Asian supermarkets in the Boston area?
I've just recently moved to Boston and I'm wondering where I can find good Asian supermarkets in the area. I'm looking for some place that sells freshly prepared foods (think HMart or T&T chains in Canada) and is easily accessible by public transit.
There are quite a few. Really depends on where you live. Chinatown area several. South End 2.
H Mart in the burbs / Woburn, CMart in Allston.
Kam Man in Quincy.
None unfortunately do real well on the prepared foods. CMart in Allston at the Comm Ave/Brighton Ave. split has a half decent food court.
Ming's, in the South End on Washington St, is worth checking out. They have a small area with prepared foods, although I've never tried any of it. But they do sell roast pork and other roast meats there too, which is convenient. It's on the Silver Line, and about a 10-15 minute walk from the Orange or Red Lines.
But like StriperGuy says, it all depends on where you live. Other places might be more convenient via public transport, especially CMart in Allston and places in Chinatown.
There's Ebisuya in Medford. They have a couple of cases of prepared foods but not a great selection.
Reliable Market in Somerville is accessible by several bus lines and it has a good selection of ready to eat banchan. Unfortunately I can't think of any Asian stores with a good selection of heat-and-eat type meals. Hong Kong supermarket in Allston sells some but they're of suspicious quality and I wouldn't recommend them.... but as people have mentioned, there's the food court there.
Don't forget Kam Man in Quincy. The T will get you close enough if you are up for a long-ish walk. They have a mini cafeteria area in house that is pretty decent for a meal in conjunction with a shopping trip there.
C-mart in Chinatown has a great selection. Also not a ton of heat and eat, but they do have frozen bao. Yum.
I was just going to suggest John's Market for Korean groceries, in Allston, but someone on Yelp said it's closed.
Is it true?? :(
EDIT: Ahh, just saw in the August opening/closing thread, that they are indeed closed. Too bad. I liked thier homemade kimchi.
A lot of Asian markets in Chinatown, or within Boston proper. Most of those markets however don't offer prepared foods, as it's probably easier (and tastier) to just buy takeout from your restaurant of choice next door. In the burbs however...you're best bets are indeed Kam Man and HMart as already recommended.
Kam Man also has a fun store in its complex full of interesting junk and some real finds.
Lots of Engrish/Chinglish.
it's not in boston but battambang supermarket on church street in lowell has a large section of se asian prepared foods. mostly quick lunches like sach ko ang (grilled beef sticks), bok l'hong (papaya salad), and nom ban chok (rice noodles with fermented fish sauce). there is also yummy express on branch street which has banh mi and a wonderful selection of homemade cambodian snacks and desserts
Beware that while many of the places listed so far are good, they are NOT easily transit-accessible by any stretch of the imagination - H-Mart and the Lowell Cambodian places would be a very long slog by bus or commuter train, if they were possible at all. The Allston Super 88 (now Hong Kong Market) is where I went when I didn't have a car; it's very easily accessed by the Green Line, but it's not so big on fresh-prepared (except for takeout from its giant food court). Kam Man is probably the best supermarket in the area for overall selection; as others have mentioned, it's probably a 15-minute walk or so from the T, but that's much more doable than Burlington or Lowell.
That said, you can get delicious freshly prepared Vietnamese food at the Vietnamese bakeries in Dorchester, on Dorchester Avenue near the Savin Hill and Fields Corner T stops. My wife and I usually go there for their banh mi (to die for!); but they also have plenty of other stuff freshly prepared, including piles of plastic boxes full of fresh-daily offerings that will still taste great the next couple days (unlike the banh mi, which must be eaten right away). Recommend Banh Mi Ba Le at 1052 Dorchester Ave.
Banh Mi Ba Le
1052 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02125
3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803