The Best Bulk Food Stores in Toronto
The best bulk food store in Toronto is not the Bulk Barn. Let me just put that out there. Sure, the Bulk Barn might have the most locations, a familiar sign and a massive inventory of bulk products. But when it comes to friendly neighbourhood service, hunting down hard to find imported products and an overall fun shopping experience it's in tough to beat many of the places on this list.
From a specialty rice purveyor in St. Lawrence Market to fresh figs and pistachios on Lawrence Avenue east, the smaller, focused bulk food stores in Toronto are worth stocking up at.
Here are the 12 best bulk food stores in Toronto.
The search for bulk products in this city begins - and almost ends - in Kensington Market. There are many options here, but it's hard not to start your search at the corner of Baldwin and Augusta. Case Acoreana win points for their massive selection of spices, coffee, chocolate and candy but the real fun here is just being in the store and watching others discover a new favourite ingredient. More »
From bags of garam masala to bins of roasted coffee beans from Tanzania, this Kensington Market staple, just a stones throw from Casa Acoreana, lives up to its name as one of Toronto's best deals for bulk nuts, dried fruit, coffee and rice. Almost everything is packed, sealed and priced in various size pouches so there's no need to go through the trouble (or sticker shock) of weighing your bounty. More »
Tutti Frutti, also in Kensington, is part general health food store, part bulk food store. Go here for hard to find spices (especially Chinese herbs) and cheap prices on spelt, rice flour and organic cereals. More »
Found in the bowels of St. Lawrence Market, Domino's Foods has an excellent selection of nuts, dried fruit, candies and chocolate. But not to be missed is their bulk selection of olive oil. Don't miss filling a tin before you leave. More »
Down the hall from Domino's Foods, Rube's has the best selection of rice in the city. Offerings are endless here from familiar varieties like brown basmati, sushi rice and arborio, to much rarer (and pricier) finds like jade pearl with bamboo extract. They also have a separate, non ricey location across the hall that stocks potato, soya, spelt and other kinds of flour and grains. More »
With three locations in Toronto, Strictly Bulk is a serviceable neighbourhood spot to fill up on a standard selection of bulk food items like nuts, spices, chocolate and cookies. They also have plenty of eco-friendly cleaning products, chips, teas and organic milk. More »
Kenpik, just off of Mt. Pleasant, has a smaller selection than most bulk food stores in Toronto. But their clean, non-cluttered layout makes shopping here a breeze, even if you can't find everything you're looking for. More »
Qi is part health food store, part bulk food store and has three locations in the city including Roncesvalles, Koreatown and Eglinton West. They specialize in organic, natural and healthy bulk grains, cereals, soy products and prepared foods. More »
Also mainly a health food store, Essence of Life has a small but excellent bulk food selection including fresh, bulk tofu, a variety of organic and non-organic peanut and almond butter, honey, maple syrup and organic flours and rice. More »
Ladan Pastry and Nuts distinguishes itself from the also-ran pistachio purveyors on Lawrence Avenue East. This tiny shop reminds me of my travels through Morocco. A wide variety of roasted nuts, dried fruit and, yes, pistachios are artfully presented here - almost like the markets in North Africa. There's also a great selection of hard-to-find Persian food products, fresh baked pastries and other mouth-watering snacks. More »
Look past the misspelling in the name (apparently done on purpose to bring the business good luck) and head to this Lawrence East bulk food store for a wide selection of Indian groceries and spices. If you're looking for 5LB bags of tumeric or fennel seeds, massive tubs of ghee, fresh okra or fresh-pressed yogurt, this is the place to go. More »