Header image courtesy of Muji
The term “speciality grocery stores” always seems to bring to mind Western gourmet delis, but we should not forget that Hong Kong also has a diverse range of ethnic Asian grocery stores stocking plenty of flavours from India, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, and Korea. Read on to find out where to find Asian speciality grocery stores when you need a good garam masala mix, tamarind, or a specific brand of fish sauce!
Tucked away in Tsim Sha Tsui, the former Maharaja’s Indian Emporium isn’t large but is possibly the best in town for South Indian ingredients. Mainly stock up on masalas, dal, and organic ingredients here, but they do also have a wide range of products across the board—even tickets for Bollywood movie screenings across the city! Orders of over $300 on their online store will receive free delivery.
Maharaja Mart, 205, 2/F, Haiphong Mansions, 99–101 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2756 5611
Arguably the largest Indian grocery distributor in the region, Star Mart operates six stores across Hong Kong and one in Macau—the To Kwa Wan branch is the newest and biggest, called Star Mega Mart. With so many locations, Star Mart’s best quality is the convenience in finding them, though their festival special range is worth checking out as well. They also offer store membership, which gives discounts of up to 30 percent on purchases.
Star Mart, Unit A&C, G/F, K.K. Industrial Building, 5 Mok Cheong Street, Ma Tau Kok, To Kwa Wan | (+852) 2366 6534
Look no further if you need to spice up your life! This family business has been running for generations, and they know their stuff. All the herbs and spices sold here are naturally farmed and processed from each season’s fresh crop. While these are sold in their original whole form whenever possible to retain flavour, the store can also grind them to order. Sticking to what they do best, this isn’t the place to hit up if you’re in need of lentils or curry pastes, but when it comes to spices, Regency’s range is unparalleled.
Regency Spices, 8A, Ming Wah Industrial Building, 17–33 Wang Lung Street, Tsuen Wan | (+852) 3525 0060
As the first south Asian supermarket in the Mid-Levels area, Desi Bazaar is a firm favourite for both expats and locals nearby. They boast a great range of products, and will post about new arrivals or restocks of old favourites on their social media, so keep an eye out. Customer service is also consistently great here!
Desi Bazaar, G/F, Sussex Court, 120 Caine Road, Mid-Levels | (+852) 2987 4555
This neighbourhood grocery store stocks all your Indian pantry staples, and always seem to have discounts on products. They will also bring out festive specials in both foods and decorations before celebrations and holidays, be it Navratri or Diwali. From their original store in Tsim Sha Tsui, Shop Easy Superstore has now expanded to three locations including Tung Chung and Central.
Shop Easy Superstore, B/F, Golden Crown Court, 66–70 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2488 8402
Okay, so their website may look worryingly dated, but Kiran’s is known to be a reliable Indian grocery store that has been around for over 20 years. We like making our way to their store in person because they have freshly made snacks like samosas and sweets available, but you can also order online and pay by bank transfer or cash on delivery.
Kiran’s Provision Store, Shop 51, 1/F, Mirador Mansion, 54–64 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2723 6781
Widely known on the Island, this grocery store is always well-stocked with grains, pulses, sauces, chutneys, herbs, spices, condiments, and snacks, flown in straight from India. It may be small, but the location is great for ease of popping in when you happen to be in town.
Indian Provision Store, 18–20 Bowrington Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 2891 8324
When it comes to shopping for Thai ingredients, there’s no better place to go than Kowloon City, also known as Hong Kong’s “Little Thailand”. Ruamjai is one of the more well-known options, and is a jumble of good quality fresh and dried ingredients—everything you need to make a great Thai meal. Don’t forget to also check out their ready-made curries and desserts.
Ruamjai Thai Grocery, 21 South Wall Road, Kowloon City | (+852) 2716 4808
Another popular store in Little Thailand is Cheong Thai, which has been around since the 1970s. We love that they get their produce flown in straight from Thailand several times a week for optimal freshness. Apparently, they are also the supplier for a number of Thai restaurants, and if the delectable eateries nearby are any indication, Cheong Thai’s ingredients are top-notch indeed.
Cheong Thai Supermarket, 25 Kai Tak Road, Kowloon City | (+852) 2382 1988
Back on Hong Kong Island, head to a little dead-end road behind Wan Chai Market to find two Thai grocery stores sitting right next to each other. It’s unclear if Tree Thai Grocery and Bangkok Thai Product are technically owned by the same people, but if you’re already there then you might as well pop into both for a nosey around!
Tree Thai Grocery, Shop 5, G/F, Luckifast Building, 1–13 Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai
Technically, this isn’t a Thai grocery store and is actually a Chinese business specialising in coconuts. However, it just so happens that their stock list comprises of plenty of ingredients used in Thai dishes, so it kind of counts in our books. This no-frills shop which originally used to be in Wan Chai will fulfil all your coconut-related needs, be it fresh coconuts, grated coconuts, coconut milk, or even fresh coconut meat. They’ve also got plenty of spices, sold by the jars or in smaller packets, for very reasonable prices.
Shing Fat Coconut & Spices, 48–49 Praya, Kennedy Town | (+852) 2572 7725
Judging by the number of Filipina domestic helpers gathered around the area on Sundays, it makes sense that World Wide House in Central is the place to go for all things Pinoy. Aside from this location, there are also a couple more options specialising in Filipino groceries.
When it comes to Filipino foodstuff, Quezon Pinoy pretty much has the monopoly on the market in Hong Kong. They’ve got a total of eight branches, including three just within Central itself, so you’re bound to find one without much trouble. We like going here for specialty Filipino snacks, but they do stock a wide range of pantry staples and ingredients as well.
Free Market is mainly a distributor and wholesaler of Filipino products in Hong Kong, but they do also operate a storefront for walk-in customers. They stock everything required for cooking authentic Pinoy meals, daily necessities, as well as items for traditional festivities.
Free Market, 50 Praya, Kennedy Town | (+852) 3162 3931
Similar to World Wide House for Filipino goods, visit East Point Centre in Causeway Bay for Indonesian specialty stores. Do try to avoid going on Sundays, so you don’t have to jostle with the throngs of Indonesian helpers who only have the one day to themselves to purchase their necessities.
As one of Hong Kong’s largest southeast Asian supermarket chains, Indo Market operates a whopping 23 stores across the territories, so this one-stop shop is bound to stock everything you want and more. The largest branch is their Causeway Bay flagship, but there’s bound to be a location near you.
Indo Market, locations across Hong Kong
It’s no secret that Hongkongers are obsessed with pretty much everything from the Land of the Rising Sun, so it’s not difficult to get your hands on Japanese foods and supplies from our city’s various Japanese department stores such as AEON, Sogo, Yata, or city!super. If you want even more specialised stores, however, then read on.
This 5,000-square-foot store is the latest Japanese concept in town that has already captured the hearts of Hongkongers with its beautiful space. Their grocery section stocks fresh fruits and vegetables flown in from Japan, as well as ready-to-eat meals like bento boxes. Visit the Kome corner for onigiri rice balls and the Sawaya counter for zero-waste groceries sold by weight.
Guu San, Shop 01–02, G/F, H Zentre, 15 Middle Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2892 0868
Everyone’s favourite chaotic Japanese shopping destination already has six locations in Hong Kong, with Jonetz Market up on the Peak being the newest and even more to arrive soon. Its discount megastore concept means that you can score some great deals, provided you aren’t intimidated by the huge array of products, glaringly bright packaging, and incessant jingle playing throughout the stores. Aside from fresh ingredients and Japanese household goods, no visit to Donki is complete without loading up at the cooked food counters.
Don Don Donki, locations across Hong Kong
We love Tasting Table for being the lazy person’s grocery store (guilty as charged), because a lot of their food comes either ready-made, or already prepped in some way. Hidden away in a Causeway Bay apartment building, they specialise in imported washoku (和食; traditional Japanese cuisine) and yoshoku (洋食; western-influenced Japanese cuisine) so expect to find dishes like marinated saba (鯖; mackerel) and hamburger steaks. There are also frozen foods, pantry staples, seasonings, and—as with most Japanese food stores—plenty of samples.
Tasting Table Japan Premium, Flat 1A, 1/F, 5–7 Cleveland Street, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2562 2560
Vegetarians rejoice! Founded by a Hongkonger and her Japanese husband, Veggie Labo is a unique grocery store specialising only in plant-based foods sourced straight from small-scale Japanese farmers and producers. Everything they stock is vegan, and often also gluten-free or organic. Pair these ingredients with recipes thoughtfully created by the founders themselves, or even keep an eye out for their semi-regular cooking classes.
Veggie Labo, Unit 503, 5/F, Cheung’s Building, 3 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan
We trust everyone is already familiar with Muji’s minimalist products, but did you know that the Telford Plaza branch is the only location to stock Japanese groceries? Expect to lose yourself amongst the fruits and vegetables, condiments, seasonings, frozen foods, Japanese grains and staples, and loose-leaf teas in the 24,000-square-foot space.
Muji, Shop 401–402, 4/F, Telford Plaza II, 33 Wai Yip Street, Kowloon Bay | (+852) 3973 8380
The area around Kimberley Street in Tsim Sha Tsui has long been known as the Korea Town of Hong Kong, so naturally, you’ll find lots of grocery stores dotted in between the various Korean restaurants. Here are some good options, though we recommend simply strolling down the street and going into whichever catches your fancy. Note: make sure you’re not one street over on Kimberly Road instead!
New World Mart is one of the older Korean specialty stores in the area, and has been around since 1995. Expect to find absolutely everything you need, as well as stuff you didn’t realise you needed, including meats, frozen foods, snacks and confectionery, Korean red ginseng, Korean cosmetics, and even weight loss products.
New World Mart, MW Tower 2, 5 Kimberley Street, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2311 3783
Confusingly, this relatively newer kid on the block only has its name in Korean and Chinese, both translating to “New World Mart”—same as the aforementioned store. You’ll easily be able to tell them apart though, because this shop is much bigger and less weathered-looking. If the windows full of Korean snacks and instant noodles don’t entice you in, we don’t know what will.
New World Korean Food, 22 Kimberley Street, Tsim Sha Tsui