HOME > Chowhound > Quebec (inc. Montreal) >


Best canned sardines?

What is your favorite brand of canned sardines and where can I find them in Montreal. I'm tired of the Tousain sardines I usually buy.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. King Oscar Brisling sardines. Unfortunately, incredibly difficult to get. Clover Leaf Brisling sardines are okay and available everywhere at about $2.99/tin. At one point CL was reselling King Oscar and I suspect the Norwegians may still be the source.

    I also really like Smiling Fish brand spicy mackerel but that's an entirely different fish. $1.29/tin in Asian markets.

    1. Here's perhaps the definitive CH post on "best"
      Now, where in Montreal...

      1. Clover Leaf Brislings are quite good. Millionaire smoked brislings are not bad, but for the money Clover leaf is better.

        If you like mild sardines, Saupiquet is pretty good. You can find them in gourmet shops and even some IGAs.

        Albo brand sardines are really good, but they're expensive and ultimately not worth the money. You can get them at Librairie Espanola.

        My regular brand is Sabor Do Mar, their sardines are good. Comparable to Toussain, maybe a bit better. Their stickleback are surprisingly good.

        Adonis house brand sardine are pretty good, but nothing great or that different from Toussain.

        Pastene sardines are a good buy. I like the spicy ones better than the regular.

        You can also find a few different brands of Portuguese sardines at Marché Universel on Mont-Royal and Coloniale. I tried a few of them but can't remember the brands. They were rather good.

        I've got some Bon Appetit and Petit Navire brand sardines in the pantry. I'll update once I've tasted them.

        2 Replies
        1. re: SnackHappy

          I just tasted my Petit Navire sardines and I was quite impressed. They're boned pilchards in extra virgin olive oil with sliced green olives. There were 4 fillets in the 95g can. The fish were very flavourful. Not as unctuous as brislings, of course, but the texture was quite nice. The olives add a nice touch and bring out the flavour of the pilchards.

          At $3 for 95g, they're not the best value, but I would definitely buy them again.

          I got them at Gourmet Laurier, BTW.

          1. re: SnackHappy

            Another sardine update:

            Bon Appetit Portuguese sardines in olive oil. Three big sardines in a 120g can. Lovely texture, very flavourful. Not too bitter or salty. I would certainly buy them again. I don't remember where I bought them but Bon Appetit is a well distributed brand.

            Sumaco sardines in tomato sauce and oil. Product of Thailand. Very tasty. A bit drier than Atlantic sardines, but quite good nonetheless. I would buy them again, but would not seek them out. Bought at Marché Hawaï.

        2. Best I've had is Pastene. Boneless, skinless. But I'm in Boston.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Kebec1

            Kebec1, I'm in the Boston area, and you can get Canadian sardines here - next to the tuna fish! ;-)

            1. re: fundymermaid

              I'm pretty happy with Pastene, but I'll look for them... Are you near a Market Basket supermarket?

              1. re: Kebec1

                They're in Shaw's, Stop & Shop, Market Basket - all the chains.

                1. re: fundymermaid

                  Thanks... Realizing I'm a sardine ignoramus compared to you people.

          2. My favorite sardines are Riga (Gold) sprats. This is the same fish as Brisling. You should be able to find them at Ella's Deli.

            1. The Connors plant in New Brunswick harvests and packages the majority of all sardines sold in North America (except imports from Europe). They package under the following brands: Brunswick, Clover Leaf, Bumble Bee and King Oscar. All those sardines come from the same fishery and are packed in the same plant.


              4 Replies
              1. re: Haggisboy

                Brisling (European sprat), however, come from European waters.

                1. re: GH1618

                  GH1618 wrote "Brisling (European sprat), however, come from European waters."

                  Re-read my post. I wrote that all except European imports come from the Connor's plant in New Brunswick.

                  1. re: Haggisboy

                    I know that the Clover Leaf Brislings used to be marked "packaged by King Oscar", and given that the Norwegians now package export Brisling in Poland, I'm guessing King Oscar is still behind those.

                    Have you managed to find King Oscar branding locally? It's just kinda funky to have the image of a dead Scandinavian king staring back at you in the pantry.

                    1. re: Haggisboy

                      I read it, but it seemed to me to imply that King Oscar (and the other brands mentioned) all came from that source. I thought it was misleadong, but it's a small point and I don't wish to quibble. Some devotees prefer Brisling, so I thought it worthwhile to emphasize the point.

                      Pacific sardines are canned on the West Coast:


                2. For some reason, now I'm craving sardines.