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St. Lawrence Market

chowder Apr 15, 2006 07:25 AM

What is the best way to spend a day shopping and eating at the St. Lawrence Market? In other words, if I were to go there, which venues/shops/stalls should I go to, and what's the best time to go on a weekend?

I've been wanting to go for a long time now but I never have the time to make the trek down there.

  1. f
    foodcruise Jan 24, 2007 05:54 PM

    I don't think I could survive cooking without the Market. It's is so amazing! It's not quite as good as Vancouver but we can't all go home. It has made living in Toronto a little easier.

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodcruise
      deelicious Jan 24, 2007 06:16 PM

      not as good as Vancouver...but for Toronto, its amazing.

    2. s
      SallyCinnamon Jan 24, 2007 07:45 AM

      I love the arugula in the lower level at one of the produce places. At first I was a little weary because it is sold in a plastic zip lock bag, but it is the best!

      1 Reply
      1. re: SallyCinnamon
        Tour boi Jan 24, 2007 07:19 PM

        I have also bought the baby arugula or Rocket in the zip lock bag, but at the upstairs produce market on the east side. Saturdays if I end up getting out of bed late and on to the market. They are all gone. Serves me right. But when I do get my hands on a bag of it. I go home put some lemon juice and olive oil on it with some Reggiano cheese..and oh la la, thats a nice salad. Tour boi

      2. t
        Tour boi Jan 23, 2007 08:01 PM

        And dont forget their home made cabbage rolls..Oh my goodness they are so good. Tour boi

        1. p
          PoignantTuna Jan 22, 2007 06:05 PM

          You *must* see Boris and his family at European Deli, downstairs behind the juice place. Great, old-fashioned European home cooking - I highly recommend the chicken fingers (make sure you get the eggplant dip to go with it), chicken schnitzel (SO good!), perogies...the list goes on!

          1. j
            jamesm Jan 19, 2007 08:29 PM

            I'll have to check that spot out. I'm not really looking for anything specifically. I'm trying to make visiting the market for shopping a once a week thing and building a pantry. I'm embarassed to say that I have lived in Toronto for 15 years and only recently visited St. Lawrence Market for the first time. I've only been into cooking for a year or so, but still. That place is amazing.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jamesm
              orangewasabi Jan 19, 2007 08:48 PM

              well, if you want to start building up your supply of chili powders, or get all the fixin's for thai food (the thai chili paste they sell in the white lidded tubs is excellent, much better than the canned versions), all the indian food spices needed or most of the unique ingredients for southern cooking . . . that place'll sort you out. I have a soft spot for that store because they sell Marmite in extra large jars.

              For chinese specialities, you're probably better off in chinatown.

            2. j
              jamesm Jan 19, 2007 06:15 PM

              That was the impression I got from browsing around. Thanks for the replies.

              1. j
                jamesm Jan 19, 2007 04:42 PM

                Is there a place in St. Lawrence Market that has a good selection of quality spices, salts, etc...? I've kept an eye open but didn't really see a vendor dedicated to that type of thing.

                4 Replies
                1. re: jamesm
                  Mila Jan 19, 2007 05:50 PM

                  Domino's is okay for spices, but House of Spice (?) in Kensington is so much better. Scheffler's Delicatessen has a great selection of salts, oils, vinegars and other fun stuff.

                  1. re: Mila
                    Googs Jan 19, 2007 06:10 PM

                    There isn't really a great and/or dedicated spice vendor. You can try The Lively Life on the lower level of the south market.

                    Across the aisle from there is Everyday Gourmet. They may appear to be coffee & tea only, but also carry a variety of spices.

                    The Italian place no one can seem to name (Pasta Mia) has reasonably priced, decent quality olive oils & sauces.

                    Olympic Food has an okay selection of salts.

                  2. re: jamesm
                    orangewasabi Jan 19, 2007 08:25 PM

                    what spices / salts are you looking for?

                    The place at the very back in the basement of the south side now carries most of the salts sold by saltworks.

                    The folks in the spice / condiment store just behind the rice/bean vendor have a lot too. I was pleasantly surprised at how much their spice range has increased since the fall. Everything I used to have to go to Kensington for, is now there.

                    1. re: orangewasabi
                      Googs Jan 22, 2007 05:59 PM

                      The store behind Rube's Rice is The Lively Life. Some things have gotten better there. Some have gotten worse.

                      What is this place at the very back? Do you mean Domino's?

                  3. c
                    Chowder Apr 17, 2006 03:29 PM

                    Thanks for all your great suggestions so far, guys. I'm planning to go sometime in May since I'm really busy all this April. Thanks again!

                    1. m
                      Mila Apr 17, 2006 01:03 PM

                      If you must go on Saturday, go early, before 9 am.

                      Here are my favorites:
                      Smoked Duck at Whitehouse
                      Candied Salmon from Caviar Direct
                      Sesame Bagels from St. Urbain Bagel
                      San Francisco Sourdough and Pretzels from Stonemill Bakehouse
                      Light Rye from Future Bakery
                      Truffle Cheese at Scheffler's Delicatessen
                      Fresh Mozzerella, Fiore de Latte, at Alex Farm
                      Dig through all the bulk and imported goods at Domino's Foods - there's a half hour done
                      Salmon Gravalax from Seafront
                      Whole Cumbrae Chicken from Diliso's
                      Fresh Pizza Dough at St. Lawrence Ice Cream & Pizza

                      Peameal Bacon Sandwich with honey mustard - Carousel
                      Chicken Sandwich - Churrasco
                      Cheese Crepe - Crepe It Up
                      Chicken & Eggplant Sandwiches - Mustacio's

                      South Market
                      Spicy Chorizo and Andouille Sausages from El Gaucho Chorizos
                      Any meat but especially the bacon from Rowe Farms
                      Fresh eggs from Clarks

                      And if you go slightly shopping crazy, like I usually do, there is a great service just outside the middle west doors of the south market.
                      Just drop off your bags as you shop and then you can pull your car around and pick them up.

                      1. d
                        Dylan Apr 16, 2006 06:25 PM

                        The market isn't so big it will fill up a day, so you can actually visit everyone in half a day easily and, if your appetite is big enough, have breakfast, a coffee break, and lunch.

                        Saturday is the most "markety" day, with the north building open for the farmers' market, but the crowds can be a nuisance if you're into some serious shopping. In which case go on a weekday and try to avoid the lunchtime local office-worker crowds.

                        There are some great cheese and cured-meat stores on the upper level, and some interesting Eastern European deli and meat stores in the basement. Also in the basement, far southeast corner, is an Italian store, rather jumbled but full of stuff you don't always find elsewhere. The bakeries are disappointing.

                        1. w
                          Wiley Apr 16, 2006 11:34 AM

                          And sausages at El Gaucho in the North Market

                          1. o
                            otonabee Apr 15, 2006 07:43 AM

                            Personally, if you can hack it, I find the best time to go is early in the morning (7:00 or so). It is really good people watching at that time of day. Actually I just got back from being there.

                            There are a ton of great places to go but some of my favourites are:

                            Caviar Direct - Smoked Salmon
                            Carousel - Peameal Sandwiches and bread
                            Musatchio's - Veal and Eggplant sandwiches
                            Alex Farms - Cheese

                            Also all of the North market for fresh veggies.

                            Enjoy & have fun!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: otonabee
                              xtal Apr 15, 2006 09:24 AM

                              I second the Mustachio's suggestion for Italian sandwiches. Are they open that early though?

                              I have heard that there are good peameal sandwiches to be had at the market, but I've not tried them.

                              I actually prefer doing my shopping in Kensington market (vegetables, cheese, meat, etc.), and my eating in St. Lawrence.

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