From family grocers to formaggis, bakeries and fine food shops, there are many places to buy authentic Made in Italy products in Canada. Here are a few of our favourites. Mark Cirillo, writer and editor of CucinaTO shares top picks from across Canada.
1. La Baia dei Formaggi (1715 Jean-Talon St. E., Montreal | labaia.ca/en).
Boasting more than 300 cheeses, La Baia dei Formaggi is the place to go for DOP Italian cheeses, including 36-month-old Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Crotonese, Caciocavallo and Fontina Val d’Aosta. You’ll also find many gourmet jarred products and regional cured meats like Soppressata di Calabria DOP, Prosciutto di Parma DOP and Mortadella di Bologna DOP.
2. Solita (1375 Dundas St. W., Toronto | twitter: @solitatoronto).
Owners Maurizio Galli and Vicki Bonomo opened this well-curated shop in late 2014, and they already have a loyal following. Solita carries many hard-to-find Italian-made products, including Napolitano espresso, flash-frozen fresh pasta, organic salumi and estate vinegars and olive oils.
3. Épicerie Européenne (560 Rue Saint-Jean, Quebec | epicerie-europeenne.com).
The Epicerie began as an Italian grocer back in 1959 and to this day you’ll find an impressive selection of cheeses and cured meats and array of artisanal imported products gracing its old-world wooden shelves, including Extra Virgin Olive Oils from Tuscany and Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP.
4. La Bottega Nicastro Fine Food Shop (64 George St., Ottawa | labottega.ca).
Owned by the Nicastro family, La Bottega is a long-time favourite haunt for chefs, gourmands and Ottawa locals seeking the finest-quality foods from Italy. Their website also offers select items for purchase online, and they host wine and cooking classes in-store.
5. La Grotta del Formaggio (1791 Commercial Dr., Vancouver | lgdf.ca).
The Bruzzese family has been serving Vancouverites since the 1970s, stocking fine Italian food products (including hard-to-find brands) from olive oils and pasta to coffee and baked goods.
6. Corso Italia (St. Clair W., Toronto).
Corso Italia is a neighbourhood located in the St. Clair West area of Toronto. Within a few city blocks you’ll find traditional boutiques offering quality Italian imports, such as Centro Trattoria & Formaggi (centrotrattoria.com), which offers many DOP cheeses, oils and vinegars, and Tre Mari Bakery (tremaribakery.ca), where you’ll find sandwiches made with Italian cured meats and cheeses along with the freshly baked breads, cakes and pastries.
7. The Italian Store (5130 Skyline Way NE, Calgary | italianstore.ca).
At The Italian Store you’ll find a wide selection of quality Italian baked goods, coffee, cheeses, cured meats, olive oils, vinegars, rice and pasta – everything Calgarians need to keep a well-stocked Italian pantry.
8. La Dispensa (696 Rue William, Montreal).
Rino Marcone’s beautifully crafted café and grocery is an homage to exquisite Italian food products: sodas, olive oils, preserves, pastas and San Marzano Tomatoes DOP.
9. Bosa Foods (1465 Kootenay Street and 562 Victoria Dr., Vancouver | bosafoods.com).
With two locations and a huge selection of products from all over Italy, including DOP and IGP cheeses and cured meats, you’ll discover something new every time you visit.
10. Grande Cheese Factory Outlet (22 Orfus Road, Toronto).
This old Toronto favourite, specializing in Italian cheeses and cured meats, is still as popular as ever. Here you’ll find house brands from local importers, iconic Italian brands and many newer, premium products: it’s all here, in abundance, and reasonably priced too.