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List of Boston's "ethnic" markets

Googling some Vietnamese markets that galangatron mentioned on the scungilli thread I found a pretty good list of "ethnic" markets in the Boston area and thought I 'd post the link for everyone:

http://www.bostonmuseum.org/bostoneth...

[NOTE: As per a post later in this thread, the URL has been updated to http://www.bostonethnicmarkets.com/ -- The Chowhound Team ]

I'd be interested in hearig whether this list is up to date and whether some markets were missed.

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  1. That is pretty noteworthy.

    1. Thanks! Looks like an excellent resource. Any updates, let's notify them. Bosnian market in Everett, had no idea.

      1. This is an awesome resource. Thanks for posting it!

        1. Wow...great resource! Thanks.

          1. Terrific list. Thanks. As with all such lists, keeping it up-to-date will be tough. Punjab Spices in Arlington, for example, is now closed. I wrote to the list admins to let them know.

            1. What a wonderful list. Thanks so much Steinpilz.

              1. For those of you who don't know, the Somerville Arts Council/ArtsUnion sponsors regular "tours" of the "ethnic" markets in Union Square - The owners usually come out to the floor to chat and answer questions, and the person from the Arts Council usually also knows interesting tidbits about the foodstuffs...They also have a leaflet detailling the markets on their website.

                2 Replies
                  1. re: fredid

                    That's funny - I used to live in Union Square and gave informal foodie tours to visiting friends - there's such an amazing variety of culinary ethnicities represented within a few square blocks.

                    I never expected the city would come up with an "official" version!

                    1. Very comprehensive list, every market I could think of is on there. Though I don't understand why Berezka is listed as Russian when Bazaar is listed as European, their stocks are virtually identical - primarily Russian with some other Slavic and Germanic additions.

                      Thanks for posting!

                      1. I just e-mailed them to add China Merchandise and Raja & Rana's, both in Burlington, and Battambang Market in Lowell. Also suggested alphabetizing within groupings by nationality.
                        As is, there is no order to the list whatsoever. For example, the J. Pace & Sons in Saugus is not listed in the same place as the other branches. Still, worth bookmarking the page! Thanks.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: greygarious

                          You can sort the list, however, according to any of the column headings - i.e, alphabetical by business name, by nationality, by town, or (for those that have it) by neighborhood. If you do the sort by nationality, it lists them alphabetically name within that sort; if you sort by town, the list is alphabetized by town, then by nationality, and then by name.

                          1. re: Allstonian

                            Color me Emily Litella! Thanks for pointing that out.

                        2. Does anybody know if that Spanish food/retail outlet next to Estragon in the South End is still open? I think it was called Las Ventas.
                          thanks.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Madrid

                            Yes, it is still open, ,but there seems to be a bit more focus on their lunch business now a days, that being said, various hams, chorizo and cheeses etc. are still available, there just seemed to be less inventory of vinegars, olive oils and dry/ canned goods since they first opened. Still a great resource IMHO.

                          2. I'm the author of this list of markets. I'm glad people find it helpful, and I hope to receive more suggestions for additions, deletions, etc. There's a link at the bottom of the list for sending in comments. I've already posted a few new markets that were suggested by Chowhound readers. Thanks.

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: daniel_b

                              Let me thank you personally for a wonderful service. It's a very impressive and very valuable thing you've done.

                              I was curious about the use of the word ethnic to describe the markets. (I observe that the OP on this thread put it in quotes.) The word is used correctly here, in that pretty much each of the markets on the list represents the food of some cultural or national group, but it raises the question of what's ethnic food and what's not. Traditionally in the U.S. a hot dog is not considered ethnic food, but chorizo is. Yet there are now neighborhoods, especially in California, where chorizo is the norm for ground up meat in long, sausage form, and the hot dog the anomaly. Would a hot dog, with it's vaguely European origins, be considered ethnic here? I ask, I stress, this out of mild interest in what's ethnic in a multicultural society, not to ignite raging debate.

                              1. re: FoodDabbler

                                I agree this is a wonderful service and thank you so much. I'll be passing the link along to so many others.

                                The rest of this post will probably be removed, even though it is about food, given that culture is about food. Maybe we should call this "regional" or "cultural" rather than ethnic. That gets around lots of the political potholes of ethnic. Is ethnic "other/different" or all we all "ethnic/from a particular regional/religious/cultural identity".

                                I vote for the later. I'm from the American South and I'd love to see markets that sell foods from that region (and there would be lots of crossover with African markets, where can I find fresh black-eyed peas? butterbeans?). I'm much more interested in global regional cooking of all kinds and that's why I find this list so helpful...I can also imagine British expats looking for those canned peas and other such "home" items wanting to know that Cardullo's in Harvard Square has a lot of that stuff, including canned haggis.

                                I once commented to a Jewish/Ashkenazi/Israeli friend that a nanny from England was my ethnic hairdresser...she knew how to layer my fine hair to make it fuller. My friend replied, you aren't ethnic, you're WASP. I'm not rich enough to be a WASP and I don't think American southerners make the cut (I've never heard of "SWASP").

                                I will also add that I once commented to a friend of my brother's, a life long resident of North Carolina with a "Mc" name, there is lots of cultural music in NC from this group, but no cultural food, why do you think that is? He said, "what, you haven't heard of McDonalds".

                                1. re: FoodDabbler

                                  I probably would have said "international" markets, or some similar highly neutral term, and probably shouldn't have bothered with the quotes. Thanks.

                                  1. re: FoodDabbler

                                    Since this is a list created in America, and it's abundantly clear what the definition of "ethnic" is, in this context, I think you are nitpicking. Would you quibble with categorizing restaurants featuring cuisines of other countries, or cultural/religious groups, as "ethnic". It's a common usage and not one with which the public seems to have a problem. It's easy to go overboard in attempting to be politically correct.

                                  2. re: daniel_b

                                    Thanks very much for the great list, daniel_b , as evidenced by all the comments, glad to have found it!

                                    1. re: steinpilz

                                      You're welcome. The list has now been moved to this page:

                                      http://www.bostonethnicmarkets.com/

                                      Suggestions for additions, deletions, or updates are always welcome. Send to dbrody@keefecompany.com

                                      1. re: daniel_b

                                        battambang in lowell is closed, store is for rent.

                                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                                          This is a great list, there is a contact us link at the bottom of the page that says they take additions and updates.

                                          I'm going to try to run through the list and send the updates I know about. I like the fact that they don't remove a place but rather mark it closed. That way you know it's not an oversight but is closed.

                                          Penny
                                          http://www.bostonzest.com/

                                  3. That's a great resource, thanks.

                                    Has anyone been to the Cruz Market on Felton in Waltham? I drove by it the other day and really wanted to stop, but I was on my way to the hospital, and could not.

                                    1. The list has 50 or so new or updated listings that I've added this week.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: daniel_b

                                        List correction: Farmer's Bounty, Somerville has closed
                                        Yelp has Little India at the wrong location. It is now in the old Paper building off the Market Basket parking lot.

                                        1. re: smtucker

                                          It's unclear whether or not the keeper of the list regularly reads CH. There's a link on the bottom of his list for submitting corrections.

                                          1. re: greygarious

                                            I do try to follow this thread, but sending me corrections (and additions!) via the email link is faster. Thanks.

                                      2. Is this list in any discernible order?
                                        Alphabetical? Regional of provisions? Location?

                                        I'm finding it hard to tell if places I know are on it or not, actually.

                                        Christina's? Shalimar in Central Square in Cambridge?
                                        The Indian grocery on Pleasant Street near Central Square? The convenience store that sells teff and some other Ethiopian groceries on Pearl Street?

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: femmevox

                                          As it says on the page, you can click on the column headings to re-order the list according to location or ethnicity.

                                          1. re: femmevox

                                            I had Christina's and Shalimar. I can't find an Indian grocery on Pleasant Street; did you mean India Food and Spices on River Street? I've added Pearl Street Market. Thanks.

                                          2. Thanks for posting all the updates and a special thank you for marking places as closed or renamed instead of just deleting them. That is useful to let readers know that you did list it, and knew about it, but it is now gone. It is also great for those of us who have a, "Remember that little Japanese Market with the nice people in Porter Square, what was the name of it?" moments.

                                            Of course Chowhound is perfect for those moments too. I hope the regulars here will help keep this list up to date.

                                            Penny
                                            http://www.bostonzest.com/

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: BostonZest

                                              I've added 80 or so entries this week, mostly new listings plus a few corrections. Suggested changes are always welcome.

                                              I've also posted a few pages with photos, links, and other information about Haymarket:

                                              http://www.bostonethnicmarkets.com/ha...

                                            2. I maintain my own list of Boston area ethnic markets for a class I teach on the geography of food at the University of New Hampshire. I update it once a year or so. You can access it here:

                                              http://pubpages.unh.edu/~gumprech/Eth...

                                              I also maintain a similar list of ethnic restaurants, accessible here:

                                              http://pubpages.unh.edu/~gumprech/Eth...