Inside the Food District, Square One Shopping Centre’s new 34,000-square-foot food hall
The GTA’s latest fancy food hall is now open at Mississauga’s Square One Shopping Centre. The province’s largest mall has dedicated over 34,000-square feet of space to The Food District, a collection of local purveyors selling quality goods, most of which are edible. Here’s a look at all the vendors, and what to get at each one.
Arvinda’s Spices & Chai Events
Ontario-based purveyors of pre-packaged Indian spice blends since 2005, the company’s first retail outlet also introduces a host of international spice blends sourced from Canada whenever possible (Ontario garlic, Saskatchewan mustard seeds, Quebec maple sugar).
What to get: Arvinda’s Authentic Cardamom Masala Chai Tea. $5.65.
Bake Three Fifty
Known for its build-your-own cupcakes and ice cream sandwiches, the award-winning former food truck’s second storefront serves milkshakes decorated with delicious toppings like Reese’s Pieces, fizzy cotton candy, s’mores, or Pop-Tarts.
What to get: One of the DIY milkshakes. $8.50.
This barbecue restaurant and whisky bar comes from the same people behind Loaded Pierogi. Fan favourites so far include the Sweet Whisky Pork Ribs and Dinosaur Beef Ribs, but there are plant-based options, too, including “ribs” made from grilled organic tempeh.
What to get: Dinosaur Beef Ribs. $19.
The family-operated event styling company custom creates fine floral designs for any occasion. From everyday arrangements to wedding bouquets or elaborate floral accents that can be private ordered, the storefront offers plenty of already assembled hostess gifts to choose from.
This Danish pastry house might specialize in rustic breads including rugbrød, a dense and dark Danish rye bread, but it’s also known for its pastries, including the Drømmekage, a vanilla cake made with Madagascar vanilla and topped with caramelized coconut.
What to get: Drømmekage (dream cake), $12 a loaf; Spandauer (Danish pastry), $2.50; Softkernel Rye bread (traditional Danish sourdough rye bread), $7; and the gluten-free Stenalderbrød (stone-age bread) a nut and seed loaf created by Danish chef Claus Meyer, $9.75.
The specialty here are Brazilian brigadeiros, truffle-like confections hand-made using sweetened condensed milk, cocoa and butter. However, Chocollata’s get glamourized with chocolate pearls, crushed nuts, sprinkles and other sweet finishes.
What to get: A sampler box of brigadeiros including the popular salted caramel. $5.40 for two or $23 for a box of nine.
A selection of gourmet kettle-cooked chips (potato, taro, cassava, plantain, sweet potato) dressed in an assortment of flavours, including salt and malt, hickory-smoked bacon, ketchup and all-dressed.
What to get: Fresh chips, $3.5 for a quick-fix bag; vegetarian or classic signature nachos, $9.99.
Dal Moro’s Pasta
Here you’ll find made-from-scratch pasta topped with a choice of 12 different house-made sauces. Customers can watch as the fresh pasta is extruded and then cooked to-order in the open kitchen.
What to get: The signature Amatriciana (smoked bacon, onion, black pepper, tomato sauce) on fresh linguine, $12; homemade Nutella tiramisu, $5.
The pop-up concept shop operated by BRIKA and Foodiepages showcases a collection of goods, edibles, table and barware, and trinkets made by independent Canadian artisans.
What to get: Small-batch hand-poured soy-blend Coal & Canary candles; chocolates by Omakase Confections; organic, vegan and gluten-free Granolust granola; sterling silver jewelry by Citrus Silver.
This Toronto-based micro-roaster sources beans from around the world and roasts small batches on-site daily. Besides bags of freshly roasted beans, they also offer baked goods, prepared salads and sandwiches. To drink, there’s oat-milk cappuccinos, kombucha and nitro cold brew.
What to get: Filtered coffee using Hale-roasted beens, $2.75; flat whites made with Hale’s signature espresso blend (micro-batch roasted beans from Ethiopia, Brazil, Guatemala) with organic whole milk, $4.50.
Kingston Olive Oil Co.
Here you’ll find quality extra-virgin olive oils, cooking oils infused with roasted almond and black truffle and balsamic vinegar imported from Modena, Italy. Customers can also sample part of the family owned company’s extensive lineup of olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars at the tasting bar.
What to get: Pair the signature Tuscan Herb–Infused Olive Oil with the signature Black Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar. $5-$36.
The popular taco joint’s fourth location features a full bar, a divided dining room (one cavernous and dark; the other, cement walled with vaulted ceilings and bathed in light) and the signature flashes of street art.
What to get: Mexican street corn, a grilled corn on the cob topped with Mexican crema, queso añejo, arbol and ancho chili powder. $9.95.
Ma’s Best Quality Soup
Markers of small-batch, flavourful, gourmet soups that are mostly gluten-, dairy- and meat-free.
What to get: Golden Cauliflower Soup, $7 for large bowl or $10 for a jar.
This vendor sells Montreal-style bagels that they bake fresh daily in a wood-burning oven.
What to get: The signature rosemary and sea salt bagel with black olive cream cheese. $4.
Pier 87 Fish Market & Grill
Working directly with fishing companies, this modern fish market provides fresh or frozen sustainable seafood to-go, or prepared to eat in their casual sit-down dining area.
What to get: A lobster roll made with Nova Scotia lobster on a brioche bun, served with seasoned fries. $21.87.
Mediterranean-inspired dishes made using fresh, local and organic ingredients cooked on a cast-iron plate over an open flame. While there’s all-day breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner and a hummus bar, most customers gravitate towards the Moroccan flatbread sandwiches or “plunch” boxes that includes a serving of vegetables, protein, fruit and wild herbs over whole grains.
What to get: The Santorini Sunset that features smoked tofu shawarma, yellow split pea spread, caramelized Spanish onions, salsa fresca, spicy mixed greens, pickled mango and tahini in an organic pita. $13.95 for a pita, or $15.95 for a plate.
Ontario-sourced cow’s milk is used in these award-winning Latin-inspired artisan cheeses, including queso fresco, soft queso blanco, spicy quesco picante, and queso cotija.
What to get: Grilled queso on a stick. $3 each.
Secret Lands Farms
Small-batch sheep’s milk products are the focus of this family run pop-up store. Customers will find yogurt, milk and kefir, as well as naturally probiotic lactose-free kefir cheese and products made from pasture-raised lambs that have been fed nothing but grass, whey and apples.
What to get: Pecorino. $80 a kilogram and up, depending on the age of the wheel.
Seed to Sausage
Visitors to this butcher shop will find locally made, artisanal meats, including house-made sausages, small-batch charcuterie and award-winning fermented salami made with hormone- and antibiotic-free pork. The deli side of the business also sells smoked meat, which it turns into sandwiches.
What to get: The smoked meat sandwich served with a side of fries. $15.95.
Sugar King Factory
Imported and rare sugary treats are the name of the game. Expect everything from nostalgic treats like retro candy and chocolates to limited edition cereals, cookies, classic sodas and unusual snacks.
What to get: Honey Bunches of Oats’ limited-edition Maple Bacon Donuts or Chicken & Waffles cereal. $10.99 each.
Sweet Jesus’s signature soft serve cones are decked out with wacky sauces and toppings.
What to get: The Red Rapture cone that injects vanilla soft serve with cream cheese icing then drizzles it with raspberry sauce before covering it in red velvet cake bits and meringue crumbles. $7.50.
Tao Tea Leaf
Since 2009, this Toronto-based retailer and wholesaler of loose leaf teas has been bringing fine teas and herbs to the city. Besides Chinese teas, there are award-winning and rare blends that have been selected by co-founders Tao Wu and Mingzhu Gao.
What to get: Cheese-topped tea (jasmine green/Da Hong Pao oolong), $5.95; brown sugar matcha milk tea with tapioca, $5.95; wild blueberry grape kombucha, $4.95.
The Box Donut
Handmade square donuts that are gussied up with drizzles, Callebaut chocolate, dried fruit, and even edible silver. Fried in peanut oil, the preservative-free donuts are filled with custards or jams that change with the season and could include combinations like raspberry pistachio, lavender cream or chili chocolate.
What to get: Any of the 90 rotating flavours, including lemon meringue, $5.99; or the limited-edition blueberry cheesecake, $5.69.
The District Kitchen
The Food District’s event space operates as a community hub hosting cooking demos, classes, supper clubs and workshops. It’s also outfitted with commercial cooking equipment, tables and seating, plus everything else—right down to tableware and napkins—needed to host an event.
The Macaron Boutique
Makers of handcrafted macarons in more than 30 different flavours including classics like vanilla and caramel, floral flavours such as orange blossom or abstract options like jasmine grapefruit with mango. Made using Valrhona chocolate, Nielsen Massey pure products and/or Tea Emporium organic teas, connoisseurs might recognize the flavours from a number of retail outlets across the GTA.
What to get: A selection of macaraons. $3 each or $12 for a box.
The Pie Commission
Savoury and sweet five-inch pies made with all-butter pastry, available for take-away or heated to order.
What to get: Braised beef rib, $8.95; or the butter chicken, $8.65.
The Wine Shop & Tasting Room
This retail space and tasting bar offering wines from the Niagara Peninsula, namely those from Peller Estates, Trius Winery, Wayne Gretzky Estates and Thirty Bench.
What to get: A tasting flight of three sparkling and/or table wines. $8.
This juice shop stocks cold-pressed juices that are certified organic and made daily. From signature juices and booster shots, to plant-based meals, snacks and raw goods, there’s a rainbow of fresh products designed by holistic nutritionists to choose from.
What to get: The Energy Tonic made with cold-pressed orange, lemon, lime, ginger and turmeric, astragalus, ginseng extract, dehydrated orange, bee pollen, and craft kombucha. $6 and $9.
The Food District at Square One Shopping Centre, 100 City Centre Dr., Mississauga, shopfooddistrict.com