Buying high-quality cookware in Toronto
August 21, 2005 9:09 PM   Subscribe

Where can I buy good-quality kitchenware in Toronto, especially knives?

Thanks to the generosity of our families, my new wife and I are looking to buy some kitchen stuff that will last the rest of our lives. We're both enthusiastic cooks and want to buy some good quality stuff -- Wusthof knives, Le Crueset casseroles, that sort of thing. Where's the best place to go to shop in Toronto, with selection and variety more important over price?
posted by docgonzo to Shopping (12 answers total)
East: The Cook's Place at 488 Danforth. Small but decent selection, priced for the neighbourhood.

Central/West: Believe it or not, you might want to check The Bay first. I've seen Le Creuset alongside its cheap imitations at the Queen St. store. Nikolaou at 629 Queen West is a hole in the hall place with some gems. There's a glitzy new store in the same neighbourhood (south side of Queen, two storeys high) but I'm going absolutely blank on the name. Fortune Housewares on Spadina (west side, south of College) has a decent selection. I'm not sure how much high end stuff is there, but you could find some nice items.

You may find some good stuff for a good price in the various warehouse outlets near Yorkdale Mall.
posted by maudlin at 9:47 PM on August 21, 2005

Restaurant supply stores are the best thing ever. In Seattle it's just called "The Restaurant Store," so you might look for something along those lines in the phone book or Google, or ask your favorite restaurant where they get their supplies.
posted by librarina at 10:05 PM on August 21, 2005

Unless you have your heart absolutely set on German steel, the Tap Phong Trading Company, (360 Spadina Ave, 416 977 6364) has a lovely selection of Global Knives.

They're a Japanese brand; not high-carbon like the German or European ones, making them razor sharp, and a little easier to maintain. (The downside is, you might have to replace them in 10 years, rather than 20.)

I THINK you have to ask for the knives at the counter. They're something like $90-120.

Failing that, there are any number of kitchen stores around Yorkville that would be more than happy to serve you some Le Crueset!

Good luck, there's nothing quite as much fun as decking out a kitchen!
posted by generichuman at 10:23 PM on August 21, 2005

I have seen Cutco knives from the 60's and 70's that appear to be brand new despite decades of family use. They hail from Oleans, NY; and are sold by vendors or on the internet.
posted by buzzman at 1:26 AM on August 22, 2005

If you decide to go to a restaurant supply store, I have two to recommend (but I don't know the names of either one. One is on the south side Queen St, just east of Bathurst. The other is on the south side of King St., just west of Sherbourn.
Good luck!
posted by nprigoda at 5:01 AM on August 22, 2005

Aha! That Queen West palace I referrred to in my first post is actually Nella. Go to 876 Bathurst (north of Bloor). If you don't care about price and want the good stuff, they're the first place you should go to. They have Zwilling, Global and, yes, Wusthof knives. They have All-Clad pans but no Le Creuset from what I can see.

nprigoda, I think the Queen West store you're thinking of is Nikolaou (as mentioned in my first post) and the King East shop is Dinetz, at 231 King East.
posted by maudlin at 5:28 AM on August 22, 2005

And, smacking myself hard on the forehead to get out of poor student mode, go to any Williams Sonoma (Eaton Cetre, Yorkdale Mall, etc.) for the ultimate collection of kitchen porn. Le Creuset? Check. Wusthof? Check. Kitchen mitts lined with the scales from infant dragons? OK, maybe not, but if anyone would have that, it's WS.
posted by maudlin at 5:39 AM on August 22, 2005

For a professional selection, check out the Dish Cooking Studio/Cafe/Store at 390 Dupont Street, 920.5559

A nice place to hang out as well...had coffee there along with the best scone I've ever eaten.
posted by rexruff at 8:29 AM on August 22, 2005

Definitely second on Fortune (on Spadina) and Nikolau (on Queen). Don't be put off by the lack of slick displays or facade (esp for Nikolau).
posted by aquafiend at 9:55 AM on August 22, 2005

Unfortunately, I find most of the recommendations here to be off-the-cuff and generic. The only place you want to go is Embros on Yonge at Summerhill. The very severe Germans have everything you would ever need.

Le Creuset is seriously debatable for long-term usage, given that it cannot handle high heat for long periods. Get something steel and German.

If cost really is an object, get all your saucepans at Winners. Lagostina for $16.95 is difficult to beat. However, cost does not appear to be an object, so do Embros and do it right.
posted by joeclark at 11:17 AM on August 22, 2005 [1 favorite]

Embros! YES! They are awesome, and very helpful (in a not-so-warm sort of way). Thanks for reminding me of that place, joeclark!
maudlin, sorry for not reading your first post carefully! You're right, I was also talking about Nikolau
posted by nprigoda at 1:18 PM on August 22, 2005

Hmmm, I never really knew where Embros was. I'll have to check it out, now. Merci!
posted by generichuman at 3:34 PM on August 22, 2005

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