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Dec 30, 2008 06:33 AM

If you live close to the SLM, is the trip to Diana's Seafood in Scarborough still worth it?

Is there anything really different or spectacular at Diana's?

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  1. Can't say I would, but I think the reverse is true, also. (If you live close to Diana's, a trip to SLM isn't really worth it.)

    Not that nothing's different, but if you have a reliable vendor with quality goods, then no need to go elsewhere.

    Where Diana's really stands out in comparison to SLM, though, is oysters. There are perhaps a dozen or more stocked at Diana's. Haven't seen that selection at SLM, though I haven't been there recently. Probably because I live close to Diana's... :0)

    1. I've seen many varieties of fish at Diana's that I've not seen at the SLM. It's worth a drive out at least once just to see what they have.

      8 Replies
      1. re: foodyDudey

        Yes it is worth the drive.
        I purchased the highest quality Salmon the day before Christmas for Gravlox from Diana's and the family agreed that it was the best they have had.
        Usually I hunt around the market for the piece that looks best, but the Diana's beat them all.

        1. re: erly

          Quality is pretty much the same, but I find Diana's prices are usually at least 20% less than the St. Lawrence Market's prices. For whole fish, you probably can't beat the range at Diana's. But SLM seems to have a wider range of pre-cut fresh fish steaks and filets. As someone has mentioned, Diana's usually has a better selection of oysters, but the fishmongers at SLM are stronger on various sizes of shrimp. You should take a drive to Diana's at least once to decide which venue best suits your taste. It would help to rationalize the drive if you can combine it with visits to some of the middle east supermarkets - like Nasr - along Lawrence Ave. E.

          1. re: juno

            why does Nasr keep getting mentioned on CH? I was there once and found it to be a dump. It's nowhere near as nice as ARZ bakery. Is there anyhing you can only get at NASR?

            1. re: foodyDudey

              Where were you two hours ago?!?!?!? ARZ was what I was looking for for pitas, but Nasr is where we ended up. Oh well. We also hit the roasted nuts place with the big pink sign in the same plaza as Shawarma Empire. Great place for nuts, spices, snack, and sweets. Can't recall the name.

              So we did manage to get to Diana's today. I'd say it's definitely worth the special trip and hubby agrees. Impressive variety and quality. Absolutely also agree on the prices being more than reasonable. The clincher from the start was pulling into the parking lot and parking two spots over from the Rodney's Oysters vehicle. Yeah, I'm thinkin' they're good. The complimentary goods such as olives, taramosalata, etc. all look great. The smoked salmon divine. Can't wait to tuck in!

              1. re: foodyDudey

                Each carries stuff that the other doesn't. In short, they complement each other.

                Nasr has a much bigger selection of both groceries and produce, as well as fresh Halal meats. Arz has more, and better, pastries (though nowhere near as good as those at Patisserie Royale). Arz is probably a bit more expensive overall, but both places typically have some great specials.

                Arz has tried to fashion itself into a mid-eastern Pusateri's (complete with a scary parking lot entrance). It is a much nicer store, attractively designed and well merchandised. They have a decent - not great - cafe.

                Nasr, despite continuous expansion and renovations, has never really been finished. The store is untidy and is not merchandised well. Service is pretty bad.

                1. re: embee

                  I just went to Diana's and Arz today. I have been going to Diana's for years and the seafood is always fresh and the prices decent compared to downtown. Their oysters are amazing I believe they are now #1 in Toronto for selection and quantities and they also have wonderful sushi grade tuna as well of course any other seafood you like..they have fixed it up inside and it is now a seafood paradise!
                  I still prefer Arz to Nazr only because it looks nicer and is cleaner for the goods they are similar.

                  1. re: cynthias

                    Thta's right, the goods are very similar. You just don't have to watch where you are walking at ARZ. My first trip to Nasr was my last, after seeing how badly kept the place was. There are many interesting items at ARZ, from the pita and breads, the items at the meat counter and deli, and the desserts. You should try some of the marinated chicken and beef that you can buy and cook at home, it's very tasty. You can buy a few items from that counter where the marinated meats are and have a great dinner in no time.

                2. re: foodyDudey

                  I was just at Nasr early Tuesday evening, and I won't be going back. They were completely out of pistachios (which were jacked up to $8.99/lb) and most other nuts, and the pita bread shelves were empty, as were the availability of many other items. Granted, it was a day before New Years Eve - so maybe that explains it, but what surprised me most were the signs at the registers signed by the "new management" saying they were only accepting cash - no debit or credit cards.

                  Time to pay Arz a visit.