Thursday, November 27, 2014Cloudy -1°C
Best of Toronto

The Best Fruit & Vegetable Stores in Toronto

Posted by Robyn Urback / March 16, 2011

Fruit Vegetables TorontoThe best fruit and vegetable stores in Toronto provide motivation to walk the extra few blocks in the frigid cold or blistering heat. Indeed, even when I think my laziness knows no bounds, the thought of swallowing down limp kale or tasteless strawberries--the kind you often get at big supermarket chains--will push me to seek quality over convenience, even if it means going a little further. And I'm always glad I do.

The best fruit and vegetable stores offer up freshness and taste above all else, while some toss in low prices and others opt for variety and unusual selection. All of them, though, render buying fruits and veggies from chain supermarkets an ultimate last resort.

Here is the list of the best fruit and vegetable stores in Toronto, as voted by readers of this site.

Bloor Fruit Market photo by Roberta Baker, Oxford Fruit photo by Tyson Williams, both in the blogTO Flickr pool

Carload

Carload

Carload has two locations in Toronto - both offering fresh produce at reasonable prices. First in Bloor West Village, Carload opened its second location on Queen and Windermere to what I assume must have been squeals of delight of Beaches residents. Its fruits and vegetables often look impressively pristine and are always fresh and delicious. Anyone else counting down the days until cherries are in season? More »

Maple Produce

Maple Produce

Maple Produce on Roncesvalles is always bustling with regulars, visitors, and restaurateurs looking for fresh herbs, and quality fruits and vegetables. It is by no means large, but it's run pretty efficiently and you can leave with a full bag of goodies without hurting your pocket too badly. More »

Valley Farm (Danforth)

Valley Farm (Danforth)

The place to go for some of the best fruits and veggies in the area. And that's saying something, especially since it's right beside Fruitland Market and across the street from Fruit King. Valley Farm on Danforth and Logan is lauded for its consistent quality, freshness, and of course, good prices. More »

Harbourfront Organic Foods

Harbourfront Organic Foods

On the lower level of the St. Lawrence Market, Harbourfront Organic Foods has a great selection of organic (and non-organic) fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts and organic dried fruits. Their prices are pretty reasonable, plus you can get freshly made fruit salad, which, I at least, am always craving when shopping for produce. More »

Oxford Fruit

Oxford Fruit

In the heart of Kensington Market, Oxford Fruit is always overflowing with lots of fresh produce, usually geared toward what's in season. If not perusing the outdoor fruits and veggies at the corner of Nassau and Augusta, shoppers venture inside to pick grapes and plants from the ceiling, along with other leafy greens. More »

Bloor Fruit Market

Bloor Fruit Market

Bloor Fruit Market in Koreatown on Bloor at Manning offers a good selection of fruits and vegetables, many of which are locally grown, at fantastic prices. It's an area favourite for ripe berries, juicy tomatoes, and bundles of fresh herbs. The green awning alone is usually enough to spark salivation. More »

Harvest Wagon

Harvest Wagon

While you probably won't be able to use your couch change to buy produce here, Harvest Wagon in Rosedale (and Harvest Wagon Too at Eglinton and Avenue Road) is the place to find top quality and hard-to-find fruits and veggies. Here you can pick up produce such as mini veggies, edible flowers, rare mushrooms and truffles. But, of course, you won't want to disrupt the immaculate displays. More »

Fiesta Farms

Fiesta Farms

On Christie between Bloor and Dupont, Fiesta Farms sells lots of organic, local produce, conveniently alongside organic, local meats and other foods. But its fruit and veggie spread is quite impressive and offers lots of selection at reasonable prices. Plus, it's independent and family-owned. Sold. More »

Karma Co-Op

Karma Co-Op

This non for profit food store in the Annex has many fruits and vegetables that are not only organic and locally grown, but often listed alongside the name of the farm where they were produced. Karma usually sticks to what's in season, and lists how many locally grown items are currently in store. It has all the staples with little unnecessary packaging. More »

Discussion

35 Comments

Beatrice / March 16, 2011 at 11:20 am
user-pic
Highland Farms has always a great selection and Longo's prices for organic fruits and veggies are unbeatable. These are great options for those who live outside of the downtown core.
Eva Coish / March 16, 2011 at 11:20 am
user-pic
I paid a visit to Fiesta Farms was a few weeks ago and it was a challenge to find produce for sale that wasn't past it's prime. Wilted, mouldy herbs, wrinkled avocado, dried out ginger and soft potatoes? No thanks!
Dan / March 16, 2011 at 11:30 am
user-pic
I'm a regular at Fiesta Farms... I admit that I've been there a few times and the produce has been a bit less than standard, but they're still my first choice when it comes to fruits and veggies (and about everything else too.) Generally their quality is better than most other places, their prices are more than reasonable, and they have quite an impressive choice of organics and local options available. Worth a second chance imo...
Monkeypie / March 16, 2011 at 11:42 am
user-pic
Carload in the Beach is actually at Queen & Lee. And it is totally awesome!

Katrina Broughton / March 16, 2011 at 12:56 pm
user-pic
I cannot attest to being an expert on the fruit/vegetable distribution system, but I think this statement is incorrect:
"All of them, though, render buying fruits and veggies from chain supermarkets an ultimate last resort."

I believe all or most of these places buy their product from the Food Terminal or from a distributor who buys from the food terminal, which is the same for grocery stores. So I don't see why any of these stores would have better quality.

For myself, I've generally found Valley Farm to have lower quality than Fruit King, and both are not as good as the Foodland up the street. But I may just have had a bad experience. I'd be interested in other Danforth-ian's opinions on that.
Rachel / March 16, 2011 at 01:06 pm
user-pic
Good intentions with this list but I kind of roll my eyes at it. Given that these are user-created lists, how can you really name the best? I live next to Kensington and I learned fairly quickly that I have to go to several greengrocers to find what I am looking for, which is good local (Ontario preferably) products.

Either way, I hope this list encourages people to shop more at local produce stores.
Rena / March 16, 2011 at 01:09 pm
user-pic
I love Maple! Super cheap, great selection, and mad efficient service. Sometimes they do that thing that lots of fruit stands do where they put not so nice berries on the bottom of the cardboard container and nice ones on top, but if you bring them back and point it out, they're usually pretty cool.

Definitely one of my favourite Roncey places, glad to see they made the top 10! Actually, I love all the fruit places on Roncesvalles. I think "Roncesvalles" should just be on the list since there are probably about 6 fruit stands in 8 blocks...
Greenz / March 16, 2011 at 01:29 pm
user-pic
JUNGLE FRUIT in Kensington Market is my favorite!! Corner Kensington Ave and St. Andrew St. I fill up a large canvas grocery tote for under $10 every week. Always fresh and never out of anything. They have a little juicing station in there too.
Aydin / March 16, 2011 at 11:12 pm
user-pic
I really like that one on Danforth! Though I find that Fruit King across the street has much more selection and fresher vegetables, Valley Farms has a very friendly, knowledgeable staff. That's what I'm really looking for in a local market - proud shopkeepers who love to talk about their products. Especially the lady who works there during the day - she's given me some great tips on purchasing and cooking items I was previously unfamiliar with.
August / March 16, 2011 at 11:21 pm
user-pic
How is Pusateri's Fruit Market not on this list. And no, not the overpriced, pretentious Pusateri's in Yorkville, the small green grocer in the village just south of church and wellesley. always fresh - though prices do match the seasonality of foods. always fresh herbs. great staff. fantastic place if fresh fruit and veggies are your thing!
margarets replying to a comment from Katrina Broughton / March 17, 2011 at 01:27 pm
user-pic
Most of the big chains have their own food distribution systems. Smaller grocers buy from the Food Terminal.

The Food Terminal was built when the GTA's population was much smaller (there was no concept of the "GTA" then) and it doesn't have the capacity to distribute all the fruit & veggies etc that are required now.

That said, I'm not sure how much of a difference it makes, since so much of our produce comes from the same places, i.e. California and Mexico.
JT / March 17, 2011 at 01:55 pm
user-pic
Admittedly, I've only been to 3 of the 9 stores listed above but I've also been to most of the fruit/vegetable stores in Chinatown. Unfortunately, I've generally found the prices to be hit and miss and the quality to be lacking at the independent stores I've been to. Fruit and veggie quality have been poor and they don't last whatsoever. If I don't eat it within two or three days, I've had to chuck it. I now do all my fruit/grocery shopping at T&T in the Portlands, Longo's, and Loblaws (with an occasional Metro visit thrown in).
Mike / March 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm
user-pic
I've actually been liking Fruit King a lot more than Valley Farm across the street. Prices and selection are usually better.
Sezme replying to a comment from Katrina Broughton / March 19, 2011 at 12:15 pm
user-pic
One shouldn't think of the Ontario Food Terminal as one monolithic produce distribution system, or a giant supermarket. In fact, it's a complex marketplace in its own right. It's very easy for larger shops to buy the same predictable unripe fruits/tomatoes every few days. They're sacrificing taste for consistency. At the same time, a fruit/vegetable shop that wants to have very low prices can get a good deal at the Food Terminal buying wilted/past-its-prime produce there; I'm looking at you, Kenny's on College.

And a shop that really cares can spend the time to source beautifully ripe, unusual, and local (in summer) produce that would make your mouth water. So just because they all buy at the Food Terminal doesn't mean that they all end up with the same stuff.
Dee / March 20, 2011 at 11:54 pm
user-pic
I think that 4 Life Natural Foods (in Kensington Market, at Augusta and Nassau, on the NE corner), is the best retail source for top-notch locally grown produce. Like Karma Coop, they provide the name of the farmer who grew the food wherever possible, and work very hard to provide as many local ingredients as they can. When things are in season, their prices for organic produce are often comparable with the conventional offerings across the street at Oxford Fruit.

You have to pick and choose, because they always stock a full assortment, and the imported organic stuff costs a lot, but if you ask for seasonal local ingredients, they're happy to point out what they've got, and that will often include amazing ingredients that can't be bought anywhere else except at farmer's markets. They have amazing Ontario apples year-round.
huskylord / March 22, 2011 at 01:19 pm
user-pic
Sorry, you should have included Green Thumb grocer's just down the street from Carload on Bloor West. They have a great selection of organic fruits/vegetables with good prices. The cash only can be a bit inconvenient, but it's worth it.
Liz Crawford / March 23, 2011 at 08:02 pm
user-pic
I am still mourning the loss of our beloved produce store at Euclid and Queen. It was the best. Yes, I'm sure it all came from the food terminal but they chose very fresh produce and they took care of it. Their green beans and mesclun mix were carefully picked over daily, you never saw a single wilted piece unlike the major grocers. I now shop at Oxford which isn't nearly as convenient and they don't have the perfect mesclun mix but they have a bigger assortment. Just yesterday I tried out the produce store on the north side of Queen in the first block east of Bathurst - very promising! Check them out, they deserve more business.
mrgrieves / March 26, 2011 at 12:56 pm
user-pic
man don't the people behind this website realize that the city of Toronto extends beyond St. Clair....or I guess they're just too cool for that
MsTrixx / April 5, 2011 at 12:30 pm
user-pic
Pleeeeeeeeeease..... can someone come to Leslieville!! We are desperate for a decent fruit and veg stand here. Lots of business for a small biz owner -- nothing fancy required - just one of the above would be perfect!! Pleeeeeeaase........
SUNSHINE FRESH FRUITS / April 16, 2011 at 02:33 pm
user-pic
WE'RE A FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLE IMPORTER BUSINESS, OURS PRODUCTS ARE ORGANICS AND CONVENCIONALS, FRESH PRODUCTS, EVERY WEEK, OURS PRODUCTS ARRIVE DIRECTLY FROM THE FARMS, IT'S COME FROM THE CARIBBEAN AREA, SWEETS AND HEALTHY, GOOD PRICES FOR WHOLESELLERS, BROKERS, SUPERMARKETS AND RETAILERS, CONTACTS US sunshineinterbusiness@yahoo.com 289-752-2645 24/7
Ron McInnis / October 14, 2011 at 08:16 am
user-pic
A challenge to the food industry, stop buying low quality, green fruit, which never attain real eatability. You have turned off a generation with poor quality produce and fruit! Buy #1 fruit, sell at a fair price, take a little spoilage, if needed, and watch your sales soar. We will buy it, if we can get it!
Felix Okoth / February 5, 2012 at 09:59 pm
user-pic
I deal in fruits and vegetables from Nairobi Kenya. if anyone is interested pls contact me as your supplier.
Peter Chin replying to a comment from Eva Coish / February 7, 2012 at 06:13 am
user-pic
I agree totally. I recently had a bad experience at the Loblaws Carlton with a customer doing label switching of the organic fruits for non-organic. I had suspected this practice has been pretty common place since I am of the generation where there was no such thing as GM Frankenfood yet and I can still spot a dud when I open, see and taste it. Until grocery store chains insure that what the consumer is buying is the real thing, perhaps stamping their product with indelible food dye, I cannot justify paying the higher price for a product that is a "maybe organic" and shop at stores that sell only organic instead to avoid the product switching.
adegbemi Gabriel / February 17, 2012 at 08:43 am
user-pic
We hereby apply to be one of your Suppliers of dried/preserved/powdered vegetables and foodstuffs for Nigerians and West Africans residing in your place of location.

Crownie Farms service is located at 41,oshola streety,Ifako-Ijaiye,Lagos State,Nigeria,23401 is an upscale full production farm,which offers wide range of cultivation of vegetables which includes Corchorous Olitorious,Okro,bitter leaves,chilly,Baselia Alba,melon,Garri,Groundnut oil,Palm oil and Yam in a well preserved form.Our target market s are West Africans mostly Nigerians residing in the USA,Canada,and UK willing to consume /eat their local meals/dishes.The farm is a Sole Proprietorship owned by the Promoter himself.

PRICE LIST: PRODUCT PRICE
* Corchorous Olitorios (EWEDU) US$23 per kg
*Okro US$22 per kg
*Bitter leaves US$25 per kg
*Chilly pepper US$30 per kg
*Baselia Alba (UGWU) US$25 per kg
*Melon US$30 per kg
*Garri US$8 per kg
*Groundnut oil US$7 per litre
*Palm oil US$4.5 per litre
*Yam US$6 per tuber.

You can make your order anytime of the year and our distribution strategy is:Producer-Retailer-Customer and this can be through Home/Office Delivery or coming around for your products or through Logistics(Airlines),depending on your choice of interest.

We shall be looking forward reading and hearing from you soon based on your order.

Yours faithfully,
Adegbemi Gabriel.O.
+2348057601847.
ambros replying to a comment from Felix Okoth / July 13, 2012 at 04:48 pm
user-pic
HiFelix

how long does it take for you fruits to arrive here in Toronto from Nairobi? How fresh are they? what are your prices in Canadian dollars? is there a minimum order? what's the minimum order that I can buy.
thank you
Ambros
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 10:41 pm
user-pic
man don't the people behind this website realize that the city of Toronto extends beyond St. Clair....or I guess they're just too cool for that
Joanna / March 1, 2013 at 02:49 pm
user-pic
I am looking for a variety of mushroom called "Candy Cap". They would probably be dried. Does anyone know where to purchase them?
louis vuitton designer bags / April 25, 2013 at 08:30 am
user-pic
Hot Stuff: Google Keep also offers a couple of Lockscreen Widgets for Android 4.2+ that you can use to access your notes right at the power button. [url=http://designerbagsreviews.webs.com/]louis vuitton designer bags[/url] louis vuitton designer bags
authentic retro jordans / April 25, 2013 at 10:52 am
user-pic
Based on the company’s all-time high that the stock hit back in September (when the iPhone 5 released), that’s down 42% from what it is now. authentic retro jordans http://cheapauthenticretrojordansshoes.webs.com/ authentic retro jordans
ruby / April 26, 2013 at 03:51 pm
user-pic
hi. prices at Valley Farm Fruit Market at 6 points are low especially for organics...how do i know they are organic? thx.
Frank Yue / July 18, 2013 at 04:53 am
user-pic
Dear blogto

How are you
This is Frank from Shanghai Swolf Industry Co.,Ltd . we are professional package supplier of China .
We supply some blister packing(plastic tray),color printing packing, corrugated package products ,especially fruit and vegetable package.
If you have interested in these, we can advise some products of you, also can customize as your demands.
No matter how , hope can hearing from you soon.

Best Regards
Frank Yue ( Manager)

SHANGHAI SWOLF INDUSTRY Co.,Ltd.
Addr:No.807 Chengliu Road,Xuhang town, Jiading district,Shanghai,China 201808
Phone: +86-21-60548565 Fax: +86-21-33321922
Mobile: 86-15800913658
Web: http://www.swolfchina.com/en/
E-mail: frank@swolfchina.com
Skype:frankyuee
kwycat33 / September 3, 2013 at 07:53 pm
user-pic
Sorry, you ahould have included Fruitland on Danforth @ Logan. Right next door to Valley Farm Produce, which you posted. Fruitland is owned by the owners of old Fruit Kingh, which used to be across the street. It is a wonderful store, with very fresh Ontario produce, both organic and nonorganic produce, and really really cheap prices. And the check-out is FAST!!! Oh, and don't forget to check their dollar table out front. Lots of great deal throughout the store, including cold bottled fruit drinks for just over a dollar...a great thing on the sometimes overpriced Danforth. Grab one and go sit in Alexander's square while you feel good about all the healthy, cheap fruit/veg you just bought. Love love.
balfour / July 12, 2014 at 04:48 pm
user-pic
any one want Jamaica fresh produce to buy fruit and vegetable mango, breadfruit, avocado, callaloo, please contact me.....18763727719 or 18762750626...thank you.
Karen replying to a comment from Felix Okoth / September 23, 2014 at 02:26 pm
user-pic
Hello, I saw your posting on the to blog. I would like to start a fruit and veggie stand in central toronto, can you tell me what you have and how to go about it? Thank you,
Karen replying to a comment from SUNSHINE FRESH FRUITS / September 23, 2014 at 02:29 pm
user-pic
Hello I would like more info on your products, I would like to start a fruit and veggie stand in toronto Ontario.

Thank you

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal