New York is chockablock with fantastic Asian eateries and Chinese restaurants of every stripe, from dumpling joints to the best sushi counters to dim sum spots. But sometimes it’s nice to put down the chopsticks and whip up a delicious Asian meal at home. Before busting out the wok, stock your pantry with the soy sauce, fish sauce and Sriracha you’ll need at an Asian grocery store in NYC.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to shopping in NYC
Best Asian grocery stores in NYC
This Chinatown megastore is a must-visit for Asian cuisine fanatics: Its oversized aisles are filled to bursting with the staples of Chinese cooking, from fresh noodles to dumpling wrappers to fermented black beans and much, much more. High turnover means that fruits and vegetables are fresh, and a sushi stall near checkout stocks surprisingly tasty to-go boxes of fresh rolls.
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Vauvau
This relative newcomer opened on Mott Street in 2011, and summarily gave other Asian grocery stores in Chinatown a run for their money. The giant supermarket excels in all areas, offering a bedazzling array of all types of Asian ingredients, from Chinese tofu to Japanese seaweed to Vietnamese rice noodles. Don’t sleep on its prepared food counter, where you can load a Styrofoam clamshell with a rotating array of roasted meats, fried fish, braised greens and more—all for less than five bucks.
For cooks who specifically love Korean food, this K-Town grocery is the place to be—it’s loaded with all manner of sauces, snacks and frozen prepared foods. Look for jars of spicy kimchi, bottles of soju and pre-marinated meats that will make your Korean BBQ the tastiest in town. Don’t miss the yummy desserts, like green tea ice cream sandwiches and house-baked sweet rolls and stuffed pastries.
Brooklyn’s Sunset Park is home to one of the city’s largest Chinese populations—and many of its residents can be found stalking the aisles of this supermarket. Clean and brightly lit, Fei Long stocks everything you’ll need to create a delicious Asian meal, from bok choy to coconut milk to dozens of varieties of tofu. After shopping, stop by the food court next door, where you can ready your palate with good-quality soup dumplings, char siu and roast duck.
Want to try your hand at whipping up Thai specialties like pad Thai and Massaman curry? Then a visit to this tiny-but-packed Chinatown grocery is an absolute must. Literally a mom-and-pop, owned by a married couple that immigrated from Bangkok over a decade ago, this little store stuffs its shelves with all the southeast Asian ingredients you’ll need: fish sauce, shrimp paste, palm sugar and more, plus produce like green papayas, fresh curry leaves and galangal, a fragrant cousin of ginger. Check out the freezer case for excellent prepared curry pastes that will slash your prep time in half.
If Japanese is your bag, you’ve got to get to this East Village promised land of sushi, bento boxes and mochi. Pick up essential ingredients such as pristine raw fish, myriad varieties of rice and packets of dashi, then grab ready-made items such as steaming miso soup and sesame-slicked soba noodles. Don’t miss the dizzying selection of snacks, ranging from sweet (green tea Kit-Kats, Pocky) to savory (shrimp chips, onigiri).
One of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the entire world, Flushing, Queens, is home to a Chinese population of more than 30,000, and as such, there’s a lot of amazing eating and shopping to be done here. When you’re done hopping around the area’s many amazing restaurants and food courts, pick up some grocery essentials at Chang Jiang, a sprawling supermarket boasting a robust array of Asian ingredients, from Chinese black chickens to Japanese wasabi. Don’t leave without hitting up the sushi counter: The rolls are impeccably fresh and amazingly cheap.