10 Places to Get Free Samples in Toronto

10 best spots to score free samples in the city

free-sign
••• Free sign. Image courtesy Alan O'Rourke via Flickr

The words “free” and “sample” when put together, elicit excitement in the hearts of many, no matter age, income or life stage. There’s just something about getting anything for free, no matter how small, that feels like a bigger win that it’s really meant to be. With that in mind, here are 10 places in Toronto you’re likely to snag a free sample to two.

Costco

Costco is king when it comes to providing numerous opportunities to score free samples. Granted, you might have to jockey for position among the hordes that usually end up lining up for a free bite of this or that, but if you’re willing and patient, you could probably forgo a whole meal in favor of stocking up on Costco samples the next time you visit. Weekends usually have the best variety of free food, although that’s usually the busiest time to brave Costco.

Wine Rack

No matter the time of day, your local Wine Rack will very likely to be generously offering samples of several of their wines, ciders or specialty items. And they’re pretty encouraging when it comes to making sure patrons are aware that they have the option of free booze. Bottoms up.

Global Cheese

This Kensington Market fixture is well known for their efficiency, product knowledge, and generosity when it comes to cheese samples. Basically, they know that if they feed you something you like, you’ll be hard-pressed not to buy it. But seriously though, stop in one day, say you’re not sure what you’re in the mood for but in the past, you’ve enjoyed X and Y (say, gruyere and aged cheddar) and watch them work their magic – which involves you getting handed a bunch of free cheese samples.

LCBO

While the LCBO doesn’t always offer samples, you will find that reps for various brands of booze or beer will set up shop fairly regularly offering samples and information about a new or established product. Keep your eyes peeled.

Sephora

Sephora, everyone’s favorite beauty and skin care product mecca, is pretty generous with doling out free samples because they understand the try before you buy concept – especially when you’re talking about a $200 jar of face cream. Just mention that you’re curious about a product and they will likely be able to hook you up with a container you can try for two or three uses.

Whole Foods

Like the LCBO, Whole Foods isn’t giving out free samples all the time, but you can usually expect a few cheeses to be out with (sometimes) dip and crackers or bread. It’s worth it to be on alert, especially in the prepared foods/deli section.

Cheese Boutique

This gourmet foodie paradise is another spot where you can usually expect to be able to try before you buy, be it cheese, olive oil or some other (potentially) delicious treat. The cheese counter will definitely let you sample in advance of your purchase, but there are usually several other sampling options to consider.

Amsterdam

Both Amsterdam Brewery and Amsterdam BrewHouse offer free brewery tours, which not only educate participants about the brewing process but also provide free beer samples.

David’s Tea

Any time you drop in to David’s Tea in Toronto (multiple locations), you will be offered a small cup of the tea of the day to sip as you browse. It’s a nice gesture and one that might lead to you making a purchase of whatever it is you’ve been given to try out.

Cobs Bread

Cobs has several locations in the city and often (not always, but often), they will have samples on hand to promote new or returning seasonal products.