The American population is a ‘melting pot’ of ethnicities, and this is as true as ever in Connecticut. There has been a large number of immigrants in recent years, particularly from Southeast Asia as a result of the conflicts in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia during the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a large number of Latino immigrants. This transition has prompted a flourishing of ethnic restaurants and markets throughout Connecticut. Check out some of these best ethnic grocery stores for your next attempt at an out-of-the-ordinary meal.
Westville Kosher Market
95 Amity Road
New Haven, CT 06515
Hours: Mon to Wed – 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thurs – 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday – 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sun – 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Westville Kosher offers a wide range of non-perishables as well as quality meats like fresh cuts of beef, lamb, veal and bison meat. All meats are Glatt Kosher and prepared fresh daily. Many of your favorite imported items – and brands like Osem and Sabra – are found at this market. And of course, you can’t have a true Kosher market without an abundant variety of fresh breads and bagels. Order one loaded with cream cheese and lox for a bite into a Kosher favorite. Westville also provides an extensive list of prepared foods for your home dining enjoyment. Order a unique salad like tabouli or couscous for your next meal. Fresh poultry, deli items and catering are also available.
Young’s Oriental Grocery and Gifts
167 Park Road
West Hartford, CT 06119
Hours: Mon to Fri – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sat – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Young’s boasts that it provides a diverse collection of Asian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Thai cuisines. The website claims, “We have everything you need to create that perfect home-sushi fix, bibimbop and even a bento curry-box.” And so it does. This is your one-stop shop for any desired rice, as Young offers over eight varieties. If noodles are your grain of choice, choose from the various options for your next noodle soup. Brands include Shin Ramyun, Jin Ramyon, Chapagetti and Nong Shim. Flavor these dishes with any of Young’s curry sauces, ranging in spiciness from mild to hot, or choose a more unique seasoning like oyster sauce, Thai chili paste or Korean chili paste. Needless to say, Young’s has everything you need for the ultimate spicy meal.
111 High Ridge Road #14
Stamford, CT 06905
Hours: Tues to Fri – 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Sat and Sun – 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
JaiHo Market is a large Indian grocer near downtown Stamford offering costumers authentic, Indian products at fair prices. Dry goods found here include cookies, snacks, flours and rices. If shopping for something fresh, JaiHo provides an extensive produce section carrying some of India’s finest fruits and vegetables, including sour oranges, rose apples and husk tomatoes. Grab a variety of these products from the frozen foods section to prepare on your own time at home. Also, if your Indian cooking confidence isn’t up to par, grab one of JaiHo’s ready-to-eat options for a taste of India.
A Dong Supermarket
160 Shield St
West Hartford, CT 06110
Hours: Daily – 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
A Dong Supermarket first opened in 1989 with a goal to offer hard-to-find oriental grocery products in a large but friendly environment. Whether shopping for retail or wholesale amounts, this supermarket carries quantities of both. On display, you will find an array of roasted meats just ready to be carved and taken home to enjoy. Meat options include pork, chicken and duck. Or, steer away from the carnivorous options with an order of blue crabs or tilapia, purchased fresh from the fish tank. If you’re looking to switch up your typical dessert menu, bring home a box of unique oriental bakery items or just some of the freshest fruits in town for a healthier but just-as-sweet treat.
Related: Connecticut’s Best Seafood Joints
Steve Alexander holds undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Psychology; did graduate work and taught as a Teaching Fellow as a specialist in Arms Control and Disarmament for Boston Universitys Political Science Department; and spent a 30 year career as a human service professional–a counselor, administrator and advocate for people afflicted with mental disabilities. His work can be found at Examiner.com.