The flaky, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth macaron is one of the reasons why Duchess is the finest dessert shop in the city. A key ingredient in many of the sweet things it has on offer is the butter. Duchess uses a New Zealand butter with a higher butterfat content than conventional butter. The result is heavenly pastries like the rhubarb galette, a round cake-like pastry filled with delicious rhubarb filling and sprinkled with oats and brown sugar crumble. –Ana Maria De la Fuente 10728 124 St., 780-488-4999, duchessbakeshop.com
Runner-Up: Dauphine Bakery & Bistro
Formerly the Queen of Tarts, Dauphine quickly garnered a following of tart fiends since moving from farmers’ market to storefront last year. The raspberry chevre tart, a mildly piquant dessert in a sable crust, is one of its many attractions, but it’s also popular for gluten-free Valrhona chocolate brownies and lemon curds for home baking. The bakery, which regularly holds high tea in its modern French setting, emphasizes using local ingredients and, whenever possible, organic.-A.M.D. 10129 104 St., 780-421-4410
Honourable mention: Block 1912
This European-style cafe on Whyte Avenue has 18 different gelatos and delicious in-house made desserts, including options like a perfectly moist German chocolate cake topped with whipped cream and many cheesecakes that are the perfect counterparts to an organic coffee. It’s all served in a warm setting decorated with mismatched antique furniture. –Caroline Barlott 10361 82 Ave., 780-433-6575, block1912.com
Alberta’s move back to Step 1 did not include the closure of schools.
Meanwhile, Ontario shut its schools as COVID numbers increase.