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Jan 2, 2009 10:14 AM

Good Health Food stores in Toronto?

Happy New Year to all!

Not so much a resolution, because I think I have a pretty healthy diet, but just want to incorporate some extra healthy items into my everyday diet. Like, I've been hearing about a grain I believe called Amarinth that I think is sold in health food stores, perhaps some vitamin products etc.

But, since I'm a health food store 'newbie', looking for a couple locations around GTA that are busy (good product turnover) and reasonably priced.


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  1. I like Noah's ( They have several locations in Toronto.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Rabbit

      Noah's prices are higher than some independent health food stores, but do have a big selection of items and fast turnover. You can probably find Amaranth cheaper in Kensington market. A friend claims that the supplement store on Yonge just north of Gerrard is the cheapest place to get vitamins etc. but they have very few food items.

    2. Qi Natural Foods on Eglinton just east of Allen Rd. is wonderful, with great turnover. They also have a location on Bloor in Koreatown. The owner was a pharmacist in Korea and is very, very helpful. She now divides her time between the two stores, but her staff are very knowledgeable and helpful, as well.

      By the way, the plant you're referring to is called amaranth.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Tatai

        i second prices hands down. the owner is wonderful if you can catch her.
        there's a 3rd location on roncesvalles as well.

      2. I go to the Health Shoppe on Yonge just south of St Clair, the staff are helpful and they have a good variety of products. -

        1 Reply
        1. re: JamieK

          where exactly are you looking for a health food store? there are a few good ones on roncesvalles (evergreen) but there's one in kensington that's really good and cheap. can't remember what it's called. i think it's on augusta? perhaps? the best health food EVER is in barrie, though. it's right downtown. on i think maple avenue. across from the five points, near the movie theatre. it's massive and has everything you would ever need.

        2. The Big Carrot has a great selection of groceries, fresh foods, and the like. Their house made vegetarian deli is excellent. The meats they sell are all available elsewhere, mainly sourced from Cumbrae's, Beretta, and (inexplicably) Rowe Farms. My experience is they they care more about things tasting good than other, similar stores. One thing they are not, though, is cheap. Many people feel their prices are worth the premium due to their hyper strict sourcing policies and worker co-op organization. YMMV. I'll admit I shop there mainly because of convenience - not politics. It's a beautiful store with decent service.

          Ambrosia on Doncaster has one of the biggest food selections in the GTA and is much cheaper than the Big Carrot. However, they don't have anything comparable to the Carrot's fresh foods and house made prepared stuff. I've found the service is often surly.

          Noah's is okay, but I've found them to be much better for supplements than for good food.

          1 Reply
          1. re: embee

            I secound the Big Carrot , if i lived closer I would be there all the time, it is a "healthy Paradise" the organic produce is the freshest and they have everything from grains , to supplementsto ready food.
            Whole foods in hazelton is also a good market with variety but the Big Carrot is my favorite

          2. If you're close to the Annex, you'll be in health food heaven. There are three or four on a two block stretch of Bloor st., including a Noah's. That location is the best for skin care and cosmetic items, and have a little cafe tucked inside. There is also a great, if pricey, all organic food market, and plenty of healthier and vegetarian restaurants.

            Kensington market is also filled with health food shops (I like Sugar, although it's more of a natural foods grocer), and you'll find it impossible to get through there without buying a tonne of fresh produce. You'll also find Flying Monkey on College, just north of the market.

            I live in Forest Hill, and have discovered Olga's on Spadina Road. When it comes to supplements, she really knows her stuff, and will take her time with you to make the best recommendations for your specific needs.

            Also, just a warning, be VERY careful about buying bulk bin products (Grains, spices, etc) from even the most reputable shops. Even though the bins have lids, they often have those little scoops with handles that stick out. This gives lots of opportunity for spoilage, contamination, allergens and infestation. Trust me, I spent nearly a year getting rid of meal moths from bulk rice. Pay a little extra for a sealed package.