I Shopped At Montreal's Enormous, Delicious New T&T & Here's How It Went

There are SO many mushrooms to try.

Staff Writer
High-quality fruit for gift-giving at T&T. Right: shoppers make their way around boxes in front of a Montreal-themed mural.

High-quality fruit for gift-giving at T&T. Right: shoppers make their way around boxes in front of a Montreal-themed mural.

Willa Holt | MTL Blog

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

If you haven't heard of Montreal's new T&T grocery store by now, I'm not sure how you're reading this, but I welcome you on this journey with me. After covering the store's opening earlier this month, I knew I had to return and shop once products were actually on sale. What I discovered was an overwhelming amount of choices, but no wrong turns to be made.

I went into the shop with no plans besides buying some tteok, cylindrical Korean rice cakes, and some plain old table salt. Instead, I left with four bags of wonderful new (to me) foods to try over the coming holiday weeks.

The store is massive, and though that means the options feel nearly limitless, it can also make for a rather stressful shopping experience, especially when it's as crowded as it was. For context, I went to T&T at 7 p.m. on a Thursday night. It was impossible to walk more than a few steps without getting in some eager shopper's way — a good sign for T&T's margins, but maybe not for my social anxiety.

Fresh durian available for sale at Montreal's new T&T.Fresh durian available for sale at Montreal's new T&T.Willa Holt | MTL Blog

In terms of produce, T&T Montreal has plenty to go around, from ripe durian or flat Thai cabbage to fresh luffas ready to be prepared. For a bit of a higher-end treat, there are even baskets of fruit suitable for gift-giving — a rarity elsewhere in Montreal.

Another rarity is the live seafood section, which features lobster; king crab; smaller, less frightening crabs; clams and even geoducks (Google them right now, you have to know what these guys look like). These fresh offerings are sold at relatively low prices, offering Montrealers the opportunity to experiment with live ingredients in a new way.

Fresh, live crab and lobster for sale at T&T.Fresh, live crab and lobster for sale at T&T.Willa Holt | MTL Blog

The frozen foods section is equally expansive and set against the backdrop of a large "Montreal" mural showcasing some city landmarks above the bags of rice and cured egg yolks that line the back wall. Much of the floor space is taken up by hot pot ingredients, but there are also plenty of ready-to-eat frozen bites and ingredients for every dish you can imagine.

Nearby, pots and pans alongside other household kitchen items are sold, as well as a wide range of house slippers.

In the bakery section, beautiful cakes and sweet breads are everywhere, and the alcohol section has plenty of imported beers as well as Western mainstays like White Claw (#gottahavemyclaw).

T&T's bakery section selling banh mi and brioche bread. T&T's bakery section selling banh mi and brioche bread. Willa Holt | MTL Blog

The checkout process is speedy and organized, with a TV prompting those in line to go to the next available register.

Emerging from the store in a haze of beauty products and fancy-flavoured chips, a dizzying amount poorer but much richer in food, only one thought lifted above the fog: I have to come back here soon.

Willa Holt
Staff Writer
Willa Holt is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog focused on apartments for rent and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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