Another amazing foodie stop in Toronto is the St. Lawrence Market. Located at Jarvis and Front Street to the east of Younge, this large old brick building used to be part of Toronto’s City Hall (and jail – for those, I presume, who were prone to dine & dash!). It’s about twice the size of Vancouver’s Granville Island public market, and a stop we always try to visit when we’re in Toronto!
On the main floor, the centre aisle is predominantly where butchers and fish mongers are located. As we don’t have anywhere to cook up these goods, we’ve not bought anything from these vendors in the past, but generally their prices and variety are very good.
Despite the lack of a kitchen, we still found some good things:
Anton Kozlik’s Mustard
Boasting over 30 kinds of mustard, home-milled in Canada, Kozlik’s is a great place to pick up a variety pack of interesting flavours.
I fell in love with the Balsamic Fig & Dates mustard – it was hot and sweet with just a bit of chewy dried fruit bits in it. I made, what I think was a rather delicious salad dressing with olive oil, the purple basil vinegar I got from a local grower in Vancouver, salt, pepper and sugar. Can’t wait to try others on sausage or in other recipes!
In the far corner, you’ll see a big stone oven and a guy with a oar-like paddle flipping perfectly baked bagels into wooden bins.
As close as you can get to a Montreal bagel in Toronto, you can get excellent traditional style or more unique flavours of bagels, along with other goodies, including Potato Knishes!
Light as air, this carb-on-carb delight was still warm from the oven. A super fluffy mashed potato filling was wrapped in a thin and soft dough. It may not sound amazing, but it was.
Sadly, Mustachio’s on the lower level was closed for renovations over the holidays, so we didn’t get to enjoy the amazing veal parmesian sandwiches. Chris was particularly bummed by this news. For a good review of what Mustachio’s has to offer, check out Chef Alex Tung’s blog.
Also on the lower level are many dried goods shops – bulk beans, pasta, spices, bottled goods etc. can be found from all over the world. In front of one of these spots, I saw an adorable display of macarons:
Lemon Tree Patisserie
Lemon Tree Website
I loved the vibrant purple of the Blackberry Cassis macaroon – it was perfectly executed with a crisp thin top, soft inside, and a dab of rich blackberry jam inside. It had a fantastic perfumed too.
However good the blackberry macaroon was, it was incomparable to the amazing Salted Caramel macaroon. Another texturally perfect macaroon, this one had soft carmel oozing from the inside that was salted just enough to make it noticeable. The light brushing of blue on on the outside was a very elegant touch. I just about died this was so good. It took every ounce of willpower I had not to go back downstairs to buy up the lot!
Definitely plan to stop at St. Lawrence Market if you’re spending any time in Toronto. Grab snacks along the way, or plan to pick up goodies for your dinner later!