There are many cultural grocery stores in Toronto that produce and import speciality food. Whether you're Italian, Korean, Polish or Greek, there are many supermarkets and private stores around the city that specialize on selling traditional food.
If you would like to try cooking a traditional dish at home, it is necessary to have ingredients purchased from a grocery store sell food from that particular culture. We have gathered a list of grocery stores around the city which can help you prepare for your night of ethnic experimentation in the kitchen.
1. Yummy Market (Russian) // 4400 Dufferin St.
This grocery stores offers an abundance of Russian food. Chefs work all day in the store cooking traditional Russian dishes and many of the groceries are imported from Russia. There is an in house bakery, deli, fishmonger and butcher. Yummy Market has become a very popular grocery store which provides Russian food, however they also offer produce from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. It is worth the trip to get some yummy goodies at the North York or Vaughn location.
2. Starsky (Polish) // 2040 Dundas Street E.
Cabbage rolls, kabanosi,(smoked sausages) gulasz,(meat stew) and many other polish hot dishes are prepared in house. Polish cuisine is rich in meat, therefore the deli section at Starsky is to die for. Are you a huge lover of perogies? Head on over to one of their 3 locations and choose your flavor, whether it's potato, meat or vegetable perogies.
3.Philippine Oriental Food Market (Filipino) // 1033 Gerrard E.
This filipino store offers speciality foods as well as common groceries. Many of their products are imported from the Philippines, offering ingredients to prepare traditional filipino dishes. If you're ever in Scarborough take a look inside and make sure to try their in house Adobo.
4. Adonis (Arabic) //20 Ashtonbee Rd.
Adonis is the perfect place to taste the Middle Eastern flavor. This chain originated in Quebec and has made it's way to Ontario. Do you have a sweet tooth? Try a pastry called Knafeh, a traditional Lebanese pastry, made of dough and cheese.
5. Cataldi Fresh Market (Italian) // 140 Woodbridge Ave.
Italian grocery are all over the GTA and there are many to choose from, but Cataldi is without doubt one of the best traditional stores. The wide range of specialty products such as olive oils, balsamic vinegars, fancy cuts of pasta, tomato sauce, cookies, specialty cakes, and other gourmet products are exclusively available only at Cataldi’s.
6. Top Food Supermarket (Chinese) // 2715 Lawrence Ave E.
This is one of the largest Chinese supermarket chains in Toronto. There are two locations, one is Scarborough and the other in Etobicoke. There is plenty of fresh exotic fruits, vegetables, delicacy meats and in house prepared food to choose from.
Photo cred - Joe Clark
7. BJ Supermarket (Indian) // 1449 Gerrard St E.
Looking to spice up the flavor in your food? Check out the BJ Supermarket located in Scarborough. Their fresh spices, herbs and delightful sweet treats will certainly leave you speechless, and the samosas are unresistable.
8. Pat Mart (Korean) // 675 Bloor St. W
There are 5 locations for Pat Mart in the GTA. There are hundreds of different kimchi flavors to choose from and accommodate your taste buds. Make sure to try their in house Bibimbap, that includes sauteed vegetables and beef arranged on rice with drops of sesame oil. Japanese products are also sold at this supermarket as the two cultures have many similarities.
9. Kostas Meat Market (Greek) // 259 Ellesmere Rd.
Opa, opa, Kostas Meat market is known to have the best meats in Toronto. The quality of the food products at this Greek grocery store attracts clientele from all over the GTA. The prime rib roast is mouth watering, they have the best tzatziki in the city and you have to the fresh feta cheese.
10. Nosso Talho (Portuguese) // 1042 Bloor St. W.
The name of this grocery translates from portuguese,"our butcher shop". Nosso Talho offers a large variety of deli and cheese products, and a variety Portuguese "must haves" like the famous Portuguese Chourico.
11. Emporium Latino (Latin) // 243 Augusta Ave.
Located in the heart of Kensington Market everyone in the Latin community is familiar with this authentic food store. The pupusas are enticing and made fresh every day in house. The prices are very cheap and there is a fantastic variety of Latin American foods from several countries.
What type of food are you in the mood for to go shopping?