To find unique ingredients for international cuisine, it is always best to visit a local ethnic grocery store. Since Detroit and the surrounding area has a large eclectic population, ethnic groceries can be rather easy to find. But, which are the best? These five have been hand-selected as the best options in Detroit.
Kai Sun Discount Oriental Market
1059 East Long Lake Road
Troy, MI 48085
Hours: Mon to Sat – 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fri – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Kai Sun looks like a little hole-in-the-wall grocery, but its selection of Asian ingredients, food and knick knacks is hard to rival. People looking for very authentic Chinese ingredients and food, such as durian fruit or pig’s blood to make blood soup, will find what they need at Kai Sun. The owner is also very friendly and always willing to help people new to ethnic grocery shopping.
Hanmi Oriental Mart
5060 Rochester Rd
Troy, MI 48085
Hours: Mon to Sat – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Hanmi is right down the road from Kai Sun, however it is very different. While Kai Sun focuses mainly on Chinese groceries, Hanmi has a better and wider selection of Korean food and ingredients. Hanmi’s store is bright and nicely organized, but reading labels might prove difficult as most are in Korean. Regardless, it offers some of the best selection for kimchi and other traditional Korean food along with Asian cosmetics and beauty products. Cards are accepted only if the total amount is higher than $10.
Honey Bee La Colmena
2443 Bagley Ave
Detroit, MI 48216
Hours: Mon to Sat – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If Asian food isn’t your favorite fare, then Honey Bee might just be for you. It’s hard to find authentic Spanish food in most restaurants in the area, but Honey Bee provides the freshest and most authentic Spanish food and groceries for people looking to cook for themselves. Most groceries are imported, providing truly authentic options. Honey Bee is clean, friendly and provides all sorts of Spanish knick knacks on top of fresh and made to-go tamales, only $6.99 for a dozen.
Markowycz’s European Sausage Company
8616 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48210
Hours: Tues to Fri – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat – 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
No best ethnic stores list in Detroit would be complete without a local Polish grocer. More of a local butcher than grocer, Markowycz’s offers some of the best sausage and kielbasa around with affordable prices. All meats are usually cut and sold within the same day for the best, freshest taste. The business has been around for many years in Detroit and has served multi-generational Polish families, making it a local favorite. Bring cash, because credit cards are not accepted.
38964 Dequindre Road
Sterling Heights, MI 48310
Hours: Mon to Sat – 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
While International Foods stays true to its name and offers a wide variety of internationally recognized options, the biggest selection hails from the Middle East. The portions for fresh cuts of meat, vegetables and other foods are much larger than your average grocer like Kroger and Meijer, and much cheaper for the amount you are taking home. Also, the employees at International Foods are very helpful and will even explain each food and how it can be prepared if you become overwhelmed. Overall, this spot is a great starter store for people wanting to try something a little different.
Related: Best Ethiopian Cuisine In Detroit
Stephanie Medeiros has been an avid music enthusiast most of her life, most notably helping local bands promote their hard work through marketing and PR as well as continuously giving reviews and feedback on music and to aspiring musicians alike. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.