COUNTLESS INTERNATIONAL GROCERY STORES
Chili Powder: Mmmm. Pierogis: Yumsicles. Spring roll wrappers, boba, ponzu citrus extract, challah… Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is! Would you believe that all of these lovely ingredients can be found practically on the same street? Such is the magic of Harvard St in Brookline/Harvard Ave in Allston. If you like to cook exotic foods then a trip to this neighborhood is a must! The next time you have a free afternoon this is how you should spend it:
- From NEC take the 39 bus to Huntington and South Huntington Aves (A). From there, walk down Huntington and make a right on Harvard St (about 3 blocks). On your left you will see Japan Village Mart (B – listed as 200 Washington St, don’t let this confuse you). Here you can buy all the Japanese goodies that your heart desires. 6 or 7 blocks later, you will find Madras Masala Spice (C – 191 Harvard St near Marion St). In this store, you can stock up on lots of awesome Indian Spices. (I had an Indian cooking party a couple months ago and to prepare for it, I bought chili powder, mango powder, onion seeds, mustard seeds, lentils, and many other gems of deliciousness here.)
- One block further is Coolidge Corner (D), which is home to a gigantic Trader Joe’s (1317 Beacon St) among other things. While Trader Joe’s is not an international grocery, they try to cater to the diverse community of Boston and their prices are pretty decent for semi-prepared foods such as mixed nuts or marinated artichoke hearts. Continuing down Harvard St, one will encounter the Jewish neighborhood, which is full of Kosher delis and bakeries. Make sure to stop in at Grape Leaves (E – 414 Harvard St) and Kupel’s Bagels (421 Harvard St).
- A few blocks later, you will cross into Allston and Harvard St will become Harvard Ave. When you reach Commonwealth Ave, make a little time to stop at Berezka International Food Store (F – 1215 Commonwealth Ave). You’ll find pierogis and lots of exotic cookies at this Eastern European grocery store.
- Continuing along Harvard Ave, you will find that you are now in Koreatown. While perhaps less known than Chinatown, this area is equally hopping and there are tons of interesting shops to go into. On the next corner, make a right onto Brighton Ave and walk down to Super 88 Market (G -1 Brighton Ave). This complex houses the Hong Kong Super Market (which has every Asian Food item imaginable). It is also home to an international food court where you can purchase some delicious bubble tea or a meal.
So now that you know about the best food-shopping neighborhood in the Boston area, go check it out! You won’t be sorry you did. The walk from South Huntington Ave. to Super 88 takes about 40 minutes with no stops, but if you don’t want to walk such a long distance, you can take the 66 bus which runs along Harvard St/Ave.