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Best of Toronto

The Best New Specialty Food Stores in Toronto, 2012

Posted by Robyn Urback / January 14, 2013

Specialty Food Stores torontoThe best new specialty food stores in Toronto in 2012 seemed to like one place in particular — Kensington Market. From sustainable fish-mongers to the meat-minded and others in between, the Market seemed especially enticing to new specialty stores opening in 2012. That said, there were plenty of specialty stragglers spreading themselves across the city, too, with a new food co-op opening in the west end and some healthy eats over in the east.

Here is the list of the best new specialty stores in Toronto in 2012.

See also:

The best gourmet food stores in Toronto

Sanagan’s Meat Locker

Sanagan’s Meat Locker

Such meat marvelousness! While carnivores got a scare in early 2012 with the news that European Quality Meats would be closing its Kensington Market location, that worry was soon replaced with anticipation as Sanagan’s announced it would be taking over the space. With 12 times the square footage and a fancy new deli and take-out counter, Sanagan’s unveiled itself in August to the hungry delight of meat-eaters everywhere. More »

West End Food Co-op

West End Food Co-op

Toronto’s first new food co-op in, oh, 25-odd years, the West End Food Co-op offered an enticing new spot to pick up milk and greens on your way home from work. Grown from the weekly Sorauren Farmers’ Market, the West End Food Co-op was an idea conceived over the past six years, finally finding footing at the base of the Parkdale Community Health Centre in October. Open six days a week, the co-op now offers a collection of farmers’ market favourites and several new products and workshops. More »

Thomas Lavers Cannery & Deli

Thomas Lavers Cannery & Deli

Who would’ve thought rhubarb raisin relish could garner such esteem? Thomas Lavers Cannery & Deli got it right, apparently, with its version, along with its complete collection of canned goods and house-made preserves and root beer. Sneaking in before the end of the year, this new Kensington Market shop graces shoppers with its take on sauerkraut, sour pickles, and daily-made pastas, along with hot deli sandwiches such as smoked ham and corned beef. More »

Creme Fraiche Market Cafe

Creme Fraiche Market Cafe

Much like the West End Food Co-op, the Creme Fraiche Market Cafe is practically a farmers’ market brought indoors. Originally conceived by a couple of cheese-enthusiasts looking to give some Monforte Dairy selections a permanent home, this market café found room for locally baked breads and pastries, farm-fresh produce, and espresso and lemonade. The shop also hosts a “Meet Your Farmer” pop-up many Sunday afternoons. More »

Fish Street Market and Open Kitchen

Fish Street Market and Open Kitchen

A midtown fish market and place to pick up (prepared) dinner. Opened just before the end of the year, chef and owner Anthony D’Ambrosio created Fish Street with ethical practices in mind, placing priority on sourcing line-caught fish and offering a house-made marinade suggestion with most seafood selections. The shop has a changing lineup of hot menu options that are each made to order, as well as the option to have your fish plucked from the counter and made entirely to your specifications. More »

Hooked (Kensington Market)

Hooked (Kensington Market)

After opening its inaugural shop in Leslieville in 2011, Hooked decided to look west in 2012, eventually taking over the former Sanagan’s space in Kensington Market. A smaller version of the original location, this Hooked is stocked with all sorts of sustainable seafood, including responsibly grown oysters, mussels, and clams, fresh scallops, local trout and much more. The shop also offers prepared seafood dishes for when you don’t feel like cooking. More »

Healthy Planet Danforth

Healthy Planet Danforth

Carrot Common got a little “healthy” competition when Healthy Planet opened just a few blocks over during the summer of 2012. But more than just a health food grocery store, Healthy Planet arrived with a full-fledged espresso and juice bar, along with a vegetarian take-out counter and hot table backed by an impressive lineup of veggie chefs. Healthy Planet has since offered daily soups, salads, stews, snacks, and more. More »

Discussion

23 Comments

hmmm / January 14, 2013 at 11:01 am
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Without fail, whenever I walk past Hooked it's empty but the 3 or 4 other fishmongers a stone's throw away always have customers...
Gabe replying to a comment from hmmm / January 14, 2013 at 11:31 am
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Without fail, you wander around too much. It says "Best New 2012" not most popular, not best of all time.
Jonty / January 14, 2013 at 11:33 am
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Where can I get that yummy looking root beer in the top photo?
Alex replying to a comment from Jonty / January 14, 2013 at 11:58 am
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It's from Thomas Lavers Cannery and Deli.
Michael replying to a comment from Jonty / January 14, 2013 at 11:58 am
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Thomas Lavers.
Jonty / January 14, 2013 at 08:03 pm
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Thanks for the root beer info!
Gabriel replying to a comment from Jonty / January 14, 2013 at 10:13 pm
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Thomas Lavers is the spot!
Browneyedgypsy / January 14, 2013 at 11:25 pm
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What a lame list-I don't even live in Toronto and I could do better than this...I'm a bonafide foodie who has visited 6 of the 9 listed - mediocre and or/too dear for their own good...change your rule about writers having to reside in Hogtown and I promise I wouldn't disappoint.
Toni replying to a comment from Browneyedgypsy / January 14, 2013 at 11:46 pm
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No more Gypies THANKS!
Mike / January 15, 2013 at 02:23 am
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"Bonafide foodie" hahahahahahahahahahahahaha please stay in Oshawa
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