You will not find a shortage of grocery stores in Corvallis. There are the traditional spots, like WinCo, Safeway, and Fred Meyer – all of which have their merits.
If you’re looking for some great local and organic options, look no further than the First Alternative Co-op with convenient locations on both the north and south sides of Corvallis. We even have a Trader Joe’s, Natural Grocers, and Market of Choice.
But for those of you who are new to town, we thought we’d highlight some alternative grocery stores that could offer something a little different.
Bazaar International Market
This is a truly special market that carries products from all around the Middle East and surrounding areas. They are happy to offer dates from Tunisia, cookies from Spain, cheese from Bulgaria, humus from Lebanon, olives from Turkey, and tea from Sri Lanka, just to name a few.
If you’re looking for a hookah and a wide range of flavored tobacco, you’ll find it here. You can check out their website to get a preview of some of their products.
What’s even cooler is the fact that they have a Middle Eastern restaurant, Al Jebal, connected to their store. A family-run restaurant, you can try their delicious cuisine and then shop for ingredients to try your hand at similar dishes in the comfort of your own home.
Devi Indian Grocery & Spices
Tucked next to Country Vitamins, this little market specializes in products from India. You’ll find a selection of Indian spices, lentils, pickles, as well as goat meat. There’s also a small collection of Indian hair products, incense, and henna.
Make it a dinner and movie night by picking up ingredients for a delicious curry and perusing Devi’s collection of Bollywood films. They only cost $2.00 each.
Located at 919 NW Circle Blvd D, this market is open Tuesday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Mondays.
Monroe International Market
With its location so close to campus, this is a good spot for students to easily check out some unfamiliar products, or maybe the opposite if this is their first time in the US. This market carries chocolate and candy from different countries like Japan, U.K., Mexico, and Germany. They also offer some selections of cheese, spices and baking products.
If you’re not ready to commit to a shopping spree, pop in and try some of their imported drinks. Quench your thirst with Kazouza, Ramune, or Barbican Malt. Not sure what those are? All the more reason to check it out.
Located at 2001 NW Monroe Avenue #102, this market is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Sundays.
Pilos Mexican Bakery
While this may seem like a bit of an outlier on the list, Pilos Mexican Bakery offers more than just delicious and authentic Mexican baked goods. Everyone seems to be raving about the conchas, an artisan Mexican sweet bread that is often paired with coffee or hot chocolate. You don’t have to twist my arm.
Pilos also carries, Mexican spices, snacks, masa to make tortillas and tamales, cd’s, and more. Go hungry and with a sweet tooth; you won’t be disappointed.
Located at 954 NW Circle Blvd, Pilos is open Monday–Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Sundays.
Rice ‘n’ Spice
A happening little spot close to downtown, this market has a great selection of East and Southeast Asian products. This includes basics like soy sauce, chili paste, and vinegar, as well as bulk rice, candy, frozen dumplings, and meat.
On top of that, they carry cookware, some kitchen essentials like sugar and salt, a small selection of fresh vegetables, and tea. Not sure where to start? Look up a recipe and start the hunt for some authentic ingredients.
Located at 1075 NW Van Buren Avenue, Rice ‘n’ Spice is open Monday– Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
There are definitely more places to explore; if you’re downtown, check out the selection at Sinbad Market on Monroe, or pop into La Fuente on 9th street if you’re looking for Mexican apparel and snacks.
Whether it’s your first time trying your hand at different cuisines, or if you’ve come to Corvallis from another country and you’re looking for a little taste of home, you have options. If you’re disappointed by the selections at the bigger, more traditional grocery stores in Corvallis, do yourself a favor and see what else is out there.
By Anika Lautenbach