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Mar 19, 2007 11:43 AM

Middle Eastern grocers downtown?

I'm craving za'atar, and can't seem to find any. Hoping to avoid a trek uptown to the Jewish grocers around Bathurst and Lawrence. I've scoured St. Lawrence, to no avail. Anyone know where I can source the stuff south of Bloor?


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  1. Maybe Akram's in Kensington Market (they have a small amount of groceries. I can't think of anything, except that perhaps the Dominion at Bloor and Spadina or the Loblaws at St. Clair and Bathurst (I know, not south of Bloor) might have it if they have a kosher foods section.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pescatarian

      What about House of Spice (is that what it's called) in Kensington on Augusta? They ought to have it.

    2. Akram's has it--I bought some there a while back.

      I know it is WAY south of Bloor, but great quality, the Zaa'tar at Sababa is always fresh and potent. I have also bought Zaa'tar from Aarat Foods at Avenue/Lawrence definately more mild than Sababa's. Grocery store stuff, IMO, isn't great b/c it sits on the shelves to long and it looses its bite.

      1. House of Spice in Kensington market definitely has it but I think there's not much sumac in the mix - I bought theirs but added sumac. I checked Akram's Shoppe but just visually....I didn't ask them though and there's a decent chance they would have it too.

        1. chloe103, have you tried the beautiful, high-end spice store on Queen W.? The one which has the olive oil store downstairs. I can't remember the name or exact location, but I'm sure some CHs have been. Very high quality and I know that they carry other spice mixtures like ras-al-hanout. I think it's near Songbird Music, if you know where that is--west of Bathurst on the south side. A really gorgeous spice store.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Yongeman

            I think you're referring to the Spice Trader (and the Olive Pit is downstairs). It's located at 805 Queen W. There is a list of spices on the website but za'atar isn't among them. While I'm not aware of any mid-east grocers south of Bloor, any mid-east place will carry it. Try the Jordanian za'atar (green in colour) - it's a favourite in my household.

            1. re: sman

              Yup, that's it sman. Oh...thanks for the website.

          2. You might also want to try the little grocery store attached to Momo's Middle Eastern Restaurant on the corner of Robert and Harbord (1 bl W of Spadina). They carry a small selection of middle eastern groceries and spices.