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Apr 30, 2012 02:17 PM

Best Italian food shop Calgary

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.

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

    2nd place: The Italian Superstore on Edmonton Trail.

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

      12 Replies
      1. re: Scary Bill

        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

          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

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

            1. re: cleopatra999


              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

                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

          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

            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

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

              1. re: Scary Bill

                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

                  "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

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

                    1. re: TSAW

                      As does From Milano to Calgary in Braeside.

          2. 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

              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. 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. 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

                  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

                    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.