The Best Gourmet Food Stores in Toronto
The best gourmet food stores in Toronto are where foodies go for chef-standard ingredients. (Or else, where non-foodies go for chef-created meals that are ready to heat and serve.) While these shops certainly don't go easy on the wallet, they usually offer products that are hard to find and/or a step above the typical yellow Heinz mustard. The experience at these shops is less about avoiding the grape juice spill in aisle two than exploring new tastes, flavours, and concepts in eating, and also offer the added bonus of reusable shopping bags that can double as marked status symbols.
Here is the list of the best gourmet food stores in Toronto.
Top left photo by Sifu Renka on Flickr
The Big Carrot reigns over both the gourmet food and eco-friendly store worlds. It’s arguably the market of choice for an abundance of organic, minimally packaged, and naturally produced foods, and also offers regular lectures and cooking classes on everything to do with healthy eating. Fresh juice and hot meals, too, ready to go. More »
Despite the odd, less-than-flattering public health inspection, Pusateri’s is still one of Toronto’s top spots for imported packaged foods and pristine-looking produce. Those who don’t mind forking over a few extra bills can indulge in Pusateri’s olive oil bar and extensive prepared-food section. Almost enough to make you forget about DineSafe. With two locations, one uptown at Avenue and Lawrence and the other in Yorkville. More »
A veteran among gourmet Toronto cheese shops with more to offer than just cheese. Technically in Etobicoke, the shop boasts ceilings of prosciutto, shelves of jams and olive oils, and, of course, almost every type of cheese imaginable. The Cheese Boutique also has its own espresso bar and pastry counter, which only enhances the cheese-shopping experience. More »
Consider it a peek into local celebrity chef Mark McEwan’s fridge and pantry. An expensive, impressively displayed peek. At the Shops at Don Mills, the generously spaced store has many hard-to-find items including imported gourmet brands and a huge variety of fresh produce, along with plenty of options for those who are looking for prepared foods to grab and go. More »
From one celebrity kitchen to the next. Ruby Eats is the brainchild of local chef Lynn Crawford, who operates Ruby Watch Co. just down the street. Ruby Eats offers a mix of Crawford’s favourite ingredients, her signature preserves, and a small assortment of local produce, and also hosts live demonstration where Crawford herself is often at the stove. More »
It seduces you with lush exterior floral displays in the summertime and keeps you in with the aroma of fresh lasagna. Around for more than a half-century, Summerhill Market is family-run and offers may options, produce or otherwise, from local suppliers. A decent selection of naturally raised and aged meats as well. Now with a second location on Mt. Pleasant Road at Sherwood. More »
Exaggeration, or aptly named gourmet food store? All the Best is another Rosedale shop currently living in a recently restored heritage home on Yonge. Conscientious foodies flock here for all that is good in organic, local, naturally raised, and preservative free, with an entire room devoted to artisan cheeses. More »
Revered for its guacamole, but there is indeed much more to Max’s Market over in Bloor West Village. For the kitchen-averse Max’s offers plenty of complete meals that are ready to heat and serve, as well specialty sauces, cheeses, and ingredients to create your own gourmet masterpiece at home. Max’s also creates tastes from around the world including Hungarian goulash and Indian saag paneer. More »
Scheffler’s Deli is unique in a wild boar pâté, octopus salad sort of way. The St. Lawrence Market shop is perhaps foremost known for its selection of cheeses and deli meats, but it also imports all sorts of pantry items from various suppliers around the world. Prosciutto is arguably among the best you’ll find in Toronto, along with the consistently friendly service. More »