The Uber-Guide to Connecticut’s Asian Markets

Anna Bendiksen

“From wonder into wonder existence opens,” said Laozi, the founder of Tao Buddhism.

He might have been speaking of the joys of the table, so central to Asian culture for millennia---and to Connecticut foodies today. 

Almost 160,000 people of Asian descent call Connecticut home, and a considerable number of grocery stores in the state support the diverse cooking traditions of China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. True to both their Asian roots and the universal principle of making the best of fresh ingredients, quite often the most modest such store will have a produce section and a fish section---in one case, at least, featuring live fish.

Your guide to the best East and Southeast Asian markets of Connecticut appears below.

The offerings are particularly solid in the New Haven area, but there are good resources all overthe state. Note that since those markets specializing in products from South Asia (India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc.) are a large and distinct group unto themselves, we do not cover them here, nor is this intended as an exhaustive list. Suggestions from our readers are welcome.

Product labels usually include some English, and the vast majority of stores have someone on staff who speaks English well enough to answer questions. It goes without saying that if you have any facility at all in a market’s predominant language, this is a wonderful chance to use it. Most stores accept Visa or Mastercard, often with a $10 minimum, and most are also open seven days a week, though it is worth calling ahead to check hours. Ladies and gentlemen, start your grocery lists---and prepare for wonder.

Fairfield County

Asia Fresh Market

221 Main Street

Danbury, CT 06810

(203) 794-1699

This market carrying predominantly Chinese ingredients is right off exit 5 on I-84. Like most such markets, it has a small produce and fish section, as well as a particularly strong selection of bottled sauces for cooking Chinese, including rice wine vinegars and soy sauces. 

Cho Mein Nam

130 Wood Avenue

Bridgeport, CT 06605

(203) 579-9970

This Vietnamese market on Wood Avenue in Bridgeport has a good selection of canned goods, teas, dried mushrooms and noodles, as well as fresh produce. Here I found rau ram (Vietnamese coriander), a fresh herb essential to Vietnamese cucumber salad (always great with broiled fish), for $1 per package.

Food Bazaar

345 Huntingdon Turnpike

Bridgeport, CT 06610

(203) 610-6995


500 Sylvan Avenue

Bridgeport, CT 06606

(203) 683-3740 

This tri-state supermarket, with two Bridgeport locations easily accessible from Rt. 8, has a number of ingredients essential to cooking Asian. The one on Sylvan Avenue has a large fish market, including a large lobster tank and many different kinds of whole fish. The produce sections at both locations are impressive too, including everything from many different kinds of fresh greens to dried red chiles by the pound.

Fuji Mart

1212 East Putnam Avenue

Riverside, CT 06878

(203) 698-2107 

This grocery store is conveniently located off I-95‘s exit 5. Clean and well-organized, it carries a simply stunning variety of Japanese products, including umeboshi (ume fruit, related to the plum, which are then salt-pickled and transformed into a famed source of health). There is a produce section, fish, dried noodles, tofu, prepared foods, teas (including sencha and varying grades of matcha), miso, ingredients for sushi, and snacks. Parking in the small lot may be a challenge on the weekends.

H&K Filipino Variety Store

345 Main Street

Danbury, CT 06810

(203) 743-3175)

Although Filipino cuisine is not as well-known in this country as others mentioned here, the friendly owners of this small and well-kept store are willing to help newbies navigate it. They carry everything from Filipino hot dogs (less salty than their American counterparts) to driednoodles, sauce mixes, and colorful Filipino ice creams.

Oriental Food Market

109 North Canaan Avenue

Norwalk, CT 06850

(203) 847-0070

Near Rt. 7, this store is small but has a good variety of teas, soy sauce, dried noodles, and jarred sauces. (Note that only cash and checks are accepted---no credit cards.) 

Son Atlantic Market

135 Main Street #1

Danbury, CT 06810

(203) 830-3068

Son Atlantic, located on Danbury’s Main Street (off I-84 exit 5), carries Thai groceries---on a recent visit I found several different brands of Thai tea, including one for $4. Fish and produce section as well with the usual suspects, including saw-leaf herb, another Southeast Asian herb with a cilantro-like flavor.

TBS Asian

290 White Street

Danbury, CT 06810

(203) 791-8299

This market features Thai products, including fish sauces, curry pastes, enormous bags of jasmine rice, and a produce section where you can pick up bags of shallots, so outrageously priced in chain supermarkets, for several dollars.

Greater Hartford Area

A Dong Supermarket

160 Shield Street

West Hartford, CT 06110

(860) 953-8903 

This store has produce and fish sections, canned goods, rice in 25-pound bags (and under) and a very large selection of housewares. It is a bit unusual in that it is a supermarket of American proportions, with big shopping carts and comparatively wide aisles. It would make a good starting point for those in the Hartford area unfamiliar with Asian markets and looking to expand their horizons.

Je Mart

818 Silver Lane

East Hartford, CT 06118

(860) 895-8366

Located in the Silver Lane shopping center, this highly rated store, convenient to I-84,

specializes in Korean products.


1801 Park Street

Hartford, CT 06106

(860) 253-9028

This well-stocked market in the Parkville neighborhood of Hartford has helpful staff and

everything you need to cook Vietnamese. On a recent visit, I found rice-paper wrappers in several sizes.


786 Enfield Street

Enfield, CT 06082

(860) 253-9028

Neatly organized and carrying mainly Korean products, though some Chinese and Japanese as well. Friendly and helpful staff. This place gets extra points for having a useful website.

Greater New Haven Area

Asian Supermarket

532 Boston Post Road

Milford, CT 06460

(203) 874-8050

This store has solid offerings from all the East and Southeast Asian cultures. It is particularly strong in housewares, including china plates and teapots, and also has a produce and frozen section. Close to both I-95 and the Merritt Parkway, it is a pleasant contrast to the chain stores,fast-food restaurants, and malls farther up the Post Road. Here I saw (for example) a good selection of rice, including jasmine rice in bags of various sizes up to 40 pounds.

Han-mi Oriental Food and Gift Shop

1008 State Street

New Haven, CT 06511

(203) 782-2009

Located in the historic State Street neighborhood, full of charming boutiques, this clean and well-organized store carries mostly Korean and Japanese products, including kimchi, fresh produce, and sauces for Korean barbecue, as well as books and selected gifts.

Hong Kong Grocery

71 Whitney Avenue

New Haven, CT 06510

(203) 777-8881

As the name implies, Hong Kong Grocery, close to the Yale campus, carries a large selection of ingredients for cooking Chinese food in particular. Fish and produce sections. 

Million Asian Market

15 Orange Street #222

New Haven, CT 06510

(203) 782-1234

This attractive store with friendly staff carries mostly Chinese products, including teas and sauces. Fish are available live. On a recent visit, I picked up a 2.5 kilogram bag of wheat flour specially formulated for noodles and dumplings, complete with recipes on the back in Mandarin and English; my family remarked on the difference in taste between this and American flour.

Oriental Pantry

486 Orange Street

New Haven, CT 06511

(203) 865-2849

A jewel of a market, carrying mostly Korean products but some Chinese, Japanese, and Thai as well. It has a beautiful assortment of housewares, including teapots, chopsticks, and sake cups. Friendly staff.

Shang Hai Fish Market

365 Whalley Avenue

New Haven, CT 06511

(203) 745-5627

This market carries Asian (and, as an added bonus, West Indian) ingredients. As the name implies, the fish section, located on the lower level, is particularly good.

Other parts of Connecticut 

AAA Asian

53 Meriden Road

Waterbury, CT 06705

(203) 591-1988

This neatly kept store, convenient to I-84, has a mix of Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese products, with produce and frozen sections. Staff are friendly.

Kayumangi Authentic Filipino Cuisines and Groceries

69 North Turnpike Road

Wallingford, CT 06492

(203) 294-4694

Close to Rt. 15, this Filipino grocery store, one of a handful in the state, carries both prepared foods and groceries.

Lee’s Oriental Market

432 Williams Street

New London, CT 06320

(860) 443-9665

This small but immaculate store carries a wide variety of Filipino products as well as a selection from other Asian cultures.

New Asia Market

505 Long Hill Road

Groton, CT 06340

(860) 449-9177

NK Asian

8 Dyer Street

Danielson, CT 06239

Tucked away in the northeast corner of Connecticut, in the small town of Danielson, right off I-395, NK Asian is easily the best Thai grocery in the state. Its many offerings include beautiful produce, jarred and bottled sauces, Thai jasmine rice, housewares, and much else. Worth a special trip; bring an ice chest.

Oriental Asian Grocery Store

258 Allen Street

New Britain, CT 06053

(860) 224-7088

Oriental Groceries

327 Boston Post Road

North Windham, CT 06280

(860) 423-5391

Panda Market

16 Franklin Street #105

Norwich, CT 06360

(860) 383-4108 

This comprehensive market is a wonderful destination for ingredients for cooking Chinese. It has a generous housewares section, bottled sauces and noodles, a refrigerated section, sections for fish and poultry, and a produce section complete with dragon fruit.