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Fresh oysters - retail, not resto

Thatcher Nov 18, 2009 02:21 PM

So, this Friday night is our weekly date night and I wanted to pick up 2 dozen fresh oysters as a starter to go with the white Pacific salmon [fresh out of the ocean, couriered in from my nephew, the BC fly fishing guide :-) ] I'm doing for the main.

Looking for a good vendor of fresh, fresh, fresh oysters and more than 1 or 2 options of varieties. Stopped by Pisces today - had difficulty being understood by the counter staff and getting a straight answer. Likewise they only had 2 varieties. We will be eating raw with shots of vodka, so looking for a selection of 3-4 different types, all nice and fresh.

Anyone have a good oyster-monger they're willing to share?

Thanks in advance.

  1. Wahooty Nov 18, 2009 02:41 PM

    Willing to go as far as Scarborough? Because if you are, try Diana's.

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

    5 Replies
    1. re: Wahooty
      Full tummy Nov 18, 2009 02:50 PM

      Second that. They generally have a great selection, as in 6+ different varieties, plus a few bulk boxes of very good value. Definitely worth a visit.

      1. re: Full tummy
        Thatcher Nov 18, 2009 03:07 PM

        Thank you both for the recco's. I likely should have mentioned that I am constrained to walking distance from the TTC, as I don't have access to a car during business hours.

        Hoping there might be something closer. I see vendors at St Lawrence Market, but don't know the dodgy from the bona fide, as I usually don't buy my fish there...

        1. re: Thatcher
          Otonabee Nov 18, 2009 03:38 PM

          Mike's Fish Market at the St. Lawrence Market has always been excellent for fish. Can't speak to the oyster specifically but they always looked pretty good!

          1. re: Thatcher
            Davwud Nov 19, 2009 03:24 AM

            Diana's is right on Lawrence. Pretty easy by bus.


            1. re: Davwud
              11oclockish Nov 19, 2009 07:38 AM

              ... and definitely worth any extra effort.

      2. pinstripeprincess Nov 18, 2009 04:22 PM

        oyster boy will sell you oysters at a good price, as long as you're ok with pretty much all east coast oysters, half a dozen varieties. they're a fairly major distributer even though they've only got one small restaurant front.

        1. TeRReT Nov 19, 2009 04:28 AM

          Rodney's oyster house will also sell oysters and should have a good fresh selection. They are on king just west of spadina on the south side. I am not sure if Rodney's by the bay does retail but you could try at bay and just south of richmond.

          1. r
            robb Nov 19, 2009 04:38 AM

            I 5th the recomendation for Diane's. Lots of choice, very fresh, well priced and staff is very helpful. Easily accessed by TTC.

            6 Replies
            1. re: robb
              Thatcher Nov 19, 2009 04:08 PM

              Thanks again for all the recommendations. Turns out my SO will be driving on the 404 tomorrow and will make the detour to check out Diana's. Looking forward to seeing what we get...

              1. re: Thatcher
                Thatcher Nov 21, 2009 07:26 AM

                So we did manage to get to Diana's. GREAT recommendation. We got a mix of 3 kinds of oysters from PEI, BC and Alaska - all fresh delivered on Thursday and at an extremely reasonable price.

                Apparently the fish selection was incredible. We'll be trying something a mix for sashimi next and will let you know how that works out.

                I won't be going to Pisces again, even though they're only 2 blocks away...Thanks again for the good advice.

                1. re: Thatcher
                  foodyDudey Nov 21, 2009 07:54 AM

                  Your welcome. I posted a minute or two before Wahooty but it never actually posted, just displayed "working"

                  1. re: Thatcher
                    Davwud Nov 21, 2009 07:59 AM

                    So glad to hear that. It's always great to find an awesome place that's been off your radar isn't it??


                    1. re: Davwud
                      erly Nov 21, 2009 11:35 AM

                      I buy most of my fish at Dianas.
                      Found it here on Chowhounds several years ago, and it has been my go to place ever since.
                      However I am a terrible shucker, (end up with bits of bone every time) and they won't shuck them for you even if you are willing to pay.
                      They did at one time.
                      Does anyone know if there is a retail outlet who will ?
                      I know a restaurant will, but if I am paying restaurant prices, might as well eat in.
                      I would drive anywhere.

                    2. re: Thatcher
                      Wahooty Nov 21, 2009 03:56 PM

                      Glad you found what you needed, Thatcher. I love that place - never gotten any fish there that I was unhappy with, and sometimes the sales are incredible. Enjoy!

                2. j
                  jenc1961 Nov 21, 2009 11:56 AM

                  Bill's Lobster on Gerrard at Broadview. Very helpful owners - bought delicious Malpeque's yesterday for $1.50 each. They also had some from Japan - can't remember the name.

                  1. g
                    gastronom Nov 23, 2009 06:43 AM

                    you can also get it from the japanese fish place in kensigton market. He's actually go japanese oysters, they are more expensive than the other ones but really interesting taste.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: gastronom
                      carissima Nov 23, 2009 06:49 AM

                      Where exactly on Kensington market is this "Japanese fish place"?

                      1. re: carissima
                        gastronom Dec 1, 2009 11:05 AM

                        next to Wood Oven Grill on the south side. 195 Baldwin I think since Wood Oven Grill is 197 Baldwin.

                      2. re: gastronom
                        foodyDudey Dec 1, 2009 12:35 PM

                        Diana's also had Japanese oysters last week.

                        1. re: foodyDudey
                          Dr Butcher Dec 5, 2009 05:32 AM

                          Stopped by Diana's yesterday and picked up some Colville Bay and Shigoku oysters. Their selection was fantastic, at least a dozen different varieties, they've improved since the last time I was in there. I thought the Shigoku were fantastic, the Colville Bay were a little to briney for my tastes. The lady behind the counter was very helpful as well.

                          Has anyone tried the Seafood Depot? I think you might have to buy in bulk though, opinions?


                      3. c
                        Cup cake Dec 5, 2009 07:53 AM

                        I buy unshucked oysters from Oyster Boy. They are always fantastic, a great price and they give you the shallot sauce and fresh horseradish to go with them.

                        1. l
                          lamaranthe Dec 5, 2009 12:53 PM

                          Forget the tiny wee-wee oysters sold at Metro for $1.20 each. Why not go to that Fish monger next to Lady York, 2939 Dufferin Street. Fresh and delicious and not at such an extravagant price.

                          1. elvisahmed Dec 5, 2009 08:55 PM

                            Galleria Super Market (7171 Yonge Street) has a promo this week for large fresh oysters I think its 1.25 each. Looked pretty interesting.

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