Ascari Enoteca

Five more Toronto restaurants are transforming into grocery stores

Top restaurants are catering to the stay-at-home crowd with pantry items and household goods

As the era of social distancing drags on, more Toronto restaurants are transforming into grocery stores, supplying home cooks with pantry items, produce, and proteins.

Whether you’re looking to avoid a trip to the supermarket or to mix up your home cooking routine with ingredients you might not find in a traditional grocery store, these Toronto restaurants are here to keep your pantry stocked and your stomach satiated.


Gio’s Italian Food (The Nose)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Gio’s Italian Food (The Nose) (@thenosegios) on

Another Toronto Italian staple, Gio’s Italian Food (The Nose), has entered the grocery game, operating as a small market stocked with Italian pantry items, fresh produce, and household goods.

Dubbed the Nose Pantry, Gio’s has been gradually expanding its grocery store, adding bread and baked goods from Forno Cultura and growing its selection of meat and fish. Although the Nose is mainly operating as a physical market out of its restaurant space, they’ve recently started offering local delivery via bike on Sundays and Mondays.




View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jeff Regular (@paitoronto) on

Pai recently reopened for takeout and, in addition to the prepared Thai dishes we’ve been missing, the restaurant has added a new market section to its to-go menu. The market focuses on essential ingredients for preparing Thai cuisine, many of which, according to the restaurant’s Instagram, are tough to find outside of Thailand. You can add ingredients onto a regular pick-up order or get them separately. 




View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ascari Hospitality Group (@ascarihg) on

Ascari Hospitality Group recently launched grocery boxes, which feature a variety of fresh produce as well as staples like eggs and butter. Operating out of two of the group’s restaurants in the east (Gare de l’Est Brasserie) and west (Ascari on King) ends of the city, the boxes can be picked up at either restaurant or delivered directly to your home. Priced at $80, the boxes feature recipe ideas and descriptions of the items included.

In addition to grocery boxes, customers can order carbonara meal kits and individual pantry items. The group also recently transformed Ascari Enoteca into a bottle shop for their extensive wine collection. According to their Instagram, Ascari on King will soon follow suit and they’ll also be expanding their food offerings.




View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Cluny Bistro (@clunydistillery) on

At the end of April, the Distillery District’s Cluny Bistro launched the Cluny Cafe, a new takeout venture that offers fresh bread, housemade preserves, as well as grab-and-go items like sandwiches in salads. Cluny is also offering pantry goods ranging from all-purpose flour and fish sauce to duck fat and their signature Cluny steak frites seasoning.

Cluny will reportedly continue to expand this takeout concept this month, adding “chef’s kits” that will allow customers to make popular bistro dishes like beef bourguignon and coq au vin at home.


Juliana Sociale


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Juliana Social Café ( on

East Chinatown cafe Juliana Sociale launched a pick-up and delivery grocery service after having temporarily closed its doors at the beginning of the pandemic. The selection includes baked goods like cookies, muffins, and coffee beans, plus a diverse array of grocery items that run the gamut from marinated chicken drumsticks to home supplies like toilet paper.

Orders can be collected via curbside pickup on Wednesdays, or home deliveries are made Monday through Friday. 

Article exclusive to TRNTO