More than ever people are starting to pay attention to their health and as a result health food stores are popping up all over the place. It can be overwhelming when you’re not sure where to go first to get real food and supplements or which place has the best deal.
I’ve put together some of the places I like best in and around Toronto and online, but feel free to add more in the comments if I’ve missed some!
Toronto and Area
I tend to do most of my shopping at Loblaws because it seems to be really jumping on the health food bandwagon (yay!) and every time I go the store is configured in a way that focuses more on the health food department.
Loblaws has great organic produce (although it doesn’t have a ton of local and organic food. Come on Loblaws!), a great frozen section and a pretty decent area for pantry items. I do find the supplements are on the more expensive side so I would check somewhere else first for the best price.
The great thing about Loblaws is that it has Click and Collect so you can order your food online and pick it up so you don’t have to go into the store. It’s a great option if you have small kids who are napping or crying and you would rather not bring them into the store with you at all costs… (not speaking from any experience here at all…)
If you live in the GTA(ish) Healthy Planet has several locations. It’s my go-to health food store because it’s closest to me, but it’s not my favourite.
It has most things I’m looking for, but not the best produce section and is lacking a bit in the nut milk department. It does however have a great selection of supplements, pantry items and bulk nuts and seeds.
Healthy Planet also has an online store that has great prices so check there first if you don’t have a location close by.
The Big Carrot
If I lived in the east end of Toronto this would be my go-to place. Amazing selection of product, breads, a hot food counter, personal care, juice bar—you name it!
Goodness Me is one of my favourites, but it’s located in and around Hamilton(ish) area although there is a location in Barrie and one in Mississauga.
I love the look and feel of this store. Staff is helpful and it’s just an all-round nice place to be. It also has a hot food counter which is nice if you’re looking for a great lunch.
Organic Garage has been in Oakville for some time, but now there are four locations, one of which is kind of close to me in Toronto so I like to go there sometimes.
What I like about Organic Garage is that it offers local and organic produce which can be tough to find outside of a farmer’s market. OG has a small supplements section (at least in the store I go to) but tons of other groceries including frozen meat, eggs, bread, health and beauty, coffee etc. and it even has kombucha on tap! I find the prices pretty reasonable.
The Sweet Potato
Located in the Junction in Toronto West, this is a great option for produce and pantry items. It just moved locations and I haven’t been to the new store but I understand it’s bigger and better than the last location on Dundas Street. Check it out!
Bulk Barn is kind of a funny place because a lot of the stuff in the bins is junk (they have the nutrition labels–read them!), but peppered among those are some organic and natural options like some flours nuts and seeds. A lot of the food on the upper shelves and along the perimeter is health food!
Although I’m not 100% sure I want to get some of this food in bulk, you can get maca, greens powder, collagen, and other powders there which is so great if you don’t want to invest in a lot at once. Bulk Barn also has brown rice pasta and coconut oil. I love that you can bring your own jars and bags now which is also helping save the landfill from excess packaging.
Although I’ve never been there I hear from friends that Nature’s Emporium is a dreamy place to shop. There are three locations: two north of Toronto and one in Burlington. It focuses on local and organic food and also has a large supplement section and pretty much everything else you need it seems!
Planet Organic is located in Port Credit in Mississauga so it’s a bit of a jaunt for me however I go there sometimes when I’m looking for a change of scenery. It has a pretty decent produce section, a fantastic bulk food section and great pantry items. It also has a good supplement department with knowledgable staff.
This is an obvious one but it tends to be on the pricer side and not too close to me so I don’t go often. That being said, when I take the time to go there I love it. It’s worth a little field trip!
If you’re lucky you can find great deals on food and supplements at Homesense in the food department. Just make sure you check the expiry date!
I like Well.ca because it’s local to Ontario (headquartered in Guelph) and it has a great Green and Natural department. I do find that the food and supplements offered here are a bit higher in price than other places so make sure check the prices before you order. Well.ca has started to build some pop-up shops but you’ll find most of what you need online.
If you’re new to Well.ca use the code LEALOUCOOKS to get $10 off your first order.
VitaSave.ca tends to focus more on vitamins and supplements. We’ve ordered protein powders and notice it has great prices often.
Amazon is the first place many people will go but I like to support smaller businesses first so I tend to look around a bit before turning here. That being said, Amazon has great deals and with the recent news that it acquired Whole Foods, you’re going to get some of the best options for natural foods and supplements.
This is for U.S. customers only (boo!) but if you find you’re going to be in the U.S. for an extended amount of time, Thrive Market is a great option. I might take advantage of the deals during our trip to Florida.
I think that’s it for now. Let me know where you like to shop for health food and I’ll add it to the list!