Claro’s Italian Market has been serving Southern California for almost 68 years. Joe Claro, started the business with his wife Mary. He soon became partners with his son Frank and wife Geraldine. In 1958 Joe retired and his son took over the business. Today, the tradition continues with their two daughters, Rosemarie and Mary Linda, along with their husbands, Bob and George running the stores.
They have grown to six retail outlets and import many items from Italy. The vast array of products provide everything needed to prepare Italian meals, with a little Greek, French and Argentine thrown in for good measure.
Be sure to allow ample time to wander and peruse the shelves piled high with delicious ingredients.
The deli case is a wonder to behold and the place to order slices of cured meats, cheese and their famous sandwiches.
A long list suggests some of their best meat and cheese combinations or guests can custom order sandwiches that bring them the greatest joy.
We went with the two most popular sandwiches. We had to try their beloved Grandpa Joe, which unifies lettuce, tomatoes, pepperoncini, mortadella, capacollo, dry salami and provolone. We were also attracted to the Spicy Mike, a soft roll topped with capocollo, casalingo salame, hot calabrese salame, hot pepper cheese, sliced pepperoncini & oil dressing. Both subs are very meaty and satisfying with a small being more than sufficient at $5.99, or for big eaters they have a large for $6.99, which looks to be almost twice the size.
In house whipped up deli salads, marinated vegetables and olives take up a portion of the deli case.
While the far end houses a hot food bar, all well within reach price-wise.
Strategically placed counters on the way out, house pastries and desserts cases.
We couldn’t resist the dense, almond rich wedding cookies.
We asked about cannoli and they were happy to fill a shell for us with the freshest ricotta, studded with chocolate chips and candied fruit. The cannoli are creamy, thick, dense, mildly sweet, cheese filled crisp shells that should not be missed.
For old school, ready made Italian delicacies along with an impressive selection of imported and locally sourced Italian goods, Claro’s is an amazing go to and to go resource.
Claro’s Italian Market, 1003 East Valley Boulevard, San Gabriel, CA 91776 Phone – 626-288-2026 web site – claros.com