Pineapples at Super H Mart
Starfruit at Buford Highway Farmers Market
Now here’s a delicious dilemma:
Buford Highway and its environs have two great markets to choose from.
The newly renovated Buford Highway Farmers Market is cleaner, brighter, better organized and better stocked with more international foods that it has ever been.
But new it has some serious competition from the national chain of Super H Mart stores, which already has several branches throughout metro Atlanta. Super H recently opened its Doraville branch about a mile away in a new mall near the Peachtree Industrial exit off I-285. This market isn’t nearly as large as the BHFM (nor as large as the local Super H flagship in Duluth) but the groceries are well curated.
To compare the two I spent a long morning walking through both and examining the wide array of international foodstuffs. Both markets have baseline specialties in Korean and Mexican groceries as befits the local population, but they both also run the gamut of Eastern European, Southeast Asian and South American. You can really shop the world at either place.
Some initial thoughts on each:
Buford Highway Farmers Market:
- The ingredients are arranged by country of origin. This comes in really handy if you’re shopping for an Indonesian, Peruvian, Russian or Jamaican recipe. It’s a little less convenient if you want to compare the prices of Japanese and Korean flaky breadcrumbs or are looking for a fun assortment of candy. Still, this is the metro area’s most far-reaching international market.
- The market appeals to wider socio-economic swath. Food stamps and participants in the Federal W.I.C. Program are proudly welcome.
- Highlights include the produce aisle, the Eastern European deli, the housewares, the prepared Korean foods.
Super H Mart:
- Groceries grouped by type, so every aisle is a melting pot.
- More of a focus on semi-prepared and frozen foods, making it feel like Trader Joe’s.
- The market’s signature food court offers a nice selection of Asian cuisines. There is also an area of small shops that sell clothes, books and sundries as well as a pharmacy. Convenient one-stop shopping is the key here.
- Highlights include the great kimchi deli with free tastes of everything, the pristine fish counter with great daily specials, the many tasting stations set up and manned by English speaking attendants who can turn you on to a new brand of frozen dumplings or noodle soup.
Here are a few pictures of the Buford Highway Farmers Market:
Great selection of peppers and eggplants
Eastern European condiments
Russian spirits (note the guitar-shaped bottle)
And some pictures from Super H Mart:
Pickled river crabs in the kimchi display (Delicious! Seriously!)
Great special prices in seafood aisle
Case holding marinated bulgogi and Slavic roulade cakes
A world of vegetables: chayote, fresh garbanzos, tindora
Croatian sugar cubes