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Take a trip around the world without leaving Nolensville Road

March 10, 2013

Nashville is blessed with an abundance of options when shopping for food. Not only are there your usual spots like Publix, Kroger and Harris Teeter  – you also have the Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and a wide array of farmers markets. But if you take a moment and look past the pristine aisles of these outposts – there is an entire world of international markets within our reach as well. Just a quick drive down Nolensville Road will lead you to almost anything you could need in the world of groceries.

For the past few years we have thoroughly enjoyed our proximity to a mainstay in the international market scene in Nashville – K&S World Market. With its extensive selection of foods from many ethnic groups, it is a great place to explore and pick up some of the more exotic ingredients that your typical American grocery store does not carry. Mexican, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Indian… the list goes on and on. But in the recent weeks we have begun exploring some of the many other markets that line Nolensville road – most specializing in a specific ethnicity or region.

Currently the darling of those who talk food in Nashville (not to mention, Food & Wine Magazine), InterAsian Market & Deli is both an Asian grocery and an outpost of some of the best Vietnamese food in town. Step up to the register to order a freshly made banh mi, or peruse the counter filled with spring rolls, steamed dumplings, pork belly and all kinds of other delicious delicacies. If fermented cabbage is your thing, they also make a mean kimchi.

baraka_bakery

If Mediterranean food is on your agenda, Baraka Bakery is a must. Tucked away in the back corner of the Lowe’s shopping center at Old Hickory, they make pita bread fresh in house every day and have an extensive selection of marinated olives, feta and plenty of delicious bakery items.

For Indian, check out Patel Brothers near Harding Road. A successful grocery that started in Chicago, they are now the largest Indian grocery store chain in America. This fact is evident in how clean and well organized the store is, but the quality and variety of Indian foods and ingredients is unlike any you would find in most chain groceries.

japanese_food_specialties

While many of the other markets provide a wide selection of Asian groceries, if you are on the hunt for a specifically Japanese ingredient I suggest you visit Japanese Food & Specialties in the shopping center behind the Kroger at Old Hickory. Despite being a very small shop they have a great selection of fish in their freezer and all the staples you would need for Japanese cuisine or your next sushi night.

And last, but certainly not least, Mexican. Connected to the well known restaurant of the same name, La Hacienda Bakery & Grocery is a great pitstop. Their bakery selection is incredibly impressive, with a huge offering of breads, donuts, pastries and cakes. Freshly made tamales are sold by the bag, and a 12 inch tall stack of corn tortillas will set you back less than $3.

Shopping at international markets such as these is not for the faint of heart. These are not usually your typical, impeccably organized neighborhood grocery stores.  You will likely encounter many ingredients, and perhaps a few smells, you are unfamiliar with. But I encourage you to step outside the big box, and see what the rest of the world has to offer. It’s right there at your fingertips, Nashville.

**This article was also featured in the Tennessean!**

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lesley Eats permalink
    March 11, 2013 1:53 pm

    Baraka Bakery is one of my favorite places in the city. The cookies and candy section can’t be beat! Plus, there’s always a supply of halloumi cheese and fresh pita bread.

  2. April 12, 2013 2:17 am

    If one day you do an article about nashville surely you would have to put nodzilla, is a sushi restaurant that taste a few days ago and found it excellent, it is certainly a good candidate for the best sushi nashville.

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