Editor's note: This story was originally published on July 19, 2017. It was updated on May 4, 2019.
Looking for some ghee? How about fresh kimchi, Japanese beer, or pan de leche? Even if you don't cook, walking the aisles of an ethnic market is a pretty awesome way to spend an afternoon — stocking up on unusual, ready-to-eat foods from Korean steak-flavored Cheetos to fresh shawarma sandwiches. These 10 well-stocked markets, from a Russian wonderland to little India, are sure to make you feel a million miles away from the Valley.
1116 South Dobson Road, #117, Mesa
This market offers a huge variety of prepared foods, ingredients, and ready-to-eat goods from around East Asia, though their main focus is Korean products. At Asiana Market, you can try some traditional fresh kimchi, pick up tempura mix and hot pepper paste, and sample Korean barbecue-flavored chips and shrimp crackers. The store is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Lotus International Market
18425 North 19th Avenue
2043 South Alma School Road, Mesa
With two locations in the Valley, Lotus International Market is well-known for its wide selection of products from all over India. You can find Indian housewares and cosmetics along with assorted spices, curry pastes, bags of basmati rice, frozen naan bread, black tea, and traditional sweets. Both locations are open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
AZ International Marketplace
1920 West Broadway Road, Mesa
AZ International Marketplace is like the Walmart of international products. You can find almost anything from just about everywhere, which makes every aisle a new adventure. Products range from prepared food and groceries to cleaning and office supplies. The store accepts EBT and requires a $5 minimum purchase for credit cards. The marketplace is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
523 North 20th Street
1858 West Baseline Road, Mesa
This family-owned market has two locations in the Valley that offer a large selection of Middle Eastern, Persian, African, and South Asian ingredients and foods. Shop for fresh produce and nuts at Baiz Market, plus fresh-baked pita bread, halal meats, Arabic coffee, and sheesha smoking accessories. It’s also home to Al-Hana restaurant, where you can order a falafel, shawarma, or kebab sandwich or plate to fuel you up for a walk through the pastry aisle. The Phoenix location is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Mesa branch is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
1335 West University Drive, Tempe
Located just off University Drive, Fujiya Market is the place to shop for Japanese products and takeout food like sushi and bento boxes. The little market carries Japanese snacks and beer, as well as sake, rice, fresh produce, frozen dumplings, and other imported Japanese goods. The store is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday from noon. to 6 p.m.; closed on Monday.
Mekong Supermarket66 South Dobson Road, #132, Mesa
A Best of Phoenix winning market, Mekong is more than just a grocery store. The Vietnamese market has a vast stock of Asian specialty ingredients, meats like Thai sausages, fresh Asian cuts of poultry, live fresh seafood, and a pretty good selection of Latino and Mediterranean foods as well. A trip to the market would not be complete without a visit to the surrounding shops of Mekong Plaza, which include restaurants, jewelry shops, and cafes. The market is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Los Altos Ranch Market
With several stores all over the Valley, Los Altos Ranch Market is one of the most popular, and largest, Mexican grocery stores in town. The market offers a taquería, carnicería, tortillería, and cremería, along with the best selection of Mexican dry goods and ingredients in the Valley. Pick up some marinated carne asada, fresh tortillas, some awesome salsas, and a pan dulce cake. All locations are open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Lee Lee International Supermarkets
7575 West Cactus Road, Peoria
2025 North Dobson Road, Chandler
This international one-stop shop is one of the largest in metro Phoenix, offering imported foods from over 30 different countries. The award-winning Lee Lee International Supermarkets offer a vegetarian food center, organic aisles, fresh and live seafood, a top notch bakery, meat and poultry butchers, exotic fresh fruit and vegetables, and even a home décor section. All locations are open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Yasha from Russia
10240 North 32nd Street
Located on North 32nd street and Shea Boulevard, Yasha from Russia is the go-to shop for Eastern European products. Their homemade frozen dumplings are outstanding, and the selection of popular Russian cheeses, cured meats, candy, and beer, are second to none. The background music and decor are truly transformative. The market is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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Princess Market & Deli
2620 West Broadway Road, Mesa
If you are looking for authentic falafel, kebabs, and Mediterranean groceries, then head to Princess Market in Mesa. Unlike some of the other mega markets, there are no expansive aisles to overwhelm you. This family-owned market and deli keeps it simple with a few rows of dry goods from Persia, Greece, India, and the Middle East, a freezer section with breads and prepared foods, a good cheese and labne selection, and a prepared foods counter. The market is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
5127 West Glendale Avenue, Glendale
This is a go-to spot for Asian grocery products. There is fresh produce, as well as seafood, dairy, meat, and packaged goods. Tucked back in the strip mall at the intersection of 51st and Glendale avenues, GS Supermarket is a little more petite than other major global grocery stores, which only makes it feel more accessible. You can also pick up some hot sauce, tea, kitchen wares, and even household decor.