When shopping for Asian ingredients in Austin, start with International foods isles in local HEB supermarkets. If you live in a neighborhood with many immigrants from Asian countries, chances are your HEB has a very decent collection to choose from. Obviously, some of them will be in fresh produce departments, and the rest will be located on various shelves among packaged foods.
The nest stop is — Central Market and Whole Foods (downtown location). CM’s fresh produce department has ginger, turmeric (fresh turmeric!), and galangal. Their organic fresh herbs section almost always has Thai sweet basil (Italian basil is not a substitute!). The international isle makes most of Asian basics available.
4001 N. Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756
P: (512) 206-1000
Store hours: 8 am to 10 pm
When we moved to Austin I was asking locals what their favorite grocery store is. The answer was always the same, Central Market. Austinites love Central Market. They love Whole Foods in downtown too, but the original Central Market on Lamar is very special, it has its own vibe. It’s the same vibe that sets Austin apart from other cities in Texas. Read more about the history of this store, its specialties and departments on their web site, or just go there and feel it.
Whole Foods Lamar
525 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
Store hours: 7 am to 10 pm seven days a week. The coffee bar opens at 6 am.
P: (512) 542-2200
This Whole Foods Market is unique. It is one of the largest (80,000 square feet) and located just a few blocks from where the original Whole Foods Market began 30 years ago. It has an amazing variety of local, seasonal, hard-to-find bulk and packed ingredients and prepared foods. One of my favorite deserts there is Tres Leches. I tried most of Tres Leches in Austin in stores, bakeries, and restaurants. To my taste, Whole Foods’ version is the best, as parfait and as cake, with the most delicious three-milk sauce I’ve ever tasted. I consider this supermarket an Austin’s must-see and always take my guests there for a tour.
Specialized Asian food markets I like:
10901 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78753
Store hours: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Transit: 11001 Lamar/Kramer
MT Supermarket is the largest Asian store (55,000 square feet) in Austin with the largest selection of authentic Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, and Vietnamese products. I consider its fresh produce department as the most valuable for a generous assortment of traditional for Asian cuisines greens and herbs I can’t find anywhere else. MT Supermarket is also the only store in Austin that carries the best, juicy white winter cabbage variety — the best for fermenting.
Han Yang Market
Small supermarket with a range of Korean foods from marinated meats to kimchi to prepared meals.
Address: 6808 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78752
P: (512) 371-3199
Store hours: Sunday 9:30AM–8PM; Monday – Saturday 9:30AM–9PM
Hana World Market
Sizable Asian supermarket with produce, meat, seafood, packaged goods & an on-site food court.
Address: 1700 West Parmer Lane Ste.100, Austin, TX 78727
P: (512) 832-6606
Store hours: 9 am to 9 pm seven days a week.
6105 Burnet Road, Austin, TX 78757
P: (512) 453-1850
Compact circa-1967 market selling frozen and packaged groceries, cookware & gifts from Japan. One of the best high quality sake and rice selection. I visited it out of curiosity for the first time, when came back from my trip to Japan. I brought almost a suitcase of different food items from Japan to discover half of them available in this store in Austin.