HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


Best Grocery Stores In TO . . . . Where do you shop?

One of my favourite passtimes is going grocery shopping/food shopping. . . . Just wanted to know where others go to buy there food and browse the aisles . . . . Here are some of my fav's:

- La Rose Bakery (for italian bread/antipasto bar/ Cheese)
- St. Lawrence Market (for steak and everything else delicious)
- Loblaws Superstore (for organic/ health products/produce)
- Asian Grocery Store (Lawrence and Black Creek) - feels like I am in Asia when I go there, definately worth the trip for all those asian ingredients. Highly recommended)
- Dominion (for those packaged staples. . its convenient)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I eschew aisle-based shopping on my trips to Kensington Market.

    1. I like to shop for small doses often.

      I love:

      Ambrosia Natural Foods
      Big Carrot
      Riverdale Farmer's Market (still a few Tuesdays left before they stop for the year)
      Merchants Of Green Coffee www.merchantsofgreencoffee.com
      If I don't make them myself, sometimes I even go to restaurants for little things like salsa, guacamole, etc instead of buying the inferior grocery store jarred versions.

      Hope this helps

      1 Reply
      1. re: sweetspotlee

        How about Lady york and Next to it City fish Great fish

      2. T&T - it's nuts but great fun.

        4 Replies
        1. re: oishi

          I especially love it in the weekends when they have food samples--makes you buy more!!!!!

              1. re: oishi

                Thanks. Looks great, but I rarely get that far out of the downtown core. (no car)

          1. I think grocery shopping in TO is sadly lacking. Has anyone ever been to Larry's in Seattle? I mean, why can't we have a chain of stores like that here? It blew me away. Makes Loblaws look like a no frills.

            Ziggy's at Y&S used to be great, but they ruined it with "improvements" a few years ago. (I think it's now called the St Clair Market.)

            1. I agree the grocery stores are pretty lame. Typically I pair my shopping each week. I get all that needs to be fresh & flavourful at the St. Lawrence Market. I then gather frozen/dry goods from either the Dominion Front (very bad) or Loblaw's Market (okay, but no great whoop). I've tried to shop at grocery stores alone in the past for the convenience, but it makes for very disappointing dinners. I will say that at least Sobey's carries Alberta lamb, which I find better than Ontario or New Zealand. That takes a certain degree of caring about the products offered, I think.

              1. Where's the store at Lawrence and Black Creek? I thought the area was not that Asian...

                1. I'm always a little embarrassed to go, I but like Whole Foods (Avenue Road/ Hazelton Lanes, right under the Rolls Royce dealership). Whole Foods is a posh American chain. It's kind of fun to watch customers there. You see models with whole carts of water from Fiji, people buying three hundred dollars worth of food.

                  Not everything is over-priced, but somethings are hideously expensive so be careful. Their fish and cheese departments are stellar. In winter, we go to whole foods as a treat. It's like a vacation in CA.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: arugula

                    I was just at Whole Foods yesterday during the film fest and I also feel a bit embarrassed every time. But they do have a great selection of organic drinks and their bakery section is to die for! Also got some really good take out salad bar food. Pricey, so a guilty pleasure every once in a while.

                    1. re: arugula

                      Whole Foods has great specialty items (like soy products for us lactose intolerant folks) that are really reasonable. The bakery makes a fabulous dairyfree chocolate cake that rivals Sweets from the Earth.

                      The fish and meat selection is awesome and I love the wonderfully displayed vegetables. It's so pretty that you don't want to disturb the beautiful composition by removing an item and making it off balanced!

                      It is fun for people watching and for grazing. They have the best samples. Yum.

                    2. PAT Central on Bloor for Asian groceries and Fiesta Farms on Christie (between Dupont and Christie) for everyday groceries. Fiesta has good organics (produce, groceries, milk), olive oils, deli, salt cod...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mickeyj

                        We go to Fiesta regularily as well. For its size and the area, it is really good, especially for the produce. Their main weakness is their cheese selection (excepting the Italian and Portuguese cheeses).

                      2. see my above post on the organic garage in oakville

                        1. Where exactly is that Asian grocery store at Lawrence and Black Creek?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Brain of J

                            on the corner of Lawrence and Black Creek (South/East)......drive up in the plaza and its the last store to the right......its VERY asian.....meaning no one speaks english and all the products are imports.....I just had fun going in and not recognizing half the products in there.....plus I was able to find lime leaves to make some good thai dishes!

                            1. re: pancake

                              One of the Fruit and Veggie store in the lower level of the south market sells fresh lime leaves and fresh Thai basil.

                              It is the store in the middle of the north (back) part of the basement. Beside the chinese hot food stall. Behind the brick wall from the ATM and the choclatier.

                          2. Carrot Common for Meats and Produce (plus a few other things) especially if I didn't make it to the Market.

                            The Market -- as often as I can.

                            Loblaws for staples and supplies, plus, sometimes for lettuces, breads, etc. . . .

                            Kensington to fill an afternoon for fun.
                            T&T (see Kensington)

                            1. other than T&T, which has already been mentioned, for a fun browse and picking up a couple of interesting items (it's pricey, so not a place to do a big one), I love Nunzio's on Bayview, south of Eglinton

                              Other than that, I make do with Loblaws/No Frills/Supercentre.
                              I was surprised, but I went to the No Frills once at Bloor at Dufferin in the mall and I was amazed, for a No Frills, it's a good one.

                              1. I'm very happy to be in the far west end of the GTA in Miss. Nearly unlimited choice ranging from Brandt Meats and Dimpflmeier Bakery, Mike's(All Seas)Fish, Korean+Japanese along Dundas W., Asia Bakery for Afghan breads, H&H+T&T for Chinese, good Italian+Portuguese bakeries, all sorts of S. Asian in Miss and Brampton, and huge No Frills, Highland Farms, Loblaws and Costco for the rest.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Kagemusha


                                  Iam new to mississauga and very enjoy living here. Wos wonderingw whether you could post the names/address/url of the good italian and portugese bakeries in 'sauga that you have mentioned in your post above. I found a few of them in some other topics at chowhound let me know how they fare. I would appreciate your help very much.

                                  The Apricot Tree in Sherwood Forest
                                  Perugina on Renforth South of Eglinton.
                                  Molisana Creditview S of Eglinton.
                                  Britannia Italian Bakery
                                  La Sem
                                  Nova bakery...Cawthra & Burnamthorpe (South East Corner)


                                2. St Lawrence Market - For everything, especially on Saturday at the farmers market.
                                  El Grande Cheese - For Italian specialties
                                  House of Spice (Kensington) and BJ Supermarket (Little India) - For spices
                                  Perola's - South American and Mexican ingredients
                                  No Frills - For cheap basics
                                  Arz Bakery - Middle Eastern delights
                                  Bonjour Brioche - Baguettes
                                  Whitehouse Meats / Meat on the Beach / Fresh from the Farm - Meats
                                  Kings on Danforth - Fresh produce
                                  Cajun Corner - Southern Spices and Tasso, crayfish, etc
                                  Sanko - Japanese
                                  Gerrard St Chinatown - For all chinese and SE Asian basics
                                  Winners - for condiments - no really, I bought truffle oil(about 500 ml) for $8.99 and excellent vanilla for $20, this weekend
                                  The Cheese Boutique - Only when I am feeling rich

                                  And does anyone know about this Trader Joe's in the states which the American's rave about.

                                  1. Sun Valley on the Danforth west of Pape is good. And Royal Beef on Danforth west of Woodbine.

                                    1. Oh! And Ocean's Treasure on Danforth for the best cheapest shrimp and salmon.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: Ice Queen

                                        Hi Ice Queen,
                                        Googled Ocean's Treasure with no hits. Where on Danforth is it located.

                                        1. re: Mila

                                          Ocean's Treasure is on the Danforth, just west of Pape, just west of Sun Valley. They are closed Sunday and Monday. They don't have a huge selection, but they always have shrimp and salmon. Try their tilapia too, it's great.

                                          And did I mention it's cheap? Comparatively, anyway.

                                          1. re: Ice Queen

                                            would they cut the fish into particular oz fillets for me?

                                            1. re: Ice Queen

                                              Thanks, its right by my house. For some reason I always forget about them, but I have gotten wonderful fresh fish there before. Also just south on Pape there is a Greek butcher who we have been getting prime rib steaks from this summer for $7.99 a pound. Cut to order they were delicious.

                                              1. re: Ice Queen

                                                I can walk to Ocean's Treasure in less than 3 minutes, but rarely do since I can get what I consider to be better fish at lower prices at Bill's Lobster Fish Market, 599 Gerrard St. E. (just a short walk east of Broadview). It's also open till around 7:30 most weekdays.
                                                Try it out, I'd like to hear what you think of it.
                                                Sushi grade salmon is around $10 /lb.

                                          2. Absolutely, they are very helpful.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. I don't know why i forgot Fresh on the Farm on Donlands. I think they have another location on Bloor. They are only open a few days of the week, but they have organic and locally produced food, fair trade products, and some randon European products that I absolutely love. The people are fantastic, adn they take orders for freshly butchered meat. They don't have everything, but everything they have is excellent quality, local and reasonably priced. It's also just a lot of fun. Food shopping is the only shopping I enjoy. I highly recommend it.

                                              1. Most sushi restaurants buy from a fish place at Dupont and Dufferin. It's nice, but go early in the day, or all you will find is frozen fish.

                                                1. Check out Starskys on Dundas St in Mississauga. It is a FANTASTIC european deli supermarket. And it is huge! Love the place. http://www.starskycanada.com/whats-ne...

                                                  1. Meat on the Beach( Queen St. E, near Woodbine Ave)..I only wish it was bigger...

                                                    1. I thought it closed. Is meat on the beach still open for sure? Thats good news if it is!

                                                      1. Not only is Meat on the Beach open (it moved west on Queen), but it now has veggies and lots of other fantastic things! And you can ALMOST move in there now, as opposed to the last location.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Ice Queen

                                                          Thats why i thought it was closed! I will go this weekend to check it out. Loved shopping there on occasion. THANKS!

                                                          1. re: Ice Queen

                                                            WOW thanks! Better than ever before and the prices are still very good. We grilled two fabulous rib steaks tonight.

                                                          2. Not in Toronto but if you ever want a great day out, head up to Unionville Main Street for a stoll and lunch and go to the Village Grocer, homemade everything from incredible desserts to Pasta Sauces, amazing meats, produce and frozen foods.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: JesseJensen

                                                              I second Village Grocer. Some of the best meat and produce in the GTA. Downtown Toronto, the Healthy Butcher at 565 Queen West is highly recommended - finest organic meat with the right approach.

                                                            2. There may be better stores for specific items, but the best all around place is Longo's.