Where to Go for Traditional Ethnic Treats

Shopping for Special Holiday Foods

One advantage of living in such an ethnically diverse area is the variety of foods available at specialty markets catering to the different segments of our population. Whether you’re pining for the flavors of home, recreating the traditions of your ancestors or just want to incorporate some international treats into your holiday meals, here are just a few of the markets in our area worth exploring.


H Mart

Korean supermarket chain H Mart features aisle after aisle of specialty products as well as a small cafe area where you can grab a bite to eat. The fresh produce, meat selections and seafood varieties will inspire even timid cooks to try something new. There are several H Marts in the DC area. Check the website for a list of locations.


8103 Lee Highway, Falls Church

11200 Fairfax Blvd, Fairfax

1228 Elden St, Herndon


The Heidelberg Pasty Shoppe

The Heidelberg Pasty Shoppe’s selection of cakes, pastries and authentic hearty breads are sure to make your mouth water. Wolfgang Büchler opened the bakery in 1975, and he and his wife Carla provide custom desserts for all occasions. The shop also includes a deli with meats and cheeses for your holiday feasts.


2150 N. Culpeper St., Arlington

German Gourmet

Founded in 1962 by Wilhelm Wenzel and now owned by brothers Michael and Clifford Haene, German Gourmet offers fresh bratwurst and sausages along with other deli items and cheeses, enticing bakery items and imported groceries, beer and wine.


5838 Columbia Pike, Falls Church

Middle Eastern

Shiraz Market

Shiraz Market is an international supermarket where you will find Middle Eastern, Persian, Turkish, Indian, Egyptian, Asian, Mediterranean, Russian, Eastern European and American brands. Shiraz Market carries vegetarian and organic foods and bakes bread fresh daily in the store. Browse the bakery section for treats such as Persian rollet, baklava or French cookies. The fresh meat department offers halal beef, lamb, goat and chicken. Do your shopping at lunch or dinner time and have a sandwich, kabob, salad or daily special at the in-store restaurant.


8486-G Tyco Rd., Vienna


Fresh World International Supermarket

If your heritage is a mix of cultures, you’re having trouble finding certain items or you just want to put some excitement in your food shopping, head to Fresh World International Supermarket. Founded in September 2006 in Springfield by Charles Kim and Kenneth Kim, Fresh World boasts high-quality fresh foods.

Check out the seafood department, where you’ll find variety unmatched anywhere else. The produce and meat sections are impressive as well. Browse the grocery aisles to find Chinese, Korean, African, Peruvian and Indian products as well as items from many other cultures. Stop by this holiday season, and you may just make it your year-round supermarket.


1070 Elden St., Herndon

6901 Hechinger Dr., Springfield


The Italian Store

For gourmet Italian specialties, visit the Italian Store at one of its two locations in Arlington. Run by the Tramonte family for more than 30 years, the store carries fresh cheese, meat, Italian wines, homemade style pastas and hard-to-find products from Italy.


3123 Lee Highway, Arlington

5837 Washington Blvd., Arlington


Americana Grocery

Americana Grocery specializes in foods from Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean but also carries a selection of West African and Portuguese foods. With three locations in Northern Virginia, it’s easy to pick up specialty items for the holidays. Be sure to check out the butcher shop, where they are ready to cut your selection to your instructions, and don’t miss the awe-inspiring array of fresh produce.


6128 Columbia Pike, Falls Church

10897 Main St., Fairfax

14428 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Woodbridge


Russian Gourmet

Pick up some pagach and bobal’ki from Russian Gourmet as part of a traditional Christmas Eve meal. This small shop sells deli items as well as Russian groceries, candy, beer and wine. You can even find small gift items such as Russian books for children. Russian Gourmet operates five locations in the DC area, including one in McLean and one in Herndon. Visit the website for a list of all their locations.

1396 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean

468 Elden St., Herndon


The Swiss Bakery

Stop into The Swiss Bakery, owned by Laurie and Reto Weber, at either of their two locations to shop for artisan breads, pastries, cakes, fresh ice cream and sorbets. They prepare the bakery items daily in their Springfield store. The stores carry imported gourmet Swiss and German products, including world class chocolates, coffees, teas and condiments.


5224 Port Royal Road, Springfield

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