Top 5 Asian Grocers in London
1. Oseyo, various locations
London’s popular Oseyo describes itself as not just a supermarket, but a “Korean food and culture hub.” And indeed, these compact stores located within easy distance from several major Tube stations are so much more than just grocery shops. Since the opening of several branches around London, Oseyo have been fully capitalising on the city’s growing taste for Korean beauty, food, and music culture, especially the phenomenally popular K-pop.
If you’re looking to delight your taste buds with affordable, authentic Korean food, Oseyo provides fresh, chilled dishes of rice, salad, and Korean fried chicken, suitable for enjoying straight away or heating up at home. For cooks who would rather start from scratch, there are all sorts of Korean ingredients and pantry staples available for purchase, which are ideal for building your own authentic Korean kitchen and producing you own home made Korean dishes. Look out for kimchi, dried noodles, and miso paste for a higher quality and lower price than most specialist stores.
If beauty and skincare are more your style, you can make a start on developing your own skincare regime modelled on the world famous Korean ten-step regimen, hailed by beauty experts everywhere as the secret to perfect skin. Oseyo’s shelves offer a wide variety of Korean beauty products, from familiar moisturisers and cleansers, to innovative products not yet available in the UK.
Address and opening times varies, see website
2. Longdan, various locations
Longdan stores are a frequent favourite for shoppers around London, especially those who are originally from Vietnam. Dedicated to serving local customers with fair prices, Longdan claim to offer the widest range of Vietnamese products in the UK, and pride themselves on being a go-to grocery destination for their local communities.
One of Longdan’s specialties is their fish sauce which comes in a wide variety of quality brands, many of which are used by popular authentic Vietnamese restaurants across London. To go with you choice of sauce, you can browse over 900 varieties of frozen seafood. The many different sizes available to purchase make Longdan the perfect healthy choice for a simple dinner at home, a longer weekend cooking project, or even for an elaborate dinner party or celebration. A local tip is to shop on a Thursday, when goods have just been delivered and are at their freshest. You’ll find an incredible selection of fresh and unusual fruit and veg, including pak choi, sapodilla, dragon fruit and water chestnuts.
If all that shopping has made you thirsty, make sure to stop at the bubble tea bar, available at some branches. Bubble tea, or boba, has enjoyed a surge in popularity in this country in recent years, and nowhere more so than cosmopolitan London. Although you can now get bubble tea in many places across the city, Asian grocers such as Longdan will always have the best and most authentic.
ADDRESS AND OPENING TIMES VARIES, SEE website
3. New Loon Moon, Chinatown
Of course, no search for an Asian grocer, or any trip to London for that matter, would be complete without a look around Chinatown. Due to the huge amount of grocery and food stores concentrated in this area, there’s no shortage of choice when it comes to choosing where to buy your Chinese food. The tricky part is finding somewhere that guarantees a high quality of Chinese produce, with a wide range and reasonable prices. That’s where New Loon Moon Supermarket comes in.
Laid out over two spacious floors in a grand building in the heart of Chinatown, New Loon Moon is one of London’s premier Asian food destinations, and was reportedly one of the first shops of it’s kind in the whole city. Today, it is still positively teeming with both familiar and unusual goods from the Far East.
Based mostly around Chinese cuisine, the store also offers products from far and wide across Asia, including Japan and Korea. Around 4000 different types, to be exact. Expect more varieties of noodles than you can count, fresh exotic fruits such as jackfruit, and unique seasoning mixes, perfect for grabbing a simple meal or some ingredients for a complex Chinese feast.
Address: 9a Gerrard St, London W1D 5PN
Opening times: Monday – Sunday: 10am – 8pm
4. Natural Natural, various locations
London has a considerable amount of larger, commercial Japanese stores and superstores, which offer pretty much everything you could want in terms of Japanese food, cosmetics and ingredients. However, many bigger shops often lack a personal touch or sense of local flavour, which is why it is often beneficial to seek out a slightly smaller grocery store which can offer a more personalised, individual shopping experience and hand-picked products.
Japanese health food shop Natural Natural, with only two branches, is an expert at providing this. Extremely popular with locals from both Japan and elsewhere, Natural Natural provides high quality Japanese staples with a focus on an organic and healthy lifestyle. Expect to discover hard to find fruit and vegetables, artisan oils and spices, and quality soup bases.
Don’t forget to pick up one of their bento boxes, which are hand made in-store from fresh ingredients and packed with sashimi and tempura goodies, perfect for a quick lunch or convenient picnic. Both branches also offer a range of natural, holistic beauty treatments, including massages, reflexology and facials.
Address and opening times varies, see website
5. Thai Smile Supermarket, Hammersmith
This spacious, modern supermarket is a treasure trove of Thai favourites, with one of London’s largest selections of Thai grocery items. Thai Smile’s range is not just limited to the usual dried noodles, sauces and seafood.
Here you can discover Thai chocolate and desserts, alcoholic drinks and even recipe books. It’s the perfect one-stop destination for those looking to find out more about Thai cooking, or for expert cooks looking for high quality ingredients.
For anyone from Thailand itself or with experience cooking there, there is a wide array of popular and familiar brands, allowing you to recreate your favourite Thai dishes wherever you are. You’ll even find century eggs, one of the more elusive items to seek out in the rest of London. Whatever it is you’re looking for, the friendly folks at Thai Smile will be sure to help you find it!