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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 http://www.kandkimportdelis.com/ (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

                1. Anyone know of a good place for Mexican supplies? I have a recommendation for Indian which is a little strip mall on 50th street and Millwoods Road. Spice Bazaar, it's beside a Subway and a clothing store. Always have eggplant and ochra when other grocerers don't and it's quite inexpensive. They rent Bollywood movies too! The people there are patient if you're unsure and they share their recipes and tips when you ask!

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Joy

                    Paraiso on 118 Ave and about 92 St is a great place to pick up America Latina supplies and practice your Spanish. The proprietors are from El Salvador and operate a steam table on the weekend with El Salvadoran and Mexican Tamales.

                    1. re: Kirk Williams

                      I live in Guadalajara right now and I'm moving home in 3 months. I've lived here 5 years and there are a couple of items I'm super in love with and I was wondering if anyone knows if Paraiso or any other Latina import store would carry:

                      D'Gari brand gelatin (light) - Mexicans love their Jell-O!
                      El Primo brand light nopal tortillas

                      1. re: Kirk Williams

                        This is great to know. Thank you Kirk. I am moving to Edmonton in July from California and I need my Latin food supplies!!

                        1. re: Kirk Williams

                          Incredible selection here. Try the frozen papusas (esp the cheese and jalapeño!). You just pan fry them and they are scrumptious.

                          1. re: Kirk Williams

                            I had a Salvadoran tamal there last week. On our way home we saw a small latin festival celebrating the day of the Virgen de Guadalupe and stopped to try some of the foods being sold. I had a chuchito, which is a guatemalan version of a tamal. It was so good that now I don't think I can go back to eating the ones from el Paraiso on 118th. So now I am looking for new places for central american tamales in Yeg.

                          2. re: Joy

                            Also try Spice Centre on 34th Avenue.

                          3. For Bread and desserts Bee Bell (10416-80 AVENUE) is quite good and always busy on a Saturday morning. Also there is a Viennese bakery on 81th ave between 99th and 100th street with quite good pastries.

                            If you like cheese Paddy's cheese shop (in a little strip mall kitty corner from MEC has a great selection of good quality cheese.

                            1. Hi guys, if you're looking for so GREAT Mediterranian selscions, look no further. A good friend of mine who is Arabic introduced me to these North side gems (who knew!). Visit the Sunbake Pita Bakery at 10728 134 Avenue, Edmonton, AB (780) 472-8405, (who supplies most of the local grocery stores in Edmonton) for amazing fresh baked "Lebanese Pizza" at 1.50 a pop, made while you wait. Around the corner a few blocks away, you'll find Elsafadi Supermarket, 11316-134 Avenue, Edmonton, AB (780) 475-4909, which carries a wide variety of imported Mediterranean foods Lebanese, Moroccan, Algerian, etc. A good cheese counter, meats and fresh produce. Also stocks some interesting ethnic items such as good quality Mexican enchilada sauce. Right next door you'll find *Paradiso Bakery, 11318-134 Avenue, Edmonton, AB (780) 448-7292, with some of the freshest most delicious Lebanese baklava made with cashews and pistachios, honey balls, and a wide range of tempting Middle Eastern pastries.

                              1. Hi there, try Elsafadi Supermarket, 11316-134 Avenue, Edmonton, AB (780) 475-4909, it's mainly an Arabic store but they do have some Mexican specialty items as well.

                                1. Alas, Jia Hua (Chinese Superstore - Sunterra building south side) has closed. A hand written sign taped to the doors said they had retired. I now go to 99 Supermarket (1/2 block north of the Brick on 100 street and 107 ave) and have been happy with the selection. Good fish, good barbecue.
                                  For bread, (when not making it myself) I have been enjoying Cobs on 142 street in the same mall as DeLuxe Burger Bar. They sell their loaves in 'blocks' - completely squared off oblongs - which make great sandwiches. Awesome croissants.
                                  There's a new place for mexican on 124th street that has both sit down meals (only 3 tables I think) and has take out including dips and sauces. I've only had one thing from there, but it was fresh and very tasty.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: MrsCris

                                    Hi, I was wondering if anybody knows of a good store where I can get mexican products BESIDES El paraiso tropical. I find that their products are waaaay too old, the quality is poor by the time I get them, I heard there is another mexican store on the north side, but I havent been able to find it, thanks for your help!!

                                    1. re: b4dg1r1007

                                      I want to know too...have you found the North End one yet? I need my nopal tortillas!

                                      1. re: b4dg1r1007

                                        Panadería Latina (Latin Bakery) 5716-19 A Avenue, 465-5122
                                        Paraíso Tropical (Latin Mini-Superstore) 9136-118 Avenue, 479-6000
                                        Productos Latinos (Latin Goods) 9402-111 Avenue, 474-8392

                                        I googled Mexican Import stores in Edmonton. If you see light nopal totillas (El Primo brand) or D'Gari light brand Gelatin powder let me know...otherwise I'm going to have to fill my suitcase...

                                    2. Great article. Can any of the readers suggest a source for whole vanilla beans? They must be some of the hardest things to find in Edmonton.

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: ModlrMike

                                        When I lived there I always got mine on Ebay.

                                        1. re: pepper_mil

                                          Would anyone have some advice about where to look for a good quality olive oil in Edmonton? I live out of town, but we are going into Edm next week and I have no idea where to look. Thanks!

                                          1. re: bheemeryck

                                            I know that The Italian Centre Shop (downtown & south side locations) have a large selection of olive oil...I would try there!


                                        2. re: ModlrMike

                                          I got mine very recently at the organic store at Whyte ave and 112 St.

                                          1. re: ModlrMike

                                            I found some whole vanilla beans at Bon Ton bakery on 149st in Edmonton.

                                            1. re: ModlrMike

                                              I just happened to find vanilla beans at Save-on-Foods on Tuesday but... they were 2 beans per package and cost over $6 each. Cheaper to get them from Ebay. :(

                                            2. Some of my sources:

                                              The Italian Center South on 51 ave has trumped the original. Their pastries and baking are world class - badly needed in Edmonton. The other bakeries in town are gonna be in trouble. Great spot for an espresso. Great Italian deli, and Italian food in general. They also have specialty items like foie gras and truffle products.

                                              For pork belly, beef brisket, and other interesting cuts of meat: 99 Superstore on 101st Street north of downtown.

                                              Good value wine: Superstore Liquor. Best high end wine shop: Wine Cellar on high street. Fine Wines by Liquor Select is close behind [149th St near Bonton Bakery].

                                              Paddy's for cheese [cornichons, overpriced foie gras products], Planet Organic [good high-end dairy, elk, cool bulk grains], and many others have been mentioned.

                                              And vanilla beans: Italian Center has them, so does Save-On-Foods. Superstore, does not.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: kevinkossowan

                                                I think you mean 99 Supermarket, which is actually at 10788 99 Street NW, but there is a back parking lot and back entrance which you can go through via 101 Street, just south of Kingsway Ave.

                                                1. re: anonymoose

                                                  You are absolutely correct - I stand corrected. I was there this morning, and I always seem to park on the 101st Street side, and wonder why, as the cashiers on the 99th St side...

                                                2. re: kevinkossowan

                                                  Another great wine store pick is DeVines on Jasper and 104 St. They are higher end store, but also have lots of great "budget picks" too - I discovered one of my all time faves El Torino there for 8.99/bottle. The guy that owns the shop is a really cool dude - hosting informal tastings every Saturday. He usually has a few reds and whites to try, often even a few from his own cellar and they even put out some nibblies too. A great stop after the Farmer's Market on 104th, which is a specailty market of it's own kind :)

                                                3. Hi all. I realize that no one has added any new posts to the discussion in awhile, but I'm hoping that someone might still be able to help me out! Does anyone know where I can find rosewater in Edmonton? I've tried a few stores so far with no luck.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: debs

                                                    The Italian Centre sells rosewater. So does Elsafadi.

                                                    Basically, the Italian Centre is the best place on earth. Their produce is about half the price of supermarkets, and if you go at later-hours (like 7-9pm), you'll never have to wait in line, except maybe for the deli.

                                                    1. re: cchansk

                                                      Superstore in clairview also carries rose water.

                                                  2. My wife is Greek - so it was only a matter of time before we discovered Hellas Foods. I will say that they have great items. I spent 9 months in Greece and his prices are very comparable (despite the crazy Euro in Greece right now). As for quality, it really depends on what you are used to. If you are going to buy some feta - ask for "Dodoni Goat Feta" - its more expensive but its the best.

                                                    He sells 3L Greek Olive Oil cans (Grigoris Lefas) - $22.99
                                                    TOP Balsalmic Vinegar - $1.99 for 350ml
                                                    Nescafe Classic Instant Coffee - 200g Can - $12.99
                                                    various brands of pastas (Stella,Misko, Melissa) - - ie. Melissa Orzo $1.29 for 454g package.
                                                    Vlaha brand Trahanas - $2.99 for 500g package.
                                                    Attiki Honey - 380g Jar - $12.99
                                                    Plus lots of Greek Confectionary (ie. Ion Chocolate Bars)
                                                    Brikis, Souveniers, Greek Greeting Cards

                                                    I've tried to pursuade him to import Greek Saffron (Krokos)- but so far no dice - he carries spanish and Iranian instead. So far that's the only thing I need my mother-in-law to ship me.

                                                    1. The Italian Centre is amazing. I should really make a point of going there more often.

                                                      1. I just moved back to Edmonton a few months ago and I am looking for a few items for a reception this weekend. I am familar with the Italian Centre and have not seen these items there (at least normally.) Any suggestions for would be great. (I miss Debaji's)
                                                        -blood oranges and/or yuzo (i have not decided)
                                                        -fresh fava
                                                        -baby eggplant
                                                        Thanks in advance

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: jonathoniverson

                                                          I recently saw rapini at the southside Italian Centre (perhaps it was last week). You may want to check out the southside Supercentre as well, since it's in the area. Good luck with it!!

                                                          1. re: littlegreenpea

                                                            I would try Lucky 97 for the exotic/asian items, and possibly superstore they have a great stock of asian veggies. let me know if you find blood oranges right now, I don't know that they are in season yet, but I could be wrong!

                                                            1. re: cleopatra999

                                                              Just bought some blood oranges at Sunterra on 111th yesterday.

                                                              1. re: cleopatra999

                                                                Within the last 10 days I've got blood oranges (moro and cara cara) from Save-On Strathcona.

                                                                1. re: egon61

                                                                  it was kind of funny,
                                                                  after scouring the shops for rapini last weekend, the day before I found it at Superstore and well as Chinese eggplant to sub for the baby,
                                                                  I got my blood oranges at Sunterra too. If I could have waited a week, they were way cheaper (1.50/pound) at the Italian Centre. They have rapini now too,
                                                                  PS someone told me to use dandlelion as a sub for rapini. Don't. The only thing at my reception that got bad reviews

                                                          2. We are looking for specialty spices.
                                                            eg.lemon grass, caper berries,dried juniper berries and those type of things.
                                                            Any ideas?

                                                            11 Replies
                                                            1. re: cgoulet

                                                              Sunterra (on 111th street) has capers and dried juniper berries.

                                                              1. re: cgoulet

                                                                I've seen lemon grass at Save-On Strathcona from time to time. T&T at WEM or Lucky 97 in Chinatown should have it all the time.

                                                                1. re: egon61

                                                                  Okay, now we are seriously addicted to this site. Thanks.

                                                                  Point of clarification... we were looking for caper berries. They look like a teeny tiny fig on a stem and are pickled. Yummy in a salad. I have never been to T & T but I think the next trip to the city we will have to check it out. Can you freeze lemon grass?

                                                                  1. re: cgoulet

                                                                    Italian Centre carries caper berries. Lemongrass: most grocery stores, but not all the time.

                                                                    Juniper berries? If you find them, let me know! I've never cooked with them (or even ate them) but have a feeling that there has to be something great that can be done with them and an elk tenderloin...

                                                                    1. re: Dan G

                                                                      Actually we have some bison that we hope will get the juniper treatment sometime soon! Thanks for the response.

                                                                      1. re: cgoulet

                                                                        you can get a crushed lemon grass in a tube now, works great! similar to a crushed garlic in a jar. you can find these tubes at most of the main grocery stores around where the fresh herbs are. superstore is usually a good source for fresh lemon grass and other asian items.

                                                                        1. re: cleopatra999

                                                                          99 supermarket: I found crushed lemon grass in the frozen section. Also, whole okra frozen - ok for curry when I can't find fresh okra anywhere.
                                                                          they have frozen kaffir lime leaves and I believe I saw frozen galangal too. also, they carry A1 Mountain brand fish curry spice packet - which is the best fish curry in my opinion. I had to get my inlaws to ship it from singapore before I found it here.
                                                                          of all the chinese food stores, 99 is my fave. (No, I do not own the place or work there.)

                                                                      2. re: Dan G

                                                                        I realize that this is a year old post, but I was amazed at what I found at the Bosch Kitchen Center on 51st as far as "odd" ingredients. One of them was juniper berries...lots and lots of juniper berries. I noted this because I needed some for jerk seasoning last year and got them sent in from Vancouver as a last resort.

                                                                        1. re: foodiesnorth

                                                                          That's good to know - you can sometimes get juniper berries at Planet Organic, but not always. I have some I picked up in Vancouver too, but almost out of them.

                                                                  2. re: cgoulet

                                                                    Dried juniper berries can be found at K&K German Grocery at Whyte and 99st.

                                                                    1. re: cgoulet

                                                                      There is a grocery accross the street (straight North) from the Pagolac where you can pick up a wide variety of "oriental" staples and vegetables including lemon grass, and sometimes baby eggplant). Another good store for these items ( including fresh and frozen fish) is the United Grocers Supermarket (9516 102 Avenue) near the Mirama.

                                                                    2. The Mundare Sauage shop on 118 avenue is not my favourite for kolbassa, but they make the best smoked ribs and smoked pork shops in the city. The ribs come in a tangy tomato sauce. Just throw them on the barby or in the winter nuke them and they are great.

                                                                      About 10-12 blocks east is Victoria Sausage which make amazing smoked hams and bacon. The triple smoked bacon makes soups sing.

                                                                      1. I've recently moved to Edmonton and I'm looking for a place to buy thai staples: specifically galangal, magroot (kaffir lime - both the fruit and the leaves) and pea eggplants. Any suggestions?

                                                                        What a great discussion this is!

                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                        1. re: popil

                                                                          Welcome! I would try the Superstore down around 50th ave and Calgary trail. T&T might also be a good bet. I know there's one in WestEd, though I'm not sure about other locations. Good luck!

                                                                          1. re: littlegreenpea

                                                                            There's only one T&T in Edmonton right now, and that's at West Edmonton Mall. However, they are going to be opening another location in the north end (I'm guessing sometime in the next year).

                                                                            1. re: littlegreenpea

                                                                              The Superstore mentioned does have a slightly wider variety of "exotic" produce than some other stores, but I haven't seen any of those 3 ingredients there before. T&T would be a safer bet, and I've seen galangal at Lucky 97 (97th St. & 107th Ave.) all the time and I think possibly the eggplants too.

                                                                              1. re: egon61

                                                                                I asked for galangal at T&T several months ago, and no one (5 different employees) even knew what I was talking about. I even found something with it listed in the ingredients to show them the spelling.

                                                                                1. re: Dan G

                                                                                  Okay, so Lucky 97 sounds like the best bet. I think I'm going to have the hardest time finding the lime leaves....but the restaurants must get them from somewhere....

                                                                                  1. re: popil

                                                                                    You can get dried kaffir lime leaves at T&T.Is that what you want, or fresh (don't know much about them, have only used them a few times and always dried)

                                                                                    1. re: popil

                                                                                      I have bought fresh kaffir lime leaves from T&T in the past, but they arent always available. I've found the T&T here in town quite lacking compared to the Edmonton produce section though... i've found them up there quite frequently.

                                                                                      I've found them frozen at Cookbook Co. They arent quite as good, but do work fairly well. Better than dried though. They may have galangal as well.

                                                                                      1. re: yen

                                                                                        btw found frozen kaffir lime leaves at T&T Harvest Hills tonight.

                                                                                        (my apologies to the OP for the slight tangent) :)

                                                                                    2. re: Dan G

                                                                                      yeah, the employees at ethnic grocery places are not always up on the English names of things. I got blank looks when I asked for asafoetida at a 34th street market but somehow remembered to call it hing. For galangal, 南姜 nan2 jiang1. I seem to recall a friend getting lime leaves frozen at lucky 97.

                                                                                      1. re: pepper_mil

                                                                                        We were just at Lucky 97 this weekend and they had fresh lime leaves. DOn't forget 99 Market too which is recently rebuilt after the fire and has a decent produce section.

                                                                              2. Thanks for all the great ideas everyone... I am trying to track down pistachio paste, any ideas?

                                                                                Also found this website - http://www.vanillafoodcompany.ca/defa... they ship vanilla beans out of Toronto supremely cheap! Will be putting in my order soon in prep for wedding cake season!

                                                                                1. what an awesome link for foodies in edmonton!
                                                                                  i moved here from montreal about a year and a half ago and i am missing a lot of things from back home... does anyone know if it is possible to get montreal-style bagels in edmonton? or any recommendations for a good loaf of kimmel or rye bread? and of course.... where can i get my cheese curds for a homemade poutine??

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: impulsively

                                                                                    I have not found Montreal bagels in Edmonton - hopefully someone else can chime in with an answer to that! The New York Bagel Cafe on Whyte would be the best I've found so far. I like the rye bread at Bee Bell Bakery, but that may just be my taste.

                                                                                    Cheese curds - Paddy's Cheese Shop on High Street (about 125 Street and 102 Ave) has fabulous, squeaky fresh cheese curds, but not all the time.

                                                                                    1. re: MrsCris

                                                                                      Another great place to get fresh, squeaky cheese curds is The Cheese Factory at 89st and 82 ave. They also usually have a booth at the Strathcona Farmer's Market on Saturdays.

                                                                                    2. re: impulsively

                                                                                      Realize the original post is old but wanted to mention B&A Bakery on the north side as a good source for rye bread. My german mother-in-law is partial to Empress Bakery for her rye bread in the same strip as K & K Deli.

                                                                                    3. Saxby's outlet at 4120 98 Street is cheap and good for desserts. The lemon cake is one of my favorites.

                                                                                      There's an Indian grocery by New Asian Village on 34 ave that was recommended when I took Indian cooking classes but I forget the name of it.

                                                                                      I find Cobs way overpriced and usually get bakery stuff at the Italian market. I like Safeway's bakery the best of the chain grocery stores. Save-on the worst.

                                                                                      I'm also looking for smooth pistachio paste if you find any. My homemade paste used in ice cream was pretty gross.

                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: rob1234

                                                                                        Hello I just joined this site and I need help, For a recipe I need some Mexican items. I need:
                                                                                        - chorizo
                                                                                        - couscous
                                                                                        - smoked paprika

                                                                                        Anyone know where I can find these in Edmonton?


                                                                                        1. re: Hugh Jass


                                                                                          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.

                                                                                          couscous is moroccan/African though as it is traditionally made from sorghum wheat. You can find the small variety at the grocery stores here.

                                                                                          Are you looking for fresh chorizo or cured chorizo?

                                                                                          1. re: Bryn

                                                                                            Hi Bryn,

                                                                                            I am looking for fresh chorizo. I went to Save-On and Sobey's looking for couscous in the pasta aisle, but I did not see it. Do I look for a package that says "couscous" or should I be looking for it named as something else?

                                                                                            I saw this recipe on Rachael Ray that calls for couscous and chorizo and it looked delicious and very easy to make.

                                                                                            Thanks for your help! I will check out Paraiso Tropical for the spices.

                                                                                            1. re: Hugh Jass

                                                                                              We usually buy our whole wheat couscous at the Save-on from the bulk bins, the whole wheat kind seems to come only in bulk. You can also get the regular kind and organic in the bulk bin section, it is labeled couscous (or cuscus). You can also find it in packages at Spinelli's (aka Italian Centre) or Andy's IGA in Valleyview. Casbah is a common brand.

                                                                                              As for chorizo, there are many sausages purporting to be chorizo. We usually favor the fresh italian sausage at Spinelli's for most uses whether we are serving it with polenta, cous cous or paella. Some of the stands at the farmer markets offer some good alternatives, sometimes we buy the merguez style sausage which also goes well with couscous but can be fatty
                                                                                              Lastly, I ve see Spolumbo's products around, I think that both Safeway and SaveOn carry them, but I have not tried them.

                                                                                            2. re: Bryn

                                                                                              Spolumbo's sausage out of Calgary sells some of their products up here in Save on. Their chorizo is fantastic, it is fresh.The supply is hit & miss, you may need to phone around to make sure that they have it.
                                                                                              Couscous you can get almost anywhere (grocery stores). by bulk or in a box, you can find whole wheat couscous at planet organic.
                                                                                              At Cameron's meats in crestwood they also make chorizo & I believe I saw a smoked paprika there too, call ahead to be sure.

                                                                                              1. re: cleopatra999

                                                                                                Thank you felix and cleo!! very helpful!!


                                                                                        2. Does anyone know of a store in Edmonton that would carry preserved lemons? I have plenty of recipes for making them at home but I use them so infrequently that it would be easier just to purchase them when and as required. David Lebovitz talks about being able to purchase them in Arab markets in Paris so I am wondering if there might be a hidden away Morrocan store (or similar) in Edmonton that might carry them.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: West End Will

                                                                                            Will, try the Arab supermarkets in the north neighbourhood of Rosslyn. I'm pretty sure I have seen the lemons at Elsafadi Brothers. They have a large preserved/pickled produce selection. 11316 134 Avenue.

                                                                                            It's a bit bizarre to get there, but once there, also pay a visit to Sunbake Pita for a light lunch. It's just down the street a bit. Highly recommended.

                                                                                            Failing that, Superstore might have what you are looking for, or even the Indian markets on 34 Avenue between Gateway Boulevard and 91 Street.

                                                                                            1. re: West End Will

                                                                                              I've seen preserved lemons at Planet Organic in Calgary, I'd think the edmonton store would also stock them...might be worth a call.

                                                                                              1. re: West End Will

                                                                                                Haven't looked lately, but have bought them a couple of times at the downtown Italian Centre.

                                                                                                1. re: birdee

                                                                                                  Does anyone know where I might be able to buy Zulka sugar in Edmonton please?

                                                                                              2. Hi all, I was wondering if anyone knew where to get : a) real vanilla and b) those little black or red jars of caviar (or substitute) in Edmonton? Thanks!

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: cody95

                                                                                                  I'm pretty sure you can get real vanilla everywhere now. I see it at Sobeys, Homesense, Save-On, Bosch Kitchen Center the Italian Centres etc.. You'll probably want to shop around for the most reasonable price though. It isn't nearly as hard to find as it once was, although I still bring a litre or two back form Mexico each year. Heck, I even saw vanilla beans available at Bulk Barn last week (at the till).

                                                                                                  And speaking of the Italian Centre, I'm pretty sure that is where I picked up a tin of caviar.. Maybe Sunterra, Urban Fresh....

                                                                                                2. Hey all,
                                                                                                  I have been trying to track down black cocoa, dutch-processed cocoa, and coffee extract (among a few other odds and ends) - anyone know where to find them in Edmonton? I was thinking of popping into Bosch tomorrow (I've never been).

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: ediddy

                                                                                                    Bosch is a good bet I definitely saw black cocoa there last time i was there and I'm pretty sure they'll have coffee extract.

                                                                                                    1. re: Bryn

                                                                                                      Well they did have Black and Dutch Cocoa, however they didn't have coffee extract. They had coffee "flavour" but I wasn't convinced it would work as needed. Guess I'll order it online!

                                                                                                  2. I agree that Sunterra is excellent, however I have found that T&T at WEM is also excellent for freshness and price, especially in thier meats, fish and produce. You have a variety of selections and again the prices are good. Parking is always a hassle but it's worth it.

                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: colinmcbeath

                                                                                                      Love T&T but wish they had more locations around the city. The North end and WEM are sometimes too far to get to for us. Also the WEM location is always SUPER packed full of people.

                                                                                                      1. re: foodkarma

                                                                                                        So true. But they have such yummy food. In the meat fridge, they sell these aluminum foil containers of raw dim sum food that you can cook at home. The black bean garlic spare ribs are the best! I always freeze it in a ziploc bag, then when I want to eat it, thaw, and steam for 20 minutes. Delicious with a big bowl of steamed jasmine rice.
                                                                                                        They also have a fantastic hot lunch counter (just to the right of the mall entrance, along the wall and next to the bakery). For $6.99, you get a massive amount of food - soup, rice, and two choices (my favourites: beef brisket with chinese carrot, spicy shrimp, or any one of the barbeque options, like soy chicken, Chinese barbeque pork, etc) - and they aren't skimpy with what they give you. I definitely wish there was one closer to me - going to West Ed Mall is such a hassle.

                                                                                                        1. re: impulsively

                                                                                                          oh yes... those little aluminum foil containers! Bought those a few times from the T&T's in Vancouver. I like the chicken, mushrooms, lily buds, and fungus. Also the ground pork with preserved vegetables. Those dishes were staples when I was growing up with rice... ahhh memories... may need to make the trek to T&T this weekend.

                                                                                                          1. re: foodkarma

                                                                                                            I also really like the chicken with mushrooms etc. But I had trouble cooking it at home - couldn't tell when it was done - I think something in the marinade had a pink-ish hue so I kept thinking that the chicken was still raw! I haven't been able to find that one recently at the WEM T&T. And I don't think I've ever seen the ground pork with preserved veggies, though I think I would love that since it's something my mom used to make.
                                                                                                            Oh I forgot to mention, another one of my favourites at the hot lunch counter is pork belly with preserved vegetables. They don't have it often, but when they do, I buy an extra container to freeze. Yum.

                                                                                                            1. re: impulsively

                                                                                                              They probably used corn starch or something like that in the marinade. When I've done that at home with pork it keeps the meat overly pink and makes it hard to tell if the meat is cooked through or not.

                                                                                                    2. The Portuguese Canadian Bakery at 5304 - 118 Avenue is a favourite of mine - they have amazing corn bread (not the johnny cake type, the corn flour type). You can choose white or yellow, and it's better than the bread I used to get in the Portuguese neighbourhood in Montreal. They also have tons of frozen and salted fish, and some Clic products for those always on the hunt for dry or canned legumes and grains. Only a couple of blocks from the Mundare sausage place, and Uncle Ed's restaurant where you'll need to have some inexpensive perogies and excellent borscht to refuel. Go to the bakery after to get the portuguese egg flans/tarts for desert with a coffee. Italian Bakery is on the east side of 50th (still on 118th ave) so you can restock excellent frozen locally-made stuffed pastas (better price than costco's less-good fresh pasta) while avoiding the line-up at the Italian Centre (if you don't need the much larger selection at the centre...).

                                                                                                      If you prefer French bread to fluffy-style, the Treestone bakery at the top of Scona hill is the only option for baguettes, also excellent rye and unbleached breads.

                                                                                                      Good montreal bagels have to be flown back from montreal -take an extra suitcase next time you go and freeze them! (I've done it...)

                                                                                                      Costco has real vanilla and the best prices on maple syrup, although sometimes Walmart has the canned syrup for the same price I used to pay my sugarbush neighbour when I lived in the country north of Montreal.

                                                                                                      I went to a middle easter/indian grocery shop once which I think was the Medina market at 3219 92 Street Nw. Butcher counter with lots of lamb and chicken, lots of prepared curry and karma packages of the "just add chicken and lemons" variety, tons of legumes and grains, rose water, all the arab packaged things - coffee, turkish delight, tea. Fun trip, felt like being in the middle east! Excellent prices, too. Especially on spices!

                                                                                                      More prosaically, there is a Bulk Barn that has opened just south of the Superstore at South Commons. They have a lot of organic grains and flours - spelt, kamut, etc. I assume the price is better than Planet Organic (HAS to be...) but haven't actually checked.

                                                                                                      1. Finally, there's a foodie thread for Edmonton!

                                                                                                        I just picked up a really excellent dessert cookbook, and I'm looking for some important ingredients. Does anyone know where I can get the following? Also, if possible, are any of these available somewhat close to downtown?

                                                                                                        -Almond paste

                                                                                                        -Passion fruit juice (preferably unsweetened)

                                                                                                        I don't know if this helps anyone from previous posts, but there is also a fantastic Brazilian grocery store in town called Fatima's. I'll have to get the address when it's in front of me. My boyfriend (Brazilian) introduced me to it, and it's great to pick up Brazilian goods you didn't know you loved, including a damn good brand of coffee called Pilao (cheaper than at the Portuguese Bakery).


                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: hungry_i

                                                                                                          Almond paste is available at Safeway in the bakery (seasonal) and all year round at Bosch Kitchen centre.

                                                                                                          Passion fruit juice... maybe at that downtown sobey's?

                                                                                                          1. re: Bryn

                                                                                                            Asian grocery stores have passion fruit juice sometimes too. No idea if it's unsweetened.

                                                                                                        2. hi everyone... just got back from vacationing in south america - wanted to know if anyone knows of a good place to get peruvian spices, such as aji amarillo paste or fresh aji peppers, or annatto/achiote? and peruvian queso fresco - a fresh squeaky salty cheese that can be fried up nicely.
                                                                                                          also looking for argentine-style 'chorizo' sausages (to make choripan, bbq'd sausages in a roll, yummy!) - they are fresh, fat sausages that are so delicious; i think they are pork-based. nothing like the spanish-style dried chorizo.
                                                                                                          oh yeah! also had some awesome quinoa soup while in peru - does anyone know how readily available that is?

                                                                                                          found a recent post online that suggested Argyll Foods (99 st/argyll rd) as a good place for mexican/latin foods, but have not had the chance to visit yet.

                                                                                                          Saccani - that is exactly what i did this time - i left lots of extra space in a second suitcase and brought back as many montreal bagels as my little freezer will fit.. as well as a 1kg bag of cheese curds from st-guillame, haha; have been making homemade poutines for everyone we know..!

                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: impulsively

                                                                                                            You can order St Viateur bagels online at http://www.stviateurbagel.com/products/
                                                                                                            You can call Fairmount bagels at (514) 272-0667 to arrange a shipment.
                                                                                                            Bagels arrive a couple of days old but still good after you put them briefly in a very hot oven, or double toast them whole after freezing them.

                                                                                                            1. re: felix the hound

                                                                                                              Or potentially go to Calgary and visit Montreal Bagels. The baker there used to work at St Viateur.

                                                                                                              Montreal Bagels
                                                                                                              8408 Elbow Dr SW #103, Calgary, AB T2V 1K7, CA

                                                                                                              1. re: anonymoose

                                                                                                                +1 Montreal Bagels is the best I've had since I lived in NDG

                                                                                                                Montreal Bagels
                                                                                                                8408 Elbow Dr SW #103, Calgary, AB T2V 1K7, CA

                                                                                                                1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                                  +2 for Montreal Bagels. I made a post about it when I stopped in Calgary at the start of April. http://bit.ly/aaPZPD

                                                                                                                  Montreal Bagels
                                                                                                                  8408 Elbow Dr SW #103, Calgary, AB T2V 1K7, CA

                                                                                                                  1. re: raidar

                                                                                                                    See, I didn't think that either St-Viateur or Fairmount would ship them all the way out here... and my worry was that they would be stale by the time they arrived. Just finished the stash of bagels I brought back from Christmas and missing them already.
                                                                                                                    But thanks for the Montreal Bagels suggestion... I will be sure to check it out the next time I'm in Calgary!

                                                                                                                    1. re: impulsively

                                                                                                                      The man who runs the Noodle Maker restaurant in Chinatown makes Montreal bagels once a week. Not sure how they compare to the real thing since I can't eat them (I eat gluten-free) but I know others say they're great. He is on twitter too @noodlemakeredm.

                                                                                                                      1. re: thelittleredkitchen

                                                                                                                        Really? Neat. I guess he must sell it at the Noodle Maker as well? Is he the same guy who sells Montreal-style bagels at the downtown farmer's market?

                                                                                                                        1. re: impulsively

                                                                                                                          Yeah, he only sells them at the Noodle Maker, and no it's not the same guy from the market.

                                                                                                            2. re: impulsively

                                                                                                              This is a bit late ... but I'm pretty sure I saw queso fresco at Planet Organic South recently.

                                                                                                              1. re: thelittleredkitchen

                                                                                                                Really??!! That would be awesome. I would accept any kind of queso fresco (just saw a tv show where they had some yummy Mexican queso fresco). Would that be the Planet Organic at Calgary Trail around 79th Ave?

                                                                                                            3. Hi. Does anyone know where to buy some of those big sour (kosher?) pickles in Edmonton? They are the big 'fresh' ones you get with burgers at restaurants sometimes. Any help would be appreciated!

                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Kristineaux


                                                                                                                I cannot assist but if you should locate them, I would love to hear the details.

                                                                                                                I have enjoyed the pickles at the Century Group [?] spots like 100, DeLuxe Burger, etc. and when I inquired I was told they ...not surprising... obtained them from one of the large food suppliers, just which one I unfortunately do not recollect.

                                                                                                                1. re: Bob Mac

                                                                                                                  Hi Bob Mac,
                                                                                                                  I definitely will update this thread if I find any. So far, I've found a few recipes but there must be some place to buy them retail! The recipes that sound right refer to 'half' sour pickles.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Kristineaux

                                                                                                                    The closest I have found to deli Kosher style pickles are Strub's which can be found at Andy's IGA on 142nd Street. I prefer the "New pickles" which are only half sour but crunchier.

                                                                                                                    1. re: felix the hound

                                                                                                                      Hi Felix,
                                                                                                                      Thanks, I will give them a try.

                                                                                                                2. re: Kristineaux

                                                                                                                  I tried Bubbies Pure Kosher Pickles as a substitute for the pickles that I would get with Schwartz' smoked meat sandwiches (Montreal) and they weren't bad. I think they are all-natural and they brine has that traditional cloudy-ness. I got them at Planet Organic on Calgary Trail (near Whyte Ave) in the refrigerated section.

                                                                                                                3. The "Russian lady" ( aka European Market and Produce) now at 6607-177 Street in the Callingwood Shopping Center ( it used to be in Meadolark). It is a grocery store with deli, produce and a wide variety of Russian foods ( canned, dry and frozen).

                                                                                                                  1. A shout out to all you Edmontonian foodies! Don't let this blog die! Please!

                                                                                                                    Whether you are a foodie or not, you must visit the "intersection of perfection" at Jasper Ave and 104 St! For all you Edmontonians who have lived here for decades, you no longer need an armed guard to walk there after dusk, and for everyone else, you'll remember this area as the site of the fantastic and fun outdoor farmer's market.

                                                                                                                    - Transcend coffee shop has, in my opinion, the best coffee in town. Try the flat white; it's not as heavy as a latte and not as powerful as a cappuccino. Granted, it's not cheap, but good heavens is the coffee good! This is usually my first stop along my quest.

                                                                                                                    - DeVine Wines has a wonderful selection of affordable (or not so affordable) and heavenly wines. The staff is fabulous and they are always more than willing to help you find a bottle or two to pair with your meal. As an added bonus, they have regular wine tastings and other special events throughout the year.

                                                                                                                    - Dauphine Bakery and Bistro is a great family-run french artisan bakery. Every time I'm in the area I stop by for a baguette! With a non-descript doorway that leads down a 20's-style black and white tile staircase, they are easy to miss, so just look for a sandwich board outside and the scent of freshly baked bread emenating from below!

                                                                                                                    - Evoolution just opened up a few months ago, and from what I can tell, they're doing very well! They import olive oil and balsamic vinegar from around the world and infuse them with the most incredible flavours. They also carry a great selection of gourmet salt and for all you Calgarians who can't live without the Silk Road Spice shop, they actually carry some of their savoury line! Horay! I have to admit that ever since I discovered this place, I have never been without a bottle of Herbs de Provence oil and fleur de sel for those last-minute baguette cravings...

                                                                                                                    - Sobey's. No, that is not a typo; Sobey's on Jasper and 104th has one of the best cheese selections in the downtown core. Granted, it's not as good as Everything Cheese at 14912 45th Ave, but their truffle cheese is TO DIE FOR. Who am I kidding, anything truffle is TO DIE FOR. The rumour mill has suggested that a new fromagerie will be opening along 104th in the near future... I'm keeping an eye out!

                                                                                                                    - Finally, Jacek Chocolate Couture is possibly the coolest artisan chocolatier in Canada. She works out of a studio in Sherwood Park (406 Kaska Rd, well worth visiting) and sells her product at Credo, right next door to Evoolution. Each chocolate not only looks like a piece of art, but they are gourmet quality. Now I have to be honest, I prefer Transcend coffee to Credo, so it is not unusual for me to skulk outside with an unfinished Transcend coffee only to throw away the evidence and dash in to buy a box of chocolates. I am not proud.

                                                                                                                    At the end of a long day, there is nothing better than stopping in at Tzin wine bar for fabulous wine, delicious tapas, and an all-round great atmosphere!

                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Liz550

                                                                                                                      There is great baking at Dauphine but I have to say I was disappointed by their baguette. It wasn't up to par and it was probably one of the most expensive baguettes I've ever bought. Their lemon tarts and pies are so much better.

                                                                                                                      Also, I have to ask, how much did the local business association pay you to write what sounds suspiciously like a marketing piece?

                                                                                                                      1. re: anonymoose

                                                                                                                        What! I can actually get paid for this stuff??? Man, am I in the wrong business!

                                                                                                                        I'm just a local foodie who lives in the area and wanted people to know that downtown is no longer the dingy, mangy stinkhole that used to attract all of the local "model citizens". In fact, it seems to be an up-and-coming area, especially during the summer months when the farmer's market comes in.

                                                                                                                        In other news, if you're not too fond of Dauphine, may I suggest Duchess at 10720 124 St (good luck getting seating) or Tree Stone Bakery at 8612 - 99 St. Happy carb loading!

                                                                                                                      2. re: Liz550

                                                                                                                        Transcend will be closing at the end of the month.

                                                                                                                        1. re: aasg

                                                                                                                          so sad and surprised to hear about that. Anyone know why?

                                                                                                                          +1 Anonymoose on the marketing schpiel

                                                                                                                            1. re: shanman99

                                                                                                                              I see, it is a large space that is true. There will be even bigger line ups in Garneau now.

                                                                                                                              1. re: cleopatra999

                                                                                                                                I don't care for the Garneau Transcend as the tables are so close together, and the acoustics are awful. Even worse though, is the one on 99st, which is tiny and has a barista who has a loud booming voice, as do some of the regulars, all of which is impossible to ignore.
                                                                                                                                My absolute favourite place to go for a lovely latte and a goodie is The Duchess, which is such an elegant place. I also like Leva, and Zocalo, especially since their renovations.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Liz550

                                                                                                                          Update: you must add Cavern to your 104 Street summary/marketing campaign! Fantastic espresso drinks brewed with Coava coffee out of Portland (it was my favourite of many tasted on a recent trip to PDX and I was ecstatic to find it locally). Great selection of cheese as well, both to stay and to go.

                                                                                                                        3. OK, So please bear with me -- I haven't read through the entire thread yet (but i SO will).... can we step back from ethnic and just go with damn good gourmet? I need Maldon, Himalayan etc.... Where do I get amazing specialty gourmet??

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: ccoplick

                                                                                                                            I can get Maldon salt at my local Safeway now (Oliver Square), but prior to that I would buy it from the Italian Centre Shop. For Himalayan pink salt, I used to buy it from Winners/Homesense, but recently I found it at Optimum Health/Kolya Naturals, in a pretty big bag (big crystals - I have a grinder for it at home).

                                                                                                                          2. Great suggestions here!

                                                                                                                            Andy's Valleyview IGA for Kosher meats and other goods
                                                                                                                            Ben's Meats on Stoney Plain road for Dutch products, local meats and European deli items.