Pantry-Staple Vendors and International Markets in Corpus Christi

Local Checkout: International Markets and Pantry Staples

Local vendors and markets that sell spices, condiments, pickled items, shelf-stable goods and more in the Coastal Bend.

Photography by Deux Boheme

The common metaphor for America as a “melting pot” rings true when shopping at international markets in Corpus Christi. Community members of various ethnicities have shared their cultures with us in the form of spices, condiments and snacks you won’t find on the “international” aisle at H-E-B.  

Middle East Market has been serving Middle Eastern food of various kinds from its deli  for over 20 years. It would be a crime to drop in for lunch and not check out the variety of pantry staples available to whip up this cuisine at home, though. Spices like sumac and Aleppo pepper are available in bulk and add savory, floral notes to labneh and a spice rub for protein. Don’t leave here without picking up marinated Armenian string cheese for snacking. 

V Mart is the Coastal Bend’s newest grocery store, filled with aisles of Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Thai provisions. This is the kind of place you can go into with no plan and leave with all the ingredients you need for an Asian-inspired meal at home, as well as some very imaginative potato chip flavors. The exceptional customer service impresses, as does the lunch special at the food court. 

The next time you find yourself on the corner of Weber and Airline, stop by the Hong Kong Asian Supermarket and be pleasantly surprised. You might have a hard time choosing among the dozens of dumpling wrapper and noodle varieties, but you’ll manage. Find Thai basil, tubs of curry paste and stalks of lemongrass to pleasantly perfume any dish. 

Italian Cowboy is one of the only true Italian-inspired package stores in Texas, and is here to help you lean into Italian home cooking. Find olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, tapenades, playful pasta shapes, plenty of wine and knowledgeable owners eager to provide you with provisions to inspire your next aperitivo hour or dinner party. 

Though it would take all the pages of this issue to give a full run-down of the ingredients found at the various markets around town, take this as a sign to expand your horizons and maybe even skip the big box grocery store this week. 

Cabana Pantry

Your Padre Island pantry store with artisanal spice blends and rubs for any occasion. Aside from its house-made seasonings, shop a variety of essentials like salts, oils and condiments. 14493 S. Padre Island Dr. Ste. E & F

Boarri Craft

From the fridge stocked with dairy and pasta to the shelves lined with local honey, sauces, infused olive oils, preserves and wine, Boarri Craft has just about everything you need to prepare dinner, even if you don’t eat meat. 817 S. Staples St.

Holistic Harvest

With a tagline of “Convenient Healthy Snacking,” Holistic Harvest is championing the dried fruit and vegetable game. It offers everything from freeze-dried figs to fruit salad mixes, green beans, sweet potatoes and even cold-brew coffee-infused mini snack bars. @holisticharvest.tx

Photography by Deux Boheme

Spice Collections

From sun-dried herbs and spice-cabinet staples to dozens of pickled fruits and vegetables, Spice Collections has it all. Sign up for a mystery subscription box to receive a surprise bundle of offerings to inspire your next meal or catch its offerings at a farmers market.

Sherry’s Jams N’ Jellies

If you frequent local farmers markets, you’ve probably seen the bountiful display of seasonal fruit jam from Sherry’s. Depending on the season, you can find chocolate raspberry, strawberry rhubarb, pineapple habanero and so much more. @sherrysjamsnjellies

The Roughian

Your favorite supper club is selling its popular spreads, dressings and treats at local weekly farmers markets. Depending on the week, find whipped lemon feta, dill cream, caramelized onion spread and caesar dressing.  @theroughiancc