Foodie shopping Guide: Gourmet and international markets in Tampa Bay

CEDAR MARKET 6531 54th Ave. N, St. Pete; 727-546-9687. Your one-stop shop for imported Middle Eastern pantry items, as well as beverages, candies and desserts. Get freshly prepared hummus, baba ghanouj, strained yogurt, falafel, and tabbouleh in the refrigerated case to take home or order some of their locally made pita bread to enjoy it there.

CHEESE PLEASE 4213 S. Manhattan Ave. Tampa; 813-766-0060, Whether you need gourmet condiments, cheeses from around the world, specialty meats or even a water fountain, they have you covered. A clever and romantic spot to meander and browse for gift inspiration, Cheese Please is a South Tampa treasure trove. --Kira Jefferson

CHUCK'S NATURAL FOOD MARKETPLACE 11301 North 56th Street, Tampa. 813-980-2005; 114 N. Kings Ave., Brandon. 813-657-2555, Carrying an assortment of organic groceries, juices and vitamins. Need an organic mattress? Yeah, they've got those, too.

DATZ FOODIES MARKET AND LOFT BAR 2616 South MacDill Avenue, Tampa. 813-831-7000, Known primarily as a restaurant and bar, it also serves as a "foodies market", offering a unique array of gourmet delights from couscous to chocolates, preserves to pastas, balsamic vinegars to boutique wines and craft beers. Their homemade desserts and artisan cheese selections are unrivaled.

EUROPEAN GOODIES 4701 49th St. N., St. Pete. 727-526-1118. A market and deli selling imported Polish groceries and goodies. Their homemade pierogies have made quite a buzz around town.

THE FRESH MARKET 3722 Henderson Blvd., Tampa. 813-875-7400; 13147 North Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa. 813-964-8001; 25961 U.S. 19, Clearwater. 727-669-6111; Coming late summer to 2900 4th Street N., St. Petersburg. Offering high-quality, fresh and natural foods, grocery items and an impressive produce section with hard-to-find items. Check out their prepared foods section and grab dinner to-go.

GANESH MARKET AND CHAAT CAFE 6204 N Armenia Ave., Tampa; 813-873-8708, An Indian grocer with produce, dry goods, personal care items as well as North Indian, South Indian, Gujarati, and Chatpata fast foods. In the cafe, order items a la carte or try a bit of everything at the buffet.

MAZZARO'S ITALIAN MARKET 2909 22nd Ave N., St. Pete. 727-321-2400, This one-of-a-kind Italian market's reputation precedes itself. The place is always packed but that doesn't scare away the customers who have to get their fix of Mazzaro's huge deli sandwiches, gourmet bakery items and handmade pastas. They also stock imported Italian goods to the hilt and their Wine Room is like no other. It's not just a market -- it's a destination.

OCEANIC ORIENTAL SUPERMARKET 1609 N. Tampa St., Tampa; 813-228-8110, Super is a great word to describe this Asian market. Besides rows upon rows of grocery items from just about every corner of Asia, Oceanic also offers meats, locally caught seafood, produce (including exotic) and freshly prepared foods. You can also pick up some inexpensive cookware and dishes here.

PATEL BROTHERS 1251 W Fowler Ave, Tampa; 813-558-9090, A branch of the largest South Asian grocery store chain in the world, providing the University Area of Tampa with Indian goods, spices, snacks, household items and fresh produce.

RENZO'S GOURMET MARKET 3644 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. 813-870-3606, A deli and bakery with a Latin flair. Offering imported meats and cold cuts, a bakery, and prepared foods, fusing classic European cuisine with New World delicatessen favorites.

ROLLIN' OATS MARKET AND CAFE 2842 Dr Martin Luther King Jr St N, St Pete. 727-821-6825; 1021 South MacDill Ave., Tampa. 813-873-7428. With two Bay area locations, this organic grocery has a deli with ever changing gourmet specials -- many being vegan-friendly -- and possibly the best selection of craft beers to be found in a grocery store.

TASTE OF EUROPE GOURMET FOOD MARKET 717 West Lumsden Road, Brandon. 813-681-2100, An Eastern European market specializing in gourmet foods, including many items from Poland. They even allow customers to shop online.

WHOLE FOODS MARKET 1548 North Dale Mabry Blvd., Tampa. 813-874-9435, A supersized 'green' grocery store with natural and organic goods as well as an artisan cheese shop, pizza bar, cafe, wellness center, and huge selection of craft beers and organic wines.

Image: Ellie VanHoutte via Flickr Commons.

This week we're giving you a guide to gourmet and international markets where you can find tasty items for your personal enjoyment and holiday entertaining needs, as well as unique gifts for foodie friends.

AEGEAN DELI & MARKET 1370 Clearwater-Largo Rd. N., Largo; 727-585-4661. At first glance you could mistake this for just any old convenience store, but walk around and find a slew of imported goodies from around the globe.

BELLA VITA RISTORANTE & MARKET 19651 Bruce B Downs Blvd, Ste B1/B2, Tampa; 813-973-7703, Besides being a restaurant that serves traditional Italian fare and pizza for lunch and dinner, Bella Vita is also a gourmet market offering baked goods, imported cheeses, wine and their own sauces and pasta made in-house.

BERN'S FINE WINE & SPIRITS 1002 South Howard Ave., Tampa; 813-250-9463, For an established store with a huge selection of wine, cheese and accompaniments, make sure to stop by Bern’s Fine Wines & Spirits. The list of retail cheeses available hovers around thirty all year long. —Kira Jefferson

BIANCHI'S ENOTECA 3215 S.MacDill Ave. Suite G., Tampa; 813-837-2233, This “wine repository” is truly a lovely spot to purchase wine, cheese and unique food items. Not only can you enjoy a cup o’ joe from Buddy Brew Coffee while you peruse the stores treasures, you can also savor a delicious goat cheese omelet, ham croissant or gourmet grilled cheese at the café bar. —Kira Jefferson

CASTELLANO & PIZZO MARKET 4200 Henderson Blvd., Tampa; 813-289-5275, The market is like a mini Mazzaro's with prepared foods, cheeses, oils and vinegars, desserts, fresh produce, baked goods and even caviar. Hungry? Grab lunch at their cafe which serves Italian and Spanish cuisine.

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