Middle Eastern Markets in NJ

I searched and couldn’t find a thread on this. so I’m starting one… when I lived in NNJ I knew I could go to Paterson if I needed legit ME ingredients. I’m now on the hunt for sumac in/near Monmouth County and have no clue as to where I might find it! Today I was at both Wegmans and (Neptune) Shop Rite, and while I saw a TON of spices, no luck at either. Should I check Whole Foods, or is there a terrific market I’m unaware of? Do I remember hearing there’s a spice store in/near Red Bank? I’m betting you HOs can help me out… Thanks!


Closest to me would have to be Sahara 34 in Matawan. While their dining room is always empty (despite having some downright excellent food), the market usually has a small crowd. I’ve gotten lamb, flat breads, and some type of really salty cheese whose name escapes me.

When I worked in Matawan, I was practically a regular. The guy behind the meat counter was very nice. Whenever I asked for something, he would ask how I was preparing it and would offer tips.

The place is very small compared to other actual markets, but it has the basics. I don’t understand why the restaurant component has not taken off. Their white sauce is heavenly, hummus homemade, and their gyro and French fry combo out of this world.

1 Like

Thanks! Can’t believe I didn’t tag YOU in that post! At least I know if I’m further up the Parkway for something that’s an option–and having read your blog post, it sounds like it’s worth a stop even if I find sumac closer to home! YUM

1 Like

There’s actually an Egyptian Market in Hazlet by Perkin’s now. However, “market” is a loose term. Mostly canned and packaged goods when I was there a few months ago. They had meats and a refrigerated section, but I wouldn’t dare try it. The location is very odd for a Middle Eastern market. I bought a small jar of Tahini just to support local but never went back. I don’t think it has a name. Just some writing in Arabic and “Egyptian Market” handwritten on the window.

For no apparent reason, it just occurred to me that Bayroot also has a ‘market’ in the restaurant…I wonder if they carry it!

Keep these ideas coming, though! MUCH appreciated.

1 Like

I ate in Bayroot last year. Good food but overpriced when compared to similar places. I did notice they have a tiny market but cannot recall what they had. Mostly jar goods I think?

Agree with you…and iirc, the lamb kebab I had was on the dry side. I haven’t been back, so that tells you something. I want to leave saying WOW!

1 Like

Oh, I said WOW! at Bayroot…when I saw the price for the tiny dessert I had!


1 Like

There’s Afandina on Route 18 in East Brunswick, but I prefer Phoenician Market in North Brunswick.

1 Like

There’s a small Middle Eastern store in the Stella Town Plaza, Route 166 in Toms River. I don’t recall if they have sumac or not. I usually “force” myself to take a trip into Paterson when I need to refresh my Middle Eastern pantry.

Are you familiar with Stella Plaza? It is the strip mall of world restaurants. In addition to the usual Italian and Chinese, there is El Familiar (Columbian/Mexican), Chickens House (fried chicken and Latin fare), Viet Express (my favorite VietNamese in the area) and a Polish deli. There may a couple of more places that I don’t recall. The proverbial something for everyone.

Um, nooooooo! First I’ve heard of it! I feel trip in my future—thank you!!

The ‘Turkish Grocery Store’ opened recently at 520 Route 9 in Manalapan. It’s in a small strip mall just north of Tennant Rd. I have not been in it yet.

1 Like

I was also going to recommend Sahara 34. They had an ownership change in the last year or two, right?

@CurlzNJ I like this store and have been able to pick up some unique ingredients over the years. It is small but I’m ok with that. I don’t need 1000 choices of something.

1 Like

You HOs are awesome–I knew you’d come through; thank you! My mom gave me Ottolenghi’s Simple cookbook and there are a lot of YUMMY recipes I want to try, so this will be a huge help. Will let you know where I end up and what I find!

1 Like

And post pictures of what you make! YUM! The What’s for Dinner thread on the main board is super active.

1 Like

That I am not sure. Aside from a woman who appears to be one of the owners, they had different people there each time I went it seemed.