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Japanese Grocer

I'm expecting my lovely wife (who is Japanese) and my daughter from Japan any day now (visa issues) and she has given me the mission of finding 'real' Japanese groceries in the GTA. We will be living in Brampton, but if anyone knows a good Japanese grocer in the GTA I would appreciate if you could pass it along.

In particular I'm looking for:

mugi-cha
natto
rice
and apanman bread, which is a sweet bread for kids (which my daughter loves)
tofu

My wife also heard unconfirmed rumours (through an Internet chat site) that some No Frills sells natto. I checked at my local No Frills but couldn't find any, and I find it hard to believe that No Frills would stock it. Perhaps in some locations. Any leads?

Thanks

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  1. Sanko on Queen St. W. has it all, if you feel like coming downtown.

    1 Reply
    1. re: childofthestorm

      That place is all right, but the owner was rude to my wife a few years ago when we were in Toronto. She wasn't my wife then, but we were dating and he told her to ditch me and marry a nice Japanese boy. He also said she should leave Canada and go back to Japan, because Canada wasn't a good place to live.

    2. Wakame at Jones and Danforth has most of this if you are in East End.

      1. try Jtown at Steeles and Woodbine. They have 5 stores in one. You can get everything there that you are looking for. As well they have a small Japanese resteraunt that has real Japanese food.
        There is a Japanese bakery called Nakamura which makes the
        apan bread.
        The grocery store is called Heisei, they have the natto and the mugi-cha, but that you can also find in some chinese stores.
        They have alot of rice that you dont find in other stores, but is expensive.
        There is a jeweler there as well as fish market, that makes the sushi as well.
        Check it out they have so much there.

        1 Reply
        1. You could try Little Tokyo on Augusta Street in Kensington Market. It's a small Japanese grocery store that sells a variety of things that seem to be straight from Japan, though I can't say for sure whether they sell the specific things you listed.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Gary

            owners are exceptionally nice at Little Tokyo! always am treated exceptionally well and remembered everytime i visit. the owner @ sanko was rude to me as well. i guess a tattoo'd eurasian kid who likes high end incense would surprise some people....lol. i can also highly recommend J town. you can order japanese groceries online like i used to, when i wanted the Ito-en green tea in BULK ( no cals so i drink like 4 a day), but T&T on lakeshore/cherry has a good selection.

          2. Though overwhelmingly Chinese, T&T has a decently-sized Japanese section for groceries. There's a location in Mississauga.

            2 Replies
            1. re: xtal

              What's the full name of T&T? Phone number? Address? I can't seem to find it in the Mississauga phone book...

              1. re: thedarkcanuck

                T&T supermarket has a website you can check: http://www.tnt-supermarket.com/

                The closest location to Brampton is the Mississauga (Central Parkway) store. Intersection is: Central Parkway W & Mavis Rd.

                Address:
                715 Central Parkway West,
                Mississauga, Ontario
                L5B 4L1
                Store hours:
                Sunday - Thursday
                9:00 am - 10:00 pm
                Friday - Saturday
                9:00 am - 11:00 pm
                Phone: 905.848.8113
                Fax: 905.848.9113

                Yes they do have a lot of Japanese products, although I'm not sure if they carry specific things you listed. Their stuff is certainly cheaper than JTown's. I have just come back from my Japan trip, so when I compare the prices, JTown's is at least 2x more expensive than in Japan!

                Otherwise you can also try PAT Korean Supermarket on Dundas St close to Cawthra. They should also have some Japanese products.

            2. Sanko is great, although I don't know any of the others listed here. I'll have to check out Wakame, as I'm a LOT closer to that than Sanko these days.

              1. Does anyone know of a store that stocks yuzu?

                1. Kaka listed the chief sources for Mississauga/Brampton.I'd skip Sanko(too looney+too expensive) and J-Town(too far).Kumai on Hurontario just s. of Britannia and Toshi at Hurontario just s. of Hwy 7 are decent Japanese-run eateries. You might also enjoy Mika's Japanese Gifts at Mavis+Matheson--a gem of a Japanese housewares store with a nice selection of everyday ceramics and cookware.

                  1. Thanks for the specific address.
                    I found PAT's in Mississauga and it was not too bad --- mostly Korean stuff.
                    I'm sure that Japanese things are at least 2x more expensive here than there (though I found the rice in PAT to be reasonable compared to Japanese prices, but we haven't eaten it yet so it might not be the same quality) but then again N. American things over there tend to be a bit pricey... 150 yen for a can of root beer?

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: thedarkcanuck

                      Oh not just that. A bottle of green tea costs 150 yen at the machines in Tokyo but the same bottle costs $4.00 at JTown's!

                      1. re: kaka

                        Ouch! $4.00?
                        At those prices you'd be better off brewing your own green tea and putting it into a bottle...

                        1. re: thedarkcanuck

                          Yeah it's insane. A bottle of green tea is $3.70 regular price, and still $1.70 when it's on sale. And it's before tax! Who's gonna buy it?!

                          1. re: kaka

                            The same people who pay excessive prices for bottled water?

                            1. re: Vickers

                              just bottle water..... open the tap and its alot cheaper, and according to new reports just the same as bottles water. in fact some of the bottle water copmes from city taps like toronto

                              1. re: galambo

                                True, but I think they filter it. For example I think that Dasani is just filtered tap water. If you have a link to these reports can you post it?

                                1. re: bluedog

                                  Definitely bottled tap water says this unimpeachable source:
                                  http://www.davidsuzuki.org/NatureChal...

                                  1. re: bluedog

                                    'Professor Rolf Halden of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, had this to say about water in U.S. cities. “The truth is that city water is much more highly regulated and monitored for quality. Bottled water is not. It can legally contain many things we would not tolerate in municipal drinking water.”

                                    Bloomberg News stated “Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, the world’s biggest bottler, uses municipal water from Calgary and Brampton, Ontario, for its Dasani brand.”

                                    bottled water is a waste of money. more expensive then gas, and can be less healthy for you.

                                    try this for yourself. take a glass of toronto best, and bottled water and do a blind taste taste (more then once) and chances are 50-50 that you will pick toronto tap water.

                              2. re: kaka

                                Buy a case of green tea bottles at Costco (Warden location), they are less then a buck a piece. Hans

                        2. Hey, I have a question, does anybody know where in the GTA I can get coca cola in metal bottles like they have in Japan?? It's the best Coke I've ever had (I'm sure at least part of my enjoyment came from the novelty) Here is a picture of what I am talking about:

                          http://www.blackmonarch.com/travel/Ja...

                          1. Pat's Oriental store on dundas west of cawthra north side of dundas in mississauga and sandown on brown's line and evans in etobicoke.
                            B-Trust has a little bit of japanese groceries.