On this first official day of summer, I am leaving the city and off to camp to be a counsellor. I will be disconnected while in Algonquin Park, and realize how fortunate I am to be outdoors with people – and off electronics!
If you are in Toronto this summer, make sure you take advantage of the best local, organic food by shopping the Farmers’ Markets, and if you are going to stores, support your local independent retailers first, especially those who buy from our local, organic farmers!
In no particular order, my suggestions!
- 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 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). The Big Carrot has also now opened their second location, and I got a sneak peek – check out my review 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.
- The Sweet Potato – The Sweet Potato is a great store just off 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!
- Nature’s Emporium – It’s worth the drive to Newmarket to their flagship location! This “super” market is the largest with the best selections of….everything! Make sure you eat a meal from here too – they have an organic drink bar, pizza oven and tons of hot and cold dishes!
As I mentioned, I think your first shopping destination during the summer should be our farmers’ markets. 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 Eating the really good stuff!