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Mar 24, 2010 07:16 AM

Riverside/Leslieville: groceries and farmers markets

I'm moving to Queen St. E. in a month and just wondering about the grocery situation there. I know about Leslieville Cheese Market and Rowe Farms, but where else do you get good food, and is there anywhere a bit less pricey than those two spots? What are the best/closest summertime farmers' markets? Thanks!

Leslieville Cheese Market
891 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

Rowe Farms
912 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

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  1. There's a farmers' market in Withrow Park on Saturdays:

    And a farmers' market by Riverdale Farm each Tuesday:

    For a variety of goods at reasonable prices, there's Fresh from the Farm, on Donlands just south of O'Connor. They sell meat from Amish & Mennonite family farms in the Kitchener Waterloo area. While there's a reasonable selection of different cuts in the shop, you can order online, as well, with more variety. They don't have a butcher counter, however, so everything's pre-cut and wrapped. Others have complained that they don't want to buy a steak or roast they can't see, and the staff there aren't looking to unwrap various pieces of meat for customers prior to purchase... I don't have a problem, though, as the things I generally buy are wrapped in plastic and such things as marbling aren't tremendously important (chicken drumsticks/breasts, ground meat). They do have excellent hams (the best I've tasted) and fabulous turkeys, as well, for order around holidays.

    Riverdale Restaurant
    360 Springbank Dr, London, ON N6J1G5, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: Full tummy

      Sorry about the auto-link. It is not relevant, and I did not add it. I also don't know how to remove it...

    2. Lots of options, which I why I love living here. I don't necessarily recommend all the places I'm listing, but each has a merit or two:

      On the Danforth:
      The Big Carrot (good selection of organic everything, including bulk, skin care, baby stuff, maple syrup, take-out counter)
      IGA (always open on holidays)
      Sun Valley (some unique items, decent produce)
      Fruit King for cheap produce
      Greek Butchers and fish mongers

      No Frills on Carlaw/Simpson for basics like dog food, cleaning supplies, some Asian staples

      Loblaws/Bulk Barn, Price Chopper at Leslie/Lakeshore - again, for staples. I find this Loblaws is one of the worst in T.O for selection, freshness but it's better than the one at Broadview/Danforth.

      Chinatown East - search for specific recs on this board

      T&T Supermarket on Cherry south of Lakeshore - Asian food supermarket with decent take-out counter. Take the Pape Bus if you don't have a car. Good place to get everything Asian at once.

      Queen E - you seem to have the recs covered, but don't forget about Brick St. Bakery on Logan.

        1. re: capiscum

          Royal Beef on Danforth, at Woodbine is a very good local butcher. In the front of the store is the deli section. Great cold cuts, dips, pretty good dry pasta selection, and excellent pita bread. Apparently they have freshly made cannoli brought in every Saturday morning.

          There is also a farmers market every Thursday right across the street starting in early summer.

          Royal Beef
          1968 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C, CA

          1. re: millygirl

            I second these suggestions. In the summer I go to the East Lynn farmer's market each week. It's smaller than some of the other ones around the city but it's a bit more intimate and I like chatting with the farmers. There are also some meat producers and Montforte Dairy sometimes has a stand. I then stop by Royal Beef while I'm in the area to pick up beef and chicken.

            Royal Beef
            1968 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C, CA

            1. re: ms. clicquot

              Thanks ms clicquot, that's it - East Lynn Market. I couldn't recall the name. We loved it last year and can't wait for it to start up again.
              The flower people selling fresh cut peonies was one of the highlights for me.

              1. re: millygirl

                In addition to the good suggestions above, I'd recommend Meating on Queen, a small family run shop with good quality meat and really outstanding home made sausages. I would shop at Meating before Rowe.

                1160 Queen St. at Jones.

                1. re: lightbulb

                  Agreed, sausages from Meating on Queen are fantastic! think they have proper fat content in them and great flavour.

        2. Thanks again! A few people have told me that the Woodbine farmers' market is a nice one. I'll definitely check it out...