Tour de Grocery

. October 1, 2014.

By Meade Bailey
Photography by Linda Radin

As a seasoned traveler and cook, I’m constantly on the hunt for the ingredients to produce the flavors at home that I’ve savored abroad. And while I’m grateful to find European treats like Dupont cider and Liverot cheese at Morgan and York, or heirloom garlic at the new Argus Grocery, I’m consistently excited by the diversity of international ingredients I can procure at some of the more international groceries in the area. For those curious to try an exotic dish, but who don’t know where to find the ingredients, here’s my list of go-to international grocers.

Asian /Korean
Galleria Market
3111 Packard Rd,
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
(734) 975-8900

Got a craving for Tteokbokki (a sweet and spicy Korean snack food staple)? Curious to try your hand at making Kimchi? Galleria has everything you need to produce the most refined Korean dishes. And whether you’re looking for fresh ramen or pickled burdock, Galleria has all the ingredients you’ll need for quick-and-easy Asian feasts, too. Galleria also proudly offers a variety of traditional Korean pickling jars and other Asian culinary tools and utensils, and consistently sells some of the best garlic and ginger I can get my hands on anywhere in town.

Latin / African / Southeast Asian / Produce

ZZ’s Produce
4092 Packard Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
(734) 822-0494

Look past the fading yellow façade and you’ll find a wonderland of ingredients for all your Latin, African, and Southeast Asian recipes. Pick up banana leaves, cassava, or shiso leaves. I’m particularly grateful when they carry green almonds and fava beans for my Moroccan lamb. Deliveries are weekly, but the produce goes fast, so be sure to give a call if you’re looking for something in particular.

Bombay Grocer
3010 Packard Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
(734) 971-7707

Bombay grocery is a spotless gem of a grocery store featuring a small, but Indian-centric produce section including fresh turmeric, curry leaves, and even the occasional banana flower. The rest of the store is lined with freezers and refrigerators brimming with delights like pistachio kulfi and pre-made dosa batter. Don’t forget to pick up a samosa at the check-out to snack on during your trip home.

Middle Eastern
Mediterranean Market & Bakery
4019 Stone School Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
(734) 477-8023

On the southern edge of Ann Arbor, Mediterranean Market & Bakery is serving up some of the best Middle Eastern fresh baked goods anywhere in Southeastern Michigan. The Market also serves up delicious house-made hummus, babaganoush, and garlic spread, and offers a diversity of fresh feta cheeses and olives, making it just the place to create 1001 nights’ worth of amazing meals for your family.

Asian / Chinese
Hua Xing Asia Market
2867 Washtenaw Ave, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
(734) 528-3388

Very few groceries are able to offer the depth of ingredients, sauces, techniques, and tools required to properly execute Chinese cuisine. Fortunately, Hua Xing has absolutely everything – and I do mean EVERYTHING – you could ever possibly need to make the most rarefied of Chinese dishes. Even if you’re not looking for live frogs or fresh Opo squash, Hua Xing’s restaurant supply section is enough to attract the passionate cook dedicated to any kind of cuisine.

Cantoro’s Italian Market
19710 Middlebelt Rd, L
Livonia, MI 48152
(248) 478-2345

After binge watching Goodfellas, the Godfather, and the Sopranos, ordinary spaghetti and meatballs just won’t do. At times like these, I head to Cantoro’s: one of the best Italian groceries I’ve been to anywhere in the country. Cantoro’s carries a number of specialty ingredients all imported from the old country, not to mention a sizable spread of deli meats and cheeses that will make you think you’re back in the Boot. Be sure you don’t miss the incredible array of fresh pastas or the housemade fennel sausage – they’re just like nonna used to make.

One World Market
42705 Grand River Ave, Novi, MI 48375
(248) 374-0844

True Japanese groceries are a rare and special thing, and not many places in the US can boast one as authentic as One World Market in Novi. Walking through the door, you’ll swear you just stepped into suburban Tokyo. One World Market carries everything you’ll need from rarified soy sauce to fresh shishito peppers. One World Market also proudly features an inexpensive, but impressive sushi counter, featuring an automated rice machine, forming all your California Rolls and Kappamaki with elegant precision.


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