Best Of 2011

Best Asian Market: Olive Farmers' Market

Remember how frustrating it was last time you needed dried sea cucumbers and you couldn't find them anywhere? Doesn't it just set your teeth on edge when all you want is a fish head, but the guy at the fish counter won't sell you a head without the body still intact? We feel your pain. Fortunately, so does the Olive Farmers' Market. OFM stocks all the weird odds and ends you never thought you'd need (and still might not ever need) for just about any Asian cooking exigency. But in addition to all the stuff you've never heard of and/or can't pronounce, the store carries plenty of everyday-type produce, fresh seafood (and teas!). As befits the time-tested Asian grocery template, the aisles are narrow and crammed with everything from ramen to candy to dishware. Another point in OFM's favor: It passes the Goldilocks test. You see, a whole passel of Asian grocers crowd Olive Boulevard near U. City's western reaches. Some are intimidatingly big. Some are too small. Olive Farmers' Market is just right.

Previous Winners