It’s my favourite time of the year —- Summer! Once again, I am fortunate enough to be spending the summer in Algonquin Park, this time working as a counsellor.
As I disconnect and go offline until late August at the earliest, I wanted to leave you with a list of my top 10 stores around Toronto to get real food. Although organic food can be found at many stores, it is always great to support your local independent retailers first!
In no particular order:
- The Big Carrot – Located on the Danforth, the Big Carrot has a commitment to healthy foods like no other in Toronto, and sells all organic produce and packaged foods. They also have a buffet, make your own burrito and sandwich bar, an organic juice bar, a dispensary, and a body care boutique. This summer, grab lunch from here and eat it upstairs on their rooftop deck where they have a huge edible garden. (Check out my review of the Carrot Kitchen here)
- Fiesta Farms – Although Fiesta carries organic and conventional foods, they carry SO many of the best brands and products, support local makers, and are often the first store to have new products from the CHFA show – so it’s worth walking up and down packed aisle!
- Karma Co-Op – If you aren’t a member at this tiny store, you can ask for a guest pass. Conveniently located in the heart of the city, it’s a really easy place to shop if you are wanting to avoid packaging, as they have a great bulk section full of organics.
- West End Food Co-op – Located in Parkdale, this small store does not require membership, but does have many special offers if you become a member, which only costs 5 dollars for your lifetime, a pretty great deal!
- The Sweet Potato – The Sweet Potato is a great store right on the main strip of the Junction to grab organic food – they have a huge selection of drinks and grab and go meals as well.
- Raise the Root – This small store in Leslieville has a lot of heart and supports local and organic brands first, which is great for everyone! (review here)
- Organic Garage – Although Organic Garage’s original locations are in Oakville and Vaughan, they have always been worth the visit for great prices and selection of product. The greatest news is that a huge location is opening the first week of July in the Junction, and it looks beautiful from the outside!
- Qi Natural Food – Qi has a few locations – my family frequents their location multiple times a week on Eglinton. Although it is very small and crowded, they fit a lot in and have the greatest team of people working there. I did the majority of my camp shopping for my personal care and homeopathics here.
- The Healthy Butcher – The best place, and actually maybe the only place, to get organic meat and fish. They also have lots of organic produce and more when in need of a quick shopping run! They also deliver through www.realfoodtoronto.com if you are interested!
- Warehouse Organics – Only recently opened, Warehouse Organics in the Beaches has many vegan products that are only available in the US right now, and aims to be an importer of these products – we need to support stores like this to get the US-exclusive foods here!
Of course, in Toronto, we have a huge variety of farmers’ markets, which should be your first shopping destination during the summer. You will find foods you have never tried before, meet new people, and experience the very best! I made this video years ago – I cannot believe how young I was, but the sentiment is still the same!
Happy Summer! Happy Shopping!