My family and I are creatures of habit, and once we've found a good spot, there's no turning back. We've been going to the same cheese shops, butchers, and bakeshops for as long as I can remember! My family shops anywhere from Scarborough, to Mississauga, Vaughan, and the West End, so I can guarantee one of these places is almost right next door to you! Here are my family's most loved food shops in the GTA :
Aurora Meats (Dixie and Burnhamthorpe). This place has been catering my family holiday dinners for as long as I can remember. We don't order our lamb or prime rib anywhere else.
Buon Appetite (Victoria Park and Sheppard). This pastry and deli shop is truly a hidden gem. You can buy anything from imported pasta, to cakes, and my favourite, Italian Sausages. I'm very picky about these things, and you'll never catch me eating the boxed stuff. You haven't tried Italian sausages until you try Buon Appetite's.
Seacore Seafood (Weston Road and 407). My family often purchases Good Friday and Christmas Eve seafood from this place. It's a wholesale seafood store, and they sell just about anything on top of that. You can find pasta machines, imported tomato sauces, pasta, and other goods here as well.
Diana's Seafood Delight (Lawrence Ave E and Warden Ave). This is a new addition to our grocer list. If my mom is looking to make a seafood risotto or a fillet of salmon, this is where she stops by.
Grande Cheese (Dufferin and Orfus Rd). This cheese shop has been an OG for a very long time. When my sister and I were kids, the Nonna's behind the counter would always give us bocconcini to taste. It's always been considered a lunch stop, where you can pick up fresh, handmade cheeses, deli meats, bread, and imported goods from Italy. Some of the Vaughan locations even have hot tables.
International Cheese (St. Clair West and Keele). This cheese manufacturer is a must try in the West End. My dad came home with a tub of fresh ricotta one day, and I'm telling you, it was so smooth, buttery, and melted in your mouth. Amazing.
Palma Pasta (Hurontario St and Queensway E). Hands down, the best caterer I've tried, and you can guess their specialty, Pasta! This place has been around since the 80's, and they've been killing the game ever since. They have a variety of fresh pastas already made, from tagliatelle, to amazing stuffed pastas, including lobster agnolotti (we tried these for Christmas one year... so good). But the pasta I absolutely swear by is their LASAGNA. I guarantee it'll be your most loved menu item the next time you entertain.
Francesca Bakery (McCowan and 401). This bakery is always packed, and that's how you know it's good. They're known for their fresh cannoli, and I strongly recommend placing an order because they go out fast. Another thing my family loves from Francesca is their Sfoglia cake. Its a flaky pastry cake that you can customize with different fillings, but my mom's favourite, chocolate hazelnut.
Irene's Celebrity Cakes (Dixie Rd and Eglinton Ave E). This bakery is another OG from my childhood. Any time someone requested a Sfoglia cake for their birthday, this was the go-to. Another great choice for a classic cake.
Be sure to give these places a try if they're close to you, otherwise, I can guarantee it's worth a trip! See you there!
Fa la brava,