The Must-Eats of Toronto’s Historic St. Lawrence Market

More eating, less thinking—take the guesswork out of navigating one of the top food markets in the world.

by Danielle Finestone

One of the oldest markets in Canada, this Toronto treasure is a must-visit with roots that date back to 1803. You have arrived at St. Lawrence Market! Walking through the doors, you are transported by the sounds, sights and smells of 120ish vendors who have made St. Lawrence Market their beloved home. Many of whom have been in the same spot for decades! 

cheese shop at Toronto's St. Lawrence Market

From the artisanal and unique, the prices are more than fair for the immense quality that has garnered the market its fame. Locals may come here to fully stock up, and any person could derive a lot of enjoyment from simply walking the aisles and taking in the scenery. 

The options for good eats are vast and come in many forms to suit adventurous taste buds and Torontonians’ passion to support local. Come on in and maybe you’ll pick up a freshly-made hot breakfast, lunch, or dinner to enjoy on their wraparound patio. Or check out the array of shops and stalls filled with raw and prepared ingredients to use in a home-cooked meal that tastes as good as shopping here feels. 

When is it open? Check the St. Lawrence Market FAQs for the most up-to-date Market hours.

The infamous Peameal Bacon sandwich | Photo: @tofoodies

Carousel Bakery 

Carousel Bakery is the reason some people come to St. Lawrence Market alone! 30+ years old, yet timeless. Take in the smells of classic breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and stacks of fresh bread. 

What to order: The Peameal Bacon Sandwich is a local invention and you can proudly tick it off your bucket list here. Don’t skip on the inventive house mustard options!

Find fresh pasta made to order at St. Lawrence Pizza & Pasta

St. Lawrence Pizza & Pasta

Open since 1996, come to St. Lawrence Pizza & Pasta to find fresh pasta and pizza with beautiful sauces made with fresh ingredients and lots of love behind everything.

What to order: The noodle shape of your choice and may we suggest the tricolour sauce which has tomato, cream sauce, pesto and a bit of spice if you ask for it. Or go for a full pizza. Either way, it’s an excellent date night kit.

Scheffler’s 

Scheffler’s is a tapas lover’s dream! This place is truly an emporium for the ultimate charcuterie board with something for everyone—even a selection of vegan cheeses.

What to order: Cheese, cured meats, pickles, preserves, spreads, and more. Peruse the olive bar. 

St. Urbain Bagels

Come to St. Urbain Bagels for wood-fired Montreal-style bagels fit for any ex-Montrealer and every Torontonian. A great breakfast or lunch option, or order a dozen for the road. 

What to order: Build your own bagel—smoked salmon and cream cheese are a classic combination to start with. Or let their preselected bagel sandwich menu guide you. Also, grab a flaky pastry boureka. You won’t be disappointed. 

Yianni’s Kitchen 

Yianni’s Kitchen is a family-run spot with succulent, homemade Greek food and heaping breakfasts.

What to order: Any plate is guaranteed to fill you up with their well-prepared mains and all the craveable sides (potatoes, rice, Greek Salad, for example). In a rush? Get it in a pita, and it’s all done to perfection.

Kozlick’s Mustard

Serving up mustard since 1948, Kozlick’s little stall opens you up to a world of mustard! Simply put, there are more flavours than you could ever imagine. 

What to order: Mustard—try a new type! The Triple Crunch is perfect for those prime popping mustard bubbles, and the list of options goes on with flavours like maple, curry, honey, lime and more. Back in the days of sampling, this spot would always have pretzel sticks to try alongside the lineup of mustard – so give that combo a try at home.

Buster’s Sea Cove 

Buster’s Sea Cove serves your fish fix, done pretty much any way that you like it! Buster’s is the sister company of St. Lawrence Fish Market, a larger fish market shop on the same floor—so you know the sea love is real. 

What to order: Fish and Chips, and take advantage that this is one of the few places in  Toronto to get a Lobster roll all year round. 

Fresh produce at Family Food Market in Toronto's St. Lawrence Market
Find Chef-ready fresh produce at Family Food Market

Family Food Market

Everything at the Family Food Market is fresh! A highly reliable spot (under the same ownership since 1999) with an awesome selection of chef-ready fresh produce at great prices.

What to order: Fruits, veggies, bushels of fresh herbs, chilis, pre-peeled garlic, the list goes on… You want it? They probably have it.

Rube’s Rice  

Fulfill all your rice needs! Rube’s Rice stall (the first stall to open in the lower Market level) holds some of the largest selections of gourmet rice, in bulk. 

What to order: Rice and assorted grains. The selection is one of the largest in the country with options from Canada and around the world, like Thai Black Rice, Arborio for your next risotto, Sushi Rice, Basmati Rice. Try a bit of it all and stock up that pantry.

Sausage King by Bespoke Butchers 

Local, ethical and sustainable—the meat is sourced by the good folks at Bespoke Butchers, so you know the final product is going to be something special.  

What to order: Sausage, of course! There are classics like sweet and hot Italian, but then spot the delectable seasonal goodies like Turkey Apple Sage. Meanwhile, check out excellently curated products in the fridge and sauces pantry.

Alex Farm Products 

Alex Farm promises “adventures in cheese” and they deliver! Boundless selections from around the world and friendly service make for a wonderful experience that’s as guided or self-guided as you would like. 

What to order: Pick out your favourite cheese(s) and then ask for a recommendation! Don’t miss the refrigerated section by the inner wall.

Domino Foods  

30 years in the same location and Domino Foods has EVERYTHING! Seriously, keep turning corners and you will keep finding new rooms filled with dry ingredients and bulk goods. 

What to order: Stock up on interesting flours, dried goods, chocolates, chilis, candies, pasta shapes and more. Let your grocery list guide you in, and then pick up something you have not seen before. A recent find here was dried wild blueberries!

Seafront Fish Market  

Seafront Fish Market has a massive selection of both fresh fish and prepared foods that are easy to freeze and store away.

What to order: Ask your fishmonger about the daily catch. They’re also known for family recipe items like crabcakes, bacon-wrapped scallops, stuffed fish and more. 

About the Author

Danielle Finestone is part photographer, part host, part recipe developer and an all-around ‘food personality.’ She has competed on the Food Network Canada’s Wall Of Chefs, appeared in Teen VogueThe KitNOW Magazine, BlogTO, as well as on Global’s The Morning Show.

See it. Snap it. Share it. In every neighbourhood, around every corner, through every door there's something that begs to be discovered in Toronto.

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