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Dec 7, 2008 06:31 AM

Fish mongers--Diana's, St. Lawrence M or ??

I know there was a recent fish (phish?!?) posting, but no reply talked about Diana's, and I was interested in hearing more about it. I'm looking for east end, and accessible by TTC. My criteria would be--
-reasonably priced (the common knock against SLM)
-good quality merch
-possibility to buy fish that hasn't travelled too far


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  1. I like Diana's. I don['t buy a lot of seafood so am not an expert but I found what I've bought there to be fresh and reasonably priced. It's always busy so you know you're getting good turn-over. And even smells good there.

    The staff are friendly and helpful. There is a counter where you can get your fish filleted or whathaveyou. There are lots of other products that are seafood-related, such as condiments, sauces, dips, lemons, etc.

    However, would not consider it especially TTC-accessible unless you mean a bus. It's on Lawrence, about one block east of Warden.

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

    3 Replies
      1. re: budeeez

        If it's in Scarborough it has parking. You'd think they invented the strip plaza.

        1. re: Googs

          Now, now -- I've seen plenty of strip plazas in Etobicoke and North York.

          Budeez - The entrance to Diana's parking is off Crockford Blvd, which is the first street east of Warden. click on the placelink for a map.

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

    1. Diana's is very good, and has a huge variety of fish available but since I live in Riverdale, it's just too far to travel unless I happen to be in that area. I usually buy fish at Bill's Lobster. Ocean Treasures on Danforth just east of Carlaw is another option.

      1. I can't say enough good things about Diana's - it's pretty much the only place I buy fresh fish. I'd echo everything JamieK said - the staff are great, friendly, and insanely efficient, they have a great variety, and it's a great place to just pop in and see what they have a good price on that week. I've never been disappointed with what I brought home.

        It's about a 10-minute bus ride from Warden station.

        10 Replies
        1. re: Wahooty

          The best all-round variety of fish and seafood, at prices that are ordinarily 20-30 per cent lower than the three St. Lawrence Market fishmongers, is at Diana's. It's especially strong on whole fish, of which it carries an astounding variety, which, as someone above has noted, it will clean for you at no extra charge (as do most fishmongers). The SLM mongers have almost identical prices for all their stock, though one will occasionally offer something the others don't. For example, last Saturday Mike's had fresh albacore tuna steaks, which I'd never seen before at SLM, at $15 a pound, almost half for what the mongers there want for the sushi-grade tuna they ordinarily showcase. The albacore tuna barbecues nicely, I discovered, and tastes almost exactly like the sushi-grade variety. What the SLM mongers have going for them, besides easier access than Diana's (unless you live in the east end) is a slightly wider range of fish steaks and fillets, and sizes of shrimp and other seafood, than Diana's usually carries. But for that variety you will pay dearly at SLM.

          1. re: juno

            My routine when visiting Dianna's, which otherwise is a bit too far out of the way for me, is to also get some grocery shopping in at Nasr Foods (fantastic large Middle Eastern store), and grab a lamb shwarma at Farhat (in the same mall).

            1. re: gimel

              I didn't mention Diana's because you said East End, and I thought you meant downtown.
              I buy most of my fish and Seafood, with the exception of Lobster there.
              This year they will be carrying my favorite fresh Black Cod all year round, as it has become trendy.
              They are accommodating, and will filet or slice your fish to order.
              They will no longer shuck your oysters unfortunately.

              1. re: gimel

                That is my route too! And I always go to P.A.T. (Korean) across the road from Nasr, where they are very helpful and low key.

                1. re: jayt90

                  jayt90, what is P.A.T? Is it a Korean grocery or restaurant? If it's a grocery store, tell us more! I used to go to a Korean grocery store on the northeast corner of VP and Lawrence, but it closed up a couple of years ago. It would be so handy to have a Korean grocery in that area. What's good to buy there? How does it compare with Galleria, for example?

                  1. re: Full tummy

                    It is a medium size Asian grocery, with branches at Bloor and Palmerston, Missisauga, and North York. Good selection of rice, kimchi, seaweed, soy products, and Japanese items.

                    P A T Spring Garden Market
                    63 Spring Garden Ave, Toronto, ON M2N, CA

                    P A T Central Market
                    675 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G, CA

                    1. re: Full tummy

                      It is on Lawrence just West of Warden on the south side, directly across the road from Nasr
                      It is smaller than Galleria, but closer for me, and has a surprisingly good selection for its size.
                      They do carry fresh meat, and some prepared foods as well.
                      I purchase my short ribs there.
                      I remember the one at Vic. Park, and shopped there when it was Japanese owned.
                      The prices went up when it was sold to Koreans, and it was at about that time that I discovered P.A.T. which is a little Gem.
                      I can't get too excited about NASR as their quality has slipped considerably.

                      1. re: erly

                        I can vouch for P.A.T. It's been my mom's supply store for the last 15 years or so. They're an institution for Scarborough Koreans! Galleria is taking a lot of their business though so i dunno what their turnover is like compared to the pre-galleria days.

                        I wish i knew if it was the same owners from long ago. I'll try and as my mom if ownership has changed in the last 5 years or so.

                        EDIT: to make it relevant to the thread i do know they carry a ton of FROZEN asian fish which might not be avail elsewhere. Good examples are Asian tilapia with better flavour than the Ocean Liner (?) brand stuff at the supermarkets and Korean mackerel which tastes strong and is smaller than the fresh mackerel you can get around here.

                        1. re: CoffeeAddict416

                          Thanks so much, jayt90 and others, this will be a real boon for me. I love Korean food (make my own kimchi, too) and have lamented the drive up to Galleria and totally sworn off of Korea Town, due to distance, parking, etc. But this will be great!!!!

                          1. re: CoffeeAddict416

                            I get good advice and service from an older couple at P.A.T., so I would expect them to have been there awhile.

              2. I would also agree with Diana's being of exceptional quality. I went last week to purchase the black cod for a miso black cod recipe and the fish was stellar. The meal turned out so incredibly good my SO swore that they would never order black cod at a restaurant ever again (and the list increases...first duck breast, then lobster, then...)

                Either way, check it out and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. They recently installed a set of fridges to better contain their fish/shellfish and hopefully improve quality.
                Here's a photo of their store layout:
                Sea urchin + prices:

                Another place to check out for fresh seafood is T&T supermarkets. They have a great fresh seafood counter with live fish. I have never had a bad experience there.
       . It's very prevalent in the east end (Scarborough) and the one on Steeles & Warden is moderately easy to get to (if you are willing to get to Diana's, T&T is not so far off). Another option is to take the McCowan bus up from Scarborough Town Centre and get off at Steeles. You can walk about 5 minutes (east) to get to the Middlefield and Steeles location.
                T&T Lobster tank:

                1. Diana's is where I go to buy fish. Lucky for me, it's not too much out of the way on my trip home from work. I just can't bring myself to buy fish elsewhere, though I must admit there would be other possibilities if I were willing to travel apiece.

                  That said, Diana's fish is always fresh. I like that you can buy quite a range whole and have the fishmongers there clean and cut to order. Was in last week to pick up some salmon. Delicious, as always. And the staff there are knowledgeable and friendly.

                  Oh ya, almost forgot to mention the price. Very good value. Let us know what you think!