Today’s post is about my favourite grocery store in Montreal. If you find yourself in La Belle Province stop by and take a gander. Bring lots of moolah!
On our way to Sugarloaf (Carrabassett Valley, Maine), we decided to get off the highway and drive through Montreal. Fahbio grew up in NDG (Notre Dame de Grâce), on a side street off Sherbrooke. We took a nostalgic drive through the neighbourhood before making our requisite stop at Marché Akhavan.
Akhavan opened years ago in a modest storefront on Sherbrooke not far from my in-laws’ home. It was more of a dépanneur (convenience store) than anything else. In those days my in-laws were alive, cousins were young and we made regular trips to NDG.
My mother-in-law was old school Italian, as were many of her neighbourhood friends, but when Akhavan, a Persian (Iranian) grocery store opened, she became a loyal customer. Italians are obsessed with top quality ingredients and freshness and Akhavan was a cut above all other stores from the get go.
I remember my dear MIL taking me there and chatting with the staff about the wheat grass they were growing in the window. MIL loved to travel and was always curious to learn new things.
As a slightly-larger-than-a-dep store, Akhavan stood out for the quality of its wares, the knowledge/friendliness of its staff and its selection. It didn’t take long before Akhavan moved a bit down the street and expanded to become an actual grocery store with multiple check-outs! We were amazed the first time we walked in and over the years, the place has gotten just that much more amazing.
Akhavan has expanded its selection of wares exponentially and now carries all manner of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean ingredients, in addition to Persian ones.
Okay, a few more photos of the dried fruit section to show you the selection but honestly, the only way to do the store justice is to walk around it yourself with your mouth gaping. I could have stayed for
hours days but the kids were keen to continue on our long drive to Maine.
NOTE: I notice from the website that they now have a couple of locations. I can only speak about the NDG store at 6170 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal. The store is open 7 days a week and has free parking. Debit/credit cards accepted.