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San Diego Thai Market?

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Can anyone tell me if they have found a good Thai market in San Diego? I have bought ingredients for curries, etc. at places like 99 Ranch and some hole in the wall shops on El Cajon, but haven't found a dedicated Thai market or even one that carries real kaffir lime leaves consistently. Is there one I am missing, or is everyone else just buying ingredients for Thai cooking at the bigger pan-Asian markets like 99 Ranch? Thanks for your help!

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  1. Hi southparkguy,

    I do a lot of Thai cooking and have to hit several different Asian markets in San Diego to collect the ingredients I need. Here are a few markets I frequent and the ingredients I seek out at each one:

    99 Ranch Market (Chinese)
    7330 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Clairemont
    carries: lemongrass, galanga, kaffir lime leaves, Thai chilies, Thai basil, pandan leaves, Pantainorasingh Thai iced tea mix, Mae Krua oyster sauce, tamarind paste
    *I've also seen little kaffir lime trees sold at Ranch 99, so if you use them frequently, you might want to invest in a tree. (I got my tree at Walter Andersen Nurseries in Poway, but I think it was cheaper at Ranch 99).

    Lucky Seafood (Vietnamese)
    9326 Mira Mesa Blvd., Mira Mesa
    carries: lemongrass, Thai chilies, Thai basil, Mae Ploy curry pastes, Tra Chang fish sauce, Chaokoh coconut milk, Mae Krua oyster sauce, tamarind paste

    Minh Huong Supermarket (Vietnamese)
    4029 Euclid Avenue, City Heights
    carries: holy basil, Thai basil, lemongrass, galanga, Thai chilies, Mae Ploy curry pastes, Mae Krua oyster sauce, tamarind paste

    Muang Lao Market (Lao)
    4704 Market Street, Chollas View
    carries: bamboo rice steamers, tamarind paste

    97 Supermarket (Cambodian)
    Formerly: 4679 University Ave. , City Heights
    Soon: 3918 30th St. , North Park (not sure if it's reopened yet)
    carries: Mae Ploy curry pastes

    United Oriental Food Market on El Cajon was closed down last time I swung by there. If anyone knows if they're reopening somewhere, please post!

    Hope that helps!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lillian Hsu

      GREAT list Lillian, I'm printing this out. THANK YOU!

    2. If you're ever in Escondido, there are two small markets that carry your items, and I love to support small family-run businesses. Chai Oriental Foods on Valley is owned by a Thai family. Esco Oriental Market is owned by a Lao family. Esco has more fresh items, but I love shopping at Chai too. It's amazing how much product they pack into a small store. They also have the best price on Droste cocoa (along w/other Dutch products for the Indonesian clientele).

      3 Replies
      1. re: maestra

        Thanks, maestra! I'm going to be in Escondido on Tuesday, so I'll check them out!

        1. re: Lillian Hsu

          Thanks so much for all your suggestions everyone! This has me motivated to get in the kitchen and start cooking!

          1. re: Lillian Hsu

            Lillian -- If you're ever up in Escondido and would like to meet up with a chow buddy, send me an email (see my profile). I haven't the opportunity to go to an SD-area chowdown, but it would be nice to meet someone from the boards!