More and more of us are cooking at home these days. To help you on your culinary explorations, we’ve rounded up the best specialty online grocery stores where you can fill your pantries with hard-to-find spices, sauces, and even comforting snacks from cultures all around the world.

If you’ve been finding yourself getting tired of the same-old dinner routine (how many days a week can one really enjoy instant ramen?), you might be on the prowl for punchier flavours.

From fire-in-your-belly Mexican chiles to rich and comforting British biscuits, here are 11 specialty online grocery stores that offer delivery services all over Hong Kong. ‘Travel’ from home with the best produce and specialty ingredients of the Middle East, Europe, Asia and South Africa. 

Korea: New World Mart

Korean grocery store
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If Tsim Sha Tsui’s unofficial K-Town is too much of a trek these days, New World Mart offers Korean banchan, bulgogi, spicy beef noodles and more on its online delivery platform. Grab some fresh kimchi, marinated beef short ribs and a couple cartons of banana milk for a delicious and easy-to-make Korean meal at home. 

Look out for: Korean marinated meats and banchan (namely, fresh kimchi).

Delivers to: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New Territories, Tung Chung, Discovery Bay (excluding outlying islands).

Delivery fee: Free for purchases over HK$500, or HK$95 delivery charge if under $500.

Japan: Tasting Table

Japanese grocery store
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Admittedly, Hong Kong supermarkets are pretty impressive when it comes to Japanese ingredients (thank you, CitySuper) but if you’re looking for another option, check out the recently launched Tasting Table.  The site offers homely Japanese fare like ready-to-eat Keema curry or deboned miso mackerel, as well as pickled sides like kishu umeboshi or Japanese plums. 

Look out for: Dashi, rice toppings and ready meals.

Delivers to: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New Territories, and remote islands.

Delivery fee: Free for purchases above HK$700. If under HK$700, shipping charges are dependent on room-temperature or frozen deliveries, as well as order amount. 

Alternatively, you can incorporate special Japanese ingredients into your own cooking — try freezer-sealed hijiki seaweed, which works well on tofu or rice. 

India: Spice Store

Indian grocery store
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All you need for great Indian cuisine are the right mix of spices, which the Spice Store offers in abundance. From single spice boxes of cumin, coriander powder or Kashmiri chili, to spice mixes for a special Bombay biryani or daal masala, your pantry has the potential to be stocked for sublime flavour sensations. Typically hard-to-find Indian ingredients like paneer, or Indian cottage cheese, and paratha, the deliciously flakey deep-fried flatbread, are also available to order here.

Look out for: Indian spices, frozen paneer and paratha.

Delivers to: Most areas of Hong Kong.

Delivery fee: HK$50 delivery fee, or free delivery with purchase above HK$400 (not including tunnel charges). 

Turkey: Let Pacific

Turkish grocery store
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Let Pacific has been importing directly from Turkey since the 90s, which means unparalleled access to some of the most authentic Turkish ingredients in the city. Although the site can be a little tedious to navigate, Let Pacific really does have everything you’ll need for a fabulous Middle Eastern mezze. 

Look out for: Turkish coffee, tahini and sumac.

Delivers to: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New Territories.

Delivery fee: Free for purchase over HK$1,000 to any address on Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and New Territories. Under HK$1,000, delivery charges apply. 

South Africa: The South African Shop

South African grocery store

The South African Shop is a specialty online grocery store that offers South Africa’s prized national snack, biltong, in multiple variations, as well as boerewors, a spiced beef sausage, for an authentic braai (South African barbecue). For a spicy kick, add a jar of mango atchar, the country’s pickled condiment, to your cart.

Also, perhaps a welcome reminder: Nando’s, the Portuguese chicken chain, actually originated in South Africa, so you’ll be able to pick up a cheeky Nando’s sauce on the site if your local supermarket isn’t stocked. 

Look out for: Biltong, boerewors, atchar, and Nando’s Peri Peri sauce.

Delivers to: Most areas of Hong Kong through SF Express.

Delivery fee: HK$50 delivery fee, or free delivery with purchase over HK$600.

The UK: British Essentials

British grocery store
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The bounty of Britannia’s chocolate selection is not to be underestimated. From McVities Hobnobs and shortbread biscuits to chocolate milk buttons and Cadbury Flake bars, tea time would be incomplete without the British invasion — in the form of specialty online grocery store British Essentials, that is. Wash the sweet treats down with a cuppa’ PG Tips or a glass of fruit and barley squash. 

British Essentials also has a special section for Morrison’s Own products, which includes canned goods, chutneys and spice mixes. All we need is a Waitrose Essentials category and Bob’s your uncle.

Look out for: British chocolates, snacks and PG Tips. 

Delivers to: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New Territories and select outlying islands.

Delivery fee: HK$50, or free delivery with purchase over HK$500.

France: My Market 

French grocery store
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The meat selection on MyMarket competes with some of the best butchers in Hong Kong in its variety, with hard-to-find cuts and organs like oxtail, kidneys, bone marrow, beef tongue and veal ossobuco. The online grocer also has a wide selection of cheeses, hams and tapenades that’ll tide you over until your next trip to the South of France. 

Look out for: Foie gras, French cuts of fresh meet, charcuterie, cheese and tapenades.

Delivers to: Most areas of Hong Kong, including outlying islands.

Delivery fee: HK$50 delivery fee, or free delivery with purchases above HK$500. Special deliveries for outlying islands will be charged an additional HK$50.

Italy: Tipico Italian

Italian grocery store
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Home cooks in Hong Kong are blessed to have a site like Tipico. If you don’t know about the online Italian grocer, now’s the time. Get yourself some guanciale for a delicious carbonara, top your pasta and pizzas with a block of parmesan aged for 24 months, or enjoy handmade pasta with just a crack of premium olive oil and pepper. Fresh ingredients are imported from Italy twice a week and, if you don’t fancy doing the legwork, there are also four freshly made signature sauces with no preservatives added, by their own Chef Zeno Bevilacqua. 

Look out for: Freshly-made pasta and sauces, hams and cheeses.

Delivers to: All over Hong Kong.

Delivery fee: Free over HK$400.

Sweden: Sverige Shoppen

Swedish grocery store
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Your only taste of Nordic cuisine might be like most of Hong Kong’s: through IKEA’s Swedish meatballs. While delicious, there is much more to Scandanavian food culture, as evidenced by Sverige Shoppen‘s offerings. Their bestsellers include Bregott butter, to be spread on sandwiches, and Kalles Kaviar, a paste made of salted cod roe, sugar, canola oil and spices. A jar of Swedish pickled herring, or Sill, can be mixed in with boiled potatoes, bread or on its own. 

If these flavours seem a touch too experimental, Sverige Shoppen shares that many Hong Kongers seem to love the creamy vanilla yoghurt by the Finnish Valio brand, and the popular Nordic chips, Cheez Doodles. 

Look out for: Bregott butter, Kalles Kaviar and Sill Skargard. 

Delivers to: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New Territories and Discovery Bay.

Delivery fee: Next-day delivery for HK$55.

Mexico: Chinelos

Mexican grocery store
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Blue corn tortillas, dried ancho peppers, achiote powder and more are available on specialty online grocery store Chinelos. Get your pantry set up for tacos al pastor, cochinita pibil, enchiladas or incredible dry rubs and marinades for meats or seafood. An added bonus? Mexican cuisine is great for gluten-free diets.

Look out for: Mexican spices, chilis and corn tortillas.

Delivers to: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New Territories, Lantau and Outlying Islands.

Delivery fee: Additional delivery charges for outer island deliveries or urgent orders.

The USA: Gateway Supermarket

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Perhaps the best port-of-call for the sweet tooth’s breakfast, Gateway offers American snacks, often family-sized, like Pop-tarts, Rice Krispies treats and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. Consider washing down your sugar high with a cup of Folger’s coffee (because the best part of waking up is Folger’s in your cup!).

Look out for: American breakfast staples and household items.

Delivers to: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New Territories, Discovery Bay and Tung Chung.

Delivery fee: HK$150 delivery fee or purchase HK$850 minimum for free delivery to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon; HK$1,200 minimum for free delivery to New Territories; or HK$2,000 minimum for free delivery to Discovery Bay and Tung Chung.

Note: Gateway doesn’t do online orders, but customers are welcome to call or email the team to order for deliveries. 

Irene Pyne

Contributing writer