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Vancouver Grocery is a Hidden Gem of Cheap, Handmade Sushi and Korean Goods (PHOTOS) | peeled

This article is part of a series highlighting the hidden (and unhidden) gems of Vancouver and its surroundings.

The funny thing about living in a city is that one person’s hidden gem is another person’s ordinary place.

What may seem unfamiliar and undiscovered to one person is part of another person’s daily routine – a place they have known and visited for years. This is what makes living in a city so exciting and dynamic: there is always something new to be found that is, in fact, deeply woven into the fabric of society.

The city market is one such “hidden” place. Vancouver has plenty of big supermarkets to do your grocery shopping, of course, but it’s also home to smaller, family-owned markets that cater to ethnic enclaves and stock their shelves with less well-known and hard-to-find products.

Daily Hive

For people who live in Mount Pleasant, Kim’s Mart is one example of this type of place. The Korean grocer stocks everything from rice vinegar to packages of ramen to dozens of brands of gochujang.

Kim Mart

Daily Hive

This store has been my go-to for 90% of my groceries since I first moved to the neighborhood three years ago.

The selection of produce is wide and varied, and you’ll find the Japanese option alongside giant jackfruit, perilla (a leafy herb belonging to the mint family), tons of mushrooms, and generous bags of gai lan. The products section of Kim structures most of my meals.

Kim Mart

Daily Hive

Kim Mart

production lane

Down the aisles, you’ll find many different noodles, dried seaweed, packages of fried chicken mixture, and other essentials for Korean cooking.

There is also a snack aisle with snacks such as ramen chips, biscuits and of course, pucci. Kim’s also carries some Japanese brands, as well as packaged coffee drinks, Chupa Chups drinks, and Ramune drinks.

Kim Mart

Rows upon rows of Gochujang and Doenjang

Kim Mart

So. Many. Snacks

Kim’s has a freezer section full of frozen dumplings, seafood, and goodies like mozzarella corn dogs. The fresh meat and seafood section is always reasonably priced – this is the place to go if you’re looking to buy a whole fish or octopus.

Kim Mart

Daily Hive

Don’t forget to stock up on things from the fridge section before checking out. Kim’s is great for wonton wrappers, tofu, fresh noodles (seriously, don’t sleep on fresh noodles), mochi, and homemade banchan packs.

You can also get some homemade kimchi, which they make in several different types, including vegan (without fish sauce) and white kimchi. These come in small containers but also in giant tubs for those who use more kimchi than banchan (a Korean side dish, often paired with rice).

One of the best things about this part of the market is that you can grab lunch while grabbing groceries—containers of fresh kimbap (or gimbap, Korean sushi), snacks of boiled squid, and marinated seaweed on shelves for easy grabbing—and go-to options.

Kim Mart

Fresh mochi, tteok (rice cake), and yakult bottles

There’s a small freezer up front with milona bars, taiaki (a fish-shaped ice cream pastry), and other frozen treats.

A favorite tradition is to get one of the market paper bags full of Korean sweet potatoes, roast them right on site, and eat them on the way home.

Kim Mart

My basket

For fans of H Mart, Kim’s Mart carries many of the same products but in the context of a community market. I was able to get three bags full of groceries for about $90 – something that would never have happened had I done my shopping at one of the other big grocery stores in the area.

Kim Mart

This grocery item came to about $90

It takes a very special kind of grocery shopping experience to feel “inspired” to cook — especially when, for the past two years, most of us have been cooking indoors for most of our meals. But smaller markets like Kim’s Markets bring some of the excitement of home cooking back, like a magic spell in the form of glass noodles and shichito peppers.

Next time you’re looking for some specialty products that can’t be found at Buy Low or Safeway, swing by Kim’s Mart and be prepared to be inspired to cook new things – and don’t sleep on roasted potatoes!

Kim Mart

Title: 519 East Broadway, Vancouver

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2022-05-25 20:00:00

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