Inside Good Egg’s refreshed Kensington Market space

Inside Good Egg’s refreshed Kensington Market space

How the food-focused bookstore got a second life

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After a four-year hiatus, this Kensington mainstay has reopened two blocks south of its original outpost. Good Egg is now a 1,200-square-foot culinary cornucopia stuffed to bursting with cookbooks, kitchen kitsch and gastro gadgets.

The book collection spans essay anthologies, fiction and non-fiction, including titles about truffle-hunting hounds and edible flowers. The cookbooks are primarily organized geographically, so customers can cook their way around the world—from the Baltics to Korea, Israel and beyond.

These days, owner Mika Bareket is more than just a purveyor of epicurean must-haves: she’s a rising star in the world of culinary publishing. Good Egg’s publications are a departure from the books that fill its shelves. While the walls of this shop are stocked with hundreds of glossy hardcovers, its in-house press specializes in functional and affordable cookbooks featuring underappreciated, accessible ingredients for the home cook. Its first title—Blood by acclaimed author Jennifer McLagan (Odd Bits, Fat and Bones)—was named one of 2020’s best cookbooks by Bon Appétit and the New Yorker.

Titles by local authors—including My Ackee Tree by Suzanne Barr, Cooking Meat by butcher Peter Sanagan, and Langdon Hall by Jason Bangerter and Chris Johns—get prime shelf space. Melo Melo’s pasta-shaped leather keychains are irresistibly twee, as are Mati Ceramics’ blue-and-white bowls. This foodie fantasia is a feast for the eyes and doesn’t need decor to delight, but Bareket is a maximalist: she’s hung multi-coloured faux charcuterie from the ceiling for extra whimsy. And, since every good dinner party needs the right soundtrack, she stocks a couple of milk crates of vinyl for shoppers to set the mood, be it rock (Fleetwood Mac) or Ethiopean jazz (Mulatu Astatke).

156 Augusta Ave., 416-596-1171,

The hanging multi-coloured charcuterie was crafted from old pantyhose and butcher’s twine
The kids’ corner has treasures for tiny chefs, including a Julia Child picture book and a miniature play cookset
Bareket set up a second-­hand area—a portion of proceeds go to a local soup kitchen