Austin's H Mart grocery store brings its own food hall — and much more.
The opening of Austin's H Mart grocery store was a big deal. For good reason.
Austin has no shortage of international food options, so it’s fitting that H Mart, an Asian supermarket well loved in major U.S. cities, Canada and London, opened up its latest grocery store in the Texas capital.
The new Austin H Mart at 11301 Lakeline Boulevard occupies a massive 68,670 square foot space. H Mart now has four stores in Texas – there were two in Dallas and two in Houston already — but the Austin one is the fist H Mart to have its own Market Eatery. The Eatery is a mini food hall with eight different restaurant vendors, live music and a bar that focuses on Korean sake and makgeolli, a traditional Korean rice wine.
H Mart’s new food hall features two food stalls from chef Deuki Hong, famous for his San Francisco fried chicken spot, Sunday Bird. Other vendors include local shaved ice cream spot Snow Monster, as well as Chris Oh’s Seoul Sausage Company, which serves bite-size corn dogs.
“For a concept like Market Eatery — a destination where friends and family can get together over food and drink while surrounded by culture and entertainment — Austin seemed like a natural fit,” H Mart Austin family owner Stacey Kwon says in a statement.
Still, the “H” in H Mart comes from the phrase Han Ah Reum, which is Korean for “one arm full of groceries.” You are going to want to buy some groceries here, the kind of things you cannot get at just another supermarket.
Here are 10 of the best things you can buy at H Mart:
If you head to CB2, pottery barn, or basically anywhere other than IKEA, you can expect to find overpriced dishware that will have you stressing over how much money you wasted every time a dish clumsily slips from your fingers.
At H Mart, it’s a different story. The store’s colorful and classical dishes, which includes serving bowls, plates, cups and even cookware, come at a reasonable price.
These sweet treats — flavored ice cream surrounded by a shell of a paste made out of sticky rice — are a great dessert to keep in the freezer for when a craving hits. H Mart has many flavor options available like coffee, pistachio and strawberry, and I’d recommend trying the red bean for a new taste.
Preserved Duck Egg
Also known as 100-year eggs or century eggs, these bad boys are a delicacy made by preserving eggs in an alkaline mix for weeks to several months at a time. Try them in your next bowl of ramen for a experimental twist.
This fermented and spicy blend of napa cabbage and other veggies is a great way to dive into Korean food. Mix it into fried rice for a sour and spicy kick, or eat it straight up for the probiotics. Bonus — you’ll find it at H Mart in many sizes and it is homemade in the stores.
Pocky is a Japanese biscuit stick treat that’s become more and more mainstream (you can find them in Target and H-E-B now too). The wafer sticks are coated with a variety of flavors, some of which include strawberry, green tea and chocolate, are a great treat to share with friends, or keep all to yourself.
Don’t let the expansive produce section fool you, H Mart is a sweet treat lover’s dream. Most stores include a full aisle of different candies, chocolates and other treats that many people haven’t seen before. Count me as a big fan of the Green Tea Latte hard candies, which are a great replacement for your grandma’s Werther’s candies.
Sriracha had its day, but now it’s all about Gochujang, a fermented red chili paste that is often seen atop Bibimbap. It’s the perfect bland of savory, sweet and spicy. Gochujang is great to marinate meat in, to top stir fries and to put in soups.
Lovers of exotic fruit should check out H Mart’s jackfruit, a fruit that is so teeming with the scent of rotting bodies, that it is kept in insulated freezers so as not to assault every customer into thinking they just wandered into a crime scene. However unpleasant jackfruit smells though, its sweet and juicy flesh is great for snacking on, or making vegan “pulled pork.”
Ramune is the drink you wish you had known about when you were a kid. The carbonated soft drink is largely known for its packaging, made of glass and sealed with a marble. You use the lid to push the marble into the drink.
We’re a big fan of the Yuzu and champagne flavors.