support the little guys in the GTA- grocers, butchers, greengrocers, delis, etc.
- prima Jul 14, 2012 04:01 PM
Here are some of the smaller independent delis, butchers, grocers, grocery stores and smaller TO-based grocery chains I like to frequent:
Ararat on Avenue Road north of Lawrence
Serano Grocery (next to the Serano Bakery) on Pape near Mortimer
La Boucherie in St. Lawrence Market
Honey Bear Deli on Sheppard
Please add your favourites.
I like this thread!
At this moment, I'm stuck to the GTA West but here's a list of places that I keep coming back to because of the great friendly staff and food quality.
Michael-angelo's marketplace on Erin Mills
Palma Pasta in the same plaza (amazing fresh pasta)
Every Saturday at the Etobicoke farmers market, there are 4 real farmers that are phenomenal.
The mushroom farmer who's oyster mushroom taste like delicious smokey steak are great.
The leafy vegetable farmer besides the chicken truck is amazing. I've never had spinach, Boston Bibb, and rainbow beets taste so great and sweet.
The fruit only farmer closest to the corner of East Mall and Burnhamthorpe. She specializes in stone fruit and her peaches this year are wonderful.
The tiny little deli truck right outside the library step is maned by a cute Eastern Euro couple. I love the pancetta.
Honourable mention goes to the fruit farmer right front of the deli truck. They have incredible selection of fruits. I think they might be half farmer and half reseller. They have the best tasting apples especially Honey Crisp. They also have lots of seconds fruit at great prices.
I'm still trying to find a good fish market ad butcher in Mississauga
Yes the Etobicoke market at Civic Centre (near 427 and Burnhamthorpe). It's not a huge market like Square One or Sherway but I find all the vendors there really great. I think there's only really 2 100% resellers (unlike Sherway or Square One where I find more than half are resellers). Most are real farmers or farmers that resell some more items that their crops.
I went again this Saturday and there's another good farmer that just arrived. It is just between the baker and lettuce vegetable farmer. They're a much smaller scale farm so there they do not have a lot of quantity but their quality is so good. I bought peaches and cream corn $6/dozen and they were so sweet! No butter or salt needed... just placed them on the grill and they were beautiful.
I think their price for the eggs and the size is quite good. It is always packed. Too bad you missed one of the fun 'farmers'. There usually is a group that has fresh baked goods that are quite delicious. They weren't there yesterday because they had another event. Their butter tarts and fresh sourdough breads are quite wonderful.
Completely agree with you on the mushroom farmer. I love the oyster mushrooms there. It's quite novel they have pink oyster mushrooms. I do recommend to try the shimuzi (spelling?). It imparts a gorgeous smokey flavour when pan fried with butter.
I also recommend the rainbow candy beets by the farmer beside the chicken vendor. They don't stain but they are so juicy and sweet when roasted in a foil packet with a bit of butter.
Not a specialty shop but just a great neighbourhood spot: Bloorcourt Market at Bloor and Delaware. Good produce and a surprising selection of South American ingredients, including everything you could possibly need to make posole. It's family-run by some of the nicest people around and they're open every day except Christmas Day from about 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. A total life-saver on holidays when everything else is closed, or just when you don't feel like trekking out to the four or five major grocery stores within a 15-minute walk.
All Seas is closed on Sundays FYI. The owner of Mike's at SLM (Mike?) once disavowed a connection between the two (or attempted to minimize it) and sniffed that his fish was fresher.
Nevy - we actually buy a lot of fish at Michaelangelos - the salmon and salmon trout is always available and very fresh and they sell dry scallops which I prefer
I like this thread. I strongly believe in supporting my neighbourhood. If you like where you shop and you shop where you live, it can only encourage more small business people to open their doors. These are the people who will listen to you and change to suit their customers. See? It's really all about me.
From my old neighbourhood of Cabbagetown where 90% of my shopping could be done at the indies (in walking order):
Cheese & Deli: Epicure http://www.theepicureshop.ca/
Organic baking and snacking supplies: Lennie's Whole Foods http://www.yelp.ca/biz/lennies-whole-...
Dinner Enhancement: Daniel et Daniel http://www.danieletdaniel.ca/foodShop...
Meat, seafood, produce: St Jamestown Steak and Chops http://www.steakandchops.ca/
Bakery: Absolute Bakery & Cafe http://www.yelp.ca/biz/absolute-baker...
From my new neighbourhood (which, granted, is a somewhat larger grazing range):
Butcher & Deli: Vienna Fine Foods http://www.yelp.ca/biz/vienna-fine-fo...
Seafood: Diana's Seafood Delight http://www.dianasseafood.com/
Bakery: Montmartre http://www.montmartrebakery.com/
Organic supplies: The Natural Food Depot http://www.thenaturalfooddepot.com/
I have managed to pretty much avoid all the big chain stores by shopping at the following shops:
Karma Coop (http://www.karmacoop.org/
)Fiesta Farms (http://fiestafarms.ca/
)Sanagan's Meatlocker (http://www.sanagansmeatlocker.com/abo...
)Harbord Bakery (http://www.harbordbakery.ca/)
It has been some months since I've been to De La Mer, but it's a good neighbourhood option. Respectable selection for a small local fish store, at prices mostly somewhat lower than what you'd pay at St. Lawrence Market. Agreeable, knowledgeable staff. But no match for a place like Diana's, about 20-25 minutes east - a drive I'm usually prepared to make - where the selection is wider and the prices usually lower. Still, if you live near Bayview and Eglinton and don't want to torture yourself in Toronto traffic, you'll do fine at De La Mer. Tough parking on a busy street, though, and some of the most ruthless Green Hornets (or whatever they call themselves now) in the city.
At Danforth & Woodbine:
Royal Beef - meat and deli
Better Bulk - bulk foods, organic produce and everything really
Cozy Cafe - Serbian baked goodies, bread, plus frozen lasagne, perogies
Celena's - I like the Cornish Pasties
Carters - ice cream
Vincenzos - meat, deli and fruit
plus the two Chinese fruit and veg stores.
Apart from Vincenzo's, which is a little out of my way now, I do 80% of my shopping at these stores.
I like many on this list and the sentiment in general. Adding The Butcher's Son and the little fruit and veg store just south of them, on the same block (I'll check the name when I'm next there). And even though they're mini-chains, I really love the breads from Petite Thuet and the bagels from Bagel House. Also The Big Carrot. Oh, and Hooked!
Honey Bear is great for Hungarian supplies and also the take out food (great cabbage rolls, very similar to the ones made by my Hungarian nanny).
Down in my neck of the woods:
Alex Farms for cheese.
Hooked for seafood.
Rowe Farms for meats.
Fresh from the Farm for the smoked sausages and other meats.
Ten Thousand Villages for fair trade coffee, dried fruit, sugar, cocoa, etc.
Brick Street Bakery and St. John's Bakery for various breads.
Mabel's on Roncesvalles for baked goods,
Vince Gasparro's for a butcher - or Rowe's if in a pinch
Fiesta Farms is good when i'm that way,
Cheese Boutique - for all things gourmet
Meh. For high quality and variety, try W&T in the Farmers' near the northeast corner. My personal fave for mushrooms. If you're not there that early on a Saturday, I find I can do better than Phil's at Ponesse (upper level northeast corner) or Harbourfront (lower level, east side, near the Jarvis doors). Phil's just has a LOT of stuff. I'd rather pick through these two stalls.