Toronto’s Gourmet Food Stores for Staying In

Granted, a grocery store is a not the sexiest topic. You just might get stood up if you dm ‘meet me in front of the Provigo at seven, we’re about to really eat’. But what you are not taking into consideration is that there are stores that carry produce and meats and cheeses that are unconscionably sexy they will have you planning out home cooked dinner dates for days. Trust me — that sliver of Bleu d’Elizabeth will have you and your boo moaning in no time.

Since we at Novella are, all things considered, only truly concerned with making you the sexiest motherfu**ers Toronto’s ever seen, we couldn’t in all good conscience not give you the below list of stores you should hit for a night in. Go for the salt, goo, and stink of the splendor at these establishements and enjoy it in the comfort of your home and sweatpants. (Pusateri’s at Saks Fifth was not included in the list because it makes me feel uneasy).

Cheese Boutique (and Nancy’s Cheese)

The Cheese Cave at the Cheese Boutique Photo Credit: Ivan Otis Photography

This could be our way of re-purposing our interview with Afrim Pristine, but it’s not. The Cheese Boutique really is the best place to get cheese in Toronto. Get a bit of different cheeses — make sure to taste them —, pick out a chocolate or two, and grab a baguette and a thing of olives. The best part of the Cheese Boutique is that the staff are knowledgable and will help you pick out what you like.

If the Cheese Boutique is a little too far, Nancy’s Cheese on Dupont and Spadina also carry a very good selection of cheeses from around the world and Canada. Nancy’s has an approximate list of what’s in stock on their website, so you can check it out before you go.

Sanagan’s Meat Locker

Sanagan’s Meat Locker at Kensington Market — image courtesy of Sanagan’s

Sanagan’s Meat Locker has two counters — one for the butcher and one for the deli. The butcher section features meats from numerous farms across Canada and offers everything from premium steaks to offals. The deli side is a little retrained in its choices but all the better since everything it offers is excellent. Personal favorite is their blood sausage — ask for an inch-thick and grill it for breakfast. Sanagan’s also carries a variety of meat-based deliciousness like bone marrow broth; it also has lunch options, so if you’re too hungry to wait, you can get some straight away.

Schmaltz Appetizing

Schmaltz Appetizing — image courtesy of Toronto Life

Schmaltz is truly a magical place. From a variety of smoked fishes, pickled herrings, caviars to cream cheeses and deli salads, these ‘purveyors of fine fish’ really know how to eat. If you need more convincing than a brief look at their goods, try one of their bagel sandwiches — chazzer (gravlax, salmon caviar, horseradish cream cheese) is great place to start. Eat it next to a tiny counter with napkins and local event ads and proceed to spend all your hard earned money. It will be worth it.

Galleria Supermarket

Last on our list is Galleria Supermarket. As the name cries out, it is expansive and covers every section of the food pyramid and spills over some. This Korean grocery store’s mandate is “Better than the best products”. As such their products are fresh and reliable, and their stores are clean and well-managed. Galleria offers produce from Asia alongside your regular blueberries and watermelons, and niche products for adventurous home cooks to chefs alike. Going to Galleria is like an adventure (with a cafeteria at the back at the Finch location) — you will always be surprised by what’s available. (They’ve recently opened a smaller ‘Express’ branch on Bloor W.)

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Ones To Watch: Up-and-Coming Talent on Our Radar

Art work by Michelle Cheung for Novella Magazine

As our readers well know, Novella is that friend who keeps giving you suggestions on what to do, wear, read, watch, etc., perhaps at a rate father than you can keep up with. It’s the inner grandma who’s paranoid that you don’t have enough to eat that compels us so. In other words, it’s with love and affection and a kind of cultural anxiety and an insatiable need to dictate. But mostly with love. Without further ado, let our contributors come at you with their choices of up and coming individuals of talent you should take second and third servings of.

Drew Brown, Editor-in Chief 

Kelela Album Art – Take Me Apart

Singer and Songwriter Kelela has consistently been making good music since her 2013 debut mixtape, Cut 4 Me. We last heard from the songstress back in 2015 with the release of her EP ‘Hallucinogen’, which garnered good reviews, and yet she is still not a household name. In October, Kelela will release her debut studio album Take me Apart, and if her current single LMK is any indication of what we can expect from the second generation Ethiopian-American singer, I have no doubt that we will be hearing her name a lot more.

Hoon, Managing Editor

Relief of Julian the Hospitaller from Chris Knapp’s ‘States of Emergency’ published in the Paris Review this summer

Chris Knapp’s essays and fiction have been published in the pages of the Paris Review and the Los Angeles Review of Books, which for many — perhaps too many — writers today, is considered a sign of ‘having made it’. The blurb on Knapp on the Paris Review Daily says that he ‘lives in Paris, and also sometimes Brooklyn, with his wife. He’s recently completed a novel.‘ He’s achieved residence and certain placeness (the latter may be my fantasy) on both sides of the Atlantic, a functioning relationship, and finished a novel. Despite all these good signs, things many – perhaps too many — writers would kill for, I think Knapp is still up and coming. Judging from his short story, ‘State of Emergency,’ he has a lot to say. Knapp weaves the personal with the political, the immediate with the faraway past and future in his essays and stories — the stuff of good writing. If his circumstances have changed since the the Paris Review wrote his short bio, and if his website, which you can visit here, is telling the truth, he also has strong ties to Charlottesville, Virginia; I’m eager to hear what he has to say.

Adina Heisler, Contributor

While Phoebe Robinson has been an active writer, actress, and standup comedian for several years now, it’s only recently that she’s been getting the attention she deserves. Her podcast with Jessica Williams2 Dope Queens, just wrapped up its third season, and her solo podcast, Sooo Many White Guys, recently finished its second season. She also released a book last October called You Can’t Touch My Hair (And Other Things I Still Have to Explain). This is all on top of being a writer for Portlandia and appearing in the show I Love Dick. Robinson is an utterly delightful comedian, and brutally honest about all topics, from race relations in the U.S. to her love of dad-bods.

Meg Summers, Contributor

One of my not-so-guilty pleasures is following every member of the Toronto-based band, The Beaches, and admiring their musical talents, individual styles, and overall “cool girl” vibes. This band seems to always be busy touring both Canada and the U.S., recording and creating fabulous music videos. In fact, their latest, Money, shows off the band’s creative edge and incredible musical abilities to create catchy and aesthetically great pieces. Look out for more from The Beaches as they are sure to continue growing a buzz around Toronto and far beyond. Follow them on Instagram here.

Kimberley Drapack, Contributor 

Morgan Parker — photo by Kwesi Abbensetts

Morgan Parker’s ‘There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé‘ is a standout success. Parker successfully intertwines pop-cultural and political titles to her poems that explore the complexities of what it means to be a black woman, isolation, femininity, and so forth in the context of the 21st century. She also folds in personal references, Marvin Gaye lyrics, and Hip Hop. I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next.

Chris Zaghi, Fashion Editor

Photo: Giphy

That Poppy may have been making videos on youtube for quite a while now with the help of her director Titanic St. Clair, but 2017 seems to be Poppy’s big break. Not only did her Instagram explode over night, her music career has finally caught the eye of Island Records, which have sent her on a North American tour that’s sold out in a few cities already. But Instagram fame and tours aren’t what makes her so interesting. It’s her entire persona that makes her so different from any of the pop acts parading around the music scene this year. Labeled or suspected to be everything from a satanist, Illuminati puppet, robot, and even a matrix like computerized entity, Poppy has created a satirical musical persona that pokes fun and exaggerates the all too common assumption that most pop stars sold their souls for fame. Like her persona aims to be, Poppy is a delightful mix of sugary sweet pastel princess with a mysterious, almost sinister, inner turmoil that often bubbles to the surface in her videos, leaving viewers dying to know if she really does live inside a computer or if she’s been brainwashed by a big record company and completely changed from her former self. It is a fresh take on the idea of what a performer and their performance can be.

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7 Deadly Skincare Sins Men Make

TEXT: Peter Minkoff

The standard of male beauty today can be best described as rugged and bearded. But that does not mean that you are allowed to commit skincare sins. Achieving the perfect rugged look requires a lot of work and taking care of your skin will pay off tenfold in the future. We are all guilty of committing a few skincare sins, but the time to start taking better care of our skin and ourselves is now! Keep reading if you want to make sure you never sin again.

Not using SPF

Everybody loves having a great tan, but the costs of getting one can be too great. We are all well aware of the harmful effects sun rays have on our skin, but somehow that golden glow you get after spending an afternoon in the sun seems to be too enticing. No one can deny that tanned skin looks amazing; you can achieve that and still stay safe if you use a great sunscreen. Sunrays affect your skin even during cloudy days and winter, so applying sunscreen to your face should be a part of your year-round morning routine. Also, you should protect your entire body if you’re going to be exposed to sunrays for a longer period of time or if you are planning to go sunbathing.

Going to tanning salons

If there is one thing worse than exposing your unprotected skin to the sun, it is regularly visiting a tanning salon. Spending ten minutes in a tanning bed is equal to spending a whole day in the sun unprotected. Every time you lie in that bed, you increase the risks of getting skin cancer and making your skin look older. There are no excuses for visiting tanning salons, so stop it right now. If you do need to get some tan, there are great self-tanners available today which are way less harmful.

Not drinking enough water

I know what it sounds like, but hear me out. Fifty to seventy percent of our bodies is made up of water, so it is essential if we want our bodies to function properly. Drinking enough water prevents dehydration and cleanses our bodies of toxins. Water also hydrates our skin, making it look soft and glowy. It is also essential for proper skincare. Start your every day with a big glass of water, and make sure you drink at least six more glasses before you go to bed. You will notice a big difference in a few weeks.

Ignoring the signs of aging

There are many factors that affect our skin and its aging. However, ignoring the signs of aging is probably even worse than exposing our skins to those harmful factors. If you notice any signs of aging think about the factors that might have contributed to it and try eliminating them from your life. Unfortunately, when the damage is already done there is not much you can do but you still have options. Getting anti-aging skincare, for example; some of the Aspect products are a great way to counteract the damage your skin suffered. It is effective with great results and is rising in popularity fast.

Not getting enough sleep

Lack of sleep leads to stress and it can affect our skin in different ways — from bags under your eyes to acne, the effects are bad. On average, people need about eight hours of sleep a night. However, if you are constantly feeling tired during the day and are having problems waking up, you are not sleeping enough. Try going to bed earlier or taking naps during the day if that works better for you.


Smoking is out, but if you are still holding on, it is time to let it go. Smoking is bad for your overall health and it is bad for your skin; it reduces the blood flow to the skin, causes wrinkles, and makes the skin look lifeless. Smoking adds years to your face — quit and rejuvenate yourself.

Using the wrong product

Using a bar of soap and water is not taking care of your skin. Determine your skin type and get the appropriate products to clean and moisturize it because they won’t irritate your skin. If you are not sure what to get, ask the shop clerk to help you out or you can even try a few samples before making a decision. Just do it as soon as possible.

Peter Minkoff is a men’s lifestyle writer at Gentleman Zone & Men-Ual magazine from the U.K.. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips. And continue following our arts & culture coverage on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Novella Team Picks Personal Fashion Icons

Art work by Michelle Cheung for Novella Magazine


We all have one — that one person with amazing style and flare who you’d rather be than anyone else when you’re trying to get dressed; the icon you light a candle to for inspiration. Aspire as we might, we may never truly emulate their originality or defiance. Nevertheless, we keep them around because they are good to look at and think about — in a way, the north star of a sort. Here are Novella team members’ personal fashion icons. We love who we love, no judgments please.

Drew Brown, Editor-in-Chief 

Luis Borges has been a “friend in my head” ever since he first burst on the fashion scene with his big afro back in 2010. Yes, it’s hard for a model to not make look clothes since that is his job, but if you follow the model/digital influencer/father on Instagram then you know that Luis has a way of effortlessly mixing high and low fashion and with each outfit let his personality shine through. If I am ever in his native Portugal and we ever did meet, I would for sure want to raid his closet even though there is definitely a height difference but hey, that’s what a tailor is for 🙂

Hoon, Managing Editor

I once bought a pair of Wayfarers because I knew they were what Bob Dylan wore (hopefully still wears) —despite my secret wishes, nothing about me has become Dylan-esque as a result, yet. He is often photographed in a white shirt and a black blazer, which is also my go-to truly original and unique color combination (you should give it a try!). But there’s also The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan cover where he’s in blue jeans and a mustard jacket, a look, along with the songs, that promises better days, of finding oneself, after fun and trouble, home safe: “Well, ask me why I’m drunk all the time/ It levels my head and eases my mind/ I just walk along and stroll and sing/ I see better days and I do better things/ I catch dinosaurs, I make love to Elizabeth Taylor, catch hell from Richard Burton.” I like that promise. It’d be nice to emulate it somehow.

Natasha Grodzinski, Contributor

All images via Pinterest.

If we’re talking about the bohemian, ’70s-inspired, possibly-a-witch vibes that are back in trend with tons of young women, then we need to talk about Stevie Nicks, infamous rock-goddess extraordinaire and one of the best-known purveyors of this aesthetic. Of course she’s beautiful and mysterious now, but whenever I’m trying to replicate that kind of look for myself, I always draw inspiration from her 1970s wardrobe. The Rumors era, in particular, is a goldmine for style inspiration. Not only is she supremely talented, but she’s serving looks left and right. Stevie does the damn thing.

Christopher Zaghi, Fashion Editor

Being the former front-woman of one of the most important musical acts of the 2010s isn’t a feat easily achieved by many. But Alice Glass’s voice, raw fury when performing, and personal style stood alone amongst music’s greatest front-women. Since her beginnings among a Toronto drifter community, Alice has carved her own path. Recently, Alice released a self-titled EP that once again has me falling in love with the reigning queen of dark goth glamour. Her signature choppy hair, black leather, band shirt, and the subtle additions of fetish wear have created a unique blend of modern trend and old school goth that hasn’t been seen since the days of Garbage front-woman Shirley Manson and goth icon Siouxsie Sioux. Now that Alice has embarked on her new solo career, I’m looking forward to this new and exciting time in her personal style.

Kimberley Drapack, Contributor

All images via Pinterest

Cher is an icon. She has never been one to shy away from making bold choices in fashion or reinventing her image. Many have attempted to recreate her looks at a later date *cough* Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala in 2015 *cough*. With Cher’s career spanning over 50 years in the industry, time and again she has come forward with extravagant ensembles, decorated in sequins, feathers, and rhinestones. It is without a doubt that she has been a major inspiration for artists and designers over the years, creating an incredible palette to design any mood board after.

Michelle Cheung, Social Media Coordinator 

Margaret Zhang is a 24-year-old Chinese-Australian multidisciplinary law-school graduate, ballerina, model, blogger (of Shine by Three), photographer, creative director, stylist, Instagram star, writer, and fashion consultant. She’s worked with global brands including Vogue, Chanel, and Dior, to list a few. Her works are recognized as having impact on the international fashion industry and she’s been listed in Forbes Asia’s 30Under30. She’s also recently published her first book of photo essays. Her modern and eclectic style and her artistic photos/Instagram posts are among the few things I admire. She is the epitome of the ‘generation of slashers” and, as a decuple threat, she is a fashion icon to be reckoned with.

Adina Heisler, Contributor 

You probably recognize her as the badass assassin Arya Stark from Game of Thrones, but outside Westeros you can find Maisie Williams on other acting endeavors or hanging out with Sophie Turner, her fictional sister on the show and her real-life friend (they even have a ship name, mophie). And while Arya is decidedly uninterested in clothes and fashion, Maisie is known for her cool, simple style. I love that her style is never too crazy or excessive, but also never feels boring or understated. She uses lots of florals and prints, but mixes them with just enough punk to keep it from being too sweet.

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Rachel Kerr’s map of Leopold Bloom’s Dublin