Do you like Asian snacks? Have you tried any before? Or better yet, have you been into an Asian supermarket (Chinese, Vietnamese, Hong Kong style, Korean, etc.)? If the answer is YES, then you should read on! If the answer is no, nope, uhhh, meh then you should probably stop right here. (Though I think you should still give this post a chance 😉 )
Growing up in Asia and Southern California, there was never a time I need to worry about my access to Asian groceries because they are always there. You name it, they have it. If this supermarket doesn’t have it, I guarantee you the other one definitely carries it. Maybe it sounds strange to you, but that’s for sure the multicultural west coast lifestyle for ya. After college, I’ve briefly worked and studied in Taiwan and Japan for a few years, and the need for Asian food was never a problem because they are literally everywhere. gazillion choices (and I mean it). I didn’t really realize my serious needs for Asian goodies and grocery options until I move to the Queen city, where Panda Express can’t be found at
every mall, Chinese food means funky fried rice and an entree, Japanese food means fusion, and basically non-existent of Taiwanese food… which means no boba milktea for me 😦
Okay, my craving for good Asian food shall stop here. Move on.
Luckily Queen city still gives me access to International / Asian supermarkets for Asian goodies, cookies, and what not. The selections and choices might be limited, but I ain’t complaining 😉
Where do you shop for Asian goodies when you have that crave for some Pocky, Koala no March, kimchi, and the list goes on? I am assuming to a lot of people the first destination would be World Market. Yes? No?
I love going to the World Market from time to time for cool oriental style things, but I think their food and goodies selection is limited and often overpriced. Trader Joes is an awesome place for some Asian treats and cookies too, but not many stores in the east coast…
What to do?
After doing a bit of research myself, here are 2 major Asian supermarkets in the US that offers online shopping/delivery with a great selection of Asian groceries. Even though it’s not “you name it we have it,” I have to say I am impressed with their online category list from cup noodles to kimchi, cookies to candies, and even beverages like Itoen green tea and Calpis (also known as Calpico)!
- 99 Ranch Supermarket (http://www.99ranch.com) – 99 Ranch is owned by Chinese/Taiwanese and offers free shipping on orders over $100. If you are more into Taiwanese and Chinese groceries, cookies, spices, tea, and marinated products. This would be a great place for you to browse through their selection. Make sure to buy enough to stock up and get that free shipping!!!
- H Mart (http://www.hmart.com) – H Mart is owned by Korean and unfortunately does not offer free shipping. Under ‘Delivery Info” you can find the estimate to how much it’s going to cost for delivery based on your zip code / location. After checking out the products on the website, I feel H Mart has greater selection of products that comes from all over Asia compared to 99 Ranch. One cool thing is H Mart offers fresh delivery!
Both supermarkets were fairly close to my house when I lived in SoCal. They offer different products and the prices are a bit different. I like them the same, so I’d say go through the products they offer, maybe compare the price a bit, and decide which website you should go with your online shopping for Asian goodies! It doesn’t hurt to take turns trying both as well. Do what you want, and within a few days you’ll be able to receive that package full of Asian yummies at the front of your door.
I am ready to place that order. Are you? 😉
K. xxx nom nom nom
*image found on Google image.