Here is your introduction to four unique yet amazing supermarkets in the area. I hope that you can visit these markets so that you can improve your palette and find some new favorites. Venture out of your comfort zone and explore new things, and hey don’t forget your reusable bags. Happy shopping loves!
Princeton Meadows Shopping Center – Plainsboro, NJ
660 Plainsboro Rd, Plainsboro Township, NJ 08536
A huge bag of mixed nuts for 2 dollars, sus right? But for the cheap high school student this place is a unique and inexpensive must. From the shelves of traditional spices like garam masala and amchoor, to the boxes of dahl, palak paneer, and butter chicken, this market has special Indian flare that is unmatched by anything in the area. In the back you can find a long line of floor to ceiling fridges filled with the best and oddest things you could ever imagine. They have all sorts of different lassi and yogurt drinks, as well as amazing and very easy pre-made dosa batters, and even lemongrass, basil-seed drinks that I would not recommend. It has a lot of easy-to-make, already boxed meals that you could totally say you made from scratch and impress your friends and family. If you are looking for an adventure or even don’t know what to cook for dinner tonight, I would think about driving out and taking a look at this gem.
Festival Plaza, 1761 NJ-27, Edison, NJ 08817
This is like the holy grail of food markets because it has literally everything. It is a huge Korean supermarket that has a beauty shop, pastry shop and restaurant inside of it, along with the expansive shelves of produce and cooking ware. It has an amazing selection of fruits and veggies, meaning everything from avocados the size of my head to 20 pound jackfruits and everything inbetween. It also has a really good selection of pre-sliced sushi grade fish that are waiting for you to make them into poke bowls or sushirritos. HMART also has a bar of marinated Korean barbeque meats that can either be pan seared upon request or brought home to be cooked later, which can be used in numerous different ways to elevate any rice bowl, ramen or sandwich your heart desires. Also, if you like seafood, they have a huge selection of fresh fish and shellfish that you can’t find at many places in the area. This place is really great because it has fresh hand pulled noodles in the fridge section that can be used for next-level ramen or pan frys. Even if you aren’t a big cook or don’t really go grocery shopping for your family, HMART is still a really fun place to explore and you will always find some delicious or funny items that you feel like you have to try. Happy shopping!
Wick Shopping Plaza, 561 U.S. 1, Edison, NJ 08817
This supermarket is the Chinese equivalent to HMART. It has the same idea, meaning it is also like a small city inside. It has a lot of the same produce and products as HMART, but it is also slightly different. It also has a bakery, a beauty shop and a food court inside, but it has an even better selection of fruits and veggies, a very high quality but reasonable priced meat selection and a really diverse tofu isle. Also the food court here is amazing. It has a street food styled Malaysian section that has amazing noodle bowls and salads that are topped with shredded carrots, crushed peanuts, rice wine vinaigrettes and anything else you can imagine, making it a necessary destination. This supermarket also has an authentic Chinese steam table where you pay by box rather than weight so feel free to stuff that bad boy full of fragrant, traditional dishes and eat it for lunch for the next couple of days. Most importantly however, 99 Ranch is home to a Dim Sum buffet table with chive buns, fried taro balls, shrimp stuffed peppers, spring rolls and many more golden, fried noms. Last but not least, they also have a boba tea cafe with interesting drinks like passion fruit slushies and honey green tea bubble teas and ROLLED ICE CREAM!!! It might be seven fifty…but it is seven dollars and fifty cents of pure happiness and smooth yet sugary goodness. My favorite is the Vietnamese coffee rolled ice cream which I topped with chocolate shavings, coconut flakes and strawberries. 99 Ranch is truly a sight to see, make sure you go on an empty stomach and have an open mind about trying new things.
Pennsylvania Dutch Farmers Market:
Kingston Mall, 4437 NJ-27, Princeton, NJ 08540
This might be my favorite place in the whole world. It has the best and cheapest high carb, deep fried everything you could possibly want; in my opinion, the stressed and hungry high schooler’s heaven. My family loves this place because of its convenience and its amazing food. They have a huge bakery section with a ton of variations of cakes that you can buy whole, in half or in quarters (perfect for an after school snack might I add), as well as infamous chocolate whoopie pies and every kind of pie and baked good that you can imagine. They also have a really good butcher section with fresh and interesting cuts as well as their own cured bacon! The most impressive section in my opinion is their barbeque/smoked meat section. Here they have the best ribs, wings, short ribs, rotisserie chicken, and hawg wings (my brother’s favorite, the idea of a chicken wing but made from a pork rib, sounds gross but trust me). They also have prepared side dishes, salads including really good coleslaw and roast veggies as well as a pickle section. In addition to all the noms listed above, the Amish Market has a fruit and veggie selection, a juice and smoothie station, a dairy section with Amish butter, a furniture section, a candle section and most importantly the sandwich, donut, and pretzel section. The Amish market has the most amazing handmade doughnuts including apple fritters, peanut butter chocolate stuffed, maple glazed and more. If the doughnuts weren’t enough for you they also have every kind of soft pretzel you can possibly think of that are rolled and twisted into their iconic shape right in front of you. I would really recommend this place for honestly everything at anytime, just be sure to look up their times before you rush out there because they have odd hours. Enjoy your weight gain!