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Grocery Stores

Yummy Market

Posted by Guest Contributor / Posted on January 31, 2010

Yummy MarketYummy Market is the largest Eastern European supermarket in Toronto. While its location (on Dufferin between Finch and Sheppard) is not the most accessible by public transportation, the food definitely makes up for the hurdle.

Eastern European food is famous for its cured meats, pickles, baked goods, sweets and dairy products. The market is known for its home-made foods, locally made organic products, and goods imported from Russia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, and other countries.

Yummy MarketThe market features an on-site bakery that outputs a variety of baked creations, ranging from familiar to the western palate baguettes and loaves, to traditional Eastern European and Middle Eastern pastries, such as pierozhki that come in variety of sweet and savory fillings and eastern-inspired bourekas. The bakery works during the day so if you're lucky you may catch the batch of fresh-out-of-the-oven goodies.

Yummy MarketRight next to the breads lies the sweets section, ready to rival any Portuguese bakery with the wildness of colours and flavours. Beneath the top vitrines with the bright-coloured bite-sized baked beauties the lower floors are taken by the mouth-watering cakes of all shapes and adornments, which can also be made to order and signed with any message.

Next up, the cheese section, a good half of which is occupied by a soft cheese called tvorog. Tvorog is very similar to cottage cheese, but not as salty. It comes in both sweet and savoury versions and is occasionally mixed with dried and fresh fruit. Tvorog is every Russian pre-schooler's nightmare as it is a very popular children's food, kind of like broccoli in Canada. I confess that I went through some rough patches with tvorog too, but now we are best of friends it makes an absolutely lovely and healthy breakfast.

Right next to tvorog, the freshest goat and ewe cheeses rub elbows the small globes of young mozarella.

Yummy MarketIn the deli section, the variety of cured meats and sausages easily beats my other favourite store - European Quality Meats and Sausages in Kensington Market. Those lost in the selection can rely on the friendly enough staff for advice. My favourites are the hunter's sausages - long dry salty sausages that come in spicy and non-spicy flavours, and doktorsakya kolbasa (it looks somewhat like ham) - great as is, in sandwiches or substituting for ham in salads; or pan-fried as a healthier stand-in for bacon in bacon and eggs combo.

Yummy MarketMy absolute favourite part of the store is the salads and pickles section. It boasts a wonderful hodge-podge of eastern and western pickles, salads and aspics made of everything from cabbage, garlic sprouts, bell peppers, to cheese, herring, and pickled meats.

Eastern European food lays on the cross-roads of Middle Eastern, Far Eastern and French cooking traditions, and often has foods familiar to those kitchens but made in a uniquely Eastern European manner. Kim chi is a great example. Originally brought from Korea and cross-bred with German sauerkraut, it took very well on Russian soil and now is an extremely popular pickle.

For the adventurous, the display offers many other Korean and Japanese inspired dishes - seaweed, seafood, and a variety of other pickled salads similar in technique to kim chi but with different ingredients.

Yummy MarketHerring dishes deserve a separate mention. There is herring pickled and marinated a million different ways: in wine, oil, tomato juice or mayonnaise, or mixed with beets and eggs in the shuba salad, and ground to pate in forshmak. Right next to the herring are trays with caviar ranging from very expensive to very affordable, flanked by smoked fish of all sorts.

Yummy MarketThe prepared foods section is full of heart-stopping cooked meats, poultry, fish and vegetables. The most popular item is "the meat the French way" (myaso po francuski) which has nothing to do with France, and is actually pork baked with potatoes, onions and mayonnaise. The prominently-displayed sign on the display advertises whole roasted lambs and suckling piglets that can be made to order. The tubs of borsch, solyanka, and other soups stand nearby, ready to be taken home and re-heated.

Yummy MarketAs far as frozen foods, a good half of the section is comprised of perogies with everything from potatoes, cheese, and meat to black currant to sour cherry, to stuff you had no idea could be stuffed in perogies.

Yummy MarketIf all those treats aren't enough, the gluttons can indulge further in the aisle wholly dedicated to candies and chocolates, and swing by another aisle for pickles and yet another one for teas and juices, and finish at the dairy section with a gazillion of varieties of yogurt and sour-milk products.

Yummy Market is open daily 9-9, including public holidays, and Christmas Day. It does close on Easter European holidays though, which are New Years Eve and New Years Day and Orthodox Christmas Day (January 7).

Writing and photos by Maria Kubysh

Discussion

31 Comments

DM / January 31, 2010 at 10:53 am
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Looks like Starsky may have some competition:

http://www.blogto.com/grocery/starsky
chephy / January 31, 2010 at 12:09 pm
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LOOOOOVE Yummy Market! Toronto's best Eastern European store, and one of my favourite grocery stores overall.

On an unrelated note, WTF is "the Sheppard Airport"? What next - Pearson as "The 401 Airport"?
sniderscion / January 31, 2010 at 01:32 pm
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Looks like a interesting spot to visit.

I too was wondering about the "Sheppard Airport", also in what way is the Keele Reservoir notorious?
It would have been clearer (and a little more accurate) to say its on Dufferin between Finch and Sheppard.
Michael / January 31, 2010 at 04:43 pm
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My mom has been shopping there since they opened. Russians such as myself were generally used to going to small Russian delis and bakeries... now we have our own Eastern European "Loblaws".
Fleur / January 31, 2010 at 05:10 pm
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On Dufferin between Finch and Sheppard is easily accessible by public transit. You're an idiot.
chephy replying to a comment from Fleur / January 31, 2010 at 11:56 pm
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Huh? That was uncalled for.
Pinchy / February 1, 2010 at 11:41 am
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Yummy is awesome. I've been going there since it opened a while back.
They have a tonne of great food and treats, however I find it a bit more expensive and out of the way compared to other Euro Deli stores around the city. I guess the price difference goes towards covering the greater overhead.

There are however many great little stores, especially along Bloor West and High Park that have a lot of the same things
nitroMiner / February 1, 2010 at 04:32 pm
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Love that fare. Great selection, but Woah - too far from dwntwn for me.

I'll stick to the Polish versions on Roncy, much, much closer and available in numerous stores up and down that street. Such as Bena's. ok, no caviar in giant tubs, but seriously.... great smoked fish including eel.
For pastries, Granowska's.
PS / March 27, 2010 at 06:14 pm
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Does anyone know if they offer kosher food?
DT / June 4, 2010 at 02:33 pm
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I love Yummy! Have been shopping there since they opened. The general quality and choice of food at Starsky is not even close to what YM has to offer (but Starsky is mainly Polish, while YM is Russian). The only thing I hate about going there is looking at the receipt, when I'm done... It is, as already mentioned, quite expensive there, but I just can't resist not going there.
Taurus Volans replying to a comment from PS / July 15, 2010 at 04:27 pm
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Kosher? Oh yeah, their pork loin is 100% kosher. This is a Russian store, remember? For kosher, go to Tel Aviv.
Taurus Volans replying to a comment from PS / July 15, 2010 at 04:34 pm
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On the topic, though... while in general the store is good when it comes to buying familiar food and is a nice change from the Canadian 'cuisine', two things I noticed that are on the negative side:
1) the processed cheese Янтарь was stale and had neither production nor expiration date
2) the cash register receipt is itemized only by price, but there is no item description
Paul replying to a comment from chephy / August 2, 2010 at 05:33 pm
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East European? Its Russian store!
Paul replying to a comment from chephy / August 2, 2010 at 05:34 pm
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East European? Its Russian store!!
paul ostroff replying to a comment from Paul / October 2, 2010 at 03:47 pm
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On Bloor st West in Bloor West Village exists a very large deli German/Eastern European Food store. It rivals largest and is much larger than the one in Kensington Market. They are called Max,and are very diversified containing all from soup to nuts. They along with the spotless and well stocked Starsky rival Yummy.I wish that either or preferably both were anywhere near where I reside.Brandt the wholesale deli suppliers have a well stocked retail store on a small street south of Dundas St.West on the Etobicoke/Mississauga border has loads of deli meats,marinated fish and many other goodies.They do an enormous volume of business.
justinbeaver / October 10, 2010 at 12:09 am
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@PAUL.......Eastern European ??? You are so shocked...but it's true, Russia is NOT part of Eastern Europe, and it's certainly not part of Europe (and NO ONE in Europe considers Russia to be in any way "European"). And rightly so.
biggie / October 11, 2010 at 02:40 pm
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@justinbeaver are u retarded? Russians are not europeans? Europe exists thanks to Russia.

Anyways sick store, good food, quality of food went down big time since their opening. But still better than the small bakery stores. The difference between Yummy and Starsky is that Starsky is a bigger rip off than yummy, plus who wants to see polish people when they shop for food. Now the german market prices are bettter, food is different, at time better than yummy.
To shay replying to a comment from biggie / October 19, 2010 at 03:42 pm
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Biggie, I want to see Polish people. Have you seen the mississauga location on dundas 403 the hotest women ever work there.
Taurus Volans / November 27, 2010 at 06:41 pm
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I stand corrected. The receipt does show the item description now. Apart from some minor nuisances, Yummy is overall a good store, albeit pricey. I spend about $250 every two weeks there (for one).
CHAN / December 10, 2010 at 02:00 am
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Был я здесь. Хотел грузчиком устроиться.
kostya / December 21, 2010 at 01:35 pm
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it is a good store in terms of food selection but people who work there are complete idiots. so fucking slow. some of them can't even speak english. ridiculous. but i really liked the salads and apetizers they sell; those are delicious.
sergey / January 18, 2011 at 06:37 pm
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those cashiers in the store are not just slow, they can be rude too. that's what i discovered last saturday. and the store itself is very pricey, some items are 1.5 times more expensive than in other stores, don't see any point visiting it
Natalia / April 23, 2011 at 03:23 pm
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I will go to Yummy market tonight to buy some Russian food. I really miss it so much. I do not care if this store is called eastern European or Russian. To my opinion it's Russian and Russia is neither a part of Europe nor Asia. It's a unique place in the world. We do not care if we are called Europeans or not because we are different from all others and it's great.
Eugene / January 10, 2012 at 01:18 pm
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Place your deals on http://www.mister-coupon.com and much more people will know about you.
mike / August 26, 2012 at 12:59 pm
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It's a nice store with pretty good selection but pricy.
The biggest problem there is no consistency in quality of products.

More than once I bought a product that was impossible to eat.
Today it was "smoked mackerel" that had to be thrown in the garbage because was absolutely raw.
Alex replying to a comment from mike / November 4, 2012 at 02:57 pm
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Raw? Lucky you, I found a mould inside of mine!!! Blini w/meat were also spoiled and candies were sooo old, so you'd need a steel jaws to eat them. Bottom line- we could only use bread out of all our some $50 purchase. And they refused any claims, when I brough all this garbage back 3 days later as their return policy is only good for 48hours! Well, that's okay, now I got Canada Food Inspection Agency looking into the matter.
Alejandro / November 18, 2012 at 10:47 pm
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Same complain about the quality. Bought some cookies from them. After opening found they smelled and tasted like very old and outdated ( no indication of expiry date or best before on the package whatsoever ). 3 day later I brought them back and they refused to take them back :(
Inessa / December 3, 2012 at 09:31 pm
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Please listen to this story and try your best to avoid this store!!!!!!!It is actually dangerous to eat there!There is plenty of other russian stores in Toronto. Ok here is my story...
My husband and I visited Yummy Market last week, we got those ice creams in the package called "Snickers". When we came home we found out that it was outdated!The date best before was August 2012 and we bought it on November 29th!!!!So I called the store and they said o we apologize, u can come any time and we will return your money, it just happened by mistake we promise we will take it away from our shelves. So I was lazy do go there just cuz of ice cream so I just didn't return anything and just threw the ice creams aways. In a week I went back there to buy some deli stuff and guess what those outdated ice creams were still there!!!!!I called the manager, and she started telling me that this is not the best before date and that it is the date when it was made!!!!What a bulshitt! those people who work there are just crazy liars! please do not go there!!!!they have no respect for their customers and they are ready to make money on everything!they act like they are still in USSR!By the way I am russian and I feel so ashamed of those disrespectful and careless employees!!!!!AVOID AT ALL COST!!!!!!!
Igg / December 25, 2012 at 02:27 pm
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Justinbeaver, u r a fucking dumbass. Russia is Eastern European country (though partly Asian too), and whoever does not know this or think it does not belong to Europe is a fucking dumbass like u
Anna replying to a comment from Taurus Volans / February 22, 2013 at 11:48 am
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kakoy ti durak.
Quality kosher products can be found all over the GTA and across Canada. IN FACT yummy market has a kosher aisle as well. Why don't you go back to commi mother russia and be anti-semetic there.
Goodnight bazarniya baba.
Julia / March 31, 2013 at 11:28 am
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Where can I find paper napkins with the estonian flag on them in toronto?

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