While not one of those cities regularly featured on The Food Channel or the cover of Gourmet, Washington, D.C. is home not only to foodie favorite restaurants, but also a number of international and gourmet markets catering to our central melting pot of cultures, and also making for a fun outing with kiddo to explore unfamiliar delicacies, or find ingredients from all over the world. Grab your grocery list and check out (not on an empty stomach, though) one of these markets for a change. 

Photo: Roots Market

Roots Market
A small chain in the D.C. area, Roots Market locations in Olney and Clarksville have begun to fill a niche for gluten free families, and anyone looking for fresh and creative alternatives to the regular grocery store run.

5805 Clarksville Square Dr. (Clarksville, Md)
16800 Georgia Ave. (Olney, Md)
Online:  rootsmkt.com

Union Kitchen Grocery
Now with two locations, this hipster friendly market is spreading its wings. And for good reason–it’s the only groceries that stocks its shelves with more than 200 food and beverage products made locally in the DMV.

1251 9th St., NW
538 3rd St., NE (NoMa)
Online: unionkitchendc.com/grocery

Relive your European backpacking tour on a visit to this Italian-themed shop on an otherwise inconspicuous corner of Old Bethesda where you will find Old World foods, along with such an incredible display of sweets and treats you and your toddler both might have to be reminded to wait until after lunch.  Try the prosciutto sandwiches with a touch of balsamic—just divine!

8102 Norfolk Ave. (Bethesda, Md)
Online: facebook.com/pages/Cornucopia

Maxim Chinese Market
Find everything from Eastern medicinals and umpteen varieties of green tea, to fresh seafood and fruits and vegetables from “A” to “Z” for that healthy Asian recipe you’ve always wanted to try at this popular Asian market in Rockville. Hungry for lunch? Find noodles, dumplings and other kid favorites to try right in store.  If you’re looking for miso bowls, rice steamers and even cosmetics you are also in the right place, and of course every kiddo’s favorite from East to West–Pocky Sticks, in every flavor!

460 Hungerford Dr. (Rockville, Md)
Online: facebook.com/pages/Maxim-Supermarket

Broad Branch Market
This community market is like what comfort food would be like if you wrapped it up and plopped it on a neighborhood street corner for all to enjoy.  Across the street from Lafayette Elementary school in Northwest, this is as much an after-school hangout and meeting place for area families, as it is as a gourmet market where foodie authors like Aviva Goldfarb of the Six O’ Clock Scramble go to find their only-at-Broad-Branch favorite cheese. 

5608 Broad Branch Rd., NW (Chevy Chase)
Online:  broadbranchmarket.com

A. Litteri
What kiddo doesn’t like pasta, and where do you go to get the best homemade pastas, fresh olives and antipasti, and other Italian specialities in Washington, D.C.?  A. Litteri, described as an “old school” Italian grocery has been serving the Capitol Hill area since 1932. The narrow aisles while not stroller friendly are full of fun mangia inspiring foodstuffs and the staff are tot-friendly, ready with samples here and there, and always a smile.

517-519 Morse St., NE (Gallaudet U.)
Online: alitteri.com

Eden Center/Good Fortune Supermarket
Lovingly referred to as Little Vietnam, this large strip mall in Falls Church is filled to the brim with eatery and shops that specialize in irresistible delicacies like rice paper spring rolls, banh mi sandwiches, bubble tea, and vermicelli noodles. Go for lunch, or if you’re feeling adventurous cue up a Vietnamese recipe and grab ingredients from Good Fortune Supermarket, a massive grocery store that flanks the right side of the strip mall.

6751 Wilson Blvd. (Falls Church, Va)
Online: edencenter.com

Do you have a favorite indie grocery store or global market? Tell us about it in the comments below. 

–Carolyn Ross