Best for: Recipe assistance and free, daily classes on everything from
cooking to nutrition.
Branded as a reimagined grocery store intent on proselytizing healthy eating, Basics Market offers free nutrition and cooking classes. Part of the store organizes products by recommended recipe, like an analog version of a meal kit delivery service. But the actual flagship is far less high concept than all of that sounds. Once you get past the "meal stations," it's mostly just a small, organic grocery store stocked with Bob's Red Mill products and local produce. And while it's hard to imagine anyone would want to buy a whole bottle of walnut oil for some on-a-whim homemade steam buns, the daily free classes—on everything from plant-based proteins to baking sourdough bread—are well attended.
Citymaxx Food Store
Best for: A sizable imported beer selection and Eastern European comfort food.
Intended as a slightly more upscale Eastern European grocer than the mom-and-pop shops in outer Southeast, Citymaxx is bright and spacious. But it's still packed with Old World comforts: rows of pickled vegetables and spiced gingerbread teacakes, shrink-wrapped mackerel and an impossibly wide selection of large sausage logs. There's even a deli and bakery, but arguably the most exciting part of Citymaxx is the beer section, full of imported mead, lambics and Russian brews that aren't sold anywhere else on the West Coast.
Best for: Japanese snacks like Pocky and grab-and-go bento boxes.
Hidden in a corner of the eclectic indoor market Cargo, you could easily miss Giraffe if you weren't looking for it. But that only adds to the charm of the Japanese deli and pocket-sized grocery store. Run by two Biwa veterans, Giraffe has grab-and-go fresh bento boxes, its Instagram-famous soft-boiled egg sandwiches and pastries from Beaverton's beloved Oyatsupan bakery. There's also a wide selection of sake, and a small, but carefully curated pantry section that offers ubiquitous Japanese snacks like Pocky and spicy yuzu paste.
Best for: Grill-ready bulgogi, big bowls of japchae and spicy tteokbokki.
3301 SE Belmont St., 971-407-3167. 9 am-10 pm daily.
The long-awaited, midsized Portland outpost of this Korean megachain has everything you need to start your Korean pantry, from gochugaru to kombu. The snack aisle is seriously browse-worthy, but the real draw is the grab-and-go section, complete with grill-ready bulgogi, big bowls of japchae and devilishly spicy tteokbokki.
Real Good Food
Best for: Ingredients normally only accessible to the city's top chefs.
After decades of supplying ingredients to some of Portland's top restaurants, Jim Dixon decided to open his own market, stocked with the same top-notch ingredients he sells to local chefs. Earlier this year, Dixon's Real Good Food upgraded from a storage space to a small, airy storefront. You can find sea salt harvested from ponds in Portugal, tender lima beans from New Orleans, and lots and lots of Italian olive oil, all hand selected by Dixon. Oh, and vermouth is on tap, like it's served in Spain.
Shun Fat Supermarket
Best for: An unbeatable selection of produce that's also dirt cheap.
5323 SE 82nd Ave., shunfatsupermarket.com. 8 am-10 pm daily.
In a giant, former Fred Meyer and under blindingly bright fluorescent lights, Shun Fat is a mecca for budget extravagance. There's live carp and tilapia swimming in fish tanks, a whole aisle of dried mushrooms and pork skins, and seemingly every kind of fresh noodle. The produce section is unbeatable—massive, cheap and filled with fruits and vegetables that are difficult to find or ridiculously expensive elsewhere.