What’s the vibe
The latest addition to the McEwan empire, the eponymous gourmet grocer now has a new location at Yonge and Bloor. Outfitted with an assortment of food stations spanning over 17,000 square feet, the space feels more like a glossy food hall than a grocery store. Sleek and modern looking, with bright lights and cushy chairs, you’ll quickly forget that this location is underground.
Get in and out before noon to avoid the rush of people shuffling in to make the most of their lunch break. The space has plenty of seating during the less busy times of day – and there’s always the option to grab and go.
What to drink
As early as 7:30 a.m. you can stop in at the café to grab your drink of choice on the way to work – whether that be coffee or espresso from Italian brand Lavazza, Station cold brew or Refuel organic cold pressed juice. Fresh smoothies are made to order onsite. In the grocery section, fridges are stocked with an incredible variety of beverages from gourmet soda to flavoured water.
What to eat
When we arrived at McEwan, we didn’t know where to begin – to say there’s a mindboggling amount of food options would be an understatement. Mornings see a hot breakfast table starting at 8 a.m., with sandwiches and baked goods available from 7:30 a.m. At the pizza station, Fabbrica’s Roman-style slices are square, with a fluffy, baked crust and an assortment of toppings. Get your fill of leafy greens at the salad bar or chow down on some weightier dishes like curry, gnocchi or mac n’ cheese from the hot table. A full sushi bar offers fresh cut fish in the form of nigiri, sashimi and maki. At the carving station, sink your teeth into the rotating selection of juicy meat.
We might be more focused on drooling over the hot-and-ready food, but McEwan’s grocery section shouldn’t be an afterthought. Stocked with hard-to-come-by items like specialty cheese, pancetta, caviar and all manner of vegetable noodles (zucchini and beet among them), the aisles are another source of culinary delight.
For those of us who are short on time but love a home cooked meal, there are plenty of choices for pre-seasoned meat, drenched in a variety of spices and packaged for minimal preparation and maximum enjoyment. Check out their steaks and other meat options too – they have a dry-aging room onsite.
Be sure to grab a dessert on your way out – some of our favourite local bakeries can be found all under one roof at McEwan. Sweet treats and baked goods from Mary McLeod, Blackbird Baking Co., Twisted Sisters, Delysées, CXBO and Harbord Bakery all grace the shelves.
Dinner and drinks for two: around $40
1 Bloor St E, 416-975-0808, mcewangroup.ca