Buying Asian ingredients in Miami can be quite a chore. It’s weird, but we are actually one of the few major cities in the country to not have a Chinatown. Go to cities like New York or San Francisco, and you will be astonished by how similar to the real deal their Chinatowns actually are. You will have people walking the streets speaking in their native tongues, street food ranging from dumplings to bao buns, and foreign signage above business doors. That may explain why finding authentic Asian cuisine in Miami is so difficult, but I digress. There are still a couple of options when it comes to buying ingredients if you were to want to make authentic Asian food at home. Even if you are not looking for Asian ingredients per se, these places offer incredible variety and value when it comes to their range in rare and usually expensive vegetables, fruit, meats, and produce. While navigating these markets may be an experience in itself, it is worth it on both a culinary and cultural level.
It looks small from the outside, but walking in will surprise you after seeing the size of this market. If you’re looking for noodles, dried soups, ramen, and green tea, Lucky Oriental Mart is your place. Here, these items are much cheaper than elsewhere. The store is stocked with Pocky snacks and buns--a must try if you’re trying to satisfy a craving for unique and foreign snacks.
8356 SW 40th St
Miami, FL 33155
Most people would be surprised to hear that India is actually an Asian country. While other markets on the list focus more on the southeastern Asian countries like China and Japan, Asia Grocery specializes in Indian cuisine and ingredients. Actually, they even have a tiny restaurant in the back offering small Indian bites and what may be the best samosas (fried pastry stuffed with spiced garbanzos, potatoes, peas and carrots served with chili sauce) you can find in the city. They are only $1 each and, they offer a myriad of ethnic flavors encased in a crispy and flavorful shell. Add some chili sauce for an extra kick. You can also find Ghee, Coconut oil, mung beans, Indian snacks, and even a small selection of saris and kirta's for a reasonable price.
6785 SW 56th St
Miami, FL 33155
It's a fairly small space, but it is packed to the max with pretty much everything you need. PK Oriental Mart has two live fish tanks, and most variety of cooking wine and sweet vinegar sauces in the city. On weekends, they sell a limited number of roast duck that people flock to and reserve in order to guarantee a bird. It is some of the best in the city, rivaling the Pekin Duck from Tropical Chinese on Bird Road.
255 NE 167th St
Miami, FL 33162
We recommend coming here for your dry and bottled goods, as their selection is more extensive than other Chinese grocers. Everything is crammed together into this tight space, since they use every small open area to include a larger variety. Although somewhat disorganized, you are bound to find what you are looking for if you ask the owners, who happen to be on duty at all time. They offer suggestions and are open to questions, making for a friendly experience.
7992 SW 8th St
Miami, FL 33144
This is a small family run Asian grocery store that has items from most oriental cultures present. Inside, you can find noodles, produce, spices, and the likes, but the main draw is the live fish and selection of Chinese cookbooks and magazines. The surprisingly organized inventory makes it more manageable when it comes to navigating your way through the aisles full of items in different languages.
9803 Pines Blvd
Pembroke Pines, FL 33024