before.   It's unassuming and you can't see much for the outside.  But feeling the need for a baked treat and possibly a coffee, I popped in one day.  Had the most delicious custard-filled croissant that I went back the very next day to sample more.  That croissant was sooo good that I didn't even get a chance to snap a quick picture.  Unfortunately, on my second visit, it was already sold out.  Probably a good thing too, so I could sample some of the other lovely baked treats they had.

Francesca is an Italian bakery cafe.  Now, as much as I love my Asian food, when it comes to bakery...I generally prefer western ones (unless I'm in a serious mood for eggtarts).  Francesca's food is roughly divided into four sections; cookies, cupcakes, cakes and pies; deli; hot food (pasta, pizza bread etc.) and pastries.  They also have a selection of fresh bread, olive oils and other similar items for sale. 
On this second visit, I had a regular croissant...Oh so flaky and buttery! A small rice ball from the hot table...Delightfully crunchy and savoury with a mix of rice, meats, peas and carrots and I just couldn't pass up trying the Italian canneloni...A crisp pastry wrapper filled with a ricotta cheese filling and topped with chopped pistachio.  This was all washed down with a lovely cup of latte.  This is a terrific bakery cafe and perfect with afternoon tea or if you just want to treat yourself to some exquistely baked treats. 

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