212 - Old Country, New Favourites
Toronto has its west end enclave of Polish shops and cafes in Roncesvalles, and Mississauga has its own scattering of Polish delis and grocery stores, but Hamilton has the one and only Staropolskie Delikatesy. Store Manager Teresa Lacka goes out of her way to accommodate a steady stream of shoppers looking for just the right jar of hot mustard, pickles, tea or one of the numerous kielbasas (sausages) on offer.
From hunter sausage and mild kielbasa to smoked bacon, Staropolskie offers a deli counter full of cured Polish meats, as well as ready-to-go pork schnitzel sandwiches on rye for the lunch time throng (composed in large part by Hamilton’s own police men and women). For the price of a fast-food lunch here, you get some hearty, filling fare that’s made fresh on-site every day, and that’s a whole lot more satisfying than any chain outfit’s food. Soups, grilled sausages and salads round out the counter’s offerings and there’s even a small sit down alcove for those looking to spend a leisurely lunch or coffee break.
Frozen pierogies- including the popular fruit-stuffed versions favoured in the summer (berries are the fruit of choice and these are eaten as a dessert with sugar sprinkled on top), share freezer space with the traditional cheese and potato or bacon, cheese and potato-filled varieties. Busy moms with kids in tow stop by for loaves of rustic Polish breads- caraway seed and rye look especially tempting. And if junior is behaving, perhaps a bar or small box of Wawel Chocolates from Poland are just the thing. Try the chocolate covered biscuit bars or dark chocolate and mixed nut selections. Of course there’s also pickled fish, Polish cheeses, preserves and a drool-worthy bakery case to peruse, just in case you need that little extra something for your evening’s dinner menu.
711 Barton St E
photo credit: Mary Luz Mejia