International flavors in the middle of Vegas

Mmmmm. Foreign jams! How delightful!
Photo: Sarah Feldberg

The Details

International Marketplace
5000 S. Decatur Blvd., 889-2888.
Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

It’s been 10 minutes and I’m still in the first aisle at International Marketplace. My boyfriend’s giving me the hurry-up look he usually reserves for pre-night-out primp sessions, but there’s so much to see inside this nondescript cement building on Decatur at Tropicana. In the first aisle alone I spot Lebanese pomegranate molasses, quince jam and teas in flavors like anise and fennel. It’s deliciously overwhelming grocery shopping; no wonder I’m moving slowly.

Membership at International Marketplace ($10 per year) grants you access to a world of exotic and exciting flavors: Bulgarian cheeses, Thai baby squid and cookies from all over the world. There’s also fresh produce, olive oil from just about anywhere that grows olives and an odd selection of wall hangings with seals from departments of the U.S. government that don’t actually exist. Shopping there is one part scavenger hunt, one part cross-continent culinary lesson. It’s the perfect place to kill a Saturday afternoon—provided you don’t have a schedule to keep.

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