Austin's Best Specialty Food Stores

Staff Writer
Matt Braley of The Austin Food Junkies rates Austin's best specialty stores
KP Indian Grocery
KP Indian Grocery

If you're like me, you may have often wondered, "Where can I get the things I need to make that kind of food," or, "Where can I go to get great organic products?" With that in mind, we put together a list of some great places in the Austin area where you can go to get what you need.

By no means is this meant to be an exhaustive list of specialty food stores in Austin. These are just some of our favorites. The fact is that there are a number of other places that we just didn't have the time to mention. The next time you're feeling adventurous or are inspired to try something new, go to your favorite specialty store, or pull up this list and give it a go!

Store: Apna Bazaar

Type of store: International — primarily Indian and Pakistani goods. They have an excellent array of whole spices and premixed masalas. You will also get very friendly, personalized service which is generally lacking in most supermarkets. In addition to a very large selection of products, they used to serve the best samosas and chaat in Austin.

Location: 8650 Spicewood Springs Road

 

Store: KP Indian Grocery

Type of Store: International — primarily Indian and Pakistani. Like Apna Bazaar, they have an excellent selection of whole spices and masalas. In addition they also have a great selection of produce, and utensils needed for some types of Indian food. They also have the type of the great customer service you'd expect from a family run store.

Location: 1212 West Parmer Lane, Unit # F

 

Store: Central Market

Type of store: Specialty, organic, and international products. Central Market is a bit of a landmark in Austin. It is a very large supermarket owned by the HEB chain of grocery stores. They are known for their very extensive produce section, which includes a large number of organic and gourmet items. They have a very large meat and seafood section. They also have an excellent selection of wine and beer, a fantastic cafe and bakery, and one of the best selections of cheeses in Austin. Seriously, I could spend entire monthly grocery budget on their cheese and still not sample everything they have. Maybe I should do that...

On most Thursday evenings they also have live music on the patio, and offer various culinary classes throughout the week. In addition they also do what they can to represent state and local producers and farmers. They are one of only two places in town to offer Sticky Toffee Pudding Co. products. Sticky Toffee is owned by Tracy Claros, a native of England, who has brought her culinary expertise in baking to the Austin area (her freezer-friendly ones are great for last-minute desserts). It's too hard to explain the flavor, but suffice it to say it was like a culinary awakening for me. I didn't think pre-packaged baked goods could be that delicious. I highly recommend the orange ginger pudding. 

Location: There are two locations in town, so check for the nearest one.

 

Store: Wheatsville Co-op

Type of store: Organic, local, and health food. Wheatsville is a medium sized supermarket that carries just about everything you'd expect. The produce is fresh, much of it organic, and they also offer a wide selection of items sourced from local and Texas producers. They also have a nice selection of bulk items such as tea, spices, nuts and treats.

Location: 3101 Guadalupe Street

 

Store: Sun Harvest 

Type of store: A medium-sized organic and health food store. They have an extensive bulk section including nuts, cereals, grains, and more.

Location: Two locations in town, so check online for the nearest location.

 

Store: Fiesta Mart

Type of store: Fiesta is a large supermarket located right off IH 35. They have a very nice international section, although they do specialize in Mexican products. You can get fresh made tortillas at Fiesta, and if you are feeling adventurous they even sell huitlacoche (pronounced weet-la-coachay), a type of fungus that grows on corn. It's sometimes referred to as Mexican Truffles. It goes quite nicely in quesadillas.  

Location: There are two locations in town, so check for the nearest one.