A Shopper's Guide to Portland's Best International Markets

Explore the world—one bite at a time—at Portland's plethora of global markets, where local meals and ingredients become tasty travelogues.

Edited by Kelly Clarke By Zach Dundas, Allison Jones, Marty Patail, Rachel Ritchie, Benjamin Tepler, and Tuck Woodstock August 24, 2015 Published in the September 2015 issue of Portland Monthly


GERMAN 3119 SE 12th Ave,

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Named after the Alpine flower that’s an emblem of southern Germany, the Baier family’s Teutonic haven has cranked out house-made sausages, cold cuts, and hearty German breads for three decades and counting. They manage to pack a butcher shop, deli, bakery, and grocery store into a tchotchke-cluttered space barely bigger than a Plaid Pantry—evoking the authentically hectic, congested atmosphere of shopping in actual Germany, where Costco-size megastores are mostly unheard of. The meat showcase features enough wieners and animal pâtés to make Prince Ludwig gasp—around 130—from rich, spreadable liverwurst (delectable on toast; watch out for gout) to the noble currywurst. Skip the familiar brats and kielbasas and throw a thick slice of warm leberkäse (literally, liver cheese) on a crusty bun with mustard, and lunch is served.

ALSO TRY: Stock up on spicy brats at Woodstock institution Otto’s Sausage Kitchen ( or amp up your own sandwiches with house-made German bologna at outer Northeast’s Old Country Sausage Company (503-254-4106).


The quintessential Bavarian breakfast: the pale weisswurst—Carlton Farms pork, lemon, parsley, and pepper—a tub of Edelweiss’s own sweet, grainy mustard, and a warm-from-the-oven giant pretzel. Wash it down with a bottle of Franziskaner Weissbier, Munich’s breakfast beer of choice.




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A bright, clean supermarket that stocks all of the ingredients in your Vietnamese cookbook, Hong Phát is Fubonn’s less-crowded, no-frills little sister—with way more parking. The star here is the affordable produce section, where huge, pebble-skinned jackfruits pile high next to heaps of fresh herbs, lychee, dragon fruit, rambutan, and large, juicy limes cheaper than almost anywhere else in town. The owners have preserved most of the fixtures and signage from the building's previous incarnation as a Safeway, which makes for a disorienting, delicious East-meets-West Hanoi marketplace experience. It also stocks Chinese, Korean, and Japanese treats, making it a truly one-stop destination. Pro tip: grab a fresh-squeezed orange or sugarcane juice at the café counter to fuel your exploration. 

ALSO TRY: Stock up on fresh banh mi bread at An Xuyen Bakery ( and make a pilgrimage to Fubonn for Portland’s shopping-mall-size pan-Asian immersion (


Tropical fruit, fresh rice noodles, boxes of Aroy-D coconut cream



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Kelly Myers talks shop with Campesino's Jose de Jesus Mendoza.

When Oaxaca-obsessed chef KELLY MYERS needs ingredients for her bustling SE Division Street restaurant, Xico, Mexico City native Jose de Jesus Mendoza’s thoughtfully stocked Foster-Powell grocery is her direct pipeline down south. 

"Look for the fun mural of Acapulco and Mexico City with the Day of the Dead skeletons out front. This is where I buy most my dried chiles for Xico. With Campesino’s chile de árbol, chipotle, and guajillo chile, you can make salsa, a marinade for grilled meat, or mole, of course. The owner, Jose, is really extroverted, and loves sharing his culture—he used to work at a tortilleria operating a molino to grind corn. He’s got a really good selection of Mexican cheeses: three different kinds of queso fresco, including a sweet special one from Oaxaca (they’ll let you sample them all!), and unusual varieties of crema. Plus, it’s the only place in town that I can regularly find ripe plantains. Grab their good house-made salsas and escabèche—also, fresh sweet corn tamales if they happen to make them that day. You never know what little surprise you’re gonna find." —Kelly Myers

ALSO TRY: It’s a daily fiesta at Latin American cart pod and marketplace Portland Mercado (, where you can nab Don Felipe green chorizo and precut nopales. Farther east, La Tapatia ( stocks essentials—marinated carne to piñatas.


SPANISH/FRENCH 1720 NW Lovejoy St, #107,

The farmers-turned-tastemakers from Dayton’s Viridian Farms stock some of the best, most obscure Spanish and French ingredients on the shelves of their new specialty foods market.

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After two years of R&D, Spanish modernist food legend Ferran Adrià (El Bulli) and his team discovered a way to make olive oil caviar: tiny, glistening orbs popping with flavors like black sesame, basil, and chili. Bonus: it’s vegan!


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“Canned seafood means a totally different thing in the United States,” explains Conserva co-owner Manuel Recio. “In Spain, it’s more desirable (and expensive) than the freshest fish.” Conserva’s stock of olive oil–packed sea life includes cockles, octopus, and scallops from Galician waters.

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Massive pig haunches hang in the corner of Conserva, the crème de la crème of Spanish jamón. The premium line, a ham fed on acorns and aged for four years, can cost thousands of dollars for an entire leg—so think statement piece more than appetizer.


ALSO TRY: Grab house pasta cut to order at Pastaworks ( or head to Italian kitchen Luce’s teeny market to score small-batch olive oils and Sicilian sea salt (


RUSSIAN/EASTERN EUROPEAN 11050 SE Powell Blvd, 503-761-5659

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Bonnie Morales surveys Imperial Euro Market's epic candy wall.

Her Central Eastside restaurant, Kachka, is a retro-Soviet hipster fantasy. But to stock her home larder, BONNIE MORALES hits a real Portland Slavic crossroads: SE 110th and Powell, between a Russian-speaking dentist and a Ukrainian credit union. 

"Imperial Euro Market is a little off the beaten path—they don’t speak much English there—but I think they have a much better-curated store than some of the other, more well-known Russian markets. Borodinsky bread is hearty rye bread with coriander seeds sprinkled all over the top—my favorite bread. It’s much more dense than white bread, so cut thinner slices of it. Alef Moscovskaya salami is a drier style, made from pork and beef. Ask them to slice it for you. The best mustard, Zakuson, is much spicier than your average mustard, in a sinus-clearing way.

Now that you have Borodinsky bread, Moscovskaya salami and Zakuson mustard, make a quick open-faced sandwich. This is the sandwich of my childhood. It’s fast and the ingredients are always at home. That, with some Kirby cucumber spears, is my jam." —Bonnie Morales

ALSO TRY: Roman Russian Market (503-408-7525) can hook you up with delicacies like medovik, an addictively spongy honey cake sold by the pound.


INDIAN 1815 NW 169th Pl, #6022, Beaverton

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This is Oregon’s Indian megagrocery; the place where expats shop and culinary adventurers check off their lists, from huge sacks of lentils and rice to dozens of jarred pickles made from unusual fruits and spicy, puffed snacks in every shape and size. The real find here is the fresh produce, more diverse and comprehensive than nearly any other market in town, with bitter kerala melon, fenugreek leaves, and serpentine snake gourd. Don’t miss the newly opened Apna Chaat Bhavan, a casual cafeteria next door cooking up standout bhel puri, dosas, and biryani.


INDIAN 3010 SE Division St,

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If Apna Bazaar is the immersive market experience in which to get lost, Bollywood Market, the colorful bodega attached to Division’s popular Bollywood Theater restaurant, is the curated version with training wheels. What Bollywood lacks in scale, it makes up for in quality; this is one of the only places in the Northwest to find just-made ghee, paneer, and chutney. Bollywood’s trio of freshly ground masala spice blends includes tikka, garam, and vindaloo, each with careful recipes and thoughtful notes from Bollywood’s India-obsessed chef Troy MacLarty to help you master your first Indian feast.


KOREAN/PAN-ASIAN 13600 SW Pacific Hwy, Tigard,

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Really, it’s worth a trip for the kimchi alone. At the very least, 10 pungent varieties await, neatly stacked in a gleaming cooler of banchan—salty-sour house-made side dishes featuring everything from squid to radish, sea squirt to lotus root. And this is just the beginning at H Mart, a sprawling, immaculate location of this national Korean grocery chain just off Highway 99W in Tigard. Carve out a good chunk of time to wander these brightly lit aisles, each one boasting a universe of discoveries: the bakery’s sea of baskets, cradling carefully wrapped pastries; bright sacks stacked with every imaginable variety of rice (sweet, brown, mixed, sprouted, rose, etc.); a wild landscape of crisp (and cheap!) produce and tropical fruits; an eye-opening fish department boasting super-fresh, smoked, and dried specimens; and, of course, a central repository of housewares from kimchi refrigerators to smart toilets and rice cookers. We hereby challenge you to imagine a thing you won’t find in this pan-Asian fantasyland for serious cooks. 

ALSO TRY: East Portland insiders get their kimchi fix at 82nd Avenue stalwart Boohan Oriental Market (1313 SE 82nd Ave) while cooks and Japanophiles flock to Beaverton’s Asian superstore/holy land Uwajimaya ( to gather nori, manga, and cult Beard Papa cream puffs.


Kimchi and banchan (as many as you can carry), marinated beef and pork for bulgogi, brown sweet rice, fancy sea salts, any candy that looks good


ETHIOPIAN 2322 NE MLK Jr. Blvd, 503-281-0844

One part convenience store, one part East African outpost, this market stocks all the trappings of an Ethiopian feast, from injera griddles and enamel trays to essential imported herbs, beans, and spices. 

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Don’t bother setting the table—Ethiopian eats are served on injera, spongy sourdough-like bread that acts as both platter and utensil. To prepare your own pancake plates, you’ll need teff flour, milled from the world’s smallest grain. Great news, gluten-free folk: you can eat this stuff! 




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Once you’ve covered your injera with lentils and lamb curries, place the communal dish in this traditional lidded serving vessel for extra style points.

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These simmer sauces from Hillsboro-based Eleni’s Kitchen help cooks infuse dishes with Ethiopian flavor. The base of this spicy red sauce is berbere, the piquant chile pepper powder that anchors many regional recipes.

ALSO TRY: Pop across the street to score funky Ethiopian music albums and warm, homemade injera at Merkato (503-331-9283), or journey across the African continent via Mama Pauline’s ( colorful trove of pan-African fabrics, jewelry, snacks, and cooking staples.


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Chef and Thai food acolyte ANDY RICKER is notoriously picky about ingredients for his restaurants. He makes the rounds of a handful of under-the-radar PDX shops for
genuine Southeast Asian goods.


“The best place to shop for ingredients is Thai-run LILY MARKET (11001 NE Halsey St, 503-255-0448). They have good customer service, too,” says Ricker.

TIP: A visit to Lily is a game of Ingredient Where’s Waldo; enlist patient staffers to locate essentials like fresh galangal root, dried shrimp, and a bottle of Ricker favorite Pantai Norasingh fermented fish sauce


Ricker says: “JC RICE NOODLE (8405 SE Foster Rd, 503-788-1668) is one of the only sources of fresh rice noodles in the city. Other markets carry noodles mostly from California, which are at least a day old.”

TIP: This 7-Eleven–size factory makes around 3,000 pounds of preservative-free chow fun noodles (or sen yai in Thai) daily; buy the wide, silky-chewy strands by the pound and don’t leave without a takeout box groaning with freshly stir-fried noodles with meat and veggies.


“For seafood, there is no better place than ABC SEAFOOD COMPANY (6509 SE Powell Blvd, 503-771-5802): low prices (they get Maine lobster for absurdly low prices in season), great selection, and really fresh product,” says Ricker.

TIP: From live clams to tilapia, ABC’s an international aquarium you can eat; look for Dungeness crab—take the staff’s advice and boil the Oregon crustaceans whole, guts and all, for maximum flavor.



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International delights from World Foods Everett and Barbur.

No spot in the extended Attar family’s Mediterranean restaurant and grocery kingdom—which extends from Ya Hala to Nicholas with a trio of markets in between—is more vibrant than this flower-festooned riot of brightly spiced spreads, fresh fruits, and international beers. Like a homier, Lebanese-accented Whole Foods, this cook’s standby marries the city’s appetite for Oregon-born eats and global goods; kombucha on tap and Unbound pickles to dime bags of piney mastic, five varieties of pistachios, and a world-class wall of halva. It’s all, frankly, deliciously overwhelming. Your best bet: order a lamb shawarma sandwich at the far-reaching deli and spend the 10 minutes it takes your pita to puff in the wood-fired oven getting lost among the dried fruits, pats of Georgian sulguni cheese, bottles of Valencian saisons, and sunset-hued melons until your brain short-circuits from gastronomic happiness.

ALSO TRY: The picture-perfect World Foods Everett (830 NW Everett St) location in the Pearl expands its reach to include goods from Asia and Latin America; nibble salty-sweet pistachio baklava while you peruse the dozen-plus-variety olive bar. La Bouffe International Gourmet (8015 SE Stark St) keeps Montavillans stocked up on pomegranate molasses and Iranian sweets.


Olives, za’atar and other country-specific spices and blends, marinated meat skewers, pungent house toum (labneh-garlic spread).

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