Part of a national chain of Korean grocery stores with headquarters based in New York, Super H Mart is a pan-Asian adventure for foodies. With 19,000 square feet of produce, a plethora of canned and packaged imported foods, a kitchen appliance center, a fresh fish market, a food court and about 10 speciality shops (including a hair salon), it's entirely feasible to plan a day-long shopping excursion here.
The vast size and perplexing layout of Super H Mart may make it hard to know where to start; it's advised to let your nose or your appetite help lead the way. Stop by the fresh kimchi bar on weekends and you can watch pounds of the pickled delight made fresh before your eyes. The selection and quality of seafood is astonishing: fresh catfish and red snapper, whole squid and tanks filled with live crabs and lobster. Fans of Korean BBQ will swoon over the meat section with beef and pork sliced paper-thin for bulgogi and short ribs cut for kalbi preparation. You'd be hard-pressed to find cuts like these at most supermarkets in Chicago.
Prices for produce and meats are, on average, cheaper than what you'll find elsewhere and there's a selection of both Asian and Western brands here; it's possible to make Super H Mart a one-stop destination for weekly groceries.
Only the iron-willed can leave without sampling something from the food court; Korean, Japanese and Chinese cuisines are all represented here. The kimchi dumplings alone ($5 for six) are worth a stop. Even if you don't stop by the food court, you're not likely to leave hungry. Samples of everything from ramen to rice wine are served at kiosks around the store.
Centerstage Reviewer: Keidra Chaney