Roncesvalles has long been a destination for Toronto’s foodies and at-home chefs. Known for its traditional Polish delis and indie produce markets, Roncey is also home to a slew of gourmet grocers, home-style bakeries and ethical meat shops. Spend an afternoon perusing this casual west end stretch and pick up the ingredients for your next kitchen creation. [Image credit: iStock.com/martin-dm]
Stasis Preserves Deli & Pantry is the flagship location for the popular Stasis line of preserves. Stasis is committed to partnering with local Ontario farms and preserving fruit at the height of ripeness for mouth-watering flavour. Their Roncesvalles shop highlights the Stasis line while giving locals a place to stock their pantries with artisan cheeses, salumi and Prairie Boy bread. Stasis preserves are a wholesome complement to any meal; pick up a jar of their pear and roasted garlic preserve or red pepper jelly for your next wine and cheese night.
If you’ve visited one of Rowe Farm’s locations across Toronto, you already know it’s a hit. Their Roncesvalles outpost is no exception, focusing on sustainably raised, locally grown, environmentally conscious meat. Behind the counter you’ll find fresh beef, pork, lamb, chicken and turkey as well as deli meats, sausage, eggs and cured products. Try the wood-smoked bacon and ham for a Sunday brunch treat, or pick up chicken wings and burgers for a backyard party. Swing by after work and swap recipes with staff or pick up a neighbourhood dinner favourite: the Rowe Farms whole roast chicken.
For fresh artisan cheeses look no further than Thin Blue Line Cheese. Thin Blue Line puts an emphasis on Canadian cheese in its intimate shop. In the counter fridge you’ll find Quebec’s Sauvagine, a soft butter cheese with a hint of earthy mushrooms, and Ontario’s Fifth Town, known for their truffle honey goat chevre. Favourites from the rest of the cheese world are also represented, including Stilton, Beemster and Applewood cheddar. This small and homey shop is owner operated and well stocked with a selection of oil and other sundries.
Chocolateria specializes in small-batch, house-made truffles, barques and brittles. This is a great place to stop off for a last-minute dessert or to re-stock your home supply of all things chocolate. For a sweet treat on the go, try the hand-rolled truffles, an addictive but beloved Roncesvalles favorite.
Mabel’s is a gourmet bakery and takeaway spot dedicated to house-baked bread and homestyle dinner solutions for busy west enders. Mabel’s has cozy counter service and a few tables in the back to enjoy a tart, cupcake or quiche with a coffee. Shoppers will find artisanal breads, cheeses and charcuterie items, with prepared meals like tortiere, quiche and chicken potpie available for takeaway. Breeze in and out of Mabel’s on your next neighbourhood jaunt and find yourself in the capable hands of their warm, helpful staff.
The Mercantile is where you’ll find that extra special garnish or gourmet oil to kick your cooking up a notch. This specialty food shop stocks an eclectic mix of spreads, jams, chocolates and spices. If you’re looking for creative inspiration or to experiment in the kitchen, the Mercantile has you covered.
If you’re grocery list is lookin’ a little lengthy and you’re in need of a full-on grocer without the big-box feel, head to Sobey’s Urban Market. A mini-version of the usual sprawling Sobey’s grocery store, this Roncesvalles outpost is stocked with everything you need for your fridge – from organic veggies to whole chickens to your fave breakfast cereal. With a large selection and a compact size, you’ll be in and out in a flash.