Arabic Markets in SD
I'm looking for some good Arabic markets in the SD area that sell thin philo dough, as well as pitas, etc. I would prefer ones that are closer the the UCSD area.
I am aware of the International Market on La Jolla Village Dr. as well as an Arabic Market on Garnet Ave. in the PB area close to the 5.
Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. THANKS!
Closest that I know of to UCSD is in Clairemont. There are actually two here, one is on Balboa in the same parking lot as Coco's, and the other on Convoy St. a few blocks south of Balboa.
There is actually a third, near Mesa College, but it's not the cleanest place I've ever seen.
The one on Convoy used to be in the spot on Balboa, not sure why they moved. The one on Convoy is called Parsian International Market and Deli, the one on Balboa is called Balboa International Market. I've had good luck at both.
Parsian has an on-site bakery where you can get fresh flatbreads. They are awesome! Both stores also sell pita in bags labeled "Arabic Bread" for around 50 cents a bag. Great, fresh pita that totally kills anything you'd find in a supermarket, and at 1/6 the price.
Balboa sells a lot of Halal meats from a fresh butcher counter (which I think is the big difference between the two places - I don't get the impression that Parsian is Halal). They also have an extensive produce selection, with fresh herbs, chili peppers, and bell peppers.
Other good finds in both markets include a nice selection of fresh feta cheeses and olives. You can also get sacks of rice, and relatively inexpensive saffron.
Don't miss the ice cream - it's made with saffron, rosewater, and pistachio nuts.
Cathy already mentioned Vine Ripe Market which was my first thought as well. Even though it's in the dreaded East County it's worth a field trip, for anyone, not just those interested in Middle Eastern foodstuffs. Love their olive bar, love their feta selection, love their spices and bakery, but by far they've absolutely got the most interesting inventory of groceries.
There is also North Park Produce on El Cajon Blvd. around 37th or 38th and also on Poway Rd. in Poway. They've got a pretty wide selection as well.
Although it's Persian, not Arabic, the Balboa International Market on Balboa Ave. just east of Genesee likely has what you are looking for. I think I have seen phyllo dough in the freezer there, and I know they have pita, lavash, and other types of Middle Eastern bread.
Balboa International market
5907 Balboa Ave
San Diego, CA 92111
If you count close as basically all freeway to get there in less than 20 minutes, the closest without going all the way into El Cajon (where there is the largest Arabic population in California- so large that voting for the President of Iraq took place there), then I know Vine Ripe has the filo dough, in ALL shapes and forms, as well as Halal meats and pretty much anything you can think of.
Once you get on the 52, its a straight shot. 8191 Fletcher Parkway La Mesa 91942 (619)462-9900
While you are there, check out the "Grill and Bakery" which is all part of it. I will be blogging about it soon. (mmm-yoso.typepad.com)