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Best Italian food shop Calgary

c
cleopatra999 Apr 30, 2012 02:17 PM

Chime in on your favorite Italian food store! I am unfamiliar with the scene there. Looking for high quality cured meats and mortadella as well as canned tomatoes and oils.

  1. cellophane_star Apr 30, 2012 02:32 PM

    1st place Lina's Italian Market on Centre St.

    2nd place: The Italian Superstore on Edmonton Trail.

    1. s
      Scary Bill Apr 30, 2012 02:41 PM

      Sorry Cello, the real first place goes to The Italian Store (Scarpones) near McKnight and Deerfoot!!!

      12 Replies
      1. re: Scary Bill
        n
        nonlinear Apr 30, 2012 03:19 PM

        my vote also goes to The Italian Store. Far bigger, wider selection, and better prices than ANY other Italian store in the city.

        1. re: nonlinear
          KcM Apr 30, 2012 09:55 PM

          We tend to go to The Italian Store (Scarpones) first to load up on sliced meat and cheese, dried pasta, canned tomatoes, oils, and flats of fizzy drinks. Prices at Scarpones can't be beat; for example, bags of dried tortellini for soup are $3.99 at Lina's and $2.49 for the exact same thing at Scarpones, stopping there first is guaranteed to save me at least $3.75 every shopping trip (just don't ask how much gas we burned detouring over to the Deerfoot).

          Now, after stocking up at Scarpones we usually stop at Lina's because it's just a more pleasant place to shop and grab something to eat. We'll get some bread, bulk nuts, tinned fish, some of their killer Sicilian cannoli, and a porchetta sandwich with extra roasted pepeprs (my mouth is watering just thinking about that sandwich).

          Best of both worlds.

          (Also, I am always amazed at the selection and prices at the Italian Center in Edmonton...though their cannoli can't hold a candle to Lina's).

          1. re: KcM
            c
            cleopatra999 May 1, 2012 06:39 AM

            @KcM, which brand of dried tortellini do you purchase?

            1. re: cleopatra999
              KcM May 1, 2012 07:42 PM

              Italissima.

              Both Lina's and Scarpones usually have the cheese, spinach and ricotta, and mushroom varieties. It's not the same beast as a fresh tortellini, I wouldn't cook it up and toss it in a light sauce. However it holds up well to being par-boiled and added to my braised beef shank and kale soup (love the tangyness of the cheese ones for that) or even mixed with chopped spinach and alfredo and baked in the oven.

              1. re: KcM
                c
                cleopatra999 May 2, 2012 07:53 AM

                ah ok, I was thinking it was the meat ones that I saw in Italy that taste good in soups. thanks!

        2. re: Scary Bill
          cellophane_star May 1, 2012 07:24 AM

          I see! I've never been there. I live in the SW so even heading to Lina's is a trek for me :)

          1. re: cellophane_star
            s
            Scary Bill May 2, 2012 09:44 AM

            We're in Evergreen and it is a 20 minute drive. Go there Cello you will be convinced. I do agree that their hot food is a bit meh, especially the veal on a bun, but everything else is really good. I asked one time about a particular type of pasta and it turned out they didn't have it, never had. I told them which distributer carried it, and a couple of months later, they stocked it. So you can imagine that I am very pleased with their concern about service.

            1. re: Scary Bill
              cellophane_star May 2, 2012 12:13 PM

              I might to visit! I live in Woodlands but I do enjoy the occassional jaunt for a new foodie find :)

              1. re: Scary Bill
                n
                nonlinear May 2, 2012 01:54 PM

                who cares about hot food, there are a million and one italian restaurants in the city anyhow. if you're looking for a good store, though, Scarpone's is by far the best.

                1. re: nonlinear
                  sharonanne May 2, 2012 03:50 PM

                  "who cares about hot food"

                  I do. Nice to have lunch when I shop. I've never seen rissotto balls in an Italian restaurant in Calgary and if they had them I bet they would be stupid expensive. That said, Lina's espresso could be better.

                  Scarpones looked dirty and crowded (not with people but the shelves were mashed in together) when I was there though the selection and prices were good.

                  1. re: sharonanne
                    TSAW May 2, 2012 04:18 PM

                    Borgo has rissotto balls! And yes they are stupid expensive!

                    1. re: TSAW
                      s
                      Scary Bill May 2, 2012 05:24 PM

                      As does From Milano to Calgary in Braeside.

          2. sharonanne Apr 30, 2012 03:10 PM

            I'd rate Lina's highest even though Scarpones has better prices because Lina's is cleaner, brighter and has better hot food. The kitchen gadgets and dishes selection at Lina's is better too.

            Also good is the Italian Center in Edmonton just because of the bakery.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sharonanne
              The Gut May 1, 2012 10:18 AM

              I love The Italian Store. Some of the things I buy there are less expensive than superstore. SanPelligrino fizzy drinks, oringina and one brand of spaghetti. Someone here put me on to that place and I'm great full for that.

            2. TSAW Apr 30, 2012 10:50 PM

              I like all three mentioned so far. Italian Supermarket on Edmonton trail isn't pretty and they don't have the same selection as the others but I find the prices slightly cheaper than Lina's, which is one block away.

              Mercato is way over priced, although it is a beautiful store with a lot of fabulous things. Fresh pasta is all I purchase there.

              1. l
                Lotti May 3, 2012 10:01 AM

                I like The Italian Superstore on Edmonton Trail because the people there have always been so friendly and nice, and their prices are pretty good. I also like the Italian Store (Scarpones). I avoid Lina's mostly because I don't like their prices and have never been overwhelmed by their deli/hot food, I think it is all overpriced and the other two are just as good and cheaper.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Lotti
                  cellophane_star May 3, 2012 01:12 PM

                  I've been to the Italian Superstore three times are the staff were generally unfriendly, especially the cashiers. They do have a good selection of canned good and pastas though and the deli is decent. Never eaten the hot food.

                  1. re: cellophane_star
                    l
                    Lotti May 3, 2012 08:43 PM

                    That really surprises me. I have always found them to be very friendly and helpful. I get the impression it is a family run business, and I've never had less than wonderful service. Sorry to hear you haven't.

                2. w
                  whythreecats May 4, 2012 02:08 PM

                  I absolutely love the Italian Store/Scarpones! they have great food and fantastic service. the lasagne is delicious...no additives.

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