Find international foods at these local stores
July 31, 2020
I was born in Germany and half of my extended family still lives in Germany, so I go back every couple of years to visit. Because of this, I’ve grown to love many German foods and ingredients that I can only get in Germany or a European/international grocery store. While this is a little sad, and it often makes me miss my family and hometown in Germany, finding these foods gives me a little piece of Germany in the heart of Champaign-Urbana. Here are just a few of the international food stores I’ve found around the area that I hope will give someone else a piece of home too.
World Harvest International and Gourmet Foods
Located in Urbana on 306 W. Springfield Ave., World Harvest has a variety of European and Asian foods and ingredients. On top of that, World Harvest has a whole aisle of spices and flours that can be bought in bulk as well as coffee beans. World Harvest has a variety of breads such as pita and Delba. There is also a deli at the front of the store, as well as a frozen section that also has vegan options available. This store is definitely a great choice when shopping for international foods.
Strawberry Fields Cafe
Attached to the World Harvest store is a nice cafe mainly consisting of Mediterranean foods such as samosas, falafel sandwiches and wraps, hummus sandwiches, Greek salads and so much more to choose from. The cafe also has a variety of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. The cafe also serves breakfast and has a great dessert selection, which also includes vegan options.
Fresh International Market
With two locations in Champaign, 505 S. Neil St. or 2020 S. Neil St., Fresh International Market is a mainly Asian grocery store. This store has a very large selection of rice, noodles, snacks and fresh foods to choose from. Having fresh produce and seafood always available, this is a place that one could easily do an entire grocery store trip at. Fresh International Market has seven stores within Illinois and Michigan and imports their food from 28 different countries. One of the first snacks I bought here was cucumber flavored potato chips, which originated in China. They may have quickly become one of my favorite snacks.
Ashar African Market
Ashar African Market is located on 510 N. Cunningham Ave. and also has a variety of rice, grains, flours, vegetables and again, so much more. The store also has lots of spices, meats and frozen foods. Ashar African Market also has an option to online shop and pick up at their store in Urbana, which may be preferable now during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in-store shopping is still possible as well.
Annapoorna is located at 505 S. Neil St. and has been open since 2003, providing the community with lots of Indian foods to choose from. Annapoorna has a bunch of spices including garlic paste, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, mustard seeds and much more. On the store’s website, they recommend asking the employees how to make meals “aromatic and flavorful.” This store also has a wide variety of rice, vegetables, legumes and flour. The store also carries snacks, dairy, ready-to-eat meals and cookware.