Monday, February 28, 2011

Super 99 Chinese Supermarket

There's a running list on our fridge for the goodies we'd like to purchase when we make visits back to the states. Comfort foods like Combos, but it's mostly a list of Asian food stuffs like dried mushrooms and sauces. There's a lot I can get here but, whew, if you saw the prices, you'd be hauling things back, too.

Customs and I have had many encounters (especially over my insistence to bring in dried shrimp because, really, they do taste different from the dried shrimp you find here), but I find the hassle worthwhile compared with the mind-blowing cost of buying them here (bag of dried shrimp in the US: $1.89; same bag in Mexico: $120 pesos, or $10 USD).

Something caught my eye the other day when I was down south near Coyoacán. As a friend and I zoomed by in the car, I saw some Chinese writing and what looked suspiciously like the symbol of the mega Chinese supermarket chain in California called Ranch 99. Except it wasn't Ranch 99; it was Super 99. Could it be?!?

On Saturday, we saw it with our own eyes. Super 99 IS Ranch 99, and there were things in there I'd never laid eyes on before in Mexico. I saw dried lotus flowers, spiced tofus, pickled turnips, and the usual suspects like soy sauce, tofu, and seaweed. As you might expect, the prices were eye-piercing, but now there's no complaining about being unable to find this or that rare Chinese ingredient in DF.

A chaotic exterior is a must

At least until they close their doors. I mean, how many people in DF are looking for pickled turnips? And, from the look of their "fresh" vegetables, I can't say many people are flocking to Super 99. But I'll support them because I support a good effort. And I find the funky smell of Asian grocery stores oddly comforting.

Address: Miguel Angel de Quevedo 310, Colonia Santa Catarina (one block south of Coyoacán's beautiful Calle Francisco Sosa)


  1. I'm jealous. We do the same... except I can't live without Thai food and I pack as many curries as I can in my luggage on the way home. That, and Coffemate Hazelnut creamers. (4-5 bucks at Target, 130+ pesos here in GDL)

    weakness. :)

  2. p.s. you wouldn't happen to know if there were other Super 99s here in MX?


  3. hmm..don't know about other surcursales, BUT i read from another blogger that GDL's central de abastos has an asian grocer:

    and thai, my weakness, too. that's what i want the pickled turnip for, to make pad thai. last week i tried making basil chicken, but the tasteless mexican basil just didn't cut it. the next time you come to DF, check out super 99. they had lots of curry pastes.

  4. Wow Alice this looks great. We just saw a chinese market the other day in a part of the city we hadnt been in before. Im afraid I wont ever be able to find it agian though.

  5. more Chinese markets in GDL??? celosa...

  6. Whenever I discover a new Asian grocery, the first thing I look for are Hokkien noodles--at least that's what they were called in Australia where I came to love them. They're slightly thinner than udon, but made with egg and are yellow. In Oz, they're sold wet. ( has lots of mouth-watering photos.)

    So far no luck. One person said "oh, why not try the Barrio Chino." I wanted to reply that that was one of the stupidest things I've ever heard in a life full of hearing stupid things, but held my tongue. I wonder how hard they are to make.

  7. I did actually see some "fresh" noodles in the freezer section of Super 99, but I can't remember if they were the hokkien type or the white, hand-pulled ones. Anyway, check them out if you're around there. You'll be surprised what you can find now.

    There are actually small enclaves of Chinese stores/restaurants around town. Perhaps what that person was referring to was Calle Dolores in the Centro -- that's the original Barrio Chino.

  8. There weren't any hokkien noodles when I went there. I asked. On the other hand, that was a few months ago, and I think they'd just opened. So maybe they're better stocked now. I'll have another look.

    As to the barrio chino, she did indeed mean the block on Calle Dolores. But, unless the place has really changed recently, nobody who knows anything goes there to shop or to eat, since there are much better alternatives for both.

  9. Wow! Great news. Adding this to my list of places to visit. I could go for some pickled turnips.

  10. "And I find the funky smell of Asian grocery stores oddly comforting."

    -Ha! That's so funny and true! I thought I was the only's a love hate relationship.