Although the supermarkets are more than sufficient for basic groceries, if you’re looking for specialized products or obscure ingredients, there are a variety of places where you can find fresh foods, exotic spices, and other unusual items. Farmers markets are particularly common in the summer months, but don’t run year-round. They offer fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade baked goods, specialty cheeses and meats, and many more interesting items (See the Open-air Markets section).
For those expats craving a taste of home, there are a few traditional grocery stores that can help fill the void. Here is a list of a few to get you started.
722 Queen St. East
(416) – 840 – 8835
Part French grocery, part take out restaurant, this business caters to those who are in the mood for authentic French cuisine. Customers can carry home traditionally prepared dishes, meats, and cheeses, or choose from a wide variety of name-brand items shipped directly from France.
Lady York Foods
2939 Dufferin St.
(416) – 781 – 8585
One of the best kept secrets amongst Italian Canadians, this grocery features everything you need for a traditional Italian feast. Delicious cheeses and butchered goods are available, along with favorite brands from the home country.
Mrs. Bridges British Bakery
Mrs. Bridges has two Toronto locations to purchase traditional English baked goods, meat pies, and British confectionery goods. You can shop for her wares at either 322 Eddystone Road, or in the Eglington Square Shopping Centre in Scarborough. For those unable to make the trek, you can also purchase items directly from her website.
675 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON, M6G1L3
The biggest Korean grocery in Toronto, this is an excellent place to get quality Asian food ingredients at a good price.
Greek Corner Grocery
859 Bloor St W
Toronto ON, M6G 1M4
Known for its wide variety of fresh produce and authentic Greek confection, this store is a favorite in Toronto’s Greek Town.
129A Roncesvalles Ave.
Toronto, ON M5G 1E7
(416) – 534 – 6512
You can’t get more authentic than this Polish grocery, nestled in the heart of little Poland, in Central Toronto.
These are just a few of the many ethnic grocery stores in the city of Toronto. For a more comprehensive list, click here.
Bulk food stores are another good place to look when trying to find specific grocery items. For example, the Bulk Barn, probably the largest chain in Toronto, carries anything you could need for baking, hard-to-find dry beans and beans, an enormous selection of bulk candy, sweets and nuts, exotic teas and coffees, and much more. These stores specialise in dry goods and everything is purchased in bulk (by the weight). For more information about bulk food stores in Toronto, including locations of stores near you, please click here.