[EAST AFRICAN] Covered in stickers and lottery signs, this small store shares its building with a mini-mart and would be completely indistinguishable from its convenience-store neighbors were it not for the large orange banner proclaiming its ethnic offerings. Aweuys, the shop's friendly young owner, escaped Somalia when his home country erupted in civil war, living first in Kenya and then moving to the U.S. Most of the folks who patronize his store come for a steady supply of rice and spices, along with his freshly prepared sambusas (better known to us as samosas) filled with zesty potatoes and herbs. Jugs of oil and heavy sacks of flour and rice are stacked along the walls of his shop's back room, reminiscent of the popular markets of East Africa.

Grocery list: Pilau mix, sambusa, mango pulp, coconut powder.