7 Canadian Grocery Stores Every Newcomer Should Know About, From Discount To High-End Spots

Here's where to get food in Canada. 👇

A Walmart in Canada. Right: A grocery aisle.

A Walmart in Canada. Right: A grocery aisle.

One thing that you're going to need to do when you're a newcomer to Canada is go to the grocery store to buy food.

Why? Well, you need food to survive, so that's an easy question. But where should you go grocery shopping?

For people living in Canada, there can be a whole lot of options to choose from to stock your fridge and pantry. Heck, even just picking between them can be a bit of a chore.

And so, to help anyone new to Canada looking to figure out what the deal is with all of these grocery stores, we'll be running down the general vibe, where you can expect to find good deals and more of some of the biggest grocery store chains in Canada.

When comparing prices, remember that prices will change and fluctuate depending on locations and the economy, so to get a more specific look at prices and what things cost, you might have to do a bit more in-depth research on your own local spots to see what would work best for you.

However, there are certain grocery stores where you can expect to find lower prices, while others offer more frills like a deli counter, ready-to-eat meals and even alcohol.

Here's your guide to the different grocery stores you have to choose from in Canada.

Budget tier

No Frills

If a deal is what you're after, your local No Frills might be your best bet for affordable prices.

And with a name like "No Frills," the store lives up to what it promises. Walking through the store you won't notice a lot of frills, even just in the decor. Typically it's white, yellow and a lot of yellow; not a lot to look at.

No Frills often has some of the cheapest prices of any Canadian grocery store. They have a massive selection of products, including the house "No Name" discount brand which is often the thing that will be the cheapest option, no matter the product.

You might find cheaper prices elsewhere on certain items, but generally speaking, this is the place to load up on groceries.


This international chain has a heavy foothold in Canada and is a great option for anyone looking to save money, with a few stipulations.

The biggest thing you should know about Costco is that they sell things at wholesale sizes and prices. So if you're looking for multiple litres of mayonnaise, shopping here is what you'll want to do.

There is a bit of a catch however, as you'll have to buy a membership if you want to shop there. That membership can be on the pricey side starting at around $60.

However, when you do the math on the size of the products with their low price, it could easily become worth it, especially if you're a frequent visitor.

It's also hard to deny the affordability of that food court.


If you've been around a bit, you've probably heard about Walmart.

Not only is it a store that has basically everything you need from clothes to car tires, but they also typically have a really sizeable grocery section that is full of great deals.

Not only does the store have a big selection of big grocery items, they're also chalk full of the Walmart house brand "Great Value" which can often be your most affordable option when out at the grocery store.

Depending on how you shop, getting a haul of groceries from your local Walmart could actually be more affordable than places like No Frills or Costco!

Mid tier


Loblaws is one of the largest chains out there (and they own many of the other grocery stores in Canada), but this mid-range store offers a very wide range of options.

Often, you'll find that a straight up Loblaws store will skew to the more expensive and high-quality items, but the smart shopper can definitely figure out the cheap way to make things affordable.

For example, they offer the same No Name products that No Frills does, so shopping affordably, with the option of splurging on a few higher quality items, is very doable and makes Loblaws actually sort of fun.

Just as long as they keep their chicken at a reasonable price.


Sobeys is what some would consider a straight-down-the-middle grocery store. It'll have most everything you need, it'll likely be in a convenient location and it won't break your bank, but it's typically not the cheapest option.

That being said, there's often opportunity to find good sales and if it's your closest or only option, you'll find everything you need at a decent price.


Metro is another grocery store that could easily be called "straight down the middle."

Much like Sobeys or Loblaws, Metro requires a little bit of conscious shopping if you're trying to save money, but it also might be easier to find deals here than at the other two stores.

They often have a sizeable and diverse selection of products, from produce to pre-made food that you can take home and munch on if you're ever in a pinch.

Workers at this chain went on strike in parts of Ontario in August, so you might face some challenges if you shop here before that's resolved.

High tier

Farm Boy

While Canada doesn't have the joys of Trader Joe's, it does have something sort of similar called Farm Boy.

Not only is Farm Boy a grocery store with your typical items like produce and your common brands and products, but they've also cornered the market with their high-quality house brand products.

However, with such a high quality, you'll expect to pay a little bit more for them, so if sticking to a tight budget is your goal, shopping at Farm Boy for everything is probably not the place.

That being said, they do have competitively priced products in their produce section and there are plenty of fancier, high-quality foods to choose from if that's what you're looking for.

Now, hopefully, you can be a little more equipped when it comes to finding the best place to stock up on groceries in Canada.

When you finally do pick your grocery store of choice, you'll probably also want to have some guidance on what you should buy, from classic Canadian snacks to food that Canada does well.

Also, what good is food if you don't have something to wash it down? There are a bunch of iconically Canadian alcoholic drinks and cocktails that you'll also definitely want to consider trying if you're looking for a true taste of Canada.

Tristan Wheeler
Tristan Wheeler was a Creator for Narcity Media focused on money and budgets and is based in Toronto, Ontario.