Ethnic Grocery Guide
True American cuisine is an intriguing blend of spices, cooking techniques and flavors from all over the world. It's apple pie and apple strudel. It's meat and potatoes and meat and potato bhaji (spicy fried Indian cake). And it's cream pie and creme brulee.

Unlike Chicago, Miami and San Francisco, Central Florida doesn't have the variety of ethnic neighborhoods that make our diversity obvious as we travel from 'burb to 'burb. The Asian districts on east and west Colonial Drive are rare concentrations of commerce.

But more and more, the makeup of the state's bulging midriff is evident in a proliferation of ethnic markets, delis and restaurants. We have an abundance of ethnic grocery stores that reflect our neighbors who are of Asian, Caribbean, Cuban, French, English, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Jewish, Indian, Italian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Persian, Polish, Puerto Rican, Scottish and West Indian descent.

We keep a good line on most of these places, and serve up this guide every October. The list of stores is on Page F3. It's available all year at, where it's updated often. Today, we celebrate our diversity from the kitchen-table perspective. Grab a plate and join the buffet -- there's plenty for everyone.

Supermarket chains have greatly expanded their ethnic-ingredient inventories in recent years. Also, many products once considered exotic are quite mainstream in modern cookery.

But if you need a special item or 20, here is a sampling of stores in Central Florida that specialize in hard-to-find items for specific cuisines.


Filipino-Oriental: 600 N. U.S. Highway 17-92 (Fairmont Plaza), No. 112, Longwood; 407-339-5559.

Asian Market: 5025 Edgewater Drive, Orlando; 407-299-7698.

Dong-A Co.: 816 N. Mills Ave., Orlando; 407-898-9227. Full-service Asian supermarket.

Downtown Oriental Grocery: 135 W. International Speedway Blvd.; Daytona Beach; 386-257-5793.

Fil-Am Oriental Food Mart: 9318 E. Colonial Drive (Tower Square Plaza), Orlando; 407-207-1122.

Filipino-Oriental: 600 N. U.S. Highway 17-92 (Fairmont Plaza), No. 112, Longwood; 407-339-5559.

Fish 'n' Spice: 1174 E. Vine St., Kissimmee; 407-847-7776.

J.M. Oriental Market: 9421 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando; 407-816-6700.

L&L Oriental Market: 857 Sand Lake Road, Orlando; 407-816-1700.

Medina Bazaar: 611 W. Vine St., Kissimmee; 407-931-1141. Asian foods.

Oriental Supermarket: 4862 Edgewater Drive, Orlando; 407-578-5678.

1st Oriental Supermarket: 5132 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando; 407-292-3668. The largest ethnic retailer in Orlando.