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ethnic groceries

What are peoples favorite ethnic grocery stores in Boston?, any kind of food !

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  1. The Armenian shops in Watertown at Mt. Auburn & Coolidge Streets - Sevan, Arax and a third whose name escapes me right now - for all things Middle Eastern.

    2 Replies
    1. re: peregrine

      Massis may be the third you are thinking of. When in that neighborhood, cross over to Belmont Street as well and add Eastern Lamejun Bakers to the trip.

      1. re: newhound

        highly recommend these stores, all pretty close to each other.

    2. I'm always finding excuses to head to Super 88 in Allston - tons of Chinese and other Asian groceries and produce, cheap fresh seafood, lots of other meats too (duck, pork, etc.) Picking up lunch at the food court there makes it worth the trip.

      1. Tropical Foods on Washington Street in Dudley Square has great selections of island, african and hispanic foods. They have great prices, and cheap meat as well.

        1. Reliable Market in Union Sq (somerville) for Korean and Japanese items
          Super 88 in allston for chinese (and a snack in the food court).
          Bazaar in Brookline for Russian.
          Arax in Watertown for Armenian.

          1. Second the Armenian shops, add the Dorcheser branch of Super 88, Kam Man Foods in Quincy, The Russian store in Washington Square (Russian village maybe?) The original Hyde Park location of Tutti Italiano, Salumeria in the North End, the Indian grocery in Trolley square in Framingham and the one next to the coop in Central Square.

            1. Watertown Armenian
              Allston-Brighton-Brookline Russian
              Super 88 and Kam Man
              The huge Indian grocery on Moody St in Waltham, I forget the name, but it's the one with the large produce section in the front. In terms of cleanliness, variety, and freshness, this one is miles ahead of the Indian stores in Somerville and Brookline.
              Reliable Market and Lotte Market for Korean
              Kotobukiya for Japanese

              1 Reply
              1. re: Luther

                I believe Waltham India Market is the one you're thinking of. It also has a wide selection of Mexican & other Latin American groceries. There are some other good ones too. Moody St. is quite the market destination these days.
                The Asian market behind Party Favors in that strip mall on the Waltham/Belmont line (mostly Chinese).
                The Somerville Market Basket always surprises me.

              2. My favorite Chinese grocery store is C Mart, in Chinatown - best selection of fresh fish and seafood, excellent produce at good prices, good selection all round of other goods. For Mexican, try La Internacional in Somerville. They carry a surprising selection, given the small size of the store. Also in Somerville, Capone's has a good selection of Italian salume and pre-made fresh pastas. They also carry turron. Market Basket in Somerville, already mentioned, has good produce, fresh and frozen fish and other unusual ethnic foods.

                We shop regularly in Watertown, from Arax, Sevan and Russo's (excellent produce including unusual imports) as well as several of the Super 88's.

                7 Replies
                1. re: cheryl_h

                  I have russo's on my list of places to try. have heard great things. I get all of my produce, some of my meats, butters, flowers, cheeses and bakery items at Wilsons in Lexington- but this board gives high marks to russos. will have to do a comparison soon!

                  1. re: macca

                    I shop at both and find Russo's to be much better. It has more veg and fruit options, more flowers, more cheeses, pasta, meats etc. Neither one is huge on organics. The best part about Russo's is no sticker shock upon departure.

                    1. re: esmom

                      thanks for the info. I have been happy with wilson's- and don't mind paying a bit more for produce that is great. can't wait to see the veg and fruit options- as i have almost always found what i wnat at wilsons- but- if russos is better and cheaper, that is even better. organic is really not an issue for me. now i am looking forward to trying russos.

                      1. re: macca

                        I work in Lexington, a few minutes from Wilsons but schlep the 40-minute drive to Russo's regularly over weekends. Their produce is good but the range is what I find so impressive. They will have cherimoyas, or Jerusalem artichokes, or tomatilloes when I can't find them anywhere else. And, as esmom says, prices aren't exorbitant. For some strange reason, they sell Iggy's francese bread, to which my husband is addicted, for less than Iggy's does.

                        Once you're at Russo's, it's a short hop to the Armenian groceries to get Greek yogurt and some great pastries to nibble on the drive home.

                        1. re: cheryl_h

                          FYI, you can get Fage yogurt at Russo's.

                          1. re: Luther

                            I know that. My favorite yogurt is Byblos which I can only find at Arax and Sevan.

                          2. re: cheryl_h

                            Just some more reasons for me to visit. I live in Melrose, so either place is not "local", but is not too far away, either.

                  2. Sessa's in Davis Square. Floor to ceiling with Italian dry goods plus cheese and meats and pretty good sandwiches too.

                    1. Ming's on Washington Street in the South End, the Super 88 near it and the one in South Bay. Much better (and cheaper) produce than my nearby Western supermarkets, frozen foods I actually want to eat, endless novel cooking ingredients.

                      1. There are several Chinese supermarkets in Chinatown - C-Mart, below Empire Garden as mentioned (probably the biggest, good selection of stuff), a Super 88 next to Chou Chow City, another super market on Beach Street approximately across from the late Chinatown Eatery, and another on Oxford street past Taiwan Cafe (good produce, remember scoring lotus leaves there once).

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: limster

                          There's a little Indian/Pakistani grocery attached to Madina Market in Allston. In Cambridge, near Bengal Cafe on Mass Ave, there a Indian grocery store with a decent amount of Indian sweets (Foodland I think is the name) and I'm trying to remember if it closed or not.

                        2. Kotobukiya at Porter Square, Yoshinoya at Central Square, C-Mart in chinatown, Super 88 in Alston, looking forward to the ones mentioned here also.

                          1. already mentioned but I'm a big fan of CMart, Super 88, Bazaar (Russian), Salumeria Italiana, Purity Cheese, Monica's, Tutto Italiana.

                            There's an Armenian place in the South End..a few doors from SE Formaggio that's good too...probably not up to the Watertown greats; but good if you live nearby..maybe someone recalls the name.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: 9lives

                              Actually, right next door to South End Formaggio is Syrian Grocery Importing Company, the last retail outlet of a vast importing business that supplies Middle Eastern staples to hundreds of small restaurants and sandwich shops in Greater Boston. It's a great neighborhood resource, regularly carries good fresh feta, fresh figs, and other exotica, as well as a great selection of Middle Eastern groceries. Not much in the way of fresh baked goods, the odd spinach pie, and somewhat limited hours, but very handy when you need good olive oil, olives, nuts, pita, tahini, pomegranate molasses and such.

                            2. When I'm cooking Mexican, I head to La Chapincita and Waltham India Market on Moody St. in Waltham. La Chapincita has great prices on their dried chiles, as well as selling Mexican crema, tortillas, corn husks, etc. I also second the votes for Russo's. Selection and value are great. The Somerville Market Basket routinely sells specialty items like poblano peppers for $2-3 dollars a lb. less than Whole Foods or Wilson's, although I love both places.