Shakespeare wrote that all the world’s a stage, but in our fantasy it’s a grocery store, and the whole world is waiting for you at international markets all over Orlando. The list below is by no means exhaustive, but we happily spent the summer visiting each and every one. Along the way we discovered delicious surprises and met the lovely locals who run these mostly mom-and-pop places that have become neighborhood institutions. We hope you have as much fun as we did hitting the road and stocking up.
1155 West SR 434, Longwood; (407) 260-2644
Longwood locals flock to this plaza between 17–92 and Ronald Reagan for meat, produce and spices; fresh flatbreads from Village Bread & Bagels in Jax, and maamouls and other sweets from Tampa’s Holy Cross Bakery. Rana’s Tikka House operates inside the market selling chaat, samosas, biryani and more. 10:30 a.m.–9 p.m. daily; restaurant open 11 a.m–9 p.m. daily.
11741 South Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando; (407) 856-1780; bombaybazaar.us
The meat counter at this OBT outpost for Indian staples offers halal chicken, beef, lamb, duck, local goat and offal for stews, chops or keema (minced meat). Or skip the cooking and take home halal curries, kebabs or daily specials from Bombay Grill next door. 10 a.m.–9 p.m. daily; restaurant open 11 a.m.–9 p.m. daily.
10018 University Blvd., Orlando; (407) 243-2424; indianmarketus.com
Offerings at this mom-and-pop store near UCF focus on frozen fare and non–perishables, including a selection of treats from Rangoli Sweets in Winter Springs. 10:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m. Tues.–Sat., 10:30 a.m.–7 p.m., 2 p.m.–7 p.m. Mon.
1750 West Sand Lake Road., Orlando; (407) 816-0070; patelbros.com
This popular Chicago–based chain has just one outpost in Orlando, and it’s by far the most spacious of the area’s Indian markets. Located in an upscale plaza near The Florida Mall, the aisles are packed with families looking for the freshest produce, pulses and spices from the Indian subcontinent. 10 a.m.–8:30 p.m. daily.
Spice House of Longwood
820 East SR 434, Longwood; (407) 331-9888; intfoodmart.com
Owner Prahshant Bhimji places an emphasis on customer service at this neighborhood market, as do all of his staffers—who also happen to be members of Bhimji’s own family. The Bombay Chaat Café offers Punjabi favorites like chole bhature, a spicy chickpea curry with fried leavened flatbread, along with other vegetarian fare. 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Wed.–Sun.; café open 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Fri.–Sun.
Spiceland Indian Grocery Store
870 South Sun Dr., Lake Mary; (407) 829-2440; spicelandstore.com
Shoppers here pause for pani puri, vada pav or other chaat at a regular pop-up inside before cruising the well-stocked aisles. Look for crunchy snacks plus refrigerated batters for idli and dosas by Winter Park’s Preeti Foods. 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m. Tues.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Fri.–Sat., 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Sun., 4–8:30 p.m. Mon.; chaat available 3 p.m.–9 p.m. Thur.–Sun.
Ararat Euro Food & Bistro
7540 Universal Blvd., Orlando; (407) 351-3131; ararateuro.com
Swedes may have invented the term smorgasbord, but it was the Russian tradition of providing an array of snacks to accompany vodka that inspired the trend, and the makings for the best buffet ever are available here, including traditional smoked or salted fish; domestic and imported caviar and more than 50 varieties of smoked or cured Eastern European sausages, salami, pates and meat. Wine and beer from throughout the Baltic states and Russia are on the shelves and on the menu at the adjacent sit-down bistro, which offers an enormous selection of soups, salads, hot and cold appetizers, entrées and sweets. Open noon–10 p.m. Tues.–Sun., 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.
The British Shoppe
809 North Mills Ave., Orlando; (407) 898-1634; thebritishshoppe.com
Since 1981, this small storefront in Mills 50 has provided Orlando’s Anglophiles with a selection of gifts and goodies to rival duty-free at Heathrow. All categories are for sale online except for the freezer section, which includes pork pies, bangers, bacon and more. 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat.
Euro–Balkan Grocery and Deli, Tima’s House
851 East SR 434, Longwood; (407) 960-5858; timashouse.com
Pantry goods from Poland, Russia, Greece, Turkey and Croatia line the shelves of this well-stocked store, which also offers smoked meats, dairy items and frozen pastry. Scratch sweets made in the tiny kitchen include a rotating assortment of syrup-soaked baklava, hurmasica and tulumba as well as meringue- or custard-based treats like sampita and krempita. On weekends, the grill offers sausages, patties and more on wood-fired flatbread. 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun.; grill open Saturday and Sunday.
The Euro Market
4147 West Vine St., Kissimmee; (407) 933-0091; theeuromarket.com
In the former Soviet Union, Vladimir Chvalbo was head coach of the national trampoline team and Lilia Chvalbo a world champion in the sport. In Kissimmee, their tiny store a stone’s throw from Gatorland has served as a social hub for Europeans for over a decade as well as a place to stock up on sweets, soups, spreads and other staples from Russia and Eastern Europe. They also offer free delivery with a minimum order of $50 or $100 depending on location. 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Sun.
Lacomka Bakery & Deli
2050 North Semoran Blvd., Winter Park; (407) 677-1101; lacomkaorlando.com
Custom wedding cakes are merely the showiest of the sweets available at this friendly grocery, which also stocks Russian chocolates, candies and preserves as well as a variety of savory favorites. Fresh crepes come stuffed with humble Nutella or an imperial mélange of red caviar and butter. Open 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Sun.
Magnolia Square Market
117 Magnolia Ave., Sanford; (407) 321-2204; hollerbachs.com
The deli counter has pride of place at this German market operated by the owners of nearby Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café, a Sanford institution for brats, beer and more. Its shelves are laden with authentic German-style wursts, bologna and braunschweiger made in the U.S. and Canada, as well as imported European cheeses, many of which are available in hearty sandwich form to enjoy to go or right in the store. German beer, wine, pantry staples and gummis in every whimsical shape tempt further. 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Fri.–Sat.
5111 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando; (407) 523-1308; caribbeansupercenter.com
Family-owned Caribbean Supercenter, one of Orlando’s biggest grocery stores, carries an extraordinary assortment of gorgeous fruits and vegetables, halal meats and rare finds such as cow foot, cow skin and goat. Small bakery and expansive line of hot foods (try the spicy oxtail stew). 8:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Sun.
Caribbean Food Market
2121 W. Washington St., Orlando; (407) 246-6995
This neighborhood grocery store carries all the essentials for Caribbean cooking, but it’s the adjacent, well-stocked Ocean Fish Market that really bustles, fishmongers dressed in white jackets and caps, cases stacked with red snapper, grouper, tuna, salmon, brim, bluefish and other fresh catch. 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun.
One Stop Caribbean Shop
3247 S. John Young Parkway, Kissimmee; (407) 483-7914; jjwestindiangrocery.com
Cordial shopkeeper Anisa Kahn will walk you through myriad ingredients focusing on the cuisines of Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana with dozens of curries, hot sauces and spices, and unusual frozen produce such as wiri wiri pepper, bilimbi fruit and green jack fruit. She ships all over the world. 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun.
5450 International Drive, Orlando; (407) 351-1550
A small bakery, deli (try the pastel de queijo) and limited Brazilian imports such as soda, cookies, candy, canned goods. Also linguiça, thick steaks, other Brazilian meal staples. 8 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 8 a.m.–10 p.m. Fri.–Sat., 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Sun.
5789 Curry Ford Road, Orlando; (407) 380-3700; bravosupermarkets.com
Tucked just off Semoran Boulevard, this well-stocked neighborhood grocery store is known for friendly service and $4.99 daily hot lunch special. Daily 7:30 a.m.–8 p.m.
1344 E. Vine St., Kissimmee; (407) 785-2215
Authentic Puerto Rican grocery store with all the favorites, owned by Willer Vélez, who is supplying Boricua preferences such as Café Lareño, Malta India, Don Ricardo Pique Sauce and Cameo cookies. A small bakery turns out delectable sweets, including bizcocho mojadito (Puerto Rican “wet cake”). Daily 8 a.m.–8 p.m.
Plaza Tropical Supermarket
665 W. Lancaster Road, Orlando; (407) 582-0140
Join the locals who line up for breakfast and lunch at the generous Hispanic buffet — a little Spanish is helpful for ordering. The grocery store has plenty of canned goods but limited meat and no fresh seafood. Daily 7 a.m.–8 p.m.
Compare Bodega Latina
2441 E. Semoran Blvd., Apopka; (407) 886-5384
Plentiful produce, well-stocked-but-small grocery and quick-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner ($1 empanadas, tender roast pork are favorites). 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–7:30 p.m. Sat., 8 a.m.–7 p.m. Sun.
1105 W. State Road 436, Altamonte Springs; (407) 788-8814
Neighborhood bodega where locals stop in for a cafecito or cortadito and generous take-out plates that change daily (Tuesday is goat stew, Wednesday is honeycomb tripe, but there’s also beef stew, ribs and baked chicken). Mamey, papaya, soursop shakes. Limited groceries, butcher. 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun.
La Hacienda Market and Taqueria
3090 Aloma Ave., Winter Park; (407) 673-7720
Compact market has shelves brimming with imports, plus a butcher case with myriad cuts (palomilla, picaña, Milanesa) and fresh seafood. The taqueria offers some of Orlando’s most authentic Mexican, including steak, tongue, tripe, salted beef and shredded pork tacos and tortas. 8 a.m.–9 p.m. daily.
816 N Mills Ave., Orlando; (407) 898-9227; dongacorporation.com
You’ll find Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai ingredients like noodles, spices, condiments, and canned goods at this longtime Mills 50 tenant. The frozen and refrigerated sections are a bit smaller than some markets, but at least eight varieties of miso paste and four types of wonton wrappers are among the offerings. 9 a.m.–8 p.m. daily.
M&M Phillipine Mart
7339 E Colonial Dr., Ste 3, Orlando; (407) 281-6999
Small but mightily stocked with Filipino favorites like ube-flavored candy, snacks and crackers, and canned goods. An offering of produce and refrigerated/frozen foods is also available. A counter in the back serves Filipino halo–halo (call ahead) and ube ice cream. 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Sat. Closed Sunday.
Woo Sung Oriental Food Mart
5079 Edgewater Dr., Orlando; (407) 295-4077
Primarily Korean goods (including a huge selection of kimchi) line the shelves of this clean market, but you’ll find Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese snacks and condiments, as well. They also offer premade Korean foods and snacks. 9:30 a.m.–8 p.m. daily.
Tien Hung Oriental Foods
1110 E Colonial Dr., Orlando; (407) 422-0067
Wide array of Asian grocery items, including a large produce section, a fresh seafood counter, and freshly prepared to-go (and inexpensive) Vietnamese coffee and foods, like bánh mi and bánh cuôn. 9 a.m.–8:30 p.m. daily.
1st Oriental Supermarket
5132 W Colonial Dr., Orlando; (407) 292-3668
Largest Asian grocery in the area, with a huge selection of hard-to-find ingredients. The market specializes in produce (think tropical fruits and fresh seaweed), fresh meats (duck hearts, pork belly) and seafood (whole fish, live shrimp and even snails). Staples of nearly every Asian cuisine abound, including an impressive selection of frozen foods. An onsite bakery and prepared foods area offers everything from whole Peking ducks to fried rice and boba tea. 8:30 a.m.–9 p.m. daily.
New Golden Sparkling Supermarket
5600 W Colonial Dr., Ste. 306, Orlando; (407) 730-3936
This market is indeed very neat and clean, with a large selection of produce. Exotic offerings in the seafood and meat departments (geoduck, turtle, jellyfish, pig feet) and a large and well-stocked produce department. 9 a.m.–9 p.m. daily
185 S Ronald Reagan Blvd., Longwood; (407) 951-8084
Well stocked with a wide array of Middle Eastern staples such as candies, pickles, spices, fresh bread and cheeses. Also offers a small selection of refrigerated and frozen items, including Persian rose-water ice and saffron ice cream, both made in-house. A prepared-foods counter offers a menu of mostly Persian items. 10 a.m.–8:30 p.m. Mon.–Sat.;
10 a.m.–7 p.m. Sun.
12133 S Apopka Vineland Rd., Orlando; (407) 465-1726
Inconspicuously located in the back corner of a shopping center, this little market offers meat according to halal guidelines, as well as a large selection of dry goods and a few refrigerated items. With stock that leans mostly toward Pakistani goods, you will also find some Lebanese, Indian and Palestinian staples. 8 a.m.–10 p.m. daily
International Food Club
4300 L B McLeod Rd. A, Orlando; (407) 281-4300; internationalfoodclub.com
Though this grocery offers a huge variety of food from all over the world, its Middle Eastern selection is the widest and most varied in town. From Moroccan harissa paste and falafel mix to hot-pink pickled turnips and maftoul, you can find most ingredients here you’d need to create authentic recipes.