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Favorite food shops in Calgary?

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Once in awhile someone tells me about a great little ethnic grocery store, cheese shop, produce place or other food establishment Calgary that I've never heard of. I'm wondering if anyone here has any great little places to recommend?

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  1. There is a small korean store that I didn't know about until recently, tucked away near the Canadian Tire at WestHills. I find their stuff fresher than that of arirang foods downtown. It is called e-mart (no idea why)

    1. The small Korean store in westhills is ok, but very overpriced. Their vegetables are usually bad quality as well. If you can, T7T in the Marlborough shopping center, next to the movie dome, is much much bigger, huge selection, good quality and much cheaper than mosst small ethnic stores.

      1 Reply
      1. re: stakhanov

        Yes, T&T is great and I go there a lot, but the Korean stores carry specific items that you cannot get at T&T. And yes, Korean stores here are overpriced, but as they are all owned by the same people, there is no competition and for certain things, it's just the price I have to pay :)

      2. A Greek girl at work suggested the Kalamata grocery on 11 St. at 15 Ave. SW for olives, feta, pastry, and other Greek basics. She also gave me the name of a bakery near Forest Lawn where her family buys pitas--Shamsane, I think? She also recommends baklava from a great middle eastern desserts place next to a jeweller in Pembrooke Mall.

        My Chinese mother likes to shop at Hang Fung (3 Ave. SE in Chinatown), Tops (cheaper prices than Lambda, though both are good for Chinese staples like greens, tofu, and sauces), and the grocery under the ABC bakery in Chinatown for squash/melons, fruits, and greens. Buy Chinese roast pork (get ribs if you can), duck, and barbequed pork from the butcher inside the Happy Valley restaurant.

        1 Reply
        1. re: aktivistin

          Kalamata definately has the best olives and feta in town!

        2. There is a Korean place in the Dalbrent shopping mall that has a terrible produce department but a good meat market/counter in the back.

          Lambda used to be my choice because their produce was better than Jay's (or whatever the large supermarket in the mall on the corner of 16th ave and Centre Street North is called) but since the reno's the one whose name I am not sure of is much much better for produce. Besides, Lambda has the bakery which sometimes has the absolutely best spring rolls. I've driven across town 3 times for those spring rolls and they didn't have any. Last time they had only one but it was as good as I remember.

          3 Replies
          1. re: sharonanne

            It's great to know that the renos are done and that Jay's produce has improved. It really did suck. And I love the Lambda deepfried sticky rice dumplings, I will ahve to try the spring rolls.

            1. re: alex8alot

              The new "Jay's" is called 100 tops (I believe). It's better then it once was, but still not exactly a food destination.

              1. re: Gobstopper

                It's convenient for me and it is a food destination along with many others if your Safeway is as limited as mine. BIG store, no variety. Just as an example, shopping for Cook's Illustrated recipes recently I haven't been able to find Lapsang Oolong tea or ziti pasta. I don't think those are bizarre ingredients.

          2. I love Scapones (near the airport). I can usually find some screaming deals there (ie, decent whole wheat pasta) and I love their lunch counter.

            1. I get all of my Indian spices in bulk at Spiceland on Fairmount Drive. It is a mom and pop operation- a nice family from India.