A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon a pair of markets in Raleigh that I had never seen or much less visited before. The first is New Moon Market & Roastery at 4001 Hillsborough Street (see map above), which I cannot provide any type of link for since they seem to have absolutely zero web presence (though I thought I saw a mention of it by Greg Cox somewhere online). This is a relatively sparsely-stocked market that’s easy to navigate due to its small size. Their specialty seems to be their large assortment of roasted nuts and seeds. In fact, when I attempted to order what I figured would be their most exotic roasted offering - watermelon seeds - I was unexpectedly asked which variety I wanted. They have two varieties of in-house roasted watermelon seeds! What other store in the Triangle area can say that?
The other highlight is their selection of olives. Aside from the many different canned varieties, they offer eight different types on their “olive bar” at prices which don’t exceed $2.99/lb. Compared to the steep prices elsewhere, which can reach double that amount, this is the biggest bargain around. I picked up a container of a spicy green variety which had wedges of lemon in the brine, and it was as good if not better than the olives at Whole Foods. One turn-off was a small container on the olive bar which contained some olive pits, presumably from people who had sampled directly from the bins. Eeew. Also surprising was that their Lebanon-imported jars of tahini did not contain any type of safety seal - no plastic around the cap, and nothing sealing the container underneath the cap.
Other than that, the have a small produce section with reasonable prices but nothing too exotic. They also have some frozen meats and refrigerated cheeses which I did not look at too closely. I was served my seeds by the only employee in the store - a woman who was on the phone the entire time she was helping me. In fact, she was on the phone the entire time I was in the store. Of note to those who occasionally like to roast whole lamb over the pit in their suburban backyard was a sign I noticed behind the cash register on my way out advertising the fact that they can also sell you a whole lamb.
The second market I discovered for the first time is Around the World Market at 6715 Hillsborough Street (again, map just above). The front sales area of the market offers items similar to a small gas station market (snacks, beer, calling cards, MD 20/20, etc). The back of the market (kind of the longer side of a large “L”) is more like a traditional market. As the name implies, they offer products from many different foreign tastes, including Mexico and China, but their main focus seems to be Indian products. They have the expected various dals, many varieties of rice, an extensive selection of spices, every pickle and chutney you’d need, and a good selection of bagged Indian snacks.
There’s also a small area with baked goods and other fresh offerings, but there was not any activity there when I made my visit. The produce section here is much larger than New Moon, and they have some of the more exotic vegetables you’d expect to find (i.e. various eggplant, squash, etc). They have a refrigerated section which I didn’t get to because it’s oddly located beyond the cash registers. There’s also a restaurant in the same building if you get hungry while you’re there.