Turn up the heat: Stock up on hot sauce in Toronto

Have you got hot sauce fever? Symptoms include craving cayenne, choosing spicy over sweet, and pouring hot sauce on just about anything (spicy mac ’n’ cheese, anyone?). If variety is the spice of life, turn up the heat with these Toronto hot sauce selections and you’ll be in for a flavourful ride. [Photo courtesy of Café Con Leche]

Café Con Leche

1571 Dupont St, Toronto, ON M6P 3S5

Don’t let the giant barrel of Nutella fool you – Café Con Leche co-owner Carlos Flores grew up eating meals accompanied by salsa picante and spicy pickled condiments. After Carlos and his wife Sandra opened the Dupont café, Carlos created an all-natural line of spicy sauces that have been impressing the spice-savvy of Toronto. No.7 hot sauce products are vegan-friendly and free of nuts, dairy and gluten, with no salt, sugar or preservatives added. There’s something here for everyone, whether your brand of hot involves jalapeno, garlic, habanero, chile pasilla or chipotle.

House Of Spice

190 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2L6

Since 1971, the smell of exotic spices has been enticing customers to meander into House of Spice. This family-owned business is dedicated to bringing the world’s best herbs and spices to Kensington Market, along with a quality selection of hot sauces, tea, coffee and more. The shop stocks more than 25 different types of hot sauce. Mado’s is a huge seller, along with Matuk West Indian hot sauces, and a whole line of Cholula products. You’ll also find habanero-based sauces that range from original to hot to extra hot – perfect for a wide range of heat thresholds.

Pepper Palace

300 Taylor Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0

This list wouldn’t be complete without mention of Pepper Palace Canada. The self-proclaimed #1 spot for hot sauce in Canada, this emporium carries more than 2,000 assortments of hot sauce, barbecue sauce, salsa, jellies, condiments, spices and more. Described as “lightning in a bottle,” Black Rose Hot Sauce provides a provocative blend of red jalapeno, cayenne and habanero while FLASHBANG! unites four of the world’s hottest peppers (habanero, ghost, moruga scorpion and reaper peppers). If a trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake isn’t the most convenient, you may prefer to order online.

The Mercantile

297 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON M6R 2M3

When it comes to The Mercantile, owner Shannon Doyle puts a lot of effort into selecting unique food items that her shoppers are unlikely to find anywhere else in Toronto, from homewares to hot sauce. While the selection varies, Mado’s remains a hot seller (get it?), along with Boyo’s and No. 7 hot sauce. While you never know what you’ll find at The Mercantile, you’re bound to discover something unique and local.

Perola’s Supermarket

247 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2L8

Imagine shelves upon shelves replete with bottles of hot salsas and sauce. For more than 40 years, Perola’s Supermarket has been a veritable emporium of Latin American food products, stocking its shelves with recognizable brands like Herdez, La Costeña, San Marco and many, many more. Located on Augusta Avenue in Toronto’s Kensington Market, Perola’s carries flavours all the way from Mexico, El Salvador and Argentina.

Fiesta Farms Inc

200 Christie St, Toronto, ON M6G 3B6

Organic, local, health, oh my! Toronto’s largest independently owned grocery store is brimming with grocery and specialty food items that cater to a wide variety of diets and dining restrictions. Their philosophy is to support the community with their selection of local, all-natural and organic grocery items, including a collection of hot sauces. Taste the Caribbean with Betty B’s, for instance, created by a family-owned business that has been blessing taste buds with preservative-free hot pepper sauce since 2006. Fiesta Farms also carries Toronto’s own No. 7 hot sauce.

Taste The 4th Sense

A 106 Queen, Niagara On The Lake, ON L0S 1J0

If you’re making a trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake and enjoy spicy food, make sure to step into Taste the 4th Sense on Queen. The shop is small but their hot sauce collection is anything but – you’ll find a large selection of sauces, jellies, chutneys, dips, condiments, oils, vinaigrettes and more. If you’re having a tough time deciding where to start, rest assured that the owner is happy to provide solid recommendations and even a few samples. Don’t be surprised if the customer service is as satisfying as the sauce!

Benten International Trade Co Ltd

497 Church St, Toronto, ON M4Y 2C6

In Pusateri’s, owners Bin Lin and Helen He have created a family-friendly environment rich with fresh food often sourced from local Ontario farms, as well as an assortment of quality products like boutique chocolates, fair-trade coffee and, you guessed it, hot sauces and dips. Favourites include a sizzling Habanero Garlic Salsa from Pain is Good, Nando’s HOT Peri-Peri sauce (consider yourself warned!), Wicked Gourmet’s 5 Pepper Hot Sauce, Cholula Chipotle Hot Sauce and more.

Hot chocolate has long been considered one of the greatest comforts of winter, and Toronto is more than ready to keep us re-discovering this treat thanks to a host of creative flavours. If you’re looking for more ways to enjoy your favourite hot treat, get ready to experience it again and again at any of the locations below.
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