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Asian grocery store

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Hi, I used to be able to stop by the Chinatown metro just for some comfort food, like cucumber pickles, meat fibre (ok how else does one translate that) and spicy bamboo shoots to go with congee in the rare occasions I felt like it... or cans of dark glass jelly in the summer (horrors! my aunt would turn over in her grave knowing I'm down to canned grass jelly).

BUT NOW THE CHINATOWN GROCERY HAS CLOSED! How utterly pathetic!! Chinatown's pathetic enough as it is--I had no idea there were Chinatowns with less to them than Boston's.

Anyhow, if you know of a metro accessible Asian market (I know only of the Thai place in Silver Spring and the Japanese one in Bethesda)--preferably more centrally located--please share!



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  1. Ditto to that. I've been tryin to find a good place around here for a while now and I keep having to find a ride out to Eden Market to get things and even then its difficult to find everything I need. I'm so used to having a huge Chinatown being raised in Calgary, Alberta where you probably hear more Cantonese and Vietnamese walking around downtown than English. I miss the large stores that encompass a great butcher shop with grocery and BBQ'd goods (trying to find good BBQ duck is near impossible).

    1 Reply
    1. re: blee27

      For good bbq duck - you should check out New Fortune over by Gaithersburg (Shady Grove) The restaurant has a take out section that sells all the godies such as roast pig, pork, etc just like they do in NYC.

    2. Kam San and Maxim are accessible via the Rockville Metro station. These two chinese grocery stores are north of the station. Great Wall (Chinese) and Han Ah Rheum (korean) are accessible via the Dunn Loring Metro station which is north of these two places. Great Wall is probably the largest chinese supermarket in this area.

      I think you can find some grass jelly and pork/beef foo (meat fibre) at Dai Hsin on 7th street, but they will be moving soon to Eye street. Eden center market is really a joke. They have stuff there, but the store is a dump. There's another chinese grocery store in the Shaw neighborhood called Winner Co. It's on 9th and O st, between Mt. Vernon and Shaw Metro stops. It's a "store" inside a rowhouse, and you'll need to be buzzed in, but for the most part, they have the cheapest dry and canned goods in this area.

      1. Another option is to try the Capital City Market (right off the NY Ave metro). Only some of the stores are open to the public, and the signage indicating where/what things are is not good, but poking around can be rewarding. Here's the beginnings of an informational site I've been building on the place with another guy: http://capitalcitymarket.blogspot.com/

        Check it out. Poke around in the sidebar links & you'll find a map published by the Washington Post that has a few places on it. The list on the main post on the page is not exhaustive. There is an Asian place (don't know the name) right next to Obeng.

        1 Reply
        1. re: inked

          I shop at the Union Market often, and things can get hellish real fast there. Price wise, it's comparable or slightly cheaper than the asian markets when you buy in bulk. There is no live fish there though.

        2. No live fish, but where can you get those at area asian market (I'm curious)? I've been to Super H in Fairfax, which has a great selection of Asian food, but is no where near metro accessible. DC's asian market selection is very frustrating.

          1. Great Wall in Merrifield, VA is accessible via the Dunn Loring Metro. Head south along Gallows Road after exiting and it will be on your right hand side. It's next to the Gold's Gym and that strip mall also has a 5 guys. They probably have the best selection of live sea creatures/amphibs in this area. What I've seen there is live shrimp, frogs, turtles, various types of clams, eel, various types of scary looking fish, tilapia, buffalo fish, big head fish, lobster, crab, etc.

            Also, up in Mtgy Cty you can walk to Kam San and Maxim after exiting the Rockville Metro, s.washington st and hungerford drive, respectively. They have similiar offerings with regard to live stuff, but not as comprehensive as Great Wall.

            1. There is an Asian grocery about a 5-10 minute walk from the White Flint metro stop. It's pretty much at the point where Parklawn and Nicholson meet.

              And I agree: DC's Chinatown is a putrid vestige of its former being.

              3 Replies
              1. re: famba

                That's not saying much though, because DC's Chinatown wasn't much to begin with. Originally, DC's chinatown was on Penn. Ave, but was relocated to H St. Now, with the Verizon Center, and DC's rising rents, there's no where else for Chinatown to go. A lively and growing Chinatown relies on a constant replenishment of immigration and low rents. DC has neither.

                1. re: Chownut

                  When I was a kid, China Town was sort of spread out all over downtown from, say, 12th Street east to the foot of Capitol Hill. Now that the mall mentality (and corresponding rents) has taken over downtown Washington, which was once a thriving community of small independent merchants of every conceivable stripe, the suburbs started looking a lot better for everyone, including the Chinese community. Now, virtually every neighborhood from Mt. Vernon to Chantilly to Frederick has at least one or two good-sized Asian groceries and a handful of above-average restaurants. Folks like to eat and shop where they live.

                  1. re: flavrmeistr

                    Core chinatown itself, the commercial side to the residential, never extended beyond 10th st. to 5th st., and H and Eye st. That was it.

              2. The "core", perhaps, but there were plenty of other Chinese businesses that spilled into the surrounding neighborhoods in all directions, especially along New York and Mass. Avenues. They're mostly all gone, too. There's little left of the old downtown with more being knocked down all the time to make way for more profitable ventures. My favorite was Nanking at 10th and Mass., which burned about 1970-71. Fabulous Cantonese food. I still dream of the steamed dumplings almost 40 years later.