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Asian Supermarket Reccomendation

I have been to maxim's and 1lotte, but I know there are 2, and I know there is kam sam's, as well as super H market, and I was wondering which you think is the best. Also, how helpful is yelp.com on this topic.

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  1. LOVE the H mart. Parking is a trick, but the produce is always abundant and fresh - a key for me.

    1. The Lotte Plaza here in Germantown isn't bad. They carry some things lower that Giant or SW. They also have them in Riverdale, SS, Fairfax, Chantilly and Ellicott City.

      1. It depends on what you are looking for. Kam Sam and Maxim are Chinese. (There is also a little Chinese market in Wintergreen Plaza on Rville Pike--by the Bloom store. I can't remember the name.) Lotte and H Mart are Korean. While there is a crossover of products, the core products tend to lean toward one or another. I do have to say that H Mart and Lotte have bigger produce sections.

        As a general rule of thumb, try to avoid peak weekend times if possible. It's hard to explore and check things out when the place is packed.

        1. If you're in VA, I recommend:
          E mart in Fairfax at Gallows Rd. and Rte. 50 (North and East of the intersection.
          Grandmart in Centerville - Off Centerville Rd., South of Rte 29, about a hundred yards west of Rte. 28.

          In Manassas, Global foods is on Business 234, several miles south of Rte. 66.

          The first two are my favorites but it depends on where you are. All are Asian food stores that also cater to Hispanics. (I guess Hispanics also care about decent produce.)
          Lots of great Asian stuff, and great cheap produce.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ssilverman01

            There is also a Grand Mart on Little River Turnpike just about where it turns into Duke Street in Alexandria, near Landmark Mall. It's not quite as big as the Centreville store.

            There's also Fresh World/El Grande/EE Mart on Hechinger Drive, just off Backlick Road at the Beltway in Springfield. I don't know why the store has 3 names, but it's decent. I prefer Grand Mart.

            There's also the very small Naniwa Japanese grocery store in McLean. It's not easy to find.

            There's also Daruma in Bethesda, but I've not been there yet. I've read mixed reviews. And Hinata sushi and grocery in Bethesda.

            1. re: leslielj

              both Bethesda stores are small and specialized,very good in a limited way

          2. In Reston there's now a FreshWorld, and in Herndon there's a pan-ethnic large market. Of course there are quite a few small markets.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Dennis S

              The FreshWorld in Reston has an exceptionally nice seafood counter, as does the new Annandale H-Mart. The GrandMart in Sterling is a reasonably nice one and we get a lot of produce there. I find the Grandmarts in 7 Corners and at Little River Turnpike to be fairly grungy, and the aroma of the Herndon ethnic market on Eldon Street drove me away from there several years ago. You could smell the fish counter (back of the store) from the doorway.

              But Super H Mart in Fairfax is definitely my favorite.

              1. re: PollyG

                Super H in Fairfax used to be my favorite. However, the H Mart in Merrifield (intersection of Gallows Road and Lee Highway) is my current favorite. There are now three Asian supermarkets on a relatively short stretch of Gallows Road (the H Mart, the E Mart, and Great Wall, which is Chinese). The opening of Great Wall seems to have spurred H Mart to improve its cleanliness, prices, and freshness of produce.

                In Maryland, I also like the Lotte on Georgia Avenue. I like the GrandMart in Centreville, but agree with PollyG about the ones in Seven Corners and (especially) Little River Turnpike.

                Daruma in Bethesda and Maruichi in Rockville are Japanese markets, but they are not supermarkets by any stretch of the imagination.

            2. Korean Korner in Wheaton/SS corner of Randolph and Viers Mill Rd

              1. In Glen Burnie MD there is a new Fresh World/el Grande Mercado. I have usually journeyed to the H-mart in catonsville for international goods, but now I doing all my grocery shopping at Fresh World. I gave up on the local Giant//Safeways.

                For me, It's a 25- 30 min ride to Fresh World and I am finding that very worthwhile.

                I used to shop at an Annapolis Giant (the rest home one, you know which one it is). For the past few grocery trips I have been making the run to Glen Burnie. I am saving a minimum of $40-50 a week at Fresh world. Last year I averaged $200/trip shopping at Giant, now I am running less than $150/trip at FW. Produce @ FW is clearly superior in quality and in every way. Plus, Giant can't even begin to match the selection. Example: Giant @ my last trip --- limes 3 for $1-- @ FW today 6 for $1 !! Bananas $0.39/lb -- I think last time @ Giant, I paid $0.79 (on sale). Most produce @ FW runs about 30-50% lower.

                Meats? Forget it! Great NY strips and rib eye steaks $6.79/lb. If my memory is right--. at Giant it's more like $10.99. if and when on sale! Boneless, skinless chicken breast is about $1.99/lb every trip I have been in FW the last few weeks. That's half Giant's "list price" and in fairness, on rare occasions Giants does gets close or about the same (with your "bonus card"). No card needed at FW. Again, there is no contest here with selection on meats and seafood -- duck, goat, pork, nearly any kind of fish and shellfish-- you name it!

                Some of today's finds -- Backfin crab meat from New Bern, NC - $11.99. Oysters in the shell 10 for $1.99 !! And they were delicious. I also grabbed a 3lb. bag full of shucked oysters for $17.99. Flash frozen, individual oysters in a bag. Oyster stew, oyster fritters, and oyster pie like my mom used to make is definitely on our menu this month!

                I won't mention all the fresh (even alive in the tanks) whole (and filleted) fish, live blue crabs and other goodies, you can't find anywhere nearby.

                Home made kimchi is terrific. (my assumption is that any fresh produce that sits on the shelf a tad too long, quickly becomes kimchi.) I find the kimchi fresh and somewhat mild -- wife and SIL even loved it. I gobble it up!

                The amazing part about FW is that I seem to come home with everything on my list. All the ordinary "American" items are there (they even have "lean cuisines") along with the mesmerizing array of Asian, East Indian, and Hispanic goods too.

                My local Giant often this test on a regular basis -- and I am not talking about exotic foreign grocery items. It seems like many of the items I am accustomed to buying in the past keeps getting discontinued at the Giant. (I had a recent conversation about this with one of the mgrs or assistants and he agreed on this).

                So if you are big on produce (super fresh) and meats.. you stand to save a lot of $$ at FW. {fade to mysterious Geico ad-- "that's the money UR saving with .....)

                7 Replies
                1. re: JRCann

                  From the sad looks of things at the Glen Burnie Fresh World / el Grande Mercado I wouldn't be surprised if it is gone soon. It seemed like half the produce bins were empty; entire display cases have been removed - just lifted off their bases in the middle of the floor. There are yards of empty shelving; fish tanks with nothing in them. And an almost deserted parking lot. When asked if they were closing, one of the only two cashiers on duty smiled sheepishly, shook her head and said "I don't know."

                  1. re: crackers

                    I was at Fresh World just a few weeks ago, and everything was stocked as normal. When were you there? Is there any chance that what you saw was based on renovations/moving shelves? It really is the best option in the area and I'd hate to see it go so fast.

                    1. re: Jason1

                      Yesterday. And yes, it is possible that they are renovating. I hope they are. I fear they are not.

                      1. re: crackers

                        That was the report I got yesterday when I stopped in. Said they were getting ready to renovate. I dunno... I ain't seen a store that empty when getting ready to renovate. Had to drive all the way out to H-Mart instead. Fresh World had absolutely nothing.

                        1. re: gm_smith

                          I went to Fresh World today. I found a sign which read that they will reopen on June 28(? I cannot remember the exact day) under a new management. The store seemed already has taken over by the new management & a lot of empty shelves. A receipt has already the new name on it (Allgreen Market). According to my Korean friend, the store could not make a good profit. I hope the new store will carry similar products such as Japanese rice & groceries..

                  2. re: JRCann

                    The Fresh World in Glen Burnie sucks in comparison to the H Mart in Catonsville. H mArt has much better produce, meats, and of course seafood....the only downfall is not that much hispanic selections.

                    1. re: abovethewaves

                      Fresh World isn't as good as H-Mart, but is significantly better than Lotte (that's how I'd rank them). Still, it's the best option in Anne Arundel county.

                  3. Has anyone been to the new market in Chantilly near Lowes?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bbrown305

                      There are a few comments on some other threads. Yes, I've been to the Lotte in Chantilly. The place is huge and it is well stocked. It is worth exploring just to see it for yourself.