If you’re a food lover, St. Lawrence Market in Toronto is sure to be your favorite place. About 120 vendors sell everything, from fresh produce to baked goods, artisan cheese to meat, etc.

This is why the market was named the No. 1 food market in the world by ‘National Geographic Magazine’ in 2012. The credit goes to the passionate people of Toronto who work diligently to bring authentic food to the customers, making the 208-year-old market popular among locals and tourists.

Structure of the St. Lawrence Market Complex

Structure of the St Lawrence Market Complex

There are three main buildings in the St. Lawrence Market complex, namely the:

    • St. Lawrence Hall
    • North Market
    • South Market

The lower level of the south market is where the St. Lawrence food market is housed. You can find everything there, such as:

    • Organic vegetables and fruits
    • Baked items
    • Cooked foods
    • Seafood
    • Meat items
    • Organic cheese
    • Butter and so on

The second floor of the South Market is the place for history buffs and connoisseurs of art, as it houses galleries and exhibits showcasing Toronto’s rich art, culture, and history. The North Market is mainly known for the St. Lawrence farmer’s market, held every Saturday since 1803. It also conducts the antique market, which is conducted on Sundays.

However, the market has been relocated to a temporary location as the site is currently under construction for the local development project.

History of the St. Lawrence Market

Toronto's St. Lawrence Market

St. Lawrence Market was established in 1803, when the then Lieutenant Governor, Peter Hunter, designated an area near King Street and Jarvis Street as a public market. The area included:

    • North of Front Street
    • West of Jarvis Street
    • South of King Street, and
    • East of Church Street

With this, the first permanent St. Lawrence farmers market emerged. Sadly, the great fire of Toronto in 1849 engulfed the wooden structure. It was later replaced with a new brick building in 1951.

The market expanded in the early 1900s to include some portions of the former city hall of Toronto. It then became known as St. Lawrence Hall and soon became a hotspot for hosting many of the city’s public meetings, exhibitions, and seminars.

Over the years, the structure went through several renovations and alternations to come to its present form. Eventually, the north market came to host the weekly farmer’s market, and the southern market became open for food stalls and restaurants. St. Lawrence Hall is mainly used for hosting official events.

How to Get to St. Lawrence Market?

market route

St. Lawrence Market is located at 92-95 Front Street East in the St. Lawrence neighborhood of Downtown, Old York, Toronto. The nearest subway to the market is Union Station, about a 10-minute walk away. Alternatively, you can take the King streetcar to Jarvis. Once you get off at Jarvis St., walk one block to the south to reach the market area.

What is the Best Time to Visit St. Lawrence Market?

Best Time to Visit St. Lawrence Market

The St. Lawrence market is open from Tuesday to Saturday. The St. Lawrence market hours typically run from 9 am to 7 pm, whereas on Saturdays, the market starts at 7 am and closes early by 5 pm.

Lunch and midday are the market’s busiest times, especially during the holidays. So it’s better to start early if you want to beat the crowd. The visit is even more delightful during festivities, as you’ll get to taste a variety of festive delicacies.

What to Eat at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto?

what to Eat

With so many options, picking the best vendor to satisfy your cravings can be challenging. So to make your choice easier, here is a list of top restaurants in St Lawrence’s food market that serve delicious eateries you wouldn’t want to miss.

  • Buster’s Sea Cove

If you love seafood, Buster’s Sea Cove is a restaurant located in St. Lawrence and is a must-visit. The vendor serves an assortment of seafood dishes such as crispy fish chips, fish sandwiches, etc. The restaurant is over a decade old and is a favourite of many visitors. Its bestselling items are the Boston Bluefish and fries with homemade coleslaw.

  • St. Urbain Bagel

To sample Toronto’s Montreal-style bagels, you must visit St. Urbain Bagel. What makes these bagels different is the way they are prepared. Unlike regular bagels, Urbain Bagels are baked in a hot wood-burning oven, making them crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. No bagel lover can resist the delicious smell of freshly baked bagels.

  • Carousel Bakery

This 30-year-old bakery is another hotspot in St. Lawrence that is famous for its pea-meal bacon sandwiches. The bakery proudly displays photos of celebrities on its walls who have popped in for a quick bite. With over 2600 sandwiches sold daily, you may have to wait in a queue to taste their world-famous sandwiches.

  • Cruda Café

If you’re a health enthusiast, Cruda Café is ideal for you. The café serves fresh, raw and vegan foods that are locally produced. Its colourful salads, vibrant wraps, and nutritious juices delight all five senses of its customers.

  • UNO Mustachio

Home to one of the best Italian-style sandwiches, Uno Mustachio is a great option. Their most popular item is the tasty veal parmigiana served in the traditional Italian style. Other delicacies to try in the restaurant are the:

    • Fried eggplant
    • Meatball
    • Steak
    • Sausage
    • Chicken Parmigiana
  • Churrasco’s

Churrasco’s is an excellent restaurant in the St. Lawrence market for Portuguese food. Their rotisserie chicken is cooked on site daily and served with Churrasco’s special hot sauce. The custard tarts here are also unmatched. Churrasco is an excellent option for a quick lunch or a takeaway dinner.

  • Yianni’s Kitchen

Yianni’s kitchen specializes in homemade Greek food such as lemon chicken with rice, roasted lamb, pork, stews, Greek salad, falafel, etc. It is one of the older restaurants in the vicinity, having opened in 2000.

Over the years, they have earned a reputation for serving one of the best breakfasts in the St. Lawrence market, comprising omelettes, bacon, sausages, and salad. If you plan to check out the place, do not forget to order its amazing apple fritters.

  • Aren’t We Sweet

Aren’t We Sweet is a paradise for people with a sweet tooth. The shop offers authentic French macarons, cookies, croissants, and viennoiseries. It also features an irresistible collection of chocolates, especially from France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada. You must check out the variety of sweet treats they offer in the form of:

    • Truffles
    • Nougats
    • Candies
    • Marzipan, etc.

You will relish their pure maple syrup from Quebec and their special hand-made fudge from Ontario.

  • Kozlick’s Mustard

Kozlick’s little shop has been serving mustard since 1948. The family-run shop welcomes you to a variety of hand mustard and seafood sauce than you could ever imagine. Try out a few of their samples before you pick a favourite one.

Other Events at the St. Lawrence Market


Even if you’re not a food lover, the St. Lawrence market has a lot to offer. The market hosts various other vendors and artisans. They sell everything from handicrafts to jewellery, novelty gifts, and souvenirs that you can pick up to remind you of this beautiful place.

The St. Lawrence market also hosts workshops, talks, dinners, and classes to improve your culinary skills. So not only can you enjoy good food, but also learn a thing or two. These events are primarily held in the Market Kitchen. You can check the event page on their website for upcoming events and plan your trip accordingly.

Some events may require you to sign up early or book a seat. So keep an eye on what’s going on to ensure you don’t miss your chance.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, the St. Lawrence market in Toronto has something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, a demanding gourmand, or admire art and culture, the market will leave a good impression. The market complex reflects the essence of Toronto and is a must-visit destination for all tourists who want a taste of the culture of Toronto.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What is St. Lawrence Market known for?

Street food at St. Lawrence market is world-renowned. In April 2012, St. Lawrence Market got a tag by National Geographic as ‘the best food market’.

When can I visit St. Lawrence market?

If you wish to visit St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, you must go between Tuesday and Saturday. It is closed on Sunday and Monday. Originally, this market was only open one day a week and had specific hours. But the market’s demand has increased enormously, and it is now open for 5 days a week.

How old is St. Lawrence market?

St. Lawrence market of Toronto is the oldest market in the city and is more than 200 years old. Founded in the year 1803, it has been growing ever since. The first market set up was in the northwest corner of Jarvis and Front streets and eventually grew bigger and bigger with demand.

Restaurants to visit near St. Lawrence market?

There are many restaurants in and around St. Lawrence Market that you can visit. Some of the most popular ones are Carousal Bakery, Uno Mustachio, Bindia Indian Bistro, and Churrasco's.

It is worth it to visit St. Lawrence Market?

Yes, it is worth it to visit St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. You must visit it at least once in your lifetime. This market is heaven on earth for Toronto's food lovers and tourists from around the world. This place combines great history, amazing shops, novelty items, top artisans, and delicious food. It is one of the best places in Toronto to spend your day and enjoy the ambience and food.