10 International Grocery Stores in the Queen City
Charlotte’s culinary vibrancy is rooted in a dynamic range of international food offerings from around the world.
by Allie Papajohn
Whether you’re craving empanadas or yaki udon noodles, the Queen City has a variety of international grocery stores to choose from.
Per a COVID-19-related Mecklenburg County health directive issued Jan. 12, 2021, please note that some businesses may have modified their hours of operation and changed procedures in order to comply with CDC and Mecklenburg County Health Department guidelines. Please wear a mask, limit any non-essential activities and refrain from gathering with anyone outside of your household.
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
Find a huge selection of Asian goods and other items from around the world at the popular Super G Mart off of East Independence Boulevard. In addition to quality meats, seafood, fruits and veggies, sauces, spices and dry goods, you’ll want to check out their kitchen supply section for noodle bowls, tea pots and utensils. And don’t leave without grabbing a snack from the food court featuring Korean Restaurant, Honey Buns and Hong Kong Bakery.
Hours: Sunday-Tuesday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Wednesday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Stock up on Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese staples at this market off of South Boulevard. You can also grab ready-to-eat treats like summer rolls or meat and seafood for your at-home recipes.
Area: Matthews, NC
Hours: Monday & Wednesday-Saturday, 10:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Sunday, noon-3:30 p.m.; Monday & Wednesday-Sunday, 4:30-9 p.m. Closed Tuesday.
Many make the short drive from Charlotte to Matthews to dine at this Korean restaurant located inside the market. Go for the kimchi soup, bibimbap or yaki udon noodles (available dine-in or to-go), and be sure to browse the market, too. You surely won’t leave empty handed when you spot the giant jars of kimchi.
Area: Sugar Creek
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Located inside Asian Corner Mall, this supermarket carries dry goods, bakery items, sweets, meats, produce and seafood. After shopping, be sure to visit this mall’s other hidden gem: Le’s Sandwiches & Café. Many claim Le’s, which opened in 2004, to be home to the city’s best Vietnamese banh mi. Go try it out to see for yourself (and make sure to bring cash!).
Area: Sardis Woods
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
This family owned-and-operated market has provided provisions from Central and Eastern European countries to the Charlotte area since 1994. Get lost in hunger wandering through aisles of candies, chocolates, spirits, baked goods, jarred vegetables and frozen delights. Don’t miss the refrigerated section full of cheeses, deli meats and seafood.
Area: Coventry Woods
Hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Sunday.
Fill your fridge with olives, feta and fruit juices and your pantry with olive oil, honey and Greek sweets at this market off of East Independence Boulevard. And, yes, you can stock up on baklava, a popular pastry made with phyllo dough, nuts and sweet syrup, at this family-owned grocery.
Area: Matthews, NC
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 2-6 p.m.
Get a taste of Greece when you browse through this warehouse in Matthews. Shoppers love the fresh imported feta cheese packed and aged in brine and the sliced gyro meat. We have a feeling you’ll be taking home Greek spices, pita bread, olives and a tub of tzatziki, too. Pro tip: They accept cash or check only.
Hours: Daily, 7 a.m-10 p.m.
Get your fill of Latin American products at this large market off of East Independence Boulevard. After you browse through the butchery, produce section, homemade tortillas and dry goods, check out the taqueria for a bite to eat. You’ll have a hard time choosing between tacos, tamales, tortas and empanadas, but we guarantee you’ll pair fresh salsa with whatever you choose. Pro tip: Need a piñata? They have them.
Area: Windsor Park
Hours: 7:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
While the lineup of produce, meats, dry beans and bakery items is impressive, the star of this Latin American grocery is the “secret” takeout counter. Countless Charlotteans have claimed Sav/Way’s tortas are the best in the city (and so big that many can only eat half). You’ll also find quesadillas, tacos and salads on the menu with aguas frescas to wash it all down. Pro tip: Don’t forget your cash.