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Grocery Stores

Marche Istanbul

Posted by Staff / Posted on August 5, 2011

Marche Istanbul TorontoMarche Istanbul is a Turkish grocery store in an unremarkable strip mall by Lawrence and Dufferin. I'm sure I've passed right by this store countless times, yet I've never much paid attention to what was inside. So when I did venture in for the first time, I was surprised (and honestly, felt a little sheepish) to find a bustling little shop filled with all sorts of Turkish goods--a sort of hidden treasure of imported specialties you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

Marche Istanbul TorontoMarche Istanbul first opened in Montreal before opening a second shop here at this location in Toronto. "About two decades," the store clerk answers when I ask him how long Marche Istanbul has been in the city. "Yes, about two decades, but you'd have to ask the owner for sure." The owner, a man by the name of Kamil, is not at the shop when I stop in, but the staff member fills me in on the basics of the store.

Marche Istanbul Toronto"Everything, everything is from Turkey," he says. "We have sweets, cooking supplies, lots of jams," he says, stocking a shelf with some jars. "Basically, everything you'd need."

Marche Istanbul TorontoAnd indeed, perhaps there's everything you'd need if you know what you're looking for, but since I was just getting acquainted with the unfamiliar items at Marche Istanbul, I took a little time to explore the goods. One thing I quickly came to learn is that olives are big--very big. Marche Istanbul has all sorts of them, including many oils and massive tubs of black olives (with handles, for easy carrying) selling for around $75.

Marche Istanbul TorontoNext to the olive area is the kitchen and deli counter, which, I'm told, usually offers simple prepared Turkish items. Perhaps I've come on an off day, however, because the spread then looked rather stark. The shop is not lacking in bulk goods, though. I explored the bins of imported dry goods, which included things like unground Turkish cloves (18.99/kg), rubbed Turkish mint (19.99/kg), coarse bulgur ($1.99/kg) and fine lemon salt ($8.99/kg). And Turkish delight, of course.

Marche Istanbul TorontoBut beyond the edible items, Marche Istanbul also imports housewares, beauty items, and other miscellaneous goods. The hookahs were no strange sight to me, but I took time examining the Arko shave stick and shelved brass instruments, which, the clerk told me, are actually a kefir mills. And though I don't think I'll be grinding my own kefir anytime soon, or cooking an authentic Turkish meal, for that matter, it's nice to know that I'll know where to go if the cultural urge ever strikes me.

Marche Istanbul TorontoMarche Istanbul TorontoMarche Istanbul TorontoMarche Istanbul TorontoPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

7 Comments

Rexdale / August 5, 2011 at 09:00 am
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Büyük makale .. Ben her zaman türk gıda sevdim!Türk restoran ile ilgili bir makale oluşturun. :)
S / August 5, 2011 at 09:07 am
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Mmm sujuk....havent had that stuff since frankfurt. Turks gotta import doner kabab to toronto too while we're on the subject.
Adam / August 5, 2011 at 09:10 am
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S, I don't see any mention of sujuk in this article. Is there sujuk at this joint? I'm dying to find a supplier in the T-dot.
Natalie / August 5, 2011 at 09:35 am
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OFCOURSE there's SUJUK in TORONTO!!!
ASK THE ARMENIANS !!
It's an armenian sausage...
you can find it at alot of markets along Lawrence Ave.
Basterma King has one of the best sujuk's !
Adam / August 5, 2011 at 09:37 am
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Great- thanks!
Aydin replying to a comment from S / August 7, 2011 at 01:59 pm
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Try Shawarma Grill House on Pape, just north of Cosburn. They do great Doner Kebap, chicken Doner, and my personal favorite, Iskender Kebap.
Gianto / April 6, 2014 at 08:49 pm
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Those are "coffee mills". My grandmother owned a couple. She used to grind fresh coffee for each and every cup she cooked.

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