Food from countries on six continents can be found at OKC’s newest international grocery store, World Fresh International Market! Whether you’re looking for particular ingredients for your favorite ethnic foods or you like exploring new flavors from around the world, you should definitely check out the almost 65,000 square feet of products at this new market located off of Penn in south OKC.
When I arrived to visit at last Saturday’s soft opening, the place was already abuzz. World Fresh’s atmosphere is clean, bright, and appealing, not at all as claustrophobic as some ethnic markets.
A One-Stop Shop
What sets World Fresh apart from any other grocery in Oklahoma City is that they are striving to not just be a specialty store, but a one-stop shop for American and international food alike. They’ve included a lot of the American staples!
I was surprised to find the Best Choice brand, a brand I’ve usually associated with Walmart. Though you can certainly buy well-known brand names here as well, I thought it was great to have the option of low cost items for budget shoppers.
Americans can get their normal groceries at reasonable prices and splurge on the more expensive imported items!
Hot and Fresh Delicacies
The bakery nestled in one corner offers European treats with an Asian twist! Croissants are piled beside sesame ball donuts. Brightly colored macarons line the pastry cases, near gorgeous cakes flavored with green tea or mango. Sit and enjoy a hot beverage with your pastry in their dining area.
Next to the bakery, you can grab a meal at the hot bar, which offers mostly Asian stir-fries, noodles, and dim sum, but also dishes like peri-peri chicken (an African dish that was adopted by the Portuguese). Dim sum items are also sold in the frozen section!
The produce section includes fresh vegetables and fruits from around the world, from bittermelon to huge jackfruits to Korean pears to 4 kinds of eggplants (Indian, Thai, Japanese, and Chinese). There is a great selection of fresh herbs, as well.
What I especially like is that there are little signs explaining many of the items, such as their taste and the most popular ways to cook them. That really helps those of us who want to try something new!
In the back of the store is the meat and fish department. The fish here is definitely fresh – you can pick out your live fish, if you like! World Fresh will clean it for you and even fry it, if you so choose!
The World Represented – But Especially Asia
The majority of the store is organized by country and then by type of food. Currently the store is definitely catering more to the Asian community – Japanese, Korean, and Filipino, alongside Vietnamese and Chinese. For example, there are aisles that are dedicated to all kinds of packaged Asian noodles. There is even an area of the market called the “Rice House!”
But you can certainly find some African, Middle Eastern, and South and Latin American groceries, as well! There’s even a (very small) Native American section.
One area that will hopefully improve is the selection in the European aisle. Yes, though many European countries are represented, most of the items fit in one aisle. I was disappointed to see that some of what World Fresh offered for a particular country could easily be obtained elsewhere. For example, there was a lot of Lindt chocolate in the Switzerland section. OKC really needs somewhere that will offer more European products.
That being said, it sounds like World Fresh is quite open to customer input and they have just barely opened. If there’s something you’d like to see included, you should email them and ask for it! And I have to admit I still found European items I hadn’t seen anywhere else around here. Not many OKC stores have shelves devoted to Swedish food, for example!
Overall, World Fresh is a great place to explore and I’d highly recommend a visit!
While World Fresh may the newest addition to the international grocery scene in OKC, it certainly isn’t the only one. Check out my full guide to OKC’s ethnic markets!