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Jan 4, 2012 11:24 PM

Specialty shops in London, Ontario?

I often find myself wanting to recreate staples I have in my cupboards or things I repeatedly order when I'm out, but a lot of these convenience items have impractical ingredients that are hard to locate. (rennet, black mustard seeds, matcha powder, etc.) Does anyone have a go to for these types of things? Ordering online is a hassle and I'm not one for waiting. I'm centrally located and don't normally stray far without a specific destination, so I haven't really stumbled across much. Anything would help!

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  1. it depends on what you're looking for.

    for high end specialty ingredients- I head to Remark (on the corner of Fanshawe Park Road + Oxford. Across from the Superstore).

    For vegetables and fruits- I like Sunripe on Adelaide near Oxford.

    For any asian/indian/any-other-ethnic ingredient- I head to United Supermarket on Adelaide East. They also have a nice selection of fresh meats and frozen seafood. Their fish market doesn't look too bad either- though I've never bought any fish from there.

    6 Replies
    1. re: jinxie

      I've been meaning to check out Remark, but I've heard a few say that it was just a high end grocery store and didn't offer a whole lot more than some of the bigger chain grocery stores in the city. I guess I should make that judgement on my own. Thank you!

      1. re: miss_shilo

        I'm a huge fan of Remark. Some items cost more than they cost elsewhere, but most are the roughly the same price for the same calibre product elsewhere. It will seem expensive compared to No Frills, but I find it comparable to Loblaws. Just depends on what you're used to paying, I guess. Remark does keep their milk (usually $2.79/litre) at a better price than Metro (usually over $3.29/litre), in London.

        Remark frequently has better quality produce at better prices than Loblaws or Metro, and offers more types of spices, hot sauces, condiments, pastas, rice, quinoa, lentils, etc. They also have a lot of take-out foods (lasagnas, cabbage rolls, etc) , that taste better than most grocery store take-out. Canned beans always cost less at Remark than Loblaws. Remark sells American grown garlic and Hawaiian grown ginger, whereas the garlic and ginger at Loblaws are almost always imported from China. Remark sources Ontario lamb, and Hayter's Turkey products from Dashwood, On. Remark also carries Arvinda's line of spices and spice blends.

        Jill's Table on King St which sells cookware and cookbooks, also carries hard-to-find spices and ingredients, such as prepared stocks, frozen demi-glaze, Spanish Saffron, some interesting spice blends, etc.

        I also am a fan of Doris Family Produce, Havaris Produce, Smith Cheeses and Chris' Country Meats at the Market, and drive out of my way to shop at these stores. Havaris and Doris both sell many hard-to-find ingredients. Doris has great Greek Feta and olive oils, as well a good selection of dried fruits and nuts.

        There's also the New Delhi Deli and the bulk spice/grains/nuts store at the Covent Garden Market, where I pick up wheatberries and other products that aren't always found easily in standard grocery stores. The Japanese restaurant at the Market sells Japanese ingredients.

        I find almost everything I need at the Covent Garden Market and Remark.

        Angelo's on Wonderland North is back in business, and a good place to find Italian and Polish ingredients.

        Perfect Bakery on Hamilton Rd near Adelaide for Greek ingredients such as mastic and mahlepi. There are also several Polish delis and several East Indian shops around town.

        Alicia's on Trafalgar has an amazing selection of Polish ingredients and prepared foods.
        The Vietnamese restaurant in the mall in the NW corner of Huron & Highbury also sells Vietnamese ingredients.

        The No Frills at Wonderland and Fanshawe Park Road carries a lot more spices and imported products than I would have expected, and often has great prices on cilantro and other herbs.

        European delis in London:

        Also see:

        Jill's Table
        115 King St, London, ON N6A, CA

        New Delhi Deli
        130 King St, London, ON N6A1C5, CA

        Angelos Italian Bakery-Cafe-Deli
        755 Wonderland Rd N, London, ON N6H4L1, CA

        Alicia's Fine Foods
        1290 Trafalgar St, London, ON N5Z1H9, CA

        Covent Garden Market
        130 King Street, London, ON N6B, CA

        1. re: prima

          I primarily shop at the Market, so I'm familiar with what they typically have on hand but I find that if you're looking for something extremely specific, it takes a lot of research to locate since it's so large. I think my best bet would be to wander around Remark for a while and see what they have to offer. I'm definitely going to check out some of the little delis you posted though, thanks for the tip!

          1. re: miss_shilo

            That's great that you already shop at the Market.

            If you're just looking for specific ingredients, it might be faster to call the relevant shops at the Market, to see if they stock it, and if not, where they might suggest in London.

            I'd think Snack & Bake (the bulk store at the Market ), the New Delhi Deli and any other Indian shop would have the black mustard seeds.

            I've never seen rennet, but I haven't looked for it. Snack & Bake or Lyn-Dys Health food store might sell rennet. Or talk to the people/email Smith Cheese, to see if they know where to buy rennet.

            I would guess United might be more likely to have matcha powder than Remark. Remark's tea selection is near the doors as you walk in, but it's mostly yuppie brands like Stash. I haven't noticed any matcha or matcha powder.

          2. re: prima

            I'm pleased to hear that one of the Angelo's has re-opened. I really missed that store. Do you know if it's the same family running it?

            1. re: AverageJo

              I have no idea. I'd guess that Angelo's is under new management after the bankruptcy. If I find out more, I'll post.

              The store is fully stocked, and they've increased the amount of produce they sell. I drove past today, and the parking lot was quite busy. I've only been in once since Angelo's re-opened, but everything looked fresh. I haven't tried any bread from the re-opened Angelo's, but the bread selection looked as good as it ever did.