If your repertoire of family dinners is starting to get a little tiresome, it’s time to look for some inspiration. Sure, you could pick up a Food Network magazine or spend a couple of hours perusing Pinterest . But the best way to really spur your culinary creativity is by seeing your ingredients up close and personal, and the best place to do that in the City of Toronto is the St. Lawrence Market.

Ranked by National Geographic in 2012 as the best food market in the world, St. Lawrence Market is a Toronto landmark and home to more than 120 vendors, a Saturday farmer’s market, a cooking school, an antiques market and over 10,000 square feet of rental space. The main and upper level of the South Market is where you’ll find stall after stall of deliciously fresh, locally produced meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, cheese, baked goods, preserves and specialty items. In addition, there are dozens of other diverse vendors, offering everything from handmade jewellery and accessories to kitchen gadgets, fresh cut flowers, clothing, toys and collectibles.

Brown Brothers Meats, a fixture at the market since 1895, is a good place to start your search for meal-time inspiration. If you’ve never prepared lamb at home before, this is the time to try something new! If seafood is outside of your comfort zone in the kitchen, visit Dominic’s Fish and ask their experts for the day’s freshest catch.

A true feast for the senses, the St. Lawrence Market will have you starving in no time. There are plenty of tasty options on both levels, though you can be sure to find a lunch-time line up at Uno Mustachio, known for their chicken and veal Italian sandwiches. Another good bet is Carousel Bakery, home of the “World Famous Peameal Bacon Sandwich”. For seafood done right, you can’t go wrong with Buster’s Sea Cove, a St. Lawrence Market favourite.

To find out more about the St. Lawrence Market, including information about upcoming cooking classes in The Market Kitchen and the weekly Farmer’s and Antiques Markets, as well as hours of operation and parking tips, visit www.stlawrencemarket.com.