Best Specialty Markets of Indy

Your everything guide to the city’s gourmet groceries.

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Grocery lists are not what they used to be. Whether it’s a new recipe, a craving for ethnic cuisine, or just a fresh interest in local food that launches a hunt for unfamiliar ingredients, Indy’s brigade of culinary markets has the goods. We scanned the aisles of 42 top-shelf grocery stores, noting everything from their produce to their fancy chocolates. Here’s everything you need to satisfy your taste for adventure.

 

DOWNTOWN

Markets-KeyAngelo’s Food Market
Bargain-hunters love Angelo’s no-frills shelves filled with a rotating stock of discounted groceries like Earth’s Best, Red Gold, and some high-end gourmet packaged goods (don’t miss the rock bottom–priced Clif bars). The boxes may be crushed and the cans sometimes dented, but it’s hard to resist the deals and thrill of discovery at this food-salvage shop. 201 S. College Ave., 317-634-6552

Insider tip: Follow the store’s Facebook page for special alerts on its occasional $5 case nights on nonperishables.
Go there for: Cheap organic products
Hours: Mon., Tues., Fri. 8 a.m.–5 p.m.; Wed.–Thurs. 8 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m.–2 p.m.

 

Nopal cactus at Carniceria Guanajuato

Carniceria Guanajuato
You can find supplies for your next fiesta at this mini-chain’s three locations. But this is also the place to procure limes, avocados, dried and fresh chiles, bags of dried beans, and other staples at great prices—or just stop at the in-house taqueria for authentic tacos and the like. The snout-to-hoof selection of meats at one of Indy’s largest butcher counters (at the northwestside location) is especially impressive, and that site’s taqueria serves an eye-popping “meat table” that could easily feed a family of six. 1269 Oliver Ave., 317-423-8697, carniceriagto.net bakery-bread-symboldeli-burger-symbolbutcher-knife-symbolcarryout-bag-symbolproduce-tomato-symbolseafood-fish-symbol

Insider tip: Saturday afternoon is when most customers stock up for the week’s cooking, so steer clear of the butcher case or choose another day for browsing.
Go there for: Extra-large packs of corn tortillas
Hours: Daily 8 a.m.–8 p.m. (varies slightly by store)

 

Claus’ German Sausage & Meats
You can smell the smoke before you even open the door at this German institution, which relocated in 2007 shortly after Claus Muth bought his uncle’s business. Don’t get lost in the selection of wursts and lunchmeats—almost all of them are delectable, especially the smoky kielbasa, tender parsley-studded weisswurst, and the nicely spiced Cajuns. Ask the knowledgeable staff for their favorites. 1845 S. Shelby St., 317-632-1963, clausgermansausageandmeats.com deli-burger-symbolbutcher-knife-symbol

Insider tip: The Muths close down the market on July 4 for three weeks every summer for an extended staff vacation, so be sure to stockpile early for your summer barbecues.
Go there for: Wursts
Hours: Tues.–Fri. 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.–3 p.m.

 

The deli case at R2GO sells top-shelf sandwich fixings.

R2GO
Born from the culinary mind behind R Bistro, this bright and cheery market is filled with specialty and gourmet packaged products like Best Boy hot sauce, Dang coconut chips, Kerrygold butter, and Talenti gelato. There are also plenty of fresh-made meals—including carrot-coconut soup, French peasant soup, and shepherd’s pie—for home chefs with less time on their hands. 1101 N. College Ave., 317-737-2543, r2goindy.com deli-burger-symbolcarryout-bag-symbolproduce-tomato-symbolindiana-red-symbolindiana-green-symbol

Insider tip: If you’ve been missing the discontinued lunch at R Bistro, you can find sandwiches (like Regina’s Bacon Panini, a fave from the restaurant) on the deli menu.
Go there for: Homemade chicken stock
Hours: Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

 

Smoking Goose
This establishment, which also goes by the name of Dorman St. Meat Locker, is the cozy portal to the artisanal meat magic that happens in the back of the near-downtown meatery, where bacon, sausage, prosciutto, and other meats are cured on location. 407 Dorman St., 317-638-6328, smokinggoose.com indiana-red-symbolbutcher-knife-symbol

Insider tip: Look for the Butcher’s Secret Stash: a chest freezer with everything inside priced at 25 percent off.
Go there for: Bacon
Hours: Thurs. 4–7 p.m., Fri.–Sat. noon–8 p.m.

 

Wildwoord Market arranges its curated stock in a former service station.
Wildwoord Market arranges its curated stock in a former service station.

Wildwood Market
The shelves of this Fountain Square service station–turned–grocer cover just about everything on your grocery list, along with a few must-have impulse buys—but with the added perk of nearly every product coming from regional suppliers. The stock inventory reads like a roster of top local producers: Fischer Farms meats, Circle City Sweets, Fermenti Artisan relishes, Amelia’s breads. 1015 Virginia Ave., 317-737-2653, wildwoodmarket.com deli-burger-symbolcarryout-bag-symbolproduce-tomato-symbolindiana-red-symbolindiana-green-symbol

Insider tip: Say no to a bag at checkout, and they will give you some Endangered Species chocolate.
Go there for: The sandwich of the day (especially if it’s candied bacon with Hook’s sharp cheddar, onion-garlic aioli, pickled apples, and arugula on Amelia’s Francese bread)
Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

 

EAST

The Meat Shop of Indianapolis
It’s meat and not much more at this strip-mall storefront. Your next backyard barbecue plans itself as cases of pork, chicken, steak, and house brats surround you. And the butchers behind the counter are more than happy to meet your exacting requests. 5435 E. 38th St., 317-737-2622, the-meat-shop.com

Insider tip: Check out the daily meat bundles.
Go there for: Ribeye steak
Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–6:30 p.m., Sun. noon–5 p.m.

 

Pogue’s Run Grocer brings high-quality regional fare to the east side.

Pogue’s Run Grocer
Opened in 2010, Indy’s first food co-op is still going strong, with a selection of local, natural, and organic groceries. Hit up this neighborhood spot for boutique-brand peanut butters, cereals, pickles, and condiments, as well as local meats. The deli offerings can be layered on sandwiches for carryout and dining in, and the back wall is a Mecca of bulk-bin nuts, grains, rice, flour, pasta, tea, herbs, and spices. 2828 E. 10th St., 317-426-4963, poguesrungrocer.org deli-burger-symbolsalad-symbolcarryout-bag-symboldollar-discount-symbolproduce-tomato-symbolbulk-goods-box-symbolindiana-green-symbolindiana-red-symbol

Insider tip: Grind your own fresh peanut butter or almond butter.
Go there for: Small-house local meats and cheeses
Hours: Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

 

Your Local Deli and Market
Sandwiches with names like Cranturkey, Drunkin Radish, Sultry Chicken, and Beer and Bacon are the stars at this family-owned Irvington staple, which also houses a few rows of groceries. Quality beats quantity for the market options, leaning heavily on Hoosier handcrafted condiments such as Triple XXX root-beer jelly and Robbybaby’s Kitchen sweet Asian chili sauce. 5543 E. Washington St., 317-653-1812 deli-burger-symbolcarryout-bag-symbolseafood-fish-symbol

Insider tip: This may be the only place in town where you can find wild, line-caught Alaskan salmon.
Go there for: Mushroom soup
Hours: Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

 

WEST

Great Mart Oriental Market
Great Mart is not your typical Asian market. Yes, it has sweet chili sauce and numerous options for noodle-lovers, but it also offers yuzana laphet, frozen crickets, and whole bamboo shoots. This is also the place to go if you want to experience real Burmese foods. 4713 W. 30th St., 317-297-3313

Insider tip: Head here to buy rice in bulk.
Go there for: Pithecellobium lobatum benth, or dogfruit, a legume that is a staple in the Southeastern Asian diet
Hours: Mon.–Sat. 9:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m.

 

The Meat Shop of Indianapolis
See East listing for details.

Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–6:30 p.m., Sun. noon–5 p.m. 1221 S. High School Rd., 317-405-9504

 

Moody’s Butcher Shop
Owners Adam and Lucy Moody believe in sustainable farming and fill their stores with cut-to-order steaks (ribeyes, T-bones, and filets) from their Ladoga meat-processing center as well as fruits, veggies, and dairy from local farmers and food vendors. 9348 S. 550 East, Ladoga, 765-942-2442; 235 N. State Rd. 267, Avon, 317-272-4533, moodymeats.com deli-burger-symbol butcher-knife-symbolcarryout-bag-symboldollar-discount-symbolproduce-tomato-symbol seafood-fish-symbol indiana-green-symbolindiana-red-symbol

Insider tip: Do not miss the double-smoked bacon.
Go there for: Locally raised meats with no added hormones, antibiotics, GMO grains, or vaccines
Hours: Ladoga: Tues.–Fri. 9 a.m.–4 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.–noon; Avon: Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.–4 p.m

 

NORTHEAST

Artisano’s Oils and Spices
Inspired by an expedition to Europe, David Burcham opened Artisano’s as a spot to get vinegars and more than 300 spices, many not native to these shores. Burcham’s store also carries locally made products like Freedom of Peach barbecue sauce. 1250 E. 86th St., 317-251-4100, artisanosoils.com

Insider tip: Visit the vinegar-tasting bar with more than 40 options.
Go there for: Red Apple Rum Balsamic Vinegar
Hours: Tues.–Fri. 10:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

 

Asia Mart
Tucked behind Castleton Square Mall, this tidy pan-Asian grocer with just eight aisles is easy to miss. But bring your recipe for pad thai or pho or moo shu pork, and you will likely find everything you need, from palm sugar to shrimp paste to live lobsters and whole fish. A surprising selection of Asian produce is also available, along with plenty of gadgets and small appliances. 6103 E. 86th St., 317-845-8892, asiamartgrocery.com butcher-knife-symbolproduce-tomato-symbolseafood-fish-symbol

Insider tip: Instagrammers be warned: Asia Mart doesn’t allow photography.
Go there for: An inexpensive wok
Hours: Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–7 p.m.

 

Fish is cooked to order at Caplinger’s.

Caplinger’s Fresh Catch
It didn’t take long for fish-lovers to discover Nick and Andrew Caplinger’s seafood counter. At lunch, every table in the shop fills up with customers hooked on fresh fish sandwiches and oysters shucked to order. But all that just serves as inspiration for take-home gems—like live lobsters and sushi-grade tuna—plucked from the iced counter. A refrigerated case holds treasures like frozen alligator meat, and it’s hard to resist the pies and tiny jars of roe along the counter. 7460 N. Shadeland Ave., 317-288-7263, caplingersfreshcatch.com carryout-bag-symboldollar-discount-symbolseafood-fish-symbol

Insider tip: If you dine in, expect a bit of a wait. Everything is cooked fresh to order.
Go there for: The house lobster salad
Hours: Tues.–Thurs. 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 10 a.m.–9 p.m.

 

Carniceria Guanajuato
See downtown listing for details.

3110 N. Shadeland Ave., 317-546-5150 bakery-bread-symboldeli-burger-symbolbutcher-knife-symbolcarryout-bag-symbolproduce-tomato-symbolseafood-fish-symbol

 

The Cheese Shop
Take your next picnic up a notch by shopping at this caseophile’s dream that dates back to 1974 (when it opened in one of the earliest incarnations of The Fashion Mall) and moved to its current location in 2010. Cheeses from around the world—like Ewephoria from Holland, Huntsman from the United Kingdom, and Gjetost from Norway—wait in lit cases to be paired with wines, preserves, charcuterie, and other gourmet goodies. This is also a good place for exploring culinary curiosities like Helix snails and a variety of caviar or simply procuring the most covetable German mustards, chutneys, spreads, and truffle oils. 8487 Union Chapel Rd., 317-202-6885, thecheeseshop.com deli-burger-symbol

Insider tip: Bring a cooler to spare your car from the most pungent cheeses.
Go there for: Sicilian Creme dip
Hours: Sun. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Mon. 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Tues.–Sat. 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

 

Good Earth Natural Food Company
In business since 1971, this creaky health-food store by the Broad Ripple canal houses a maze of organic eats—from Endangered Species chocolates to Fermenti Artisan kombucha—and natural supplements from brands like Garden of Life and Nordic Naturals. At the top of a tucked-away staircase, the second level presents a selection of fresh soaps as well as a Birkenstock store and a counter that stocks more than 300 herbs and spices for cooking and medicinal uses. 6350 Guilford Ave., 317-253-3709, good-earth.com dollar-discount-symbolproduce-tomato-symbol bulk-goods-box-symbolindiana-green-symbolindiana-red-symbol

Insider tip: Check out the line of locally made Circle City rain barrels.
Go there for: Organic bulk beans, grains, cereals, and herbs
Hours: Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

 

Personalized service at Goose the Market’s meat-and-cheese counter.

Goose the Market
This cheery neighborhood shop centers around a meat case brimming with the local brand’s own cured gems—like salame cotto, Kitchen Sink sausage, and the fiery Delaware Fireball—positioned alongside more far-flung offerings, like French cheeses. The shop is small but mighty and filled with charm, its large front windows offering an inviting nook for lunch. Every item in the store seems handpicked by someone who knows how to host a dinner party complete with Brooklyn Brine Company pickles and Red Duck ketchup. 2503 N. Delaware St., 317-924-4944, goosethemarket.com deli-burger-symbol  carryout-bag-symboldollar-discount-symbolproduce-tomato-symbol seafood-fish-symbolbulk-goods-box-symbolindiana-green-symbolindiana-red-symbol

Insider tip: Every third Thursday, customers can bring in their own records to play on the turntable in the downstairs wine cellar.
Go there for: Local meats
Hours: Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

 

Heidelberg Haus specializes in German baked goods.

Heidelberg Haus
It’s a Deutsch wonderland inside this festive 47-year-old bakery rimmed with shelves of gnome figurines and decorative bier steins. While your eyes feast on the German knickknacks and brightly packaged imports like Kinder chocolates and Schluckwerder’s marzipan, your nose will lead you straight to the cases of layered cakes, strudels, Danishes, pretzels, and shiny loaves of bread baked daily by co-owner Juergen Jungbauer, former pastry chef to Lyndon B. Johnson. 7625 Pendleton Pike, 317-547-1230, heidelberghaus.com bakery-bread-symbolcarryout-bag-symbol

Insider tip: Get your lot laugen pretzel halved and slathered in butter.
Go there for: Black Forest Cake
Hours: Mon.–Fri. 8:30 a.m.–7 p.m., Sat. 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

 

Locally Grown Gardens gives SoBro a year-round open-air market.

Locally Grown Gardens
Chef Ron Harris’s boutique produce market and outdoor cafe has always had a Caribbean feel to it, with reggae music playing late into the night. But lately this gourmet spot, which opened in 2008 in a gas station dating to the ’50s, has taken on a decidedly Parisian feel with canisters of fleur de sel, jars of Pommery mustard, and a full line of Pillivuyt restaurant porcelain. Stacks of firewood and a smoldering smoker outside (which produces delectable pulled pork you can eat at a communal table or take home) lead to pristine bins of apples and tomatoes and a counter where you can get pies and breads fresh from Harris’s ovens. 1050 E. 54th St., 317-255-8555, locallygrowngardens.com bakery-bread-symbolcarryout-bag-symbolproduce-tomato-symbolindiana-green-symbolindiana-red-symbol

Insider tip: Eggs generally come in fresh on Tuesdays, so stop in then.
Go there for: Rustic pies
Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

 

Nicole-Taylor’s Pasta and Market
The nests of fresh pasta, in flavors ranging from tomato-basil rigatoni to pumpkin pappardelle, get top billing at this SoBro shop run by chef Tony Hanslits and his wife, Rosa. The couple are just as serious about their line of homemade sauces (like Alfredo and Puttanesca) and selection of breads (some baked onsite). An Italian deli case stocked with wooden board–ready meats like Volpi Genova salami, Prosciutto di Parma, and mortadella covers the meat-tray gamut. 1134 E. 54th St., 317-257-7374, nicoletaylorspasta.com deli-burger-symbol

Insider tip: Pop in on Thursdays for fresh mozzarella made in-house.
Go there for: Fresh pasta
Hours: Tues.–Fri. 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

 

Sushi at One World Market.

One World Market
Technicolor cuts of exceptionally fresh tuna, salmon, and fluke light up the cases at this Japanese-owned gem of an Asian grocer in Castleton. Stop here to get your hands on gyoza or spring-roll wrappers for your next dinner party, as well as thin cuts of beef for hot pots, a wide selection of rice and noodles, magnums of sake, and a surprising selection of fresh produce and hard-to-find sauces and spices. Stay for a sushi lunch or a steaming bowl of ramen—or grab a fried pork-cutlet bento box for a tasty lunch. 8466 Castleton Corner, 317-842-3442 carryout-bag-symbolproduce-tomato-symbolseafood-fish-symbol

Insider tip: The lines of savvy sushi-lovers ordering bowls of udon and spicy tuna rolls can get long at lunchtime, so do your shopping after the rush.
Go there for:  One of Indy’s largest selections of miso
Hours: Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–7:30 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–7 p.m.

 

Patel Brothers
Indian staples come to you in a modern grocery experience at this Chicago-based chain. Bins of fresh, exotic produce like the bitter gourd karela and round eggplant fill half of this well-lit and organized store. Shelves of specialty spices, flours, and rice take up most of the rest, along with freezer cases full of quick-serve convenience items like falafel mix, Maggi Masala Noodles, Patel’s korma paste, and frozen masala. Second location opening soon at 6302 E. 82nd St., patelbros.com produce-tomato-symbolbulk-goods-box-symbol

Insider tip: Need some entertainment for your Indian-themed party? Check out the selection of Bollywood videos.
Go there for: Indian spices in bulk and frozen entrees perfect for lunch
Hours: Daily 11 a.m.–8 p.m.

 

Penzeys Spices
You might feel like a pirate meandering through the stacked crates of spices, herbs, and extracts gathered from around the globe—from Vietnamese cinnamon to Chicago steak seasoning. Each of the 200-plus products has a sample jar to let you see (and sniff) for yourself what new flavors you want to commandeer for the kitchen. 5345 E. 82nd St., 317-577-7778, penzeys.com

Insider tip: Recipe cards placed throughout the store offer inspiration on how to use the spices.
Go there for: Whole dried chiles
Hours: Mon.–Fri. 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

 

Sakura Mart
This tightly packed Asian grocery store just down the street from the popular sushi bar of the same name stocks mostly prepackaged foods like miso soups and funky carbonated Ramune sodas, along with household items for sushi chefs in-the-making (get your bamboo mats and Japanese knives here) and a large selection of Japanese comic books and movies. Labels aren’t in English, but don’t hesitate to ask Sunny Kim, the owner, or her daughter, Alex, for assistance. 2450 E. 71st St., 317-726-1755 carryout-bag-symbol bulk-goods-box-symbol

Insider tip: SakuraMart doubles as a Korean cafe.
Go there for: Homemade kimchi
Hours: Tues.–Fri. 10:30 a.m.–7 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–6:30 p.m.

 

NORTHWEST

Babushka’s Deli
Babushka’s makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a market in Moscow’s St. Petersburg Square. Stocked with products almost exclusively from Eastern Europe, the shop features Russian groceries and exotic treats like Roshen fine chocolates, E. Wedel hand-decorated praline wafers, and imported Dadu ice cream. The store also carries unusual wines such as Golden Amphora’s Bear’s Blood, a Bulgarian red. 1248 W. 86th St., 317-843-1920, babushkadeli.com bakery-bread-symboldeli-burger-symbolseafood-fish-symbol

Insider tip: Brush up on your Cyrillic before you go—most of the labels are in Russian.
Go there for: The chocolate Skazka roll cake
Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

 

Carniceria Guanajuato
See downtown listing for details.

5210 W. Pike Plaza Rd., 317-222-1003 bakery-bread-symboldeli-burger-symbolbutcher-knife-symbolcarryout-bag-symbolproduce-tomato-symbolseafood-fish-symbol

 

Business is healthy at Georgetown Market.

Georgetown Market
Georgetown Market opened its doors in 1973 at a time when terms like “paleo” and “gluten-free” weren’t part of the American lexicon. Located in the Lafayette Square area, this was an early go-to for healthy options such as bulk grains and minimally processed meats, and the family-owned store also boasts the oldest juice bar in the city, pulsing concoctions like the Indy Car Driver (organic carrot, parsley, beet, spinach, and protein-packed spirulina) since 1978. 4375 Georgetown Rd., 317-293-9525, georgetownmarket.com bakery-bread-symbol deli-burger-symbolcarryout-bag-symboldollar-discount-symbolproduce-tomato-symbolbulk-goods-box-symbolindiana-green-symbolindiana-red-symbol

Insider tip: Do not leave without picking up a spicy kale-mango salad from the Market Eatery.
Go there for: Vegan almond-butter bars
Hours: Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

 

International Food Market
Whether you’re looking for African spices, Arabic canned foods, or hard-to-find Turkish kitchenware, the International Food Market has you covered. With a wide variety of Mediterranean goods, this store lends an authentic feel the second you walk in the door. Bonus: It’s one of the few places that sells Halal goat and lamb. 4863 W. 38th St., 317-672-7685 bulk-goods-box-symbolbutcher-knife-symbolindiana-red-symbol

Insider tip: If you’re on a gluten-free diet, try the housemade injera—a sponge-like Ethiopian flatbread made from a sourdough starter and iron-rich teff flour.
Go there for: Halal meats, slaughtered to the specifics of Islamic law
Hours: Daily 10 a.m.–9 p.m.

 

Kincaid’s Meat Market
At this Butler Tarkington butcher shop, owner Dave Rollins and his employees live by the slogan “It’s Kincaid’s, not corporate America.” Regulars come in for USDA Prime beef and lamb as well as fresh fish, all packaged to order with perhaps a word or two of cooking advice from the person behind the counter (with everyone in the shop qualified as a full meat-cutter). The market also offers a small inventory of dinner-party grab-and-go items like frozen meatballs, St. Elmo shrimp-cocktail sauce, and Graeter’s ice cream. 5605 N. Illinois St., 317-255-5497, lekincaidmeats.com deli-burger-symbol butcher-knife-symbolproduce-tomato-symbol seafood-fish-symbol bulk-goods-box-symbolindiana-green-symbolindiana-red-symbol

Insider tip: Bring in a recipe, and the butchers will cut the meat to your specific needs.
Go there for: Homemade sausage
Hours: Mon.–Fri. 8 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.–3 p.m.

 

Patel Brothers
See Northwest listing for details.

Hours: Daily 11 a.m.–8 p.m. 4150 Lafayette Rd., 317-293-8345 produce-tomato-symbolbulk-goods-box-symbol

 

Saraga's produce section carries items from around the world.
Saraga’s produce section carries items from around the world.

Saraga International Grocery
Equal parts shopping and cultural experiences, this pair of worldly grocery stores—the original located in a sprawling strip mall near Lafayette Square and the second in a bustling southside commercial zone—brim with rows of groceries categorized by their country of origin. One minute you’re amid the matfoul mixes and jars of honeyed nuts of the Middle East; the next, you’re gazing at colorful packages of noodles and bottles of fish sauce in the East Asia section. The produce is exotic (if occasionally past its prime), a patchwork of jackfruit, peppers, and massive stalks of greens. If you’ve ever wondered what freeze-dried squid might taste like, here’s your chance to find out. 3605 Commercial Dr., 317-388-9999, saragafood.com butcher-knife-symbolproduce-tomato-symbol seafood-fish-symbol bulk-goods-box-symbol bakery-bread-symbol

Insider tip: The staff is more efficient than engaging—have your smartphone ready to answer any questions.
Go there for: Every type of noodle in the world
Hours: Daily 9 a.m.–9 p.m.

 

Van’s Fish Market
An ice buffet of fresh whole fish is the main attraction, but most of the store is crammed full of Vietnamese culinary goodies like rice vermicelli noodles and 50-pound bags of jasmine rice, fresh Asian produce (green papaya, litchi, rau thom), and more kinds of fish sauce than you ever knew existed. 3654 Lafayette Rd., 317-387-1023 carryout-bag-symbolproduce-tomato-symbolseafood-fish-symbol

Insider tip: Take care of dinner in one trip: Have them fry your fish in-shop before you leave.
Go there for: Whole fish
Hours: Mon.–Thurs. 9:30 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 9:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun. 9:30 a.m.–8 p.m.

 

NORTH SUBURBAN

Blue Danube European Deli
This small, randomly organized shop brims with products from Central and Eastern Europe. You will find the necessities for creating a traditional Bulgarian meal, like a variety of fetas, minced meats, and relishes. One side of the store houses a refrigerated section of items ranging from homemade soups to pierogi to yogurt. The shop also offers a large shelf of chocolates and wines from the region, and its back wall features a deli case of cheeses and pastramis cut to order. 11850 Allisonville Rd., Fishers, 317-288-0688, bluedanubedeli.com bakery-bread-symboldeli-burger-symbol

Insider tip: Get there early to nab one of the savory braided homemade breads.
Go there for: Exquisite chocolate
Hours: Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

 

Joe’s Butcher Shop and Fish Market
Headed into its 10th year of business, Joe Lazzara’s all-in-one gourmet shop in downtown Carmel carries the full array of standard proteins as well as some hard-to-find options like antibiotic-free dried beef and a year-round supply of wild salmon. On the shelves, you’ll spot pasta, wine, sauces, olives, spices, cooking supplies, and favorite brands like Coe’s Noodles, Best Boy sauces, and JohnTom’s barbecue sauce. 111 W. Main St., Carmel, 317-846-8877, joesbutchershop.com deli-burger-symbol butcher-knife-symbol delivery-truck-symbol dollar-discount-symbolseafood-fish-symbol bulk-goods-box-symbolindiana-green-symbolindiana-red-symbol

Insider tip: Subscribe to the email list and receive a weekly discount via a secret password.
Go there for: Store-made beef jerky
Hours: Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–7 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.–7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

 

Moody’s Butcher Shop
See West listing for details.

Hours: Zionsville: Tues.–Fri. 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; Fishers: Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; 20 E. Cedar St., Zionsville, 317-873-1800; 10106 Brooks School Rd., Fishers, 317-595-9282 deli-burger-symbol butcher-knife-symbolcarryout-bag-symboldollar-discount-symbolproduce-tomato-symbol seafood-fish-symbol indiana-green-symbolindiana-red-symbol

 

The Olive Mill
You might not know the difference between store-bought olive oil and the higher-quality cold-pressed E.V.O.O. (with a 12-month life) sold here. Sample your way through 35 tasting stations by pumping a squirt into a provided paper cup and sipping flavors ranging from blood orange to bacon. 10 S. Range Line Rd., Carmel, 317-574-9200, olivemillgeneva.com dollar-discount-symbol

Insider tip: Receive a discount on your refill when you bring in your old oil bottle, cleaned and dried.
Go there for: Bread-dipping oils
Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sun. noon–5 p.m.

 

Rail Epicurean Market
Located slightly off the beaten path in a converted barn, Toby and Melanie Miles’s recently opened restaurant and market in Westfield also serves as a town meeting place. Take a seat at one of the dining-room tables, and a menu (which changes frequently to accommodate Hoosier meats and produce) is presented on a slab of wood. A small grocery sells local and specialty items like B. Happy peanut butters, Liberation Roasting Co. coffee, Traders Point Creamery products, Newfangled Confections candy, Preservation jams, and Martin Acres Farm eggs. 211 Park St., Westfield, 317-804-8555, railepicureanmarket.com carryout-bag-symboldollar-discount-symbolindiana-green-symbolindiana-red-symbol

Insider tip: If you’re dining in, the counter offers the best seats in the house.
Go there for: Housemade deli salads
Hours: Tues.–Thurs., Sat. 10 a.m.–7 p.m.; Fri. 10 a.m.–8 p.m

 

Tasteful Times offers a spectrum of oils, vinegars, and condiments.

Tasteful Times
If you prefer an oaky Chardonnay over a citrus-laced Sauvignon Blanc, rest assured the staff here will steer you to something perfect for your palate. A small refrigerator lays out some foods for wine pairing—including Smoking Goose meats, LocalFolks Foods salsas, Capriole goat cheese, and truffles from Best Chocolate in Town. 11677 Olio Rd., Fishers, 317-436-8226, tastefultimesindy.com dollar-discount-symbolindiana-red-symbol

Insider tip: Join the store’s wine club, The Wine Library, and receive tickets to tasting events.
Go there for: Unique small-production wines you can’t find at the grocery, custom gift baskets
Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

 

Traders Point Creamery Farm Store
Grazing grass-fed cows greet you when you make the trek through winding back roads to this organic dairy farm. After you’ve toured the milking parlor and grabbed an ice-cream cone from the dairy bar, make a stop at the lower-level farm store, which offers a small spread of Wildflower Ridge honey, Food for Thought jams, Potter’s crackers, and plenty of dairy products. 9101 Moore Rd., Zionsville, 317-733-1700, tpforganics.com/farmstore indiana-red-symbol

Insider tip: The farm hosts a full farmers market Friday evenings in the summer.
Go there for: Chocolate milk
Hours: Daily 9 a.m.–6 p.m.

 

Vine & Table
This store carries a selection of wines from $5 to $5,000 as well as craft beer and specialty spirits. Shop for a rare or aged bottle or peruse the shelves of chocolates, candies, and packaged meats and cheeses to create a custom gift basket. See the website for fun events the store hosts in the back room. 313 E. Carmel Dr., Carmel, 317-817-9473, vineandtable.com deli-burger-symboldelivery-truck-symboldollar-discount-symbol

Insider tip: Every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the store offers free samples of select wines, craft beer, and food items.
Go there for: Hard-to-find bourbons
Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–7 p.m.

 

SOUTH SUBURBAN

Moody’s Butcher Shop
See West listing for details.

Hours: Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Sat.  9 a.m.–4 p.m., 862 S. State Rd. 135, Greenwood, 317-888-8150 deli-burger-symbol butcher-knife-symbolcarryout-bag-symboldollar-discount-symbolproduce-tomato-symbol seafood-fish-symbol indiana-green-symbolindiana-red-symbol

 

Saraga International Grocery
See Northwest listing for details.

Hours: Daily 9 a.m.–9 p.m., 2308 E. Stop 11 Rd., 317-300-0080 butcher-knife-symbolproduce-tomato-symbol seafood-fish-symbol bulk-goods-box-symbol bakery-bread-symbol

 

Photos by Dale Bernstein and Tony Valainis

 

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