This is a query for the Edmonton locals about our specialty grocery stores. These could be ethnic, organic, or the like. These are extremely hard to find unless you know someone - how are you supposed to know from the yellow pages, for example, that Canakor foods is a great Korean grocery store? So please let the board know if you have a favourite and what is good to buy there, and if it is a 'great neighborhood place' or 'worth a special trip' with gas prices at their current terrifying levels. (I did not do the research to find out who delivers because I prefer to pick out my own groceries.) Bakeries can be mentioned as well - I have yet to find really good pastry or bread in Edmonton.
Here is my own list so far:
K&K Deli on 82 Ave, great for European foods and smoked meat and fish, worth a special trip if you are stocking up for a big party http://www.kandkimportdelis.com/ (There is another branch of it on 76th ave just off 99 st, and across the street from this is a place to get very fresh tasting tortilla chips and salsas that deserves special mention. These would be neighborhood places.
Paraiso Tropical on 118th Ave and about 90th street for south american spices, mole base, and salsa verde. Definitely worth a special trip to stock up on these.
Canakor Foods, appropriately close to South Side BCOM on 99th street and 31 Ave. (When I have blown money on some new electronic gadget I need to live on kimchi and rice for a while.) Very good and well priced kimchi, rice cake, korean red pepper, rice and beans, and lots of kitchen implements.
There is another Korean grocery store close to the Korean Village restaurant around 77Ave and 85 st, but I would only go there if I was in the neighborhood and a trip to BCOM was not in my near future. Higher prices than Canakor and uneven quality.
Kinnikinnick Foods Inc, downtown 112 st and about 104 ave, for when your guest list includes your friends who can't tolerate gluten. Would shop here if I was in the neighborhood, but many local grocery stores carry their products. I usually get them at:
Planet Organic, 80 Ave and 104 St. Great for high quality prepackaged foods and snack foods. Kettle chips are usually cheaper here than anywhere. Also a great selection of dairy products and seasonings, and the fantastic Muir Glen tomatos. There is very good organic chocolate here as well.
Jia Hua, or the Chinese Superstore, same building as Planet Organic. Well priced produce (though you have to watch carefully for freshness), rice and ramen, soy milk, Oriental sauces and seasonings, pretty good zhongzi (steamed sticky rice with beans and pork), good meat counter. This is my neighborhood Oriental grocery store; if I was closer to Lucky 97 downtown or to TNT in the west end I would probably shop there instead.
Hellas Food, for Greek and Middle Eastern groceries on 109a ave and 124 st. Wonderful, wonderful feta and other Greek cheeses, olives and other preserved foods like dolmades. This one I consider worth a trip, but I don't really know about other Greek or Middle Eastern grocery stores in town.
Last but definitely not least, the Italian Centre grocery store. I don't think anyone has not heard of this place. Most definitely worth a trip for so many good things. It is tough to shop here becuase it is so popular though; best to go during the day.