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Best of Toronto

The Best Turkey in Toronto

Posted by Liora Ipsum / October 9, 2015

turkey torontoThe best turkey in Toronto doesn't come from a supermarket that sells frozen, mass market birds. For Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other occasion, your best bet is to go local and buy a turkey from a butcher close to home. These birds are typically sourced from Ontario farms and demonstrate that free-range, grain-fed and drug-free is the ideal way to go for the centrepiece of your holiday spread.

Here are the best places to buy a turkey in Toronto.

Photo by Scott Snider in the blogTO Flickr pool

Cumbrae's

Cumbrae's

Turkeys from Cumbrae farms are a breed called Big White Turkeys, and you can generally get them close to the holidays, though ordering ahead is highly recommended. Regular turkeys sell for $4.99 per pound, while the butcher also offers a pre-brined turkey for $5.59 per pound. More »

The Friendly Butcher

The Friendly Butcher

This meat monger near Yonge and Lawrence deals in free-range turkeys that are antibiotic- and hormone-free. Like all their products, this poultry is grown and raised within 100 miles of Toronto, specifically from a farm in St. Anns, Ontario. Order the birds for $3.99 per pound. More »

Sanagan's

Sanagan's

The meat locker in Kensington Market stocks turkeys from Shady Grove Turkey Farms, and heritage breeds from the Weber Family in Paisley, Ontario. Advanced orders are highly recommended. Turkeys sell for $4.49 per pound More »

The Healthy Butcher

The Healthy Butcher

Locations near Eglinton and Avenue Road and Queen West are a superb source for naturally raised, antibiotic- and hormone-free birds. Grain-fed birds sell for $4.59/pound, pasture-raised birds cost $5.59/per pound and certified organic goes for $6.29/pound. They'll even spatchcock your turkey by request. More »

St. Lawrence Uppercut Meats

St. Lawrence Uppercut Meats

This St. Lawrence Market stalwart sells up to 1,000 turkeys in the weeks leading up to major holiday occasions. Expect to find free range, grain fed, federally inspected grade “A” birds available for pre-order or until they sell out. More »

Rowe Farms

Rowe Farms

Turkeys have free-run in the large barns on the farm in Listowel, Ontario, and are raised without antibiotics on a diet of vegetable grain resulting in delicious, top quality birds. Expect prices to hover around $4.49 per pound at multiple stores in the GTA. More »

Vince Gasparro's

Vince Gasparro's

Bloorcourt locals flock to this family owned and operated butcher shop for its birds. Mennonite-raised, free range turkeys sell for $3.69 per pound, and are best ordered a week or two in advance, as last minute shoppers will discover only limited stock in store. More »

Fresh from the Farm

Fresh from the Farm

Located at the top end of Donlands just south of O’Connor, this butcher shop prides itself on carrying only hormone- and drug-free meats from small Mennonite farms in Elmira, Ontario. Turkeys sell for $3.95 per pound, and while it's safest to order in advance, some walk-ins can be accommodated. More »

The Butcher's Son

The Butcher's Son

This Yonge & Eglinton butcher makes the holidays a breeze, by offering raw turkeys for $4.99 per pound, oven-ready raw and stuffed birds for $5.99 per pound, and read-to-serve cooked and stuffed birds for $6.99 per pound. Poultry comes from Round The Bend Turkey Farm in Kettleby, Ontario and is free range, veg and grain-fed, and free of hormones and antibiotics. More »

Royal Beef

Royal Beef

This old fashioned butcher on The Danforth sells fresh-killed, Mennonite-raised turkeys brought in from small farms in Sharon, Ontario and the surrounding area. These birds are hormone- and antibiotic-free, and sell for $3.99 per pound. Like many on this list, the smaller sizes sell out first, so last minute walk-ins should expect to find giant birds. More »

Summerhill Market

Summerhill Market

Two locations of this midtown grocery store offer the option to special order organic birds by phone or pick-up in store, free range turkeys ifrom Bill’s Turkey Farm in Queensville, Ontario. Skip the cooking altogether with prepared food packages that include a roasted bird with all the trimmings. More »

Roast

Roast

This boutique butcher on St. Clair West recommends that if you order in advance, though last minute requests can occasionally be accommodated. Brought in from Elm Creek Farms in Grand Valley, Ontario, these free range turkeys are hormone- and antibiotic-free and sell for $5.29 per pound. More »

Discussion

13 Comments

Georgenson / October 9, 2015 at 02:52 pm
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Is there anywhere that will be selling smoked turkeys?
Al replying to a comment from Georgenson / October 9, 2015 at 03:00 pm
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Astra's on Bloor does it, but you have to order ahead.
UtilityTurkeyBaby / October 9, 2015 at 03:16 pm
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Yeah....sorry but the 99 cent a pound utility Turkeys at No Frills are good enough for me. I can buy a GIANT turkey for the price of a 2 or 3 pound "Fair Trade" "Organic" "Free Range" bird at 4.99 a pound.

Seriously, meat is meat, and utility turkey meat is just as good as most other meat. Either way, you are just gonna crap it out after you eat it, so why spend so much more to get so much less?
Wes / October 9, 2015 at 03:20 pm
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Fortinos has smoked Turkeys saw them there yesterday at Lawrence Square.
Me / October 9, 2015 at 04:31 pm
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Personally I like buying organic for two reasons, doesn't matter if it's turkey, chicken sausages.... I don't get gassy! I think it's all due to how the animal is fed. I usually buy Rowfarm eggs and meat. Even if I make a homemade chicken soup I'll use a whole organic chicken for the broth which is double the price than a regular chicken.
k / October 9, 2015 at 05:07 pm
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Astra's, sadly, is gone.
Toronto replying to a comment from k / October 9, 2015 at 05:32 pm
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Astra was the best.
Michael Greason / October 9, 2015 at 10:21 pm
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I am always suspicious of "Best of" lists - ever since the worst car wash I ever went to was called the "Best in Toronto" by Toronto Life. However, how can a Best Turkey list not include Fiesta Farms. They have a sign up list and you can choose from several local suppliers including Rowe Farms.

These "Best of" lists should be retitled "Some Places the author likes".

PS: The car wash scratched the paint off my bumper and sold gas at twice the going rate to generate small discounts per litre sold on the cost of the car wash.
Sean / October 9, 2015 at 11:51 pm
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Fiesta Farms is tops.
Jeff / October 10, 2015 at 02:36 pm
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Who cares what it's called give me some of that God damn bird and gravey on my plate.
Gregor / October 10, 2015 at 07:45 pm
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Tomorrow's the big day, roasting and carving that beautiful bird!!
Kathleen / October 11, 2015 at 06:27 pm
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You missed St. James Chops on Parliament. Mark gives free paper bags with the turkeys for those who use the paper bag Turkey technique.
Colin / December 16, 2015 at 07:48 pm
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I buy from healthy butcher every year, except last year when I decided to try Cumbrea's. Showed up two days before Christmas, and they'd lost the turkey I reserved (!). They searched everywhere but couldn't find it. They ended up giving me the last bird they had in-house, but when j got home I noticed the wings were missing. Was delicious though. Back to Healthy Butcher this year.
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