Having grown up in a traditional Chinese household, I had the luxury of eating mom’s homemade meals just about every night. Since moving to Charlotte, I’ve been on a quest to find grocery stores that carry the ingredients I need when I’m craving a family delicacy or dish.
Here are my favorite eastern Asian grocery stores in the Charlotte area, in no particular order.
Anh Dao Sakura Oriental Market
What I like: I found this gem 2 1/2 years ago when I first started looking for Asian grocery stores. It carries primarily Vietnamese items, but also offers Japanese (think: golden curry cubes, nori, instant miso soup) and Chinese staples, like sweet bean sauce for zha jiang mian.
Bonus features: The market carries pre-made, ready-to-eat Vietnamese items, including bánh bèo — a popular Vietnamese street food made from waterfern rice cakes with a side of fish sauce for dipping. I’ve also spotted someone making fresh sugar cane juice.
Address: 4325 South Blvd., Charlotte
Hours: Sunday-Tuesday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Super G Mart
What I like: Super G has the largest fresh produce section out of any grocery store I’ve been to in the area, and the price point is fantastic — very budget friendly. They’re known for being a global market that carries items for Indian, Latin American, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese cooking.
Bonus features: Super G has a food court that includes Korean Restaurant and Honey Buns, a Chinese restaurant. There’s also an entire section of the store dedicated to all types of ramen.
Address: 7323 E .Independence Blvd., Charlotte
Hours: Monday-Sunday 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
New Asia Market
What I like: Formerly Grand Asia Market and the best-known Asian grocery store in the state, my family and I used to drive from Asheboro to Raleigh to stock up on what we needed for the month. I remember always getting bubble tea, fresh bread (buy 10, get 1 free) and a lunchbox of rice and three side dishes.
Bonus features: Live frogs, roast duck, fresh steamed buns, popular Taiwanese breads and an extensive Asian beer and wine section. If you’re looking for authentic douhua and youtiao, Chinese soft tofu with fried dough sticks, you’re in luck.
Address: 4400 Potter Road, Stallings
Hours: Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Monday-Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
What I like: It’s been quite the task trying to find Korean restaurants to satisfy my cravings for sundubu jjigae, a silken tofu stew in spicy red pepper broth. After filling up on side dishes (with free refills) and slurping down my meal, I typically browse the store’s aisles for sweet potato noodles to make japchae, stir-fried glass noodles and frozen rice cakes for toppoki, a popular dish of spicy stir-fried rice cakes.
Bonus features: The fact that there’s Korean restaurant attached to the grocery store is pretty awesome. You can also pick up freshly made kimchi and kimbap, the Korean equivalent of sushi, for a quick snack.
Address: 10920 Monroe Road, Matthews
Hours: Sunday noon to 9 p.m.; Monday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Tuesday closed; and Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.