I want to start by saying that, yes, I know I’m super lucky to live in the Commercial Drive area and I’m enchanted with the many wonders of this neighbourhood. That being said, I’m hoping to take some of the guess work out of knowing where to shop and eat for those new to the area, and anyone looking to take a trip to see what the Drive has to offer. Though I’ve personally chosen a vegetarian lifestyle, my partner in crime (the crime of life, that is) happens to be a meat eater, so there is a mix of information here. All are recommended for a fresh and nutritious lifestyle!
I regularly eat lots of produce, so a top-notch, local produce market is a must in my world. I’ll start by introducing you to Triple A Market. These guys don’t have an official website- they’re probably too busy restocking after I’ve done my shopping! Triple A Market is a family-owned business, and they know exactly where and from whom their products are sourced. They offer a fantastic array of Canadian organic and local produce, as well as some USDA organic items. I always choose produce that’s as local as possible for the freshness factor. I avoid USDA organic, but that’s a whole other post! The helpful owners are friendly, ever-present, and honest about their products. In addition to great produce, you’ll find reasonable prices across the board, as well as dried beans and grains, canned items and a freezer full of assorted organic (and non-organic) meats. You’ll also find exotic options, like kangaroo. You can check out Triple A Market on Yelp.
Pasture to Plate is a meat eaters dream. Their meat is cultivated the right way from the start and results in the “best-tasting steak” my partner has ever enjoyed at home! Also a family-owned business, their values are clear and the taste speaks for itself. It may seem a touch pricey to those used to grocery store chains, but they live their values of caring for the planet, the soil and the animals we eat. Choosing P2P reinforces the healthy message of eating less, but much better quality, meat. Your taste buds and your body won’t be disappointed.
The Daily Catch is for the seafood lover. This Oceanwise program participant offers fresh, tasty treats of all kinds AND great service. They operate as a local retail outlet as well as partnering with neighbouring restaurants to offer healthy, planet-supportive options on the Drive. It’s clear they value their customers as well as Planet Earth. Check out The Daily Catch on Yelp.
Eternal Abundance, is one of my absolute faves! They are an organic, vegan (mini) grocery store and café. The grocery section isn’t huge but the quality is outstanding. I love to lunch here, and suggest it for meeting up with friends whenever possible. The food is amazing and they have a vegan hot chocolate that is to die for!
Sweet Cherubim is another favourite, and definitely worth checking out for so many reasons. They have a solid grocery store selection of planet-friendly, well-sourced products alongside supplements, canned items, a small produce area and vegan treats to go. The other side is a mini restaurant full of mouth-watering vegan and vegetarian dishes.
My BBQ Hut offers quick take-out meals of non-medicated, organic meats. You’ll find whole, roasted chickens and flavour options from around the world. A small freezer allows you to take frozen selections home for healthy eats another time.
Five Elements Café is a frequent dining spot for me, and I always take the opportunity to rave about it. They brilliantly mix Thai and Vietnamese flavours, and are flexible about tweaking meals to your liking. You’ll find tons of fresh veggies in most dishes, and their soups are big and tasty. Options range from vegan to meat-filled, the prices are reasonable and the hours of operation will have you fed you most times of the day.
The next time you’re trying to figure out where to go for a variety of fresh and interesting places to eat or grocery shop, come and check out the Drive. You’re guaranteed to go home full and feeling good about the planet!
Share your favourite local places and hidden gems for grabbing delicious eats, and I’ll check them out for the next installment of “My favourite places”!