What are the best places to shop for essentials?
What are essentials ? butter, oil, flour, sugar ? or something completely different ?
IMO, any good supermarket should have all the essentials, and any bigger bio-specialized stores for bio versions of the above.
You're supposed to eat fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts, skipping grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.
So, any market can handle fish (though you'll be looking for line-caught if you want to be strict about it), vegetables (organic), fruit (any organic except hybrids), roots (technically skipping potato) and nuts.
The meats will be more problematic since grass-fed cow is problematic in Montreal and I'm not sure who's doing artisanal pork. Free-range chicken, game meats should be relatively straighforward (or you can take up hunting).
Foodie8 - I don't do it hardcore but I try to follow general paleo principles most of the time and let me tell you, Montreal (and Canada in general, esp. compared to the US) kind of sucks. It's really, really difficult to get grassfed beef, and even then you have to make sure that it IS actually grassfed (as mentioned above) and available in quantities other than whole or half cow. I have never been able to find pastured eggs or butter and believe me, I have searched and searched. I found a grassfed dairy in BC that said they would ship me some cream, which I could then make into butter - and Im considering it!
Other than that downer opinion, I agree to try the healthfood stores - just because they're usually more geared to people on specific diets. And coconuts are available in Montreal, so that's good. I eat a lot of coconut oil and coconut flesh. Mtl. also has some great places for fish.
I know it's kind of off topic but any recs for Paleo-friendly eats, esp. lunch, preferably downtown but not necessarily?
If you're in montreal, you'll find grass-fed beef and other stuff at the marché Jean-Talon. As for butter : Beurrerie du patrimoine, apparently the best organic butter in you can find here, they have many distributors in Mtl, check their website.