November 08, 2019

24 International Grocery Stores You Should Be Visiting Regularly

The Greater Cincinnati area is home to dozens of international markets offering groceries from around the globe. From Eastern European shops to African and Asian markets, these small businesses offer plenty of must-haves you won't find at your regular grocery store. Many of these markets are historic and have been serving the neighborhoods around Cincinnati for decades. These are the kinds of places that when you stop in you are greeted with a smile and you get called by your first name. They remember your order and will gladly help guide you in the direction of other items you might enjoy. Whether you want a taste of home or you want to try diving into the cuisine of a different culture, you wont regret adding these markets to your monthly shopping routine.
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Little Asiana
9731 Montgomery Road, Montgomery
Tucked in a small plaza behind a gas station, Little Asiana provides a curated selection of high-quality Korean ingredients in only three aisles. Some items found at this store include canned, frozen and fresh goods. This family-owned market is the definition of “small but mighty.” 
Photo: Adam Doty

Little Asiana

9731 Montgomery Road, Montgomery
Tucked in a small plaza behind a gas station, Little Asiana provides a curated selection of high-quality Korean ingredients in only three aisles. Some items found at this store include canned, frozen and fresh goods. This family-owned market is the definition of “small but mighty.”
Photo: Adam Doty
ASAFO African Market
5150 Camelot Drive, Fairfield
This small Fairfield market sits in a tiny plaza. From produce to beauty products, ASAFO is stacked to the brim with fruits, vegetables, kitchen utensils, snacks, fish and even a small selection of African-inspired clothing.
Photo: Adam Doty

ASAFO African Market

5150 Camelot Drive, Fairfield
This small Fairfield market sits in a tiny plaza. From produce to beauty products, ASAFO is stacked to the brim with fruits, vegetables, kitchen utensils, snacks, fish and even a small selection of African-inspired clothing.
Photo: Adam Doty
Al-Madina Market & Grill
6 W. Corry St., Corryville
This gem, adjacent to UC’s campus, is staffed by smiling faces and sells Lebanese cuisine with fresh meat and Mediterranian groceries. Cheap but delicious, you can eat as much as your heart (or stomach) desires. They’re best known for their falafel and shawarma.
Photo: Paige Deglow

Al-Madina Market & Grill

6 W. Corry St., Corryville
This gem, adjacent to UC’s campus, is staffed by smiling faces and sells Lebanese cuisine with fresh meat and Mediterranian groceries. Cheap but delicious, you can eat as much as your heart (or stomach) desires. They’re best known for their falafel and shawarma.
Photo: Paige Deglow
Saigon Market
119 W. Elder St., Over-the-Rhine
One of the first Asian grocery stores in Cincinnati was Saigon Market. Beyond the reddish orange exterior at the Findlay Market storefront are tall shelves holding products from Vietnam, Thailand, China and more. The parents of the store’s current owner, Nghiep Ho, immigrated from Vietnam in 1976 and started their business the same year. 
Photo: Lauren Moretto

Saigon Market

119 W. Elder St., Over-the-Rhine
One of the first Asian grocery stores in Cincinnati was Saigon Market. Beyond the reddish orange exterior at the Findlay Market storefront are tall shelves holding products from Vietnam, Thailand, China and more. The parents of the store’s current owner, Nghiep Ho, immigrated from Vietnam in 1976 and started their business the same year.
Photo: Lauren Moretto
Tokyo Foods
10738 Reading Road, Evendale
Located next to Uncle Yip’s Chinese and dim sum restaurant, Tokyo Foods features all the items to make your favorite Asian dishes at home. There are frozen noodles (ramen, udon, etc.), gyoza wrappers, refrigerated sauces, tons of miso, tofu, packaged snacks, Japanese candy, frozen seafood and even a few household items. Also, Uncle Yip’s is a must-try if you’re in the area.
Photo via Google Street View

Tokyo Foods

10738 Reading Road, Evendale Located next to Uncle Yip’s Chinese and dim sum restaurant, Tokyo Foods features all the items to make your favorite Asian dishes at home. There are frozen noodles (ramen, udon, etc.), gyoza wrappers, refrigerated sauces, tons of miso, tofu, packaged snacks, Japanese candy, frozen seafood and even a few household items. Also, Uncle Yip’s is a must-try if you’re in the area.
Photo via Google Street View
Happy Asian Mart
355 W. McMillan St., Clifton Heights
This little market may be small, but it's stocked with the essentials including cheap produce and a wide array of imported goods.
Photo via Facebook.com/Happy-Asian-Mart-Cincinnati

Happy Asian Mart

355 W. McMillan St., Clifton Heights
This little market may be small, but it's stocked with the essentials including cheap produce and a wide array of imported goods.
Photo via Facebook.com/Happy-Asian-Mart-Cincinnati
Gutierrez Deli
1131 Lee St., Covington
This Hispanic grocery store/restaurant hybrid serves up real deal Latin flavor, offering made-to-order dishes ranging from tacos to Mexican entrees and everything in between. Check their Facebook page for daily specials like fresh tamale Fridays and items featuring mole poblano, a complex chili-chocolate sauce that typically includes about 20 ingredients.
Photo via Facebook/GutierrezDeli

Gutierrez Deli

1131 Lee St., Covington
This Hispanic grocery store/restaurant hybrid serves up real deal Latin flavor, offering made-to-order dishes ranging from tacos to Mexican entrees and everything in between. Check their Facebook page for daily specials like fresh tamale Fridays and items featuring mole poblano, a complex chili-chocolate sauce that typically includes about 20 ingredients.
Photo via Facebook/GutierrezDeli
Mi Tierra Supermercado
11625 Chester Road, Glendale
This Mexican supermarket includes a little taqueria. Their tacos include less-Americanized meats like tongue and beef head. Come back on Saturday or Sunday to try something from their weekend menu, like menudo (a traditional Mexican soup that features cow stomach in a red chili pepper broth) or caldo de mariscos, a seafood soup literally overflowing with crab.
Photo via Facebook.com/Mi-Tierra-Supermercado-y-Taqueria

Mi Tierra Supermercado

11625 Chester Road, Glendale
This Mexican supermarket includes a little taqueria. Their tacos include less-Americanized meats like tongue and beef head. Come back on Saturday or Sunday to try something from their weekend menu, like menudo (a traditional Mexican soup that features cow stomach in a red chili pepper broth) or caldo de mariscos, a seafood soup literally overflowing with crab.
Photo via Facebook.com/Mi-Tierra-Supermercado-y-Taqueria
Darou Salam Store
4158 Hamilton Ave., Northside
Next to Northside’s beloved Shake it Records sits Darou Salam, which carries a variety of African groceries like herbs and spices, tea, fresh produce and even beauty supplies, including perfume. Right across the street (in the courtyard of the Northside Tavern at 4163 Hamilton Ave.), there’s a Darou Salam restaurant. Although humble in appearance, this is Cincinnati’s best-kept secret for authentic African food. Darou Salam offers Senegalese cuisine ranging from lamb dibi, which is grilled lamb paired with an onion-mustard sauce, to firir, a fried whole tilapia (yes with the head — but don’t be scared, it’s tasty), and bissap sorrel, Hibiscus juice and Senegalese favorite. 
Photo: Adam Doty

Darou Salam Store

4158 Hamilton Ave., Northside
Next to Northside’s beloved Shake it Records sits Darou Salam, which carries a variety of African groceries like herbs and spices, tea, fresh produce and even beauty supplies, including perfume. Right across the street (in the courtyard of the Northside Tavern at 4163 Hamilton Ave.), there’s a Darou Salam restaurant. Although humble in appearance, this is Cincinnati’s best-kept secret for authentic African food. Darou Salam offers Senegalese cuisine ranging from lamb dibi, which is grilled lamb paired with an onion-mustard sauce, to firir, a fried whole tilapia (yes with the head — but don’t be scared, it’s tasty), and bissap sorrel, Hibiscus juice and Senegalese favorite.
Photo: Adam Doty
La Mexicana Restaurante Cantina & Tienda
642 Monmouth St., Newport
La Mexicana is a market and taqueria in one. And it is home to some of the city’s best tacos: tacos al pastor with deliciously marinated pork shoulder, barbacoa, carne asada, lengua (tongue) and sesos (brains; they wash down perfectly with a cerveza). For vegetarians, wide-ranging fillings include seasoned pumpkin flower, corn truffle, hongos, beans and queso fresco. This inexpensive menu has been known to incite cravings after as little as one visit. Over the past few years, the restaurant has stepped up its game, livening up its former no-frills ambiance while still staying true to its roots.
Photo via La Mexicana/Facebook

La Mexicana Restaurante Cantina & Tienda

642 Monmouth St., Newport
La Mexicana is a market and taqueria in one. And it is home to some of the city’s best tacos: tacos al pastor with deliciously marinated pork shoulder, barbacoa, carne asada, lengua (tongue) and sesos (brains; they wash down perfectly with a cerveza). For vegetarians, wide-ranging fillings include seasoned pumpkin flower, corn truffle, hongos, beans and queso fresco. This inexpensive menu has been known to incite cravings after as little as one visit. Over the past few years, the restaurant has stepped up its game, livening up its former no-frills ambiance while still staying true to its roots.
Photo via La Mexicana/Facebook