Straddling the west end of the city is a grocery store with impressive popularity. Visit Starsky at virtually any time of day and you'll find yourself amongst quite a crowd of East-European GTA'ers.
It couldn't hurt to brush up on your "dzien dobry" (hello) but by no means should you feel intimidated walking in ignorant of Polish cuisine. In fact the store is proving so popular beyond its stereotypical target that a second store is opening in mid-September further West in Mississauga.
It's been open at its Dundas & 427 location for about 3 years now and is causing quite a stir in the business. Although it's clearly marketed towards a local Polish contingent to some degree, it offers a rich shopping experience that is hard to match anywhere else. I've taken friends and family there, and everyone agrees it's a "well run" store and, unique to a grocery store, "fun" to visit.
The fun part might have something to do with the highlight of the store- hands down the deli. Take a number and expect to wait about 10 minutes for your turn. Just enough time to peruse the an amazing selection of samples. We're talking over 10 kinds of sausage laid out in a serve-yourself fashion. And particularly pleasing is that they are willing to vacuum seal anything you pick out which is especially great for bringing sausage on camping trips.
The selection of cheeses is stellar, with ones I've never heard of to all the common favorites. Of course the best part is they always have one or two cheeses on special and out to sample.
Meat department is nothing crazy but seems like above average quality to me and there is always something on special. I have to mention that I brought some of their beef kabobs camping and they were really good. Regular prices for lean ground beef is $2.99/lb and gound pork $2.49/lb.
Produce section is of excellent quality and prices. Although a bit smaller than some of their competition, what they do have is great and I would compare quality with that of a Longos or other somewhat premium grocery store. Again, there are always specials to draw people in.
Quite a few grocery items you won't find in a regular grocery store.
The store generally has everything your average grocery store would have including a good selection of oils.
And a nice desserts section too.
Other items I was happy to find that I have trouble finding elsewhere included:
- beet kvass
- bulk dill pickles
- Tymek's (a popular local Polish brand) pickles and other jarred products
If you're interest you can check out my more in depth look at some of the healthy hidden gems you can find at a polish grocery store such as Starsky.