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Oct 31, 2010 07:00 AM

Moving to Victoria Park & Eglinton. Need suggestions for a butcher, bakery, fishmonger, a decent produce counter, and restaurants. Is that asking too much?

I know Diana's Seafood will be my go to despite not being thaaat close. Do I really have to go as far as Kostas at Warden & Ellesmere to have a decent butcher? Are there any simple bakeries around there? I don't need fancy, just good bread. Produce. Please tell me No Frills isn't the best I'll do for produce. Please.

I'll be living right on top of Armenian Kitchen and Blue Water Curry plus Zen is relatively nearby. Is there any hope of finding more?

Diana's Seafood
2101 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R, CA

Armenian Kitchen
1646 Victoria Park Ave, Toronto, ON M4A, CA

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  1. If you like a lot of variety in produce you could try Bestwin, an Asian supermarket on Victoria Park between Eglinton and St. Clair. They have a lot of ethnic produce and some hard-to-find items, like donut peaches this past summer. I don't shop there often so I can't vouch for their freshness but this supermarket is definitely one of the busiest along the Vic Park corridor so I imagine the turnover in produce must be good.

    1. For your butcher, I highly recommend Close to the Bone on Kingston Road just west of Vic Park. Really good quality, prices, and variety, & the owners are great. They also sell amazing bread [buns, loaves, etc. in Red Fife, Sourdough, challah, etc.] from Knead Bakery [for your bread needs] and other things like spices from the Spice Trader. Across the street from them is Courage Foods which sells really good produce [if you wanted to hit the meat/bread/produce trifecta in one shot].

      Spice Trader
      805 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

      3 Replies
      1. re: Smorgasbord

        I go to CTTB all of the time. The bread from Knead really is excellent!! Knead also sells their stuff at Grinder at Main & Gerrard and Courage as well. Art of Cheese is also next door to the butcher so it makes for some easy shopping.

        If you wanted to go up to Lawrence, Arz has excellent pita and is a great spot to pick up some other bits. Great baklava!

        If I think of some other spots I'll have to post them but right now I am lacking in good recommendations...

        1909 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R, CA

        1. re: Smorgasbord

          Finally found The Butcher Shop and it's just too far from Cliffside Hearth (sorry, CH) to be convenient. For my next frou-frou shop, I think I will take a run at the trifecta. Close To The Bone, Courage Foods, and Knead Bakery here I come.

          Close To The Bone
          929 Kingston Rd, Toronto, ON M4E, CA

          Knead Bakery
          283 Scarborough Rd, Toronto, ON M4E 3M8, CA

          1. re: Googs

            Enjoy! Its a great little section of town. (but again.. I am biased.)

        2. For restaurants you can try along Lawrence Ave. from VP to Kennedy. There's a decent filipino resto called Cucina Manila (Lawrence and Pharmacy) or you can try the various middle Eastern restos right on Lawrence between Warden and VP. On Eglinton all you've got are mostly your typical chain restos. There was a decent Greek resto there, between Warden and Birchmount on the south side of Eglinton. Pho Saigon, the first couple of years, had very good pho, recent reviews here though have indicated their pho quality headed south awhile back. Crispy Roll is on Warden south of Eglinton and has had okay reviews. Eglinton Square has/had (?) a British store where you could get British pastries and candy. Sorry Eglinton Square only has Metro =(.

          Since you're not that far from Don Mills, drive north to Lawrence and go west, you'll hit the Don Mills Centre with McEwan's grocery store. On Lawrence you'll find P.A.T. which is one of several Asian supermarkets (on Lawrence west of Warden on the north side in a small plaza). Another is Lon Tai at Kennedy and Lawrence on the north side in a large plaza. Lon Tai also sells barbecue pork, sometimes Peking Duck, and roast chicken. Kennedy has several restaurants from Lawrence to Ellesmere. There's also the Nature Depot on Lawrence east of Warden on the south side if you want all organic.

          3 Replies
          1. re: scarberian

            Filipino sweets I'm familiar with. Filipino dining, not at all. Are there any dishes you would recommend scarberian?

            In case you're interested, Mrs Bridges British Bakery is still in Eglinton Square. They have all the dishes you can't buy in a regular grocery store to assemble a proper Irish Breakfast. However, I may not need to resort to that now that I'll be so much closer to the Tara Inn on Eglinton.

            1. re: Googs

              Ah good old Mrs. Bridges =9. I can't even count how many sausage rolls I've scarfed down over the years. I've tried the ones at the Distillery and, IMO, they just tasted weird. The Eglinton Square ones were just right for me. I wonder if they still sell the Pear drops candy?

              As for Filipino dining, the various lumpias are always good (types of spring rolls - from deep fried - lumpia shanghai - to lumpia sariwa which is a very healthy version with a crepe like wrap filled with vegetables and a bit of meat). Then there's the Adobo (chicken, pork or squid stew or a combination of chicken and pork), as well as the different types of pancit (noodles) from palabok (thicker noodles) to bihon (vermicelli style noodles). Filipinos love their soups and our national dish is a sour soup called Sinigang usually made with fish, but it can also be made with pork or shrimp. Another excellent soup is Nilaga baka which is a beef soup or if you can find it bulalou which is nilaga but with bone marrow added to it. We also have a marinated fried fish called daing bangus. Bangus is a milk fish and it's marinated in vinegar and garlic and then fried. The skin is crispy and addictive. Then we have the barbecue which is mostly pork, but there's a chicken version and beef version. They are marinated skewers of meat that's cooked on a grill. Out east in my end (near Pickering) we have Bella's Lechon (Morningside and 401) which sells roast pig (lechon). This is one place you gots to go! Best lechon I've had in T.O. and they've tweaked their homemade sauce (made from pig's liver). I've mentioned them on another thread. There's also a pork blood stew called Dinuguan which can come spicy or mild depending on the cook. Okoy is a bean sprout and shrimp fritter sort of like a pakora, but flatter.

            2. re: scarberian

              The "decent" Greek restaurant is still there. Given the state of Greek food on The Danforth, Arkadia House will do just fine. I've had pleasant, not mind-blowing, dining experiences there. Now if only every place in Scarborough hired a wine consultant, I'd be a happy girl.

              Arkadia House
              2007 Eglinton Ave E, Scarborough, ON M1L2M9, CA

            3. The Vic Park location of Athen's Pastries is relatively close, on Vic Park near Sheppard, if you're in the mood for spanakopita/tyropita/galatoboureko/bougatsa/loukamades.

              1. You planning on getting a car, G? For produce, if you can manage to wander as far as Kennedy and Ellesmere, there is a Highland Farms that is a marked improvement over NoFrills. Combine it with a trip to Kostas (and if you're at all into Polish goodies, Kmicic in the other half of that plaza), and stop at Diana's on the way home. ;)

                Highland Farms
                850 Ellesmere Rd, Toronto, ON M1P, CA

                3 Replies
                1. re: Wahooty

                  Forgot about Highland Farms on Ellesmere. It's big Googs with a decent bakery and large deli. BTW the movie theatre at Eglinton Town Square is decent with large screens and reclinable seats in some rows. There is an Imperial Buffet if you're into that. There's also a burger joint in the plaza with the mega-Walmart. Someone told me it's an American chain, not sure the name nor the quality. Drive north on VP and you'll hit Johnny's which has been discussed on this board several times.

                  1. re: scarberian

                    That burger place that scaberian mentions would be Jetsun's burgers. I've only been there once so far, but the place is amazing! Nicely charred on the outside, but juicy on the inside. And the fries are freshly cut in the back. One of the better bugers I've had. Easily on par, if not better than Johnny's IMHO.
                    Wow, you'd thing I worked there. lol

                  2. re: Wahooty

                    No, the rocket will still be my transport. That and my sexy, sexy bundle buggy. S'ok. Will look ridiculous for good food.