There are lots of places to buy meat in Riverdale, but few places have the spirit and fun of Ella's on Pape. Tucked in just south of The Danforth next to the green P on the west side of Pape, Ella's is a neighbourhood place through and through. On any given day it bristles with energy, as old and new generations bray for the attention of the (mostly) young Greek staff.
Ella's has been around since 1977, but in 1985 father Theo Laganas bought the business and built it into the Danforth institution it is today. While Theo has a friendly charm and solidly anchors the store, it's his son George who is the swirling, wisecracking presence that lends energy and mirth.
It is perhaps the highest praise that many of us in the 'hood shop there as much for the community and conviviality of the staff as we do the products. They have the theatre and dynamism of a great shop.
For the older crowd, there's tons of inexpensive options. For the socially conscious kids, there's a range of reasonably-priced free-range and antibiotic and hormone free fare, and it's priced well below some of their near competitors. They also have all kinds of super fresh cheeses (Dodonis is my fav), spices, olive oils and condiments of all types.
Oh yeah, they also have what we think are the best olives in the city, and are part of our best of list.