Five Great Ethnic Markets in Walnut CreekMar 11, 2023 02:04PM ● By Elizabeth Rusiecki
For a small city, Walnut Creek is brimming with people from diverse cultures. When you need curry for tikka masala, seaweed for sushi, or blini for caviar, where do you go? These specialty ethnic markets are packed with exotic and hard-to-find ingredients.
Kasra Market 1270
Newell Plaza boasts two ethnic markets, so if spices and rice are your thing, head to this strip center. For Middle Eastern flavors, Kasra’s tidy shelves are lined with canned lentils, favas, pickled peas, and olives. There’s mint syrup for cocktails, jams and candies, kefir, hummus, and baba ghanoush. Bins of dried figs, dates, lemons and Persian cucumbers, along with homemade halva and giant paper-wrapped cracker breads. The seasonings here are hard to resist—cumin, sumac, and za'atar—and so is the fresh baklava.
India Bazaar 1250 Newell Avenue
At this bustling little shop, Indian products are stocked floor to the ceiling: boxes filled with saffron, jars of tomato chutney, lentils, beans, and semolina flour. Here, you’ll find chai masala tea, frozen samosas, and coconut cooking oil. There’s a great selection of Indian snack foods, nectars and sodas, brightly bagged goodies, and boxes of Indian jewelry.
Babushka Market & Deli 1475 Newell Avenue
From smoked sturgeon and piroshki to red caviar and veal bologna, Babushka is our Russian Hill. Family-owned since 1996, this is where to get borscht soup, pelmeni dumplings, smetana cheese, herring, Kopobka wafer cookies, Nikolas II tea, and Roshen Kiev merengue cake. Recently ranked by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of Walnut Creek’s top food spots, Babushka’s upscale restaurant closed during the pandemic.
Oriental Foods 2950
North Main Street
This almost 50-year-old shop caters to a variety of Asian cultures, but Diablo’s reputation is for fresh fish: red tuna, white mackerel, and yellowtail. Sushi chefs stop by for sashimi cuts and foodies come for the lemongrass and shitake mushrooms. There’s an endless selection of soy sauce, rice, and noodles, but also bamboo steamers, and cookware. Shishito peppers and tobiko? Yep. Eel, tamari, and tempura? Of course.
Genova Delicatessen 1105 South California Boulevard |
You may know Genova Delicatessen for its famous homemade raviolis or line-worthy custom Italian sandwiches. Serving Walnut Creek since 1969, it's our little slice of North Beach. From white clam sauce for linguine to mascarpone for homemade tiramisu, you’ll find it here, plus spinach fettucine, orecchiette, imported olive oils, vinegars, and crunchy breadsticks. At the deli counter, order prosciutto, salami, and mortadella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, mozzarella, ricotta, provolone, and fresh ciabatta.