Nine Local Specialty Markets for Adventurous Eaters
With so many interesting local groceries and specialty markets, why would you shop at a supermarket? The produce is bound to be more fresh and ethically sourced; the snacks, sauces and spices will be unique; and you’ll definitely broaden your horizons and learn something new while checking off what some consider a mundane task. These nine specialty grocers make shopping anything but boring.
1. Vincent’s 12th Street Market
Located in the heart of Soulard, Vincent’s has been serving the neighborhood since 1912. The original meat market was founded by Vincent Hromadka, an immigrant from the Czech Republic. By 1937, the store had moved west twice and expanded its offerings to include groceries and produce. The market moved back to Soulard in 1986 and Vincent Hromadka IV still helps run the business.
Image Courtesy of DiGregorio’s Italian Market.
2. DiGregorio’s Italian Market
DiGregorio’s Italian Market sits on the corner of Marconi and Daggett in the heart of The Hill neighborhood. The family-owned and operated store originated in 1971 and carries authentic Italian gourmet foods like a deli complete with salami, salsiccia, veal, specialty cheeses, imported olives, sardines, balsamic vinegars and wine. The store also sells homemade pastas and sauces from several of the famed Italian restaurants nearby.
Image courtesy of Local Harvest Grocery.
3. Local Harvest Grocery
Founded by Maddie Earnest and Patrick Horine, Local Harvest Grocery has been serving the Tower Grove South community since 2007. The store is located just south of the park on Morganford and works closely with local farmers within 150 miles of St. Louis to supply locally grown and produced foods seven days a week. The grocery also offers Weekly Harvest, a combined CSA for $50 per week, paid upon pickup. Don’t miss the wine and beer section stocked with local favorites!
Image Courtesy of Chris Ryan.
AO&CO Is the specialty market from local restaurateur Ben Poremba. The store opened recently in June of 2019 and sits across the street from Poremba’s Olio and Elaia and Patisserie Choquette in Botanical Heights. Its shelves are full of private-label olive oil, cheese, meats, wines, cigars and favorites from his restaurants, like Olio’s egg salad and hummus and Nixta’s salsas. The market also has a coffee and tea bar in partnership with Kaldi’s Coffee.
5. Parker’s Table
Parker’s Table is an independent market in Demun that offers high quality wines, beer, artisanal pasta, small batch chocolates and local meats and cheeses. The deli counter in the back of the store offers sandwiches with freshly cut meat and cheese from Salume Beddu during lunch hours. Guests can join the Wine Club and receive two bottles selected for the season each month, the Beer Club offering the newest selections and special releases or the Cheese Club, where $10 gets you a selection of three cheeses each month cut fresh when you pick them up.
Image courtesy of Global Foods Market.
6. Global Foods Market
Global Foods Market is one of the city’s original international markets and offers foods from more than 50 countries; each section is marked with flags to help shoppers navigate. There are rare cheeses from the Middle East and Europe, meats cut for Asian cuisine, deli meats from Russia and the Ukraine and international wine, spirits and beer. The Kirkwood store is owned and operated by the same family that owns United Provisions on Delmar and Jay International Foods on South Grand.
7. Olive Supermarket
The colorful and bustling Olive Supermarket in University City carries an endless variety of Asian produce, noodles, sauces, teas, wine, beer, meat and fish and more finds for the adventurous eater. The meat counter offers roasted duck and chicken and the take-away section offers numerous Chinese dishes. A bonus: The supermarket is surrounded by delicious, authentic Chinese eateries that make for great post-shopping stops.
Image courtesy of Global Foods.
8. El Torito Supermercado
El Torito Supermercado, located in the center of Cherokee Street, is its own little Mexican world. Colorful piñatas hang from the ceiling and an adjoining restaurant (with an outdoor street taco stand) that lures guests with the smell of carnitas and fresh salsa. The supermarket is stocked with Mexican produce, salsas, tortillas, hot sauces, chips and snacks plus home goods and specialty items.
9. Europa Market
Europa Market is a St. Louis staple for traditional Bosnian ingredients and dishes. Located in the heart of the Bevo Mill area, the store has helped the nation’s largest Bosnian population feel at home in the St. Louis metro area. It bakes fresh bread daily and carries imported cheeses, sausages, Turkish teas, sauces, pickled vegetables and traditional stuffed pastry. The store’s signature item is the argeta, a Bosnian chicken pate that is hard to come by in the United States.
Featured image of AO&CO courtesy of Chris Ryan.