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One of the toughest parts of transitioning to life in the U.S. as an immigrant is not seeing all the same brands, foods and drinks that you used to consume at home. Korean immigrants often struggle to find the dietary staples of their homeland in mainstream local food markets. But there are other options for finding authentic Korean foods.
Perhaps the best are specialty Korean grocery stores. These stores offer all of the brands that Koreans are used to seeing at home. Some of these stores you can shop at online, and others are brick-and-mortar stores with locations in various U.S. cities. This article explores 6 of the most prominent Korean grocery stores in the U.S. to help you find a store that can fit your needs.
Table of Contents
Not all Korean grocery stores are created equal. The types of products they carry, selection, and availability vary store by store. Use the following sections as a guide on how to find the best Korean grocery products in the U.S.
One of the most well-known Korean grocery store chains in the U.S. is H Mart. H Mart has dozens of locations in states like California, Texas, and New York, and they offer fresh grocery delivery for customers in the New York and New Jersey area. H Mart also has a large online store that offers a variety of Korean goods. They offer frozen and refrigerated goods, meats, and dairy products that can be shipped refrigerated, and an extensive selection of dry goods.
H Mart offers more than just food, though. You can also purchase cookware, healthcare products, and beauty products. Nearly all of the products that they offer are from Korean brands and producers. Finally, you can also find recipes for Korean dishes and guides on how to make foods like Kimchi.
Zion Market is a Korean grocery chain with locations only in Georgia and California. Unlike H Mart, Zion Market does not have an online store, and you cannot have items shipped to your house from Zion Market. To shop at Zion Market you have to go to one of their physical locations. However, they do feature their latest sales on their website, along with a countdown of how long they will last at any given location.
Another interesting feature that Zion Market offers is a mobile app with deals, coupons, and other updates. While Zion Market has a decent selection of health and beauty products, they are predominantly a grocery store, offering fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, canned goods, bulk foods like rice and lentils, and more. If there is a Zion Market near your home, they are an excellent place to find many of the ethnic Korean foods that you need.
Assi Plaza describes itself as a grocery store for “international foods.” Specifically, they offer Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and other prominent Asian foods. Assi Plaza also does not have an online grocery store, only physical locations in:
Assi Plaza sells products in the following categories:
Assi Plaza also has a unique approach to which products they carry and how the store is arranged: they describe their store as a “culinary journey” through Asia, providing a range of specialty dishes and foods. You can read about the types of products they offer on their departments’ page, though they don’t specifically list the products that they carry. On their website, you can see the deals they currently have in place and when they expire.
Assi Plaza has a solid selection of Korean grocery products, though not as much as a dedicated Korean grocery store like H Mart.
Arirang Supermarket is one of the largest Korean supermarkets in the US, opening in 1983. Within Arirang Supermarket there are a number of smaller Korean businesses that offer specialty items from Korea. Arirang does not have an online store, though, and they only have one location in Garden Grove, California so most people will not be able to shop there.
But if you happen to live nearby, Arirang is one of the best sources for all kinds of Korean goods. You can do your shopping and purchase prominent Korean snack brands, then stop by a shoe store with Korean-inspired styles.
Arirang’s website has a ton of useful information as well. They keep you updated on the latest sales, and also offer Korean recipes and cooking tips for aspiring Korean chefs. So if you need Korean brands or foods, there’s a great chance you can find them at Arirang Supermarket.
Korean grocery stores may not be the best place to find certain Korean goods. Amazon is the largest retailer in the US, and they have one of the largest selections of Korean groceries, specialty items, and more. Whether you’re looking for Korean-inspired cookware, Korean snack brands, or staple bulk foods, the Korean grocery section of Amazon.com likely has an excellent selection. And with Amazon you don’t have to get up and go anywhere, you can get goods shipped right to your house.
You can even buy perishable goods from Amazon that are shipped refrigerated, though you may not be able to find Korean-brand foods that offer this service. If you’re struggling to find certain Korean goods, then Amazon is always a great place to start. H Mart is probably the next place to look, since they have the next biggest online selection.
Like Assi Plaza, Asianfoodgrocer.com offers a broader range of ethnic-Asian foods, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Filipino, and more. However, they are an online-only store with no physical location. They offer not only food, health, and beauty products, but also stationary, toys, houseware, and other specialty products. So if you’re looking for products with an Asian design aesthetic, but not necessarily specifically Korean, then Asianfoodgrocer.com is a solid choice.
As you can see, there’s no lack of selection when it comes to Korean grocery stores. There are national chains with online stores that offer thousands of products shipped directly to your door, along with physical Korean grocery stores that offer perishable goods like fruits and vegetables. Many of these stores are also excellent places to find unique, authentic recipes and dishes.
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