With the closure of several restaurants serving international cuisines as a result of the pandemic, more consumers have resorted to cooking the foods they know and love at home. Many standard corner grocery stores may not sell ghee or kimchi, but plenty of specialty stores are still open for business — though, with overwhelming demand, most are limiting hours and delivery options. Certain high-demand items may also be more difficult to get.
Here is a list of various specialty grocery stores in New York and New Jersey that offer international ingredients, plus the business hours they keep during the pandemic, as well as online delivery options. And if there’s anything missing from this, as always, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with more information.
Multiple international ingredients
Asian Veggies: An offshoot of the the Long Island City-based wholesaler Fresh Goods Trading, this recently-launched service offers a large selection of Asian produce including snow pea shoots, Shanghai bok choy, vermicelli noodles, and spicy chili crisp, among several other products. Asian Veggies offers next-day delivery in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. There’s a $45 order minimum and a flat $8 delivery fee on each order.
Kalustyan’s: This Armenian store, open since 1944, is stocked with specialty foods from around the world. It closed temporarily at the end of March but reopened as of April 16. The hours vary daily, according to co-owner Aziz Osmani, but are typically from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The store processes online orders both directly on its website and through Mercato, but those orders are currently seven to 10 days behind. Rice, daal, spices, vinegar, and olive oil are among the options. 123 Lexington Avenue, between 28th and 29th streets, Little India, Rose Hill
Food Bazaar Supermarket: This grocery chain store has several outposts, including in the Bronx and Elmhurst in Queens, and carries a lot of international products like Shin Ramyun noodle soups, Huy Fong Foods Sriracha sauce, and Mexican sausages. It is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the pandemic. There is typically a long line and wait times, and deliveries are currently unavailable, according to the Elmhurst manager. 58-1 Junction Blvd, Elmhurst
Chen’s Harrison Supermarket: Known for its excellent prices and Asian commodities, this is a great spot to pick up items like rice and glass noodles, rice wraps, bao, and fish, both frozen and dried. Apart from Asian brands, the store also carries items from Peru and Latin specialty products. During the pandemic, the store is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 735 Harrison Ave, Harrison, New Jersey
Hong Kong Supermarket: Operating with limited hours during the pandemic from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., this store carries a lot of Asian items and imported dry goods as well as fresh seafood. Warning: The store has been fined for price gouging of cleaning items. 157 Hester St, between Elizabeth and Bowery, Chinatown
Southeast Asia Food Group: Those seeking produce, including such hard to find items as banana blossoms and celtuce, and other supplies specifically for Asian cuisines — both local and imported — can now receive home delivery from Southeast Asia Food Group, a wholesaler that’s supplied to restaurants such as O Ya for more than 25 years; delivery minimum is $100, plus a $15 fee.
Manhattan Haat Bazaar: This halal meat and grocery store in Harlem is open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. during the pandemic. After being closed for a week, the store is now fully stocked, according to a store employee. The store was doing deliveries but has temporarily stopped. Staples include rice and dal lentils. 165 E 106th St, between Lexington and 3rd, East Harlem
Patel Brothers: Patel Brothers, the country’s largest Indian supermarket chain with locations in Queens and New Jersey, reopened after 10 days of being shut down. Various fruits, vegetables, lentils, rice, and atta flour are currently in high demand. The store gets shipments two to three times weekly and operating hours are from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Multiple locations
Kesar Grocery Store: This New Jersey grocery store will accept only online deliveries and prioritize orders through a slot system, said owner Sagar Patel, depending on how many delivery workers are available. The store sells rice, flour, spices, sweets, pickles and organic vegetables, as well as Indian snacks. 782 Newark Ave, 3rd floor, Jersey City, New Jersey
Narmada Indian Groceries: Open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, this store carries vegetables, including harder-to-find vegetables like bitter gourd and moringa, Indian teas, snacks, dry fruits, spices, beans and lentils, rice, flours, oil and ghee, and pickles and chutneys. Pickup-only. 58 Main Ave, Clifton, New Jersey
COVID-19 Tamil Task Team: A team of volunteers started this nonprofit in early March to meet the needs of over 60,000 Tamil residents in the New York City and New Jersey area but will serve anyone from any backgrounds with emergency needs, including grocery shopping services. Customers need to fill out a support ticket online, or call the national hotline at 201-540-9198 or email: email@example.com.
H Mart: Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with some stores open until 8 p.m., this Korean grocery store chain — which has a few locations in New York and New Jersey — has been a staple source of Asian goods and has said that it is not experiencing any extreme shortage of items at this time. According to the website, the current processing time for online orders is 13 to 15 business days, and it’s not currently doing delivery orders. 46-40 Francis Lewis Blvd, Bayside; 141-40 Northern Blvd, Flushing; 321 Broad Ave, Ridgefield, New Jersey, and other locations
Hanyang Mart: Open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the pandemic, this Korean market with a few locations in New Jersey and Queens sells various items from dry miso soup, seaweed, exotic teas like yam teas, and staples like rice and kimchi. The website is not accepting any new orders until after April 20. 50-51 Northern Blvd, Flushing; 478 Plainview Rd, Hicksville, New York; 1 Remsen Pl Ridgefield, New Jersey
Maannaa.com: The online Korean grocery store is a good option for those who need deliveries right now. Most items are available with no significant delays, notes the owner David Lee, and kimchi and Korean rice are hot commodities.
Katagiri Grocery: The oldest Japanese grocery store in the country has two locations, on 59th Street and in Grand Central Station in New York City, each operating with limited hours from 10 a.m.to 6 p.m. during the pandemic. The store works with Mercato for online deliveries and carries everything from fresh seafood, seaweed to home-cooked Japanese food. 370 Lexington Ave, between Lexington and Park, Murray Hill; 224 E. 59th St, between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, Midtown
Mitsuwa Marketplace: Open during the pandemic with reduced hours from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, this Japanese grocery store that has a New Jersey outpost in Edgewater has a wide variety of products including sushi, sashimi, and bento. 595 River Rd, Edgewater, New Jersey
Sunrise Mart: The Japanese specialty store is operating from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in all its New York City locations (East 41st, Stuyvesant Street, Broome Street), but more people are using its online delivery services through Mercato rather than shopping in-store. 494 Broome St. #2213, between West Broadway and Wooster, Soho; 4 Stuyvesant St, St. Mark’s Place, East Village; and more locations.
Konveny: This online Japanese store, which launched in early April, currently delivers to Brooklyn, Manhattan and Nassau only. Items include mochi ice-cream, gyozas, and snacks like seaweed and salt chips. Co-founder Jimmy Chen said he has had an overwhelming response and has added Saturday deliveries as a result of the increasing demand.
Buon’Italia: From imported long-cut pasta to Affiorato extra virgin olive oil from Frantoio Manciati, this specialty grocery store in Chelsea is fully stocked, with limited hours of retail operation from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 75 9th Ave, Chelsea Market
Eataly: Open during the pandemic from 9 a.m.to 8 p.m. in both its New York locations, this store that carries everything from pasta,Italian truffles to cannolis is “pretty well-stocked,” according to an employee. Online orders are also being accepted through Instacart and “had delays in the beginning but not any longer.” 200 Fifth Avenue, between 23rd and 24th Streets, Flatiron District; 101 Liberty Street, Floor 3, between Church and Greenwich, FiDi
Di Palo’s Fine Foods: With limited hours of operation from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., this longtime Little Italy store offers only dry pasta during the pandemic, and ravioli. Selections vary day by day, so call ahead. It also offers artisanal cheeses and cured meats. 200 Grand St, between Mott and Mulberry, Nolita
Gustiamo: The Bronx retailer and wholesaler sells premium Italian groceries in bulk, and for those who don’t mind buying five pounds of spaghetti at one time, this may be a good option. It also sells olive oil, canned tomatoes, dried porcini mushrooms, capers, pistachios, and balsamic vinegar. The store has an e-commerce platform and ships anywhere in the city and continental United States.
Twin Filipino Food Store: Operating from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the pandemic, this Astoria store carries many staples including mung beans and noodles but is running low on quantities on certain days. It also offers pre-made desserts and dishes like kalabasa. 2325 30th Ave., between Crescent and 23rd, Astoria
K’Glen Deli: This Filipino grocery store in Woodside, New York is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and has Filipino snacks, desserts like ube halaya (made from boiled and mashed purple yam), frozen lumpia, and chorizo. 39-16 65th St., Woodside
Portuguese and Brazilian
Rio Supermarket: This specialty store in Astoria is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and still does deliveries. It has everything from Pão de Queijo to Brazilian snacks like Batata Palha. 32-15 36th Ave., at 33rd Street, Astoria
Sahadi’s: The Atlantic Avenue location offers only curbside pickup — and no in-store shopping. Orders can be placed on the website through Mercato. The Industry City location has in-store shopping with hours of operation daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 187 Atlantic Ave., between Clinton and Court streets, Brooklyn Heights; 34 35th Street Bldg 4, Suite 04-1-B12, Sunset Park
Despaña: This specialty Spanish wine and food store with locations in Queens, Soho, and Princeton is closed for now, but local deliveries are being run through its e-commerce shopping platform. Its menu includes a huge selection of Spanish wine, Spanish olives, meats, cheeses, and seafood items including pate.
Mercado Little Spain: The Hudson Yards food hall from famed Spanish chef José Andrés is selling pantry items online, including olive oil, tinned fish, paella, and spices. Items can be shipped.
Charu Suri is a freelance journalist who frequently contributes to The New York Times and Architectural Digest.