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Omaha Magazine

Omaha's Ethnic Grocery Stores Carry Ingredients You Won't Find Elsewhere

May 24, 2023 02:09PM ● By Kim Carpenter
obviously omaha june 2023

Design by Matt Wieczorek.

Listen to this article here. Audio Provided by Radio Talking Book Service.

Nebraska may be beef and corn country, but we have food from all over the globe thanks to independent grocers who bring the taste of their home regions to Omaha. Below, we list ethnic grocery stores that offer what you need to make everything from baba ganoush to fresh sashimi.

8601 Blondo St. | 402.391.2546
The Mediterranean diet consistently ranks as one of the healthiest on the planet, and you’ll find everything you need to cook like you’re in Sicily at this speciality shop, which carries: sangak bread, olive oil, couscous, spices, teas, coffees, hookahs, hookah tobacco, halal chicken, goat, lamb, spanakopita, greek yogurt, kasseri, full-cream feta cheese, blood orange juice, royal rice, baklava, bakery sweets, plus much more. Also on offer is fresh pita bread baked weekly (Thursdays,
typically) and fresh produce like cactus pears and persimmons.Want to make hummus? Grab a can of blended chickpeas to make the process easier. How about falafel? You can pick up the mix here. And that’s just for starters. 

321 N. 76th St. | 402.391.2606
With over 10,000 items available everyday, it’s no wonder this is one of Omaha’s favorite ethnic grocery stores. The primary stock here is Chinese, but shoppers can procure popular products from Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam, as well as an assortment of items from Africa,
Burma, Europe, and India. The seafood counter, which carries live Dungeness crab, hardshell lobster, squid, and octopus, is a must-visit.
Aisles upon aisles are filled with items that are fresh, frozen, dry, and everything in between. In the mood for fresh sushi and sashimi? This market carries it. Asian snacks? Check. How about beauty products and kitchen wares? You’ll find them here, too. Bonus: their food court is the place to savor Asian specialties.

4621 S. 24th St. | 402.733.9009
People flock to this Omaha staple of nearly 50 years for a reason: the deli, where everything is made fresh from scratch. The homemade salsas, tortilla chips, carnitas, tamales, and more bring in the crowds week after week. But if you’re itching to cook authentic Mexican food yourself, this popular grocery store has you covered with ingredients like fresh cactus, Mexican vanilla, and masa, or corn dough. Make sure to bring cash, since cards and checks aren’t accepted, and don’t be surprised if the line starts in the parking lot.

2312 N. 72nd St. | 402.612.4035
The focus of this store is on African and Caribbean groceries, although some Hispanic goods are also in stock. Items such as fresh sugar cane, okra, and plantains abound, as do harder to find ingredients like alligator pepper, and a West African seed pod spice.Whetheryou’relooking to replicate a recipe from Ghana or one from Zambia, the helpful staff will assist you with locating the grains, flours, spices, canned goods, and even the dried fish you’ll need for preparing traditional cuisine. Also on offer: African beauty products.

14128 Arbor St. | 402.905.9999
This one-stop shop for all things “Desi,” or pertaining to India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh, features fruits, vegetables, spices, and more. Bulk spices and grains are ideal for cooks looking to create Indian
cuisine at home. Whether you’re whipping up a simple chana dal dish of split chickpeas or aloo gosht, a curry made from goat meat and potatoes, you’ll find the necessary ingredients here. Namkeen, small, savory snacks, are also available. If you develop a taste for Desi cuisine, inquire about discount customer loyalty cards to save when you shop.

2455 S. 120th St. | 402.334.4172
From olives to eggplants, this family-owned specialty grocery specializes in Israeli, Middle Eastern, and Halal products. Whether you’re looking to make a lentil stew or tabbouli salad, a wide array of kosher ingredients are available to accommodate any recipe. Dry goods, especially the spices, are sold at a fraction of the price in mainstream grocery franchises. The mom-and-pop cafe on the premises offers authentic Mediterranean food, like falafel and gyros with tzatziki sauce—all made from scratch.

This article originally appeared in the June 2023 issue of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.  

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