Businesses in Toronto are finding ways to stay afloat by temporarily converting what and how they are reaching for the coveted consumer dollars since we’ve been on lockdown. What’s been one of the hardest hit is the restaurant and food industry. With inventory on hand, several have decided to open up their “pantries” to sell to the public. It’s a great alternative if you’re looking to stock up on some essentials like flour, eggs, butter, and produce. By purchasing through these restaurants, you’re also supporting the food supply chain including many local purveyors and producers. Besides, what you’re ordering is restaurant quality. So, with that in mind, here are a few that we’ve come across in recent weeks. Be sure to check out any wine and craft beer offerings as you may discover some gems you cannot get anywhere else including the LCBO.
O&B Grocery: The massive O&B restaurant group offers curb side pick up as well as weekly delivery in Toronto. Ordering is all done online and includes fresh meat & produce, house-made pastas, eggs, flour, blocks of cheese, fresh bread (their burger buns are delicious). They also offer meal kits as well as prepared entrees including Bannock’s Tourtiere, Parcheggio Lasagna, and pizzas from Pizza Libretto.
Marben: Just recently reopened for take out with “Marben at Home” their first take-away program designed to get home-cooked meals from the farm to your kitchen table. Four grocery boxes (available Tuesday-Sunday) can be preordered on their website and picked up at their Wellington Street West location. The boxes include a Pantry Staples Box, Meat and Staples Box, Weekender Box as well as a Build-Your-Own Box. Items available at the Marben pantry include everything from meat, eggs, and dairy to their famous sourdough bread, broths and preserves. While you’re there check out their family meal options.
Batch House: The downtown brew house offers a great selection of coveted pantry essentials including dried beans, Red Tail Whole Wheat Bread Flour, Rosewood Farms Natural Honey, Sunflower Cold Pressed Oil, Ontario Quinoa, and more. While you’re there, you’ll want to order up a Charcuterie pack for two and stock up on your Batch House beers. Place your order online for pick-up Monday to Sunday from 12-4 pm.
Dish Cooking School: This local cooking studio offers retail groceries and prepared foods up front of the house with always great finds. Visit their online retail shop to browse their favourite pantry staples including local favourites from Metzger’s Bacon, Frozen Pierogis, Kozlik’s Mustard and Maldon Salt. Order for curbside pick up Thursdays and Fridays. Inspired to make your own pasta from scratch? You can even order their favourite tools including the Marcato Atlas 150 Pasta Machine.
Pai Northern Thai: The well-loved Thai restaurant in the entertainment district has us drooling just thinking about her Khao Soi ! Pai Market offers up some of Chef Nuit’s favourite products, often not available in everyday grocery stores. Many of these items are personally selected by Chef and used lovingly including riceberry, Nang Fah Fermented Fish Sauce, dried chilies, coconut sugar, and also spotted is Death in Venice Gelato’s Coconut Pandan and Thai Milk Tea flavours. It may be a good time to stock up since her cookbook will be released this fall! Order them through their delivery and pick up apps under “Pai Market” section on the menu. Check their site for business hours.
Bangkok Garden: If you are craving Thai and want to try to cook it yourself, this iconic downtown restaurant, and the first authentic Thai in Toronto, has created grocery kits from their own pantry that include all the kitchen essentials plus some house-made goodies you can’t get anywhere else like Chef William’s very own Thai curry paste and Elmline Teas.
Greenhouse Juice: This “Plant-based” Pantry is now open so you can make all your beautiful organic healthy smoothies, bowls and nourishing dishes right at home. Hoard worthy Roasted Nut Almond Butter, Aobkichi Okazu Chili Miso Sauce, Parallel Brothers Preserved Lemons, Guud Hummus, and all sorts of other delights available including fresh organic produce boxes, frozen produce boxes, and oooh, a Blondies Plant-Based Pizza Kit. Place an order online and there’s free delivery in the designated zone with orders over $65 (yeah, not hard to do).