Seattle Specialty Grocery Stores
| Bulk Spices | Insane Cheese Counter | Bulk Flours, Beans, Rice | Bulk Chocolate | Olive Oils | Vinegar | Imported Pasta | Mediterranean Canned Goods |
I have been shopping at PFI my entire life. My mom used to purchase all of her spices here. Pretty sure this is where my love of kalamata olives stems from.
I highly suggest bringing a container if you want to take home brine for your feta, olives or if you want to skip the plastic bags for all the bulk spices.
| Incredible Salt Collection | Cheese and Meat Counter | Stocked Fridge and Freezer Section full of Imported Goods | Ridiculous Wine Section | Large Imported Canned Goods Section | Paella Pans and Clay Cookware |
I stumbled upon this market by chance and fell in love instantly. I haven’t spent enough time yet to have a full picture of what this market has to offer. The variety of smoked salts caught my eye. The wine section was immense and I could have easily taken home a whole case of options.
I also see a paella pan in my future.
| Swoon-worthy Produce Section | Gorgeous Meat and Seafood Selection | Ridiculous variety of products | Large Bulk Section |
I might be revealing myself too much here, but Central Market is a nice leisurely activity in my book. I walk up and down every aisle moving my cart a few feet at a time. I take in all the products and always come home with one or two that I “just need to try.”
The produce is some of the most gorgeous I have ever seen. I love imperfect produce on the regular, but sometimes you just want to take in a really stunning display of Romesco Cauliflower, am I right?
| Exotic Produce Section | Freezer Section full of Dumplings, Fish Balls, and noodles | Fresh Udon and Ramen Noodles | Every Kind of Rice you Could Want | Perfect Place to Stock up on all of your Asian Pantry Staples | Extensive Seafood Options |
Another store that I have been going to since before I can remember. I purchase all of my Asian pantry staples here — coconut milk ($2 cheaper per can), rice vinegar, rice noodles, soy sauce, etc. They also have an extensive collection of ready-made sauces, mixes and a whole aisle devoted to better versions of Top Ramen.
I tend to plan 1-2 meals that require hard to source produce when I make a Uwajamiya run. Seafood is another top choice here. If I do a “Make-Your-Own” Sushi night the Uwajamiya Seafood section is my first stop.
| Source for Hard to Source Korean Ingredients | Vast, Fresh Assortment of Seafood | Numerous options for Staple Ingredients |
I would love to include a list of what is at H Mart, but honestly, this is not a shopping trip for the faint of heart. The produce section was incredibly inspiring and I need to sit down and do endless research before I go past my conservative choices. The seafood section was bountiful and stocked full. I opted to bring home some octopus to grill. The aisles were where things really got intense though. There is very little English on the packaging and you really have to be investigative while you wander through the aisle. I walked away with a few items but will spend more time next time looking up ingredients while I am shopping.
| Bulk Produce | Bulk Meats | Bulk Dairy | Bulk Canned Goods | Did I mention you can buy in Bulk?|
Yes, Cash and Carry is on this list. It has its time and place — When cooking for a large group. I don’t frequently Cash and Carry, but love to make this my main stop when I am cooking for 20+ in one sitting. The pricing on produce, meats, and canned goods is great. You can find most basic ingredients here. Recently, the most common reason I go here is when my ladies and I cook a meal at YouthCare.
| Old School Butcher Shop | Quality Meats | Small Batch | Off the Beaten Path |
Plain and Simple, this place has some of the best meats you will ever have the joy of eating. I remember driving 3 hours each way as a kid just so my mom could do her quarterly run for bacon, steaks, ribs, and sausages. Everything is made in this tiny whole in the wall shop and it all tastes exactly how I remember it being as a kid.
I understand that this little cement floor shop is off the main road in a tiny town 80 miles east of Seattle. It’s still worth the drive.
Seasonal Produce | Direct from Farmers | “Imperfect” Product that is tasty, but would be thrown away for Cosmetic Blemishes |
I was set on driving to my local produce market for years and I am still a huge advocate of buying local produce. The problem was that I was going to 2-3 stores each week for my groceries. For years, I was committed, but then I found Imperfect Produce and everything changed.
Imperfect Produce buys directly from local farmers with produce that doesn’t meet normal grocery store standards. Items are perfectly edible, but too small, slightly misshaped, or surplus produce the farmer can’t sell. Imperfect Produce purchases this perfectly good produce and sells it to the consumer.
I receive an email on Thursday afternoon asking me to Customize My Box and log into my account to select exactly what I would like to receive. I can mix organic and standard and choose the exact items I want. I log out and forget about it. My produce then arrives at my doorstep on Tuesday evening. It’s basically magic and has taken one errand out of my weekly mix.
P.S. I spend about $25/week for a full box. More than enough for two people AND a night or two of entertaining.
| Organic Ingredients | Great for Dietary Restrictions | Stock up on Staples | Deeply Discounted |
I cut another errand out of my rotation when I signed up for Thrive Market. There are just some products (lentil pasta, bulk nuts, nut butter) that I keep constantly stocked, but don’t want to drive to multiple stores to find exactly what I want.
In comes Thrive Market. This site is a one-stop shop for all of the items I was searching for online and at whole foods. I tend to do about one order a month to stock up on all my essentials. They are delivered right to my door.