It does not matter what type of ethnic food you are looking for, you are sure to find it in Fremont, California. For not being one of the largest or highest populated cities in the state, it sure has more ethnic supermarkets than you could ever want or need. So, whether you are a chef from another city, or simply love to experiment with different recipes, you will never run out of interesting ingredients to try.
Only three decades ago, there was not much to see in Fremont. There was not even a downtown area to speak of. Not to mention, the schools were not much better than average. Today, the city has the highest density of Asians in the state. Mission San Jose High School is now in the state’s top 10 percent of schools, and Asian enrollment has doubled since 1993. Fremont, California is a melting pot where people actually appreciate other cultures. Everyone belongs, and you just feel welcome the minute you arrive in the city.
Top Ethnic Supermarkets
- Marina Food – You can buy freshly made Portuguese food here every single day. They are known for being extremely clean, offering great customer service and for having a nice meat and seafood selection. Tea Island is also located inside, so you can grab a delicious cup while you shop. This is also the place to find some nice exotics like dragon fruit and sea cucumber.
- 99 Ranch Market – While this store may be tiny in size, 99 Ranch Market is incredibly neat and organized, not cluttered like many other smaller stores tend to be. You can buy a lot of Japanese and Korean snacks and sports drinks that you will have a hard time finding anywhere else. Assorted party trays are also available upon request.
- Manna Oriental Market – Here you can always count on finding delicious food prepared that you can grab on your lunch hour, or to bring home when it is your night to cook; just hide the packages at the bottom of the trash bin. Their prices are extremely reasonable and they are primarily known for their kimbap, with crab, egg, radish, spinach, carrots and sesame oil. The workers are friendly, but do not expect a lot of English.
- D&G Flowers and Produce – This is a flea market-style, vegetable and fruit stand that has some of the best prices you will find in the city. When garlic is $1 elsewhere, it is about a quarter here. Grant it, the place looks like a shack on the outside and it is sort of an eye sore for the neighborhood, but it is a goldmine inside. Their fresh roasted peanuts are highly recommended.
- Trader Joes – Although not technically an ethnic supermarket, it does carry a vast array of ethnic choices. Trader Joes is a chain that is well known for their organic vegetables and fruits, vegan and ethnic options and unparalleled customer service. However, this will be the most expensive place to buy your ethnic food in Fremont, California.
Joseph Sabeh, Jr.
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