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Places you like to buy fruit

I come to the Toronto region and often I am at the Ontario Food Terminal. Last time I was in Toronto I found a nice market that I haven't been in before (http://www.summerhillmarket.com) and now I'm wondering which others ones I might be missing out on. I thought I had most covered. I'm keen to check out McEwan's new place and see what they are doing with produce.

I find that some of the larger chains (i.e. Sobeys, Loblaw and Metro) will sometimes have specific stores that are outstanding in their fresh produce offerings and others are just sad.

When I buy fruit I like to buy in season (i.e. right now if I were to buy apples I would want them to come from a southern hemisphere country), local when possible, but always good tasting. And a decent price.

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  1. The produce at my Highland Farms (Lawrence and Bennet - it's very small) have been, on the whole, consistently good. I don't trust Loblaws, No Frills, Metro nor Sobey's. Highland Farms has some of the best garlic and fresh basil. For organic we sometimes go to Tiano's in Pickering. Their fruit has been pretty good in the past. However we use the service, Green Earth Organics to get our weekly produce.

    2 Replies
    1. re: scarberian

      I'm curious what is it that you don't trust about the retailers when it come to produce. I've never heard of Tiano's so I will check them out. Thank you.

      1. re: LemonSalt

        Just bad experiences at those other retailers i.e. tasteless produce; bad reaction to produce that I've always eaten in the past without incidence from other grocers. Compare the garlic from Loblaws and Highland Farms. There is no excuse for Loblaws to be selling dried out garlic on a consistent basis. Mind you I will go to Loblaws or No Frills to pick up PC products or rice.

    2. If you have a car a trip to St. Jacobs market in Waterloo is an idea (though you need to buy a lot of fruit to cover the gas cost, I suppose). Always fun, though.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Squeakycheese

        Thanks for the reminder - so I'm sure I can buy so much more there than fruit. It has been a while but I recall some great jams and jellies and butter tarts (real ones not those made with "gag" margarine).

      2. Try Fiesta Farms, Christie and Dupont. they have amayzing fruit which is just as good and much cheaper then summerhill, whole foods or harvest wagon.
        If you are up north Concord market near thronhill also has fantastc fruit at great prices.

        1. Badali's on Bayview near Manor Rd. If it's in season and local he'll have it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Arcadiaseeker

            I'm also a huge fan of Badali's...close to me but also just love their variety and quality...

            If you have a car...Forsythe Farms on Kennedy Rd. north of Major Mackenzie has some SUPERB Ontario strawberries right now...like their stuff a lot and worth the drive...

          2. Chinatown.

            I love fruit-shopping in Chinatown because you can find all manner of exotics that the farmers markets and even the gourmet groceries don't always stock... rambutans, magosteens, dragonfruit, persimmons, lychees, boxes of tamarind, etc.

            Although I am admittedly becoming a little paranoid about the safety of buying fruit from Asia... is there good reason to be worried??

            1 Reply
            1. re: Rabbit

              Hey I think it is okay to be a little paranoid but at least with fruits and veggies you only have to worry about what they might have applied to them versus buying something made there where you just don't know what the ingredients might be.

              Esp if it seems to have a fairly thick skin which most of the items you listed have. Now if I'm buying something that I often eat the skin then I'm more concerned. For example, I'll eat the skin on kiwifruit but only if it is from New Zealand - otherwise I'll peel it off. And for something like strawberries if they aren't from a local farmer I will buy them organically or not at all.

            2. For in season local I love the North Market at the SLM on Saturday. Always happy when the strawberries and raspberries are out! For things like grapes and lemons I actually like a few of the guys in the south market as well.

              For apples (in season) I actually go up to a little spot near Creemore (Glen Huron) that sells them HUGE quanities. Excellent varieties and great quality!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Otonabee

                Okay I know there is a dictionary somewhere - help me please SLM? North Market? Oh I got it St. Lawrence Market. Thanks!

              2. I love the KOS fruit stand on Roncesvalles. They always have in-season produce with an emphasis on local stuff. The quality is consistently excellent. Plus they carry ACE bakery products which I adore!

                2 Replies
                1. re: Sarah Cat

                  A new one for me KOS - thanks - I know there is a great coffee spot there - Cherry pit? That is not the name but they have good coffee and make some great baked goods on premise. i.e. croissants, etc. And yes I indulge in ACE products when I'm in the city.

                  1. re: LemonSalt

                    I think you mean Cherry Bomb and yes, it's good. So is Lit, a few blocks up the street.

                    Though they tend to carry more vegetables than fruits, the various farmer's markets in town, like the Brickworks, are a treat during the warmer months. Certainly a fun detour with lots of snacks, if nothing else. The truth is that until later in the summer, our "local" fruit scene just isn't that extensive.

                2. At Logan and Danforth we now have 3 competing cheapie produce stores. They are a more reliable source of local fruit & veg than the big chains (including wild blueberries when in season), althought they do also carry plenty of imported stuff. I also find that fragile items like raspberries are less likely to be crushed and moldy. And did I mention, cheap cheap cheap?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: julesrules

                    I agree. I was avoiding Danfort, but now I love it. And Valley Farms has had a quite decent selection of organic and local lately. Very happy w/ it.

                  2. SLM has an excellent array of choices and several vendors to choose from.
                    Chinatown is cheap and let's say you get what you pay for.
                    I also like Pusateri's on Church street.
                    Bruno's Fine Foods selects their produce very carefully so I usually pay a higher price there but get excellent produce.
                    As for chains, Michael Angelo's grocery chains hold great and fresh product in abundance.
                    Concord Food Centre also prides themself on their produce, possibly the highest selling produce shop for a non-chain store in a day.
                    Sue's Fruit market also holds up there. I enjoy their quality of quince's, but I think their fruit is way to overpriced.
                    Metro is the WORST!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jlherman

                      Nothing can be worse than Loblaws, for all their goings on about being environmentally friendly -- went to the one at Christie and Dupont and that had NOTHING from Canada at all in the fruit section (no local strawberries -- nothing) -- I had to stock up the fridge for my son so came away with mealy green apples from Chile and some sour organic grapes and massive woody-textured organic blueberries from New Jersey or California. Pretty much identical to what you'd get in January even though it's July. Unbelievable.

                    2. perhaps I skipped over it but no one mentioned Longos! Longos has incredible fruit selections. I go to the one at Leslie/York Mills...I believe Longos has quite a number of stores within Toronto/GTA. I find their fruits/veges much better than the other large grocery chains.