Ethnic Grocery Stores


Ellie Chan

CARTING TO H-MART: Senior Sydney Hoang browses the endless flavors of Pocky at the newly opened H-Mart in Westpark Plaza.

Karen Wang, News Editor

For some, grocery shopping is a monotonous chore, melancholic with exhaustion and the awkwardness of bumping into other shoppers. But for others, trips to ethnic grocery stores are the epitome of nostalgia and a place where we broaden our world beyond our bubble. With the recent opening of H-Mart in Irvine, let’s take a look at some of the ethnic grocery stores in Irvine that have contributed to our warmest of childhood memories.


Address: 3825 Alton Pkwy, Irvine, CA 92606

Recently opening a new location in Westpark Plaza, H-Mart features a variety of fresh produce, meat, frozen foods, along with beauty and lifestyle items. Most notably, the store carries a wide range of prepared foods, from sushi to kimchi to fermented foods–the options are endless. With two locations in Irvine, the store offers a unique experience as its food court is completely secluded from the shopping experience. The food court consists of traditional Korean street food items such as tteokbokki and Korean-style hotdogs, but more notably offers a food experience reminiscent of malls in Asia. Some food stalls include Cho Dang Tofu House, Left Wing Fried Chicken and Myungrang Hotdog.

“The variety of instant noodles and Choco Pies are the best things H-Mart has to offer especially after a long day of practice,” senior Alyssa Ige said. “The new location in Westpark isn’t local to me, but I heard that they also have a new H-Mart in the plaza near Sierra Vista so that should be closer to Northwood students.”

Namaste Plaza

Address: The Market Place, 13230 Jamboree Rd, Irvine, CA 92602

Comfortably situated next to Target at the Tustin Marketplace, Indian supermarket Namaste Plaza offers a wide variety of spices, chutney and roti. The store also features a deli with house-made samosas, gulab jamuns and other traditional Indian confectionaries. Known to locals for its affordability and diverse selection, Namaste Plaza has well established itself as a staple in all things essential. Its online website also neatly categorizes each and every product the store has to offer, making home delivery incredibly convenient.

“Namaste Plaza definitely has the best Indian hair products especially if you have really thick hair,” senior Ayushi Das said. “I’m really blessed to have a slice of home here in Irvine, especially with all the packaged snacks like barfi that I’d typically only find in Indian grocery stores.”

99 Ranch Market

Address: 15333 Culver Dr Suite #800, Irvine, CA 92604, Orange Tree Square Shopping Center, 5402 Walnut Ave, Irvine, CA 92604

Whether it’s shrimp chips, made-to-eat soup dumplings or freshly made baos, the 99 Ranch Taiwanese Market has it all. If you’ve ever seen the tanks of live fish in the meat section, you’d probably be familiar with the complimentary seafood cleaning and frying for fresh fish the market has to offer. With a hot deli and bakery, shoppers can find traditional Asian pastries such as egg tarts, taro bread and pork fluff buns just around the corner. 

“In the morning, our family will get breakfast items like green onion pancakes and fan tuan, which is a sticky rice roll with pork floss and fried dough inside,” junior Kaden Chan said.

Super Irvine

Address: 14120 Culver Dr, Irvine, CA 92604

Super Irvine, located in the outskirts of Heritage Plaza, is a market that specializes in Persian goods and offers a selection of halal meats, fresh bread, grilled meat platters and even rosette cookies. Known for its hot food and large portions, Super Irvine is a must visit if you’re looking for a glimpse into Middle Eastern goods locally.

“Super Irvine’s the closest thing I’ll get to authentic,” freshman Adam Murdaah said. “They also serve halal meat and it’s important to have access to good quality, so it just makes living as a Muslim in America so much easier.”