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Oct 8, 2007 08:37 PM

Where can I buy fresh sardine fish in Toronto?

Where can I buy fresh sardine fish in Toronto? Preferably live ones.

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  1. Diana's Seafood likely has them but you should call to check first as their website has a lot of photos but not much detail -

    Diana's Seafood
    2101 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R, CA

    8 Replies
    1. re: JamieK

      I've never seen live sardines at fish stores in Toronto. All three fishmongers at the St. Lawrence Market, however, carry sardines, sometimes fresh, ususally frozen previously (depending on the season, I suppose), at a price that usually works out to $1.10-$1.15 per sardine. I've bought them both ways, fresh and previously frozen, and, when cleaned, lathered with olive oil, salt and pepper, then broiled three minutes on each side, can't tell the difference in taste between fresh and previously frozen. It's the recipe from in How To Cook Everything, a basic, easily understood and well-written cookbook by Mark Bittman, and is the recipe used by just about every Portuguese restaurant I've ever been to. As JamieK has noted, Diana's also carries sardines. I've seen them there every time I've gone, though haven't bought them there. Maybe I should have. Diana's is usually 20 per cent or so cheaper than the St. Lawrence fishmongers. Marlin, for example, is $9 a pound at Diana's, $15 a pound at the St. Lawrence Market. (Marlin is a pretty good substitute for tuna, which goes for about $24 a pound at the St. Lawrence, but somewhat - but not much - cheaper at Diana's.)

      1. re: juno

        had sardine sushi at kumai in 'saug and looooooved it. it was certainly raw and if it was previously frozen then i'm completely gobsmacked. perhaps you can find out where they got their delicious fish from.

        1. re: juno

          Thanks for all replies, especially juno's detailed one!

          $1.10-$1.15 per sardine sounds a bit expensive. How big are they? Maybe best answered should be how much a pound?

          I had some REALLY fresh, big ones in China. Battered and lightly fried in oil. Tasted excellently. Restaurant price - around 10RMB/jin (1 jin = 1.1 pound). About $1.5 canadian dollars!!!

          1. re: ericdunn

            If I recall correctly, sardines at the St. Lawrence Market go for $2.49 a pound (up from $1.99 a few months ago). Two sardines will weigh in at just under a pound. I usually think in terms of the price per sardine, and the price per at the Market is a touch above $1. Three sardines per serving makes for a tasty appetizer (or maybe a main course if you're not too hungry). Though I never noticed the price at Diana's. I'm confident the price is substantially less than the Market's, as it invariably is. I'm aware that only Whole Foods and Pusateri's charges more than the Market's fishmongers, but what the Market fishmongers have going for them is a wide, wide range of fish varieties - in whole fish, steaks, fillets and such. Some think that that justifies the Market's prices, and makes it the ideal place to go for fish if you're not sure what fish you might want till you actually see it in the showcase..

            1. re: juno

              Thanks again for that detail info juno!!!

              1. re: juno

                Allow me to correct the $2.49 price per pound I reported for sardines at the St. Lawrence Market fishmongers. It's $4.99 per pound - and one monger charges $5.99. Sorry, but with small fish like sardines I always think in terms of the price per sardine. So though I got the per pound price wrong, I was still correct on the price per sardine: just over a dollar apiece, a decent price compared to some other fish varienties. Just got four sardines at Dominic's in the Market this morning. It'll make a nice starter for tonight's supper.

        2. They are not hard to find. Any self respecting Portuguese fish monger will have them. Newport at Dupont and Dufferin and City Fish at Dufferin and Lawrence almost always have them fresh. I've even seen them at Highland Farms in their fish case---both fresh and frozen

          1 Reply
          1. re: ishmael

            St. Clair Fish Market (E of Dufferin) flies them in from Greece every Wednesday when they are in season.

          2. Never ever seen live sardines in a market here or even where they're commercially fished.They're a Portuguese staple and, as reported here, available when "available" at any good fishmonger. I find 'em over-priced and sometimes border-line "off" when sold fresh and simply tasteles when sold frozen.Anyplace but SLM for fish seems a good call these days. Newport on Dupont is usually good; try Mike's on N. Queen around Sherway Gdns, too.