IN THE GLOBAL MARKET: HERE ARE NINE TWIN CITIES SHOPS THAT TRANSPORT

This list of ethnic food markets represent a fraction of the choices available throughout the Twin Cities and suburbs. Explore, enjoy.

AFRICAN FOOD MARKET

Congenial atmosphere, all kinds of interesting African foods. The deli serves West African specialties such as palm butter soup, a savory stew made with palm nuts, peppers and chicken.

5736 Lakeland Av. N., Crystal. 763-560-2263.

BILL'S IMPORTED FOODS

Buying a 3-liter tin of Kalamatan olive oil (for about $24) at Bill's is a boon in two ways: You save money, and you get amazing olive oil. Don't leave without fresh feta cheese and olives. Cash or checks only.

721 W. Lake St., Minneapolis, 612-827-2891.

CASPIAN BISTRO & DELI

This Persian restaurant with attached grocery offers delicacies from throughout the Middle East, from dried figs to delicious halva (a confection made from sesame or semolina paste). The restaurant serves a wide range of Persian specialties.

2418 University Av. SE., Minneapolis, 612-623-1113.

EL BURRITO MERCADO

The stuff of great Mexican meals is easy to find in the Twin Cities, but El Burrito Mercado, in business for more than 25 years, remains a favorite.

175 Cesar Chavez St., St. Paul, 651-227-2192 www.elburritomercado.com.

INGEBRETSEN'S

From fiskeboller (fish balls) to gjetost (goat cheese), Ingebretsen's has been supplying Scandinavian soul food to the cities for 87 years. Two attached stores sell sweaters, yarn and Nordic tchotchkes.

1601 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, 612-729-9333 www.ingebretsens.com

KIEV FOODS

Pick up some blinis (stuffed Russian crepes), vareniki (Russian ravioli), kielbasa (Polish sausage) and Lithuanian rye bread at Kiev. Great sandwiches in the deli.

2509 W. 7th St., St. Paul. 651-690-5655.

SEOUL FOODS

The flavors of Korea and Japan dominate this store, which carries several varieties of kimchi (fermented cabbage), produce and a wide range of Korean seafoods, as well as Japanese favorites such as mochi (sweet rice cakes).

1071 E. Moore Lake Drive, Fridley. 763-572-0079.

SHUANG HUR

All things Vietnamese and Southeast Asian, with high-quality and unusual produce topping the reasons to visit. Best place to get young coconuts, lemongrass and bitter melon, among other things.

In Minneapolis: 2710 Nicollet Av. S., 612-872-8606. In St. Paul, 654 University Av. , 651-251-2196.

UNITED NOODLES

All of Asia unites under one warehouse roof in this gigantic and yet hard-to-find supermarket in south Minneapolis. A great place to pick up cookware, dishes and gifts from more than 15 countries. A deli serving Taiwanese dishes and rice dumplings makes it a great lunchtime stop.

2015 E. 24th St., 612-721-6677 www.unitednoodles.com.

CHRIS WELSCH