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Toronto - Whole Foods

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baby_tran Apr 20, 2007 07:30 AM

Has anyone been? Is this a large supermarket-type store? My nephew is visiting soon and consumes soy products (soy ice-cream, soy yogurt, soy cheese, etc....would this be a good place to find such items?

Thanks

  1. y
    Yongeman Apr 20, 2007 07:33 AM

    Yes, but so is The Big Carrot, Noah's, and many other places, including large grocery chains, depending on the quality and type of product that he needs.

    1. n
      Navigate440 Apr 20, 2007 07:40 AM

      It's a great grocery experience, particularly for organic products. But if you're just looking for soy products, you'll find them in grocery stores.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Navigate440
        k
        kmoore Apr 20, 2007 10:47 AM

        Along these lines. Has anyone been or routinely shopped at a Whole Foods outside of Toronto? I'm from TO, but have been living in foodie crazy Los Angeles, where Whole Foods is the closest and convenient place to get groceries. Both Whole Foods I go to are just fabulous. The Santa Monica location has a great hot food station with amazing pizza and the Brentwood location has the best cheese guy. Super knowledgeable, stocks tons of great goat cheeses. Can anyone comment on comparisons between American Whole Foods and our Canadian counterpart?

        Also, I'm sure this post will draw out lots of reply indicating that there are great local cheese markets and other alternatives to Whole Foods like Big Carrot, I realize that, but it's only been in the last couple months (since I've been down here) that I've developed a palate for cheeses - something I'm looking forward to exploring once I get home to Toronto, but for know, Whole Foods here is great for cheese, so I'm just wondering if I can expect the same level of quality in Toronto...

        1. re: kmoore
          flying101 Apr 20, 2007 11:08 AM

          due to some Canadian importing laws many products @ the Toronto store differs from those in the states. When my brother come up to visit from new york he always is asking the stock people/mangers if they have a specific product (sometimes they are out of stock, but sometimes they don't carry it @ all). although my brother is generally looking for gluten free products (they have some brands @ the Toronto location, but few he likes)

          other then a few missing products it is very similar, yet i find the meat and produce to be overrated to other local markets (but still very good)

          as for cheese, you prob will have some problems finding the same ones as in LA, but there are plenty of local cheese shops in Toronto.

          1. re: kmoore
            p
            peppermint pate Apr 20, 2007 01:08 PM

            I've been to the Whole Foods in Vancouver (comparable to the one here), Fort Lauderdale (I actually liked the one here better) and the one in Austin, Texas. The one in Austin, which I believe is where Whole Foods is based, is ginormous - maybe it's the biggest one of all? Anyway, it's probably the biggest supermarket I've ever been to and it was filled with all kinds of sit-down spots to eat freshly prepared food (fish, pasta and meat stations to name a few), a juice/smoothie bar, etc. There was a huge nut butter station where you could sample all different combinations of cashew, almond and peanut butters. Honestly, the place was UNBELIEVABLE by any standards. And of course, you can buy wines at the Whole Foods stores in the US which you can't do here.

            Generally speaking, the Yorkville store is quite good. As for cheese, while they do have a pretty extensive selection, I tend to gravitate more often to the smaller shops in that department e.g. Alex Farms, All the Best, etc.

            1. re: peppermint pate
              k
              kmoore Apr 20, 2007 02:33 PM

              The only reason I brought up the cheese was that the family I stay with in Los Angeles are big foodies. They do they market scene here quite a bit, but have found that the Brentwood, LA location has become on of the best places in the city to get cheeses. From what I remember about shopping in Toronto is that Alex's does a great job, and there is another place in the St. Lawrence Market which is quite good do. I'm definitely going to check them out when I get home. Settling into the convenience of Whole Food here, I was just speculating whether I could get the same quality back home.

              Yeah, you are right P.P. the Austin, TX is the biggest and the "flagship" store, everyone I've talked to who has been there says it's amazing.

              1. re: kmoore
                y
                yummy_mummy May 17, 2007 11:58 AM

                The Cheese Boutique in Etobicoke has a wide selection of cheeses among other great products. Its some where around the South Kingsway/Queensway area. As mention already, SLM has acouple of great places as well

        2. e
          embee Apr 20, 2007 02:46 PM

          It's a large supermarket and they have much wonderful stuff -- and many other things not worth their lofty prices. It's a nice shopping experience except on Saturdays, when it's a zoo. Their prepared foods look and sound wonderful, but are often bland, one dimensional, and/or overcooked. There's free parking under Hazelton Lanes.

          That said, unless you live in the immediate vicinity, you'll find that the soy products you mention are widely available. The Big Carrot on Danforth is the best "healthy food" store and is non-GMO and a worker-owned co-op, but it isn't cheaper than Whole Foods. Noah's is a distant second. But you'll find what you want at most of the larger Loblaw's and Dominion stores all around Toronto.

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