Whether you’re from the United States or another part of the world, your taste buds will always have a hankering for something different. Thankfully, Atlanta’s international markets are plentiful and there are several places you can go to get your ethnic foodie fix. From Jamaican jerk chicken to Indian favorite split pigeon peas (we recommend Laxmi’s Toor Dal), you can find traditional ethic foods in these five Atlanta-area international markets.
5600 Buford Hwy. NE • (770) 455-0770
Hours: Daily, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
With about 34 aisles to peruse, the Buford Highway Farmers Market has been offering its customers a variety of ethnic fare for the past 30 years. Each section, which is marked by signage overhead (think Western Europe/Scandinavia/Gourmet or Japanese/Korean), carries goods specific to that region. For example, strolling down the Indian aisle, you’ll find roti, naan, dals and pulses (dry legumes), but if you walk down the Chinese/Japanese/Korean aisle, items like pickled radish, kimchee, cold noodles, and miso paste line the shelves. The indoor grocery store also offers Cultural Cuisines Cooking Classes like Chef Sean’s Sushi Shop (Thursday, September 24 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.) where you’ll learn how to roll everything from tuna rolls to California rolls thanks to the experienced cuisinier, Sean Higashida. Take a look at some of the items you’ll find at this expansive international market:
3000 East Ponce De Leon Ave. • (404) 377-6400
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
When you walk inside Your Dekalb Farmers Market, you’ll be mesmerized by the 184 flags displayed throughout the 38-year-old indoor establishment. It brings about a welcoming, inclusive feeling to see flags for the Virgin Islands, Dominica, Lebanon, Finland, Croatia, Mauritania and more as they hang above the merchandise. Fresh fruits (New Zealand kiwis and apples, Mexican bananas and Keitt mangos) and vegetables from different countries fill each row. But for more global goods, spend time searching the market’s International Products Department, which is packed with items that are imported from all over the world. Some standout wares include organic virgin coconut oil from Sri Lanka, Indian spices like Masala chicken tikka, dried papaya spears from Thailand, whole and split fava beans from Canada, and Schlunder German breads. Here’s a peek of what you’ll find:
209 Edgewood Ave. SE • (404) 659-1665
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 12:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Located inside of the 91-year-old Municipal Market building, the Sweet Auburn Curb Market offers shoppers 24 independently owned businesses to snag sweets, seafood, produce and more. Our favorite ethnic highlights include authentic restaurants like the Caribbean Afrodish and Venezuelan Arepa Mia. At Afrodish, plates filled with oxtails, goat, curry chicken and escovich fish come with your choice of plantains, steamed cabbage or black-eyed peas. And at Arepa Mia, the SiFrina arepa (shredded chicken, lettuce, tomato, avocado, Guayanés cheese, fried sweet plantains) and Domino empanadas (organic black beans, fried sweet plantains, queso blanco) bewitched our bellies.
675 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE • (404) 900-7900
Hours vary; call ahead
Bringing life to the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood is the 1-year-old mixed-use development, Ponce City Market. You’ll want to head to its Central Food Hall for all sorts of ethnic food. Restaurants such as Simply Seoul, Marrakesh (meat kebabs, hummus and tahini), Boti Walla (think Indian street food like kebabs and tandoori alongside retail offerings such as chutneys and custom spice blends for sale), Jia (Szechuan fare), Biltong Bar and El Super Pan (Latin-inspired sandwiches) will transport you to an international palate-pleasing paradise. Inside the 233-square-foot Simply Seoul, chef Hannah Chung brings her love for kimchi and Korean steamed buns to the table. And at Biltong Bar, you will find chef Justin Anthony’s South African wines and organic beef jerky. Plus, there’s a retail shop and a counter-service restaurant that serves up pies, charcuterie and lots more.
Vikos Tropical Food Market
8610 Roswell Road • (770) 518-6308
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.
Kofi Maafoh is the proud owner of Vikos Tropical Food Market, which has been a staple in the community for 14 years. It’s inside his shop that you’ll find a wide range of products to make popular West African dishes such as okra stew with Fufu (a blend of yams and other starches) and Jollof rice. Importing merchandise directly from Africa, Maafoh’s market allows his African customers to savor the flavors of their hometown right here in Atlanta. And for those non-Africans craving the cuisine, this specialty store is a one-stop-shop for genuine goods. Here’s a sampling of what you can expect:
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