Ever since I was little, my family has shopped a Ethnic Grocery Stores. In fact, my parents sometimes turn into crazed animals when they first enter. They are off and running quickly throwing anything and everything into the nearest shopping cart! Slow down I told them on our last adventure. Do you really need that??
The great thing about these outlets is they not only offer unique food offerings, but the prices tend to be quite affordable.
Here are a couple of items that I typically pick up and keep on hand in my pantry:
Cosmos located in West Hartford on Farmington Ave offers a great selection of Indian delights. I typically pick up: couscous, naan bread, (great for my pizza), dates, spices, coconut oil, ginger, barley, jelly/jam. They offer many of these items in bulk and for great prices.
Tangiers also on Farmington Ave in West Hartford serves up the best falafel in town!!
A Dong located on Shield St in West Hartford offers an amazing array of Asian groceries! This place is huge and has just about everything you could possibly want: veggies, fruits, miso, (great for my slow cooker pork orange miso recipe), famous Vietnamese sandwiches, Banh Mi popularized by the Food Network, frozen dumplings, huge bags of every kind of rice...take a trip down there just for fun!
Appletree located on New Park Ave in West Hartford has what seems to be the cheapest fruits and veggies in town!
The Delicacy Market also on Farmington Ave in West Hartford has a wonderful selection of European goodies, (mostly Russian). My dad loves their huge selection of sausages. They have excellent prices on meets and cheeses and make huge delicious inexpensive sandwiches. Go crazy!
There are also a number of places on Park St in Hartford that I have yet to explore.
I know that we all go to 4-5 different grocery stores as it is. But it is worth a trip just to stock up on some great pantry items.