Italian Centre Shop (north side: 10878 95 St., south side: 5028 104A St.)
The Italian Centre Shop stands unrivalled in its selection of European – not just Italian – groceries. One could eat a different variety of cheese or cold cut from the deli for months without running out of options. Montasio, a cow’s milk cheese from the Veneto region, and Manchego, a sheep’s milk cheese from the La Mancha region of Spain, are highly recommended. Browse the eye-popping selection of olive oils and balsamic vinegars to dress a simple salad of arugula and tomatoes, and pick up some pasta and tomato sauce for a simple, authentic Italian supper.
Polish Centre (10133 Princess Elizabeth Ave.)
There are few places where so many varieties of pickles – a quintessential component of Polish cuisine – are found in one location. Polish is the primary language spoken throughout the store, which houses an enviable selection of cheeses, cold cuts, and dry goods from Eastern Europe. One entire wall is devoted to herbal teas. Flavours range from the well known, like chamomile, to the obscure, like hibiscus and rosehip. Pick up some plum jam to enjoy on hearty rye bread, brew a mug of blueberry tea, and indulge in some Wawel or Milka chocolate. Smacznego!
T & T Supermarket (10725 97 St)
Numerous T & T locations exist within the city limits, but the Chinatown location merrily combines a unique neighbourhood with enticing aromas and the musical cadence of different Chinese dialects. Pick up some succulent barbecue pork to serve with exotic greens like kai-lan or choy sum. Peruse the aisles of soya and chili sauces, snag some fragrant green tea and a bag of frozen dumplings while you’re there. Produce here is ridiculously cheap, so stocking up on fruits and veggies is always recommended.