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San Marzano Tomatoes - any deals in L.A. area?

Looking for a few cases of DOP SM's. Anybody know who's blowing 'em out? Can't seem to find them for less than five bucks a can. Having good luck with Cento brand right now, but open to others.

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  1. I don't know their exact prices, but my first inclination would be to call Guidi Marcello in Santa Monica. Their selection of canned tomatoes is here:
    and they do sell by the case.

    Guidi Marcello
    1649 10th St, Santa Monica, CA

    5 Replies
    1. re: will47

      Love that place. Good call, I'll pay him a visit. I'm sure I will at least walk out with a small fortune in pork and fungi.

      1. re: will47

        Second recommendation for Guidi Marcello. Also good for reasonably priced olive oil.

        Guidi Marcello
        1649 10th St, Santa Monica, CA

        1. re: maudies5

          Yes. A little birdie told us about that one, and their house olive oil is not bad at all for the price.

          1. re: AAQjr

            No. It's in an industrial park, and is setup more like a small wholesaler / distributer, but they will sell you stuff retail.

        2. I just bought them at Whole Foods for $3.99.

          4 Replies
          1. re: cls

            Whole Foods only carries the "San Marzano" brand tomatoes which are grown in the domestically.

            1. re: A5 KOBE

              Not true. Whole Foods carries a few different kinds of imported canned tomatoes. At least the branches in Pasadena do. They have Cento, Carmelina and a third brand.

              1. re: Jack Flash

                The ones I buy from Whole Foods are imported.

                1. re: cls

                  likewise. Whole foods in weho has a few brands of imported tomatoes.

          2. Around CHristmas or maybe January saw several different brands at Surfas all under $5. I saw some at Monte Carlo and even Trader Joe's, I can not tell you anything about the flavor of TJ's. Good Luck!

            Good Luck Bar
            1514 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

            1. Thank you for your suggestions. I'll check out the WFM brand. I also found Cento for 5 bucks on Amazon Prime. No tax or shipping to my front door makes that a decent deal, but I was hoping for better. I'll report back on Guidi Marcello.

              Guidi Marcello
              1649 10th St, Santa Monica, CA

              1. You might also try Roma Market in Pasadena (where I'd get them when I lived out there) or any Claro's ( i shop at the La Habra location now). They've always been welll under $5.00 at both stores.

                1. Whole Foods has them for $3.99 and if you get a whole case, they've been known to give a 10% discount. I've done this when purchasing chocolate bars from them.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: redroostersauce

                    Are they DOP? Sometimes I see some on sale at Bristol Farms but I don't think they are the real deal.

                    1. re: redroostersauce

                      Cento has both DOP and non-DOP ones (which IIRC are US grown). I believe Whole Paycheck has the non-DOP Cento ones, as well as DOP certified ones from other brands, but I could be remembering wrong.

                      I actually like the non-DOP Cento brand ones pretty well, but the OP specified DOP.

                      1. re: will47

                        I have seen cans of Cento brand imported from Brazil.

                    2. ok
                      i'm an idiot.
                      what does DOP stand for?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: westsidegal

                        I think i's a sort of stamp of approval or authorization certifying the authenticity of the Italian product being sold.


                        1. I bought a HUGE, industrial size can of San Marzano tomatoes from the bi-monthly sale at Epicure Imports for around $5.50. It was DOP, but it doesn't say DOP because Carmelina doesn't want to pay the fees to certify it DOP (their website does a good job of explaining it:


                          Nevertheless it was an infinitely better price than anything at Whole Foods, etc.

                          1. I'm posting to correct some misinformation provided in a couple of places above in this thread about what is stocked at Whole Foods.

                            I perused the tomato shelf at the Arroyo store today. There were four different brands of Italian (i.e., imported from Italy) San Marzano tomatoes. In alphabetical order: Bionaturae, Carmelina, Gia Russa and Rao's. Gia Russa are DOP, for whatever that's worth. I can't recall the prices on all, but I remember that Gia Russa was $4.99 for a 28-oz. can.

                            Hope this info. is helpful.

                            1. Surfas has a nice selection, at least four different choices and the prices are pretty good.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: OC Mutt

                                Plus, Surfa's will give 10% off the purchase of a case.

                              2. I found them at Gelson's for surprisingly a more reasonable price ($4.50?) than Bay Cities Deli. These would be the Cento San Marzanos grown in Italy. They had the organic ones too for a little more.

                                1. Flash: Gelson's has Cento DOP's for 3.69 right now, in case anyone cares.

                                  1. Anyone know what the shelf life is of canned SM tomatos?

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: TailbackU

                                      If there is no USE BY date printed on the can, I'd try to use it within a year or so.

                                      Not because of safety concerns, mind you, but simply because the bright flavor of canned tomatoes tend to fade over time...

                                      1. re: Joe Blowe

                                        I found several brands of San Marzano DOP tomatoes at Cortina's in Anaheim.
                                        We purchased Baresi brand at $3.89 a can. They have other brands, but this one
                                        has the least sodium content.

                                        The Whole Foods in Tustin has Italian tomatos, but they are not San Marzano.

                                        Claros are priced at over $5.00 a can. So, Cortina's is my new go-to market.

                                        Cortina's Market
                                        2175 W. Orange (at Brookhurst)
                                        Anaheim, CA 92804

                                    2. Was at Bristol Farms (Beverly and Doheny) today. Cento San Marzano DOP from Italy $6.50/can.

                                      1. Another vouch for Guidi Marcello. I got the massive can of Le Valle San Marzano tomatoes for 6.99?

                                        I always have the intention of purchasing certain items hoping not to go over 30.00 when I go there. Fail. I walk out on average spending 100.00...I love this place.

                                        Guidi Marcello
                                        1649 10th St, Santa Monica, CA

                                        1. Just bought a can of Cento DOP San Marzanos at Whole Foods in Westwood for 2/$7.

                                          1. Regarding imported vs. domestically grown canned tomatoes...

                                            Apparently there is a regulation that imported must be packed in puree, whereas domestic tomatoes can be packed in puree or juice.

                                            Puree tends to me made from inferior tomatoes, essentially tainting the whole tin. So if you're purchasing DOP San Marzanos, chances are you're much better off buying a high quality tin of domestic tomatoes packed in juice.

                                            Source: Cooks Illustrated canned tomato taste test.

                                            Mr Taster