Asian Groceries in Canada That Bring Me Joy
My trips to Asian groceries in Canada always bring me nostalgia, adventures, and joy. Walking through each aisle is like treasure hunting that ultimately brings me a reminder of home. Here are my current favorite Asian stores in Canada.
Henlong offers a broad selection of Asian foods from Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. It also sells fresh produce from Hawaii. It is conveniently located along 104 Avenue in Surrey, BC.
What I find impressive in this store is their wide variety of fish products, processed meat, and frozen vegetables. They offer frozen, marinated, dried, and smoked fish. I get my fill of tinapa, tuyo, and daing na bangus from Henlong. I also purchase tapa, tocino, and longganisa here. This store sells fresh and canned vegetables. In addition, they sell frozen vegetables such as squash flowers, birch flowers, and saluyot.
Of course, Henlong sells basic items like mixes, noodles, and rice. They sell many different variants and colors of rice! They also offer non-food items such as kitchen items, houseware and cleaning materials on their upper floor.
Outside the main store area, you will find several stalls. I recommend Four Seasons, which sells fresh silken tofu (taho). There’s also an interesting store called Zugba Flame-Grilled Chicken. They offer various dishes like Pancit Malabon, Chicken Inasal, Patatim, and many more.
I believe that hard to find goodies are worth the trip to Henlong. I must confess that I always end up buying more than what I planned from this store.
T&T is a Canadian supermarket chain owned by Loblaw Companies. It has almost 30 stores in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario.
Like Henlong, T&T offers more than the basic fresh and frozen food, kitchen items, and personal care items. They also sell hot food, sushi, and BBQ. T&T is known for its beautiful cakes.
Unlike Henlong, they cater to a wider clientele. They offer more mainstream food items including Korean and Chinese food. They have fewer hard to find ingredients and food items but, I feel like they are expanding their product offerings.
The T&T location I frequently shop at has a food court and stalls that offer various services outside the main grocery area.
Other Asian groceries in Canada
I also shop at other Asian stores such as H Mart and Hannam. These stores offer mostly Korean products including prepared side dishes.
The availability of ethnic stores depends on your destination and its demographics. In British Columbia, there are several known ethnic enclaves.
Newton in Surrey has been known as the home of many South Asian immigrants. Therefore, there are numerous stores and restaurants offering South Asian items in this Surrey district. In fact, the Little India Plaza – Business Centre and surrounding shops are thriving in Newton.
The City of Richmond is a popular Chinese enclave. I arrived in Canada via Cathay Pacific. This airline’s hub is in Hong Kong. Due to the long flight, time zones, and everything else, I got confused when I left Vancouver International Airport. For a moment, I thought I didn’t leave Hong Kong because Richmond is littered with Chinese signs.
So where are the Filipino enclaves? I haven’t seen one that’s as obvious as the above-mentioned areas. But, data from the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa indicates that a great majority of Filipinos and Filipino-Canadians reside in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba. It is no wonder that Jollibee and Seafood City Supermarket have locations in Ontario, Alberta, and Manitoba. (Yes, we don’t have one here yet in BC.)
Proximity to Asian stores probably won’t influence your target destination. But it may influence your packing list, shopping habits, and level of happiness.