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May 13, 2010 02:47 PM

Ethnic Markets

Ok, I have a pretty good idea for most of these, but you never know what you don't know. Some of the following list have very specific food traditions represented - others may have a strong showing in one area and weaker in others (but still the best we've got)

Best Ethnic Markets in the Metro:

Irish/British Isles
AA/Soul Food
SE Asian
East African
Eastern European
Mexican/Latin America
Russia/former Soviet Block

or just a link if this info exists elsewhere - thx

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  1. Scandanvian:

    Pan Asian
    Oriental Noodle
    Sun Foods
    Shuang Hur


    Irish on Grand

    El Burrito Mercado
    The place on the corner of Lake/Bloomington

    Ingebretsens Scandinavian Gifts
    1601 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

    El Burrito Mercado
    175 Cesar Chavez St, St Paul, MN 55107

    1. My votes:

      Scandahoovian - Ingebretsen's (seriously, is there another choice? And given the large number of people around here of Scandahoovian heritage, why isn't there LOTS of choice?)

      Italian - Cossetta's (though Buon Giorno is a close second for me)

      Irish/British Isles - Irish on Grand (a much larger selection than I thought a gift shop would have; again, fairly limited options given the ancestry of many locals)

      SE Asian - Heavy St. Paul bias here. Maybe it's that I'm not as familiar with Minneapolis; maybe it's because here is where the customers are. What I've learned is that many places specialize. For Chinese, I like Shuang Hur and Ha Tien (St. Paul); Dragon Star isn't bad if you're watching what you're buying, and they sell just about any fresh meat/poultry/fish (and ALL parts) you can think of. For Japanese, I think the best is United Noodle, but, surprisingly, Kim's on Snelling carries a good variety, too. Kim's also is my choice for Korean. For Filipino, it's phil.oriental on University Ave. For Hmong; it's Sun Foods.

      Eastern European - Kramarczuk's

      Mexican/Latin America - El Burrito Mercado

      Indian - Okay, I rarely use asafoetida and the like, but 'most anything I need to buy when I cook Indian can be found at my local food co-op. Some of the urban Cub Foods also have a variety of packaged Indian groceries.

      Mid-East - depends on what you want. Fishman's for Jewish; Caspian Bistro has a nice grocery store attached (though I must admit to not having been there in a few years).

      Russia/former Soviet Block - I like Kiev Foods (Sibley Plaza) though it's largely on the strength of their deli offerings (I have to think the grocery lineup is duplicated, though perhaps not every "Russian" market caters to an extensive African population with injera and whole teff).

      El Burrito Mercado
      175 Cesar Chavez St, St Paul, MN 55107

      Caspian Bistro
      2418 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

      United Noodles
      920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN

      1. Not sure where exactly this would fit in, but I love snooping around in Bill's Imported Foods on Lake Street.

        I'm going to fill in a few in the south metro since we have a crazy amount of ethnic markets in Eagan and Burnsville. These would all fare well against their peers in the city.

        Rearn Thai
        Groceries of the Orient and Asian Direct
        Supermercado Olmeca
        Paradise Market (Eastern European) for notable sausage selection

        In North Minneapolis, the Bangkok Market (31st and Lyndale) is a hidden treasure. Not expansive by any means, but the deli counter always has a few hot food items that are fun to explore. I'd give recommendations, but most of the time I have absolutely no idea what I'm eating and none of the deli workers has spoken English at all. I just point and take whatever they give me. Last time I got something that looked like a spring roll or tamale but was more like finely ground sausage in an transluscent gelatinous ooze. It was delicious. I'd love to know what it was called.

        Bill's Imported Foods
        721 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408