Richtree Natural Market
Richtree Natural Market has taken over the entirety of the Eaton Centre's former South-end food court. The new space right at the mouth of the Queen TTC station encompasses eleven varied food service concepts including an organic grocery mart, as well as, a cafe, bake shop, deli counter, licensed bar and numerous quick service eateries.
If you remember the former incarnation, (as I do from the perspective of a one-time mall worker), you will likely recall the jumbled lines and frenetic check-out process. Now, convenience has really become key, each counter is equipped with its own point of sale machines, and ordering options like electronic kiosks, a mobile app and online ordering page can consolidate orders from the multiple kitchens for easy pick-up in one spot.
The offerings are diverse. There's City Zen, a sushi shop; Queen Street Deli where sandwiches are piled high with nitrate-free meats to order; a self-serve, pay-by-weight salad bar; Happy Bowl, an Asian rice/noodle/quinoa bowl concept, Custom Grill, a burger shop; Street Eats, where the specialty is build-your-own tacos; and, Pizzeria Bosco which does ready to go slices and made-to-order personal pies.
I sampled a bunch of stuff, starting with the Arty Parm Pizza ($10) on a sourdough base (there's white and flax seed gluten-free crust option available too). It's sauced with artichoke parmesan spread and studded with chunks of herb roasted chicken and sweet peppadew peppers then topped with four cheeses.
The Ultimate Cheese Burger ($8) is one of 15 burgers on offer, this one classically done up with Ontario cheddar, pepper jack and all organic toppings. Other more inventive burgers include a Korean BBQ burger, poutine burger and wa'sabi burger. Each is loaded onto a brioche bun with a choice of turkey, beef or veggie patty, add handcut fries for $1.
Served in brightly coloured melamine bowls or biodegradable take-away containers there are hearty options like the Korean Beef Bowl ($10) featuring wok-fried sirloin strips in Gochujang sauce (fermented chili sauce) with bok choy, sprouts and sheets of nori.
The Foundation Bar offers cocktails, wines and beers including their own, exclusive Treehouse Draft Lager ($8/pint). On weeknights happy hour from 5pm to 7pm makes all drinks half price.
The new Richtree prides itself on being a source of organic, locally sourced foods. It aspires to make good food convenient, fast, tasty and affordable. Once inside, there are different pockets of seating and interactive Fruit Ninja-inspired projections to keep kids entertained. Bonus: they offer free wifi.
Richtree Natural Market is open daily from 6am until midnight. Catering is available with 24 hours notice.
Photos by Jesse Milns