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Apr 20, 2006 02:12 PM

Food shopping in Edmonton

  • p

Hi all,

This is a query for the Edmonton locals about our specialty grocery stores. These could be ethnic, organic, or the like. These are extremely hard to find unless you know someone - how are you supposed to know from the yellow pages, for example, that Canakor foods is a great Korean grocery store? So please let the board know if you have a favourite and what is good to buy there, and if it is a 'great neighborhood place' or 'worth a special trip' with gas prices at their current terrifying levels. (I did not do the research to find out who delivers because I prefer to pick out my own groceries.) Bakeries can be mentioned as well - I have yet to find really good pastry or bread in Edmonton.

Here is my own list so far:

K&K Deli on 82 Ave, great for European foods and smoked meat and fish, worth a special trip if you are stocking up for a big party (There is another branch of it on 76th ave just off 99 st, and across the street from this is a place to get very fresh tasting tortilla chips and salsas that deserves special mention. These would be neighborhood places.
Paraiso Tropical on 118th Ave and about 90th street for south american spices, mole base, and salsa verde. Definitely worth a special trip to stock up on these.

Canakor Foods, appropriately close to South Side BCOM on 99th street and 31 Ave. (When I have blown money on some new electronic gadget I need to live on kimchi and rice for a while.) Very good and well priced kimchi, rice cake, korean red pepper, rice and beans, and lots of kitchen implements.

There is another Korean grocery store close to the Korean Village restaurant around 77Ave and 85 st, but I would only go there if I was in the neighborhood and a trip to BCOM was not in my near future. Higher prices than Canakor and uneven quality.

Kinnikinnick Foods Inc, downtown 112 st and about 104 ave, for when your guest list includes your friends who can't tolerate gluten. Would shop here if I was in the neighborhood, but many local grocery stores carry their products. I usually get them at:

Planet Organic, 80 Ave and 104 St. Great for high quality prepackaged foods and snack foods. Kettle chips are usually cheaper here than anywhere. Also a great selection of dairy products and seasonings, and the fantastic Muir Glen tomatos. There is very good organic chocolate here as well.

Jia Hua, or the Chinese Superstore, same building as Planet Organic. Well priced produce (though you have to watch carefully for freshness), rice and ramen, soy milk, Oriental sauces and seasonings, pretty good zhongzi (steamed sticky rice with beans and pork), good meat counter. This is my neighborhood Oriental grocery store; if I was closer to Lucky 97 downtown or to TNT in the west end I would probably shop there instead.

Hellas Food, for Greek and Middle Eastern groceries on 109a ave and 124 st. Wonderful, wonderful feta and other Greek cheeses, olives and other preserved foods like dolmades. This one I consider worth a trip, but I don't really know about other Greek or Middle Eastern grocery stores in town.

Last but definitely not least, the Italian Centre grocery store. I don't think anyone has not heard of this place. Most definitely worth a trip for so many good things. It is tough to shop here becuase it is so popular though; best to go during the day.

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  1. Sunterra Market is amazing; both excellent baking and delicious foods and drinks.

    Lucky 97 Mart is dirty, crowded, noisy, beat-up, and awesome. It is the low-budget asian supermarket of the city, and while quality is seldom the highest, it's also the only place (prior to T&T in West Edmonton Mall, anyway) to sell the essentials to things like thai or japanese cuisine.

    Ommonia Import Store on 101st Street and 106th Avenue is a small greek import store, but it's one of the very few in the city that carries authentically greek foods, and useful ingredients. (I cannot highly enough recommend their Bulgarian Sheep Milk Feta Cheese; it is like the love child between regular feta cheese and cream cheese, -super- sweet and creamy.)

    1. Bon Ton bakery has great cranberry-nut bread. Can't speak for any other breads or pastries but I know a few people who swear by their bread.

      On 149th St at about 88th ave.

      Great subject! I too live in Edmonton and know very little of the secret food store gems.

      Anyone know of a good Portuguese bakery?

      5 Replies
      1. re: JC

        Been to Bon Ton and was very underwhelmed by the pastry, but haven't yet tried the bread.

        Re Portuguese bakeries, there are two that I know of along 118 Ave, one a few blocks east of Paraiso Tropical that had inexpensive custard tarts and one closer to 50th street at the bottom of a condo building which is kind of a combination bakery/deli/grocery store. I haven't been in the 50th street one for a couple of years but remember that dropping in for a coffee and sandwich was pretty good value. Would make a special trip to either place if I was shopping for bacalao, since I am uncertain where else a person might get it.

        1. re: pepper

          Their bread is all right, but I admit I have a weakness for their danishes. We had someone over from Cyprus and they were the only baked thing she was really impressed with while she was here.

          I tried their cheesecake and their flourless chocolate cake this summer. They weren't bad. It's also a good store to pick up little luxury, "I know these are overpriced but I feel like splurging" goods like coffee-caramel spreads or fruit-flavored salsas or those Dippsea-chick dips.

          1. re: Sylv F

            I am a big fan of the Portuguese bakery at 118 Ave and 53 street. Got great chorizo there for jambalaya a few weeks ago. The crusty rolls are the best in city (Sorry Italian Bakery you have been replaced). In general their bread and buns are great.

            The custard tarts are wonderful and the fruit and nut bread very light, almost cake-like.

            1. re: pengcast

              Portuguese Canadian Bakery is one of the big reasons that I bought a home in Highlands ! Great people fabulous breads and pastries. MMM the custard tarts (natas)

        2. re: JC

          Handy Bakery on 118th street is fantastic. Must have their tarts!

        3. There is a great Lebanese grocery on about 163 St and ummm, 90 ave or so - I am not sure of the name of it but it is in the same strip mall as the Value Village - great hummous, tabbouli, bread etc

          2 Replies
          1. re: Inukshuk gal

            Finally got around to try this place. Great fatyr. Thanks for the rec.

            1. re: pepper

              No prob, glad that you liked it!!

          2. Italian Bakery in Chinatown on 97 st for bread - I'm addicted to their dinner buns (I believe this is where the Italian Centre orders their bread from). They also have a deli section.

            Chinese bakery - in Chinatown try the Garden Bakery, Hong Kong Bakery, or the little one next to Sai Woo Restaurant (sorry can't remember the name).

            The Sherbrooke Bakery and Deli in the west end is Dutch. I actually don't like their baking, but I love their gouda cheese.

            The Baltyk Bakery in Kingsway Mews (strip mall on Kingsway Ave) has excellent desserts, including chocolate covered gingerbread.

            2 Replies
            1. re: anonymoose

              >>Chinese bakery - in Chinatown try the Garden Bakery, Hong Kong Bakery, or the little one next to Sai Woo Restaurant (sorry can't remember the name).

              That little one next to Sai Woo was the Golden River bakery, and sadly it seems to have closed down. I went past there about a month ago and the store had been gutted, with no "under renovations" or "moved to a different location" sign so I have to assume it's gone.

              It's a shame. They were one of my favorite bakeries. I'll have to see how the Hong Kong Bakery and Garden Bakery compare.

              1. re: anonymoose

                The Italian Bakery on 97th street is incredibly well stocked for its size and very reasonable. They make great lattes that are yummy and inexpensive. A great treat with their homemade baking :) try the chocolate dip donuts! Also they will make a yummy Italian sandwich with your choice if Deli meats and cheese.

              2. f
                felixt the hound

                Late, last, but not least, Tree Stone Bakery 8612 - 99 Street Edmonton. Go early:lineups on Saturday mornings