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Jul 20, 2009 11:16 AM

Where to find kaffir limes in Toronto?

Just went to Vientiane Supermarket on Bradstock Rd and found it to be closed, with newspapers plastered over all the windows. Does anybody know if they moved or just closed down for good? I need to find another place to buy kaffir limes (not the leaves, but the actual fruit). Would appreciate info from anybody. As far as I know they were the only store who had kaffir limes. Maybe that's changed but I don't know any other store who sells them.

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  1. I have never seen kaffir limes anywhere in Toronto, and have looked fairly extensively.

    2 Replies
    1. re: vorpal

      I looked fairly extensively too, until I found Vientiane a couple of years ago. Have been buying my kaffir limes there until they closed down recently. Apparently, they supply several restaurants in TO who use these limes in their dishes. Now I have to find another place to get them.

      1. re: frangipani1900

        Ah, tought you meant the leaves... isn't there anywhere in Kensington Market you can get them?

    2. I've purchased them at T&T Supermarket (Cherry St location). I believe I have also seen them in Chinatown (I think in one of the larger grocery stores on the east side, south of Dundas).

      6 Replies
      1. re: topbanana

        I have bought them at the T&T downtown as well - they're usually in the herb section. I saw someone buying them last week.

        1. re: cutehinano

          I've bought them lots of times to when making curry paste from scratch. I've found them in decent Vietnamese grocers.

          1. re: koknia

            Koknia, can you give me some specific shops where you've found them? Are there any in North York or Scarborough? I think there is a Vietnamese store somewhere along Ellesmere, but I forgot exactly where it is.

            1. re: frangipani1900

              They are widely available in all the Chinese supermarkets .In
              Scarborough & Markham eg T&T( Warden /Steeles), Oriental( Kennedy/ Denison)

              1. re: dyson17

                Are you sure you're not confusing it w/ the leaves? The poster requested the "fruit".

                I haven't seen the fruit at those places, perhaps I'm not looking carefully.

                1. re: aser

                  I concur.

                  I have found leaves at all the of the above places (T&T, Chinatown etc. . .), but I have never seen the fruits.

        1. re: vorpal

          Oops. Missed that. I was referring to the leaves. I'm curious about the fruit as well.

        2. It has moved to:

          Vientiane Trading Co.Ltd.
          51B Jutland Rd, Toronto, On M8Z 2G6
          Tel, 416 743 2911
          Fax 416 743 8004

          Jutland runs between Kipling and Islington, a few blocks north of the Queensway.

          I haven't been to the new location yet, so I have no idea if everything is set up and open... the move appeared to be a bit chaotic. I'd call them to see if the limes are in...

          Hope this helps!

          1 Reply
          1. re: kitfo

            I have bought the fruit, but not for a few years. In the early 90s I bought it all the time at Vientiane when they were on Spadina. Good news about them moving to Jutland. I go out there to get cheese from Pasquale Bros.

          2. Thanks everybody. I'll give them a call.

            7 Replies
            1. re: frangipani1900

              Got some nice kaffir limes today at Vientiane Trading on Jutland. (51B)
              Basically a warehouse selling to the trade, but they have a cash register and will do handfuls if you go in. Also picked up galangal, very fresh lime leaves, lemon grass and some pickled turnip ('chy poh' in Thai), an essential ingredient in a real pad thai.
              They have lots of herbs in their walk-in cooler as well.

                1. re: acd123

                  Update. When I went back to get more limes they were out. Doesn't sound like they have a constant supply, as the demand for them is very low.
                  Their only use is for making a curry paste from scratch, and I can't imagine many places do this.

                    1. re: koknia

                      Did you go on a Saturday? When they were at the Bradstock location, they seem to have kaffir limes every time I went (but I usually went on Saturdays)....

                      Do you find their supply of herbs decreasing after the move?

                      1. re: tyatt

                        I went on weekdays. I can't compare it to their last location as I'd never been.
                        I used to shop at their Spadina store in the late 80s and early 90s on a regular basis. I reckon retail must be less than 1% of their current biz.