Lina’s Italian Market is a great specialty market, and I used to live just 10 minutes away! As you can imagine, they saw quite a bit of me over the last 4 years that we lived in Calgary. With so many options and great food, I’m glad I’ve been able to sample quite a bit of it over time. Since moving to Montana, I’ve missed this place so much, that I went a little crazy buying all kinds of things to take home. We also bought some pre-prepared sauces and assorted goodies to take with us out to Banff and Jasper for meals with a view. I felt pretty lucky to have all this gourmet food at my finger tips after a long day in the mountains.
They have a pretty good selection of produce here, so it’s really easy to make a one-stop shop and get all the makings of a great Italian dinner. Another great thing about Lina’s is, unlike most specialty markets, this one doesn’t come with specialty prices. In fact they’re so reasonably priced that a lot of students shop here as well. Just as a side note: if you’re buying good quality olive oil or aged balsamic vinegar be prepared to pay for it, that stuff’s not cheap anywhere.
There are so many kinds of salami that it took me the better part of a year to try them all out! Our all-time favorite was the Friulano salami, (pictured below).
And then… there are the cheeses…
Oh my, the cheeses! Everything from havarti to cheddars to brie – triple cream brie, truffled brie, and the most delicious gorgonzola I’ve ever tasted. I used to get a smidge of gorgonzola for cream sauces on the weekend – YUM!
This place has 2 aisles full of different kinds of pasta. Even though I can’t eat pasta very often anymore, I stock up on some of the really good imported brands to take home for treats. My favorite one is in the photo below. Picture the best texture in pasta you’ve ever had, al dente without being crunchy, and the perfect amount of chewiness.
I love their deli section for picnics. There’s so many great things to choose from, it’s hard to narrow it down.
The dessert cases range from full sized cakes to mini tiramisu, and there’s gelato in the espresso bar area. I’m telling you, this place is a landmine – goldmine, whatever you want to call it. By the time you leave, you will have all kinds of yummy things for dinners to come.
Just past the espresso bar, they have their in-house freshly baked breads on display. We’ve been known to assemble an entire sandwich by traveling around the perimeter of the store. First, you grab some basil and tomatoes. Then, you stop for cold cuts and slice cheese, before finally winding up in the bread section. For the gluten free route, I now grab some lettuce to make lettuce wraps on our way to go hiking in the mountains. If you’re just passing through, I highly recommend stopping in for a few snacks or even a full meal in the restaurant.
And… I saved the best part for last: they have a kitchen gadget section that I love to go through when I’m there. There’s anything from cool dishes, to gnocchi boards, and even a selection of moka pots for brewing espresso on the stove!
I hope you’ve enjoyed some of our favorite places in Calgary. Join us next week as we move west into Canmore and some great hiking!