The Best New Specialty Food Stores in Toronto, 2012
The 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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Chef Pawel Grezlikoswki’s duck rilette and country cured bacon is no longer bound by the confines of the weekly farmers’ market. Unleashed with the opening of Hogtown Charcuterie near the end of 2012, these indulgences and more became available to anyone who would saunter over to Kensington Market with the intention of perusing its pork products and preserves. Or, in the case of Hogtown’s bacon jam, both in one. More »
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 »
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 »
From twin sisters behind McCarthy’s Irish Pub came this bakeshop and deli dedicated to the classic tastes of Ireland. Located in Little India (multiculturalism, right?), this shop does basically all of its cooking and baking onsite, creating a delicious roster of soda breads, sausage rolls, potpies, and breakfast rolls. And for the Irish expat, nostalgia in the form of Barry’s Tea, Jaffa Cakes, and Wispa. More »