Charlotte's Growing International Community
Charlotte's ever-growing international community has resulted in a growing demand for stores where you can buy various ethnic foods and ingredients. These days you can find Asian, Caribbean, African, European, Indian, grocery stores all around the Charlotte area. So if you've thought Charlotte is only about grits and barbecue, think again.
Since 2000, Greater Charlotte's foreign-born population has grown by more than 118%. Today, one in six residents of Mecklenburg County (where Charlotte is located) is foreign-born. More than 230,000 foreign-born people live in the Charlotte metro area and approximately 23% of residents speak a non-English language.
Five countries account for 47% of Charlotte area's foreign-born population -- Mexico, India, Viet Nam, El Salvador, Honduras. India has become the second largest source of foreign-born residents, having grown an astounding 451% between 2000 and 2016. 14% of the Greater Charlotte's residents are Hispanic; 7% are Asian.
1,000+ companies from 45 countries are based or headquartered in the Greater Charlotte area, employing over 82,000 people. German firms account for 217 of these companies, employing over 22,000 people. And then there are some 600 firms that are Chinese, Japanese, British, French and Italian.
No doubt about it... Charlotte has become a major global hub in the past 20 years. The influx of immigrants and foreign-born residents has led to the rise of ethnic markets where people could find familiar foods, as well as where adventurous Charlotteans could explore new cuisines.
"How a people eats is one of the most powerful ways they have to express, and preserve, their cultural identity...To make food choices more scientific is to empty them of their ethnic content and history."
Where To Shop For International Groceries In Charlotte
International grocery shopping in the Charlotte area is getting easier all the time. We see new stores popping up each year and you don't have to travel far to find ethnic foods. Here's a partial list of where to shop in and around the Charlotte area.
Asian Grocery Stores In Charlotte
- International Supermarket located in the Asian Corner Mall at 4520 N Tryon Street in Charlotte.
- Han's Oriental Foods & Gifts located in the Fullwood Plaza Shopping Center at 11229 E Independence Avenue in Matthews, specializing in Korean food.
- Anh Dao Sakura Oriental Market located 4325 South Boulevard in Charlotte, specializing in Vietnamese food.
- New Asia Market located at 4400 Potter Road in Stallings.
- Asian Market located at 4430 The Plaza in Charlotte.
Indian Grocery Stores In Charlotte
- Around The World Market located at 6514 N Tryon Street in Charlotte, also offering British, Thai, and African food items.
- Suvidha International Market located at 10008 University Boulevard in Charlotte, specializing in Indian and Pakistani food items.
- India Grocers located at 509 N Polk Street in Pineville and at 8215F University City Boulevard in Charlotte.
- Central Market Charlotte located at 6413 Albemarle Road in Charlotte, specializing in Indian and Nepali food items.
African/Caribbean Grocery Stores In Charlotte
- Charlotte Market International located at 4740 Old Pineville Road in Charlotte, specializing in West African and Caribbean food items.
- Sierra International Market located at 1125 E Sugar Creek Road in Charlotte.
- Jamiles Cuisine & Grocery Store located in the Plaza Central Shopping Center at 4808 G&H Central Avenue in Charlotte, specializing in East African food items.
- South African Food Shop located in the Fullwood Plaza Shopping Center at 11229 E Independence Boulevard in Matthews, specializing in South African food items.
- Island Grocery located at 5861 Albemarle Road in Charlotte (includes a Caribbean restaurant as well as grocery).
European Grocery Stores In Charlotte
- A&A International Foods located at 1636 Sardis Road in Charlotte. Specializing in Russian, Central and East European foods, A&A is the oldest European store in the Charlotte region.
- Zygma European Groceries & Deli located at 212 N Polk Street in Pineville, specializing in Polish and German food items.
- European Market located at 9792 Charlotte Highway in Indian Land, SC, specializing in food items from 25 countries including Poland, Greece, England, Italy, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Turkey, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Israel, Latvia, France, Austria, Armenia, and more.
- Pasta & Provisions located at 1828 Providence Road in Charlotte, specializing in Italian foods and delicacies in addition to its popular fresh pasta.
- Agora Greek Market located at 5122 E Independence Boulevard in Charlotte.
Hispanic Grocery Stores In Charlotte
- La Adelita Tienda located at 5316 South Boulevard in Charlotte, specializing in Mexican foods.
- Supermercado El Ray located at 6300 South Boulevard in Charlotte (Suite 200B).
- La Unica Super Center Internacional located at 5323 E Independence Avenue in Charlotte.
South American Grocery Stores In Charlotte
- Supermercado Brasileiro Taste of Brazil located at 10915-Suite C Monroe Road in Matthews.
- A Brazilian Place located at 7201 E Independence Boulevard in Charlotte.
- Tropical Bakery located at 11100 Monroe Rd E in Matthews.
Middle Eastern Grocery Stores In Charlotte
- Halal International located at 3120 N Sharon Amity Avenue in Charlotte.
- Zaytuna Halal Market located at 10227B University City Boulevard in Charlotte.
- Yafa Halal Market located at 10703 Park Road in Charlotte.
- Cedars Specialty Grocers & Restaurant located at 4832 Central Avenue in Charlotte.
- Alasam Market located at 10901 #104 University Boulevard in Charlotte.
Kosher Grocery Stores In Charlotte
- Gleiberman's Gourmet/Kosher Market located in the Galleria Shopping Center at 1816-G Galleria Boulevard in Charlotte.
"Food is everything we are. It's an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It's inseparable from those from the get-go."
... Anthony Bourdain
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