There are two food related things that make me an incredibly happy lady: 1) farmers markets 2) international food markets. Surprisingly, even though DC is quite the international hub, it is lacking international markets in the city itself. Of course there is a big chain of Korean/ Asian super markets outside of the city in Maryland and Virginia (H Mart) but that requires a car- I car that I don’t currently possess.
Through my search of Asian markets closer to where I live, I found Hana Japanese Market and read some pretty great yelp reviews (they don’t have a website). Finally I took a field trip to check out this hidden gem. Hana Market is tucked in on the first floor of a row house on the corner of 17th and U street in DC. From the outside it looks pretty skeptical and underwhelming but do not let the outside fool you!
Inside, the tiny space is jam packed (and I mean floor to ceiling) with all the Japanese treats you could possibly imagine. They have everything from an assortment of ramens and rice to homemade sushi and onigiri (or stuffed rice balls) to sashimi fish to make into whatever you want to rice seasonings and frozen dumplings. There is even a little nook with cooking utensils and kitchen supplies.
While I probably could have spent hours in there, the space is so small that it doesn’t really allow the leisure stroll through the store. The isles are set up so that you do a loop around the store and basically end up at the cash register. Surprisingly the prices are really reasonable (I think I only spend around $30 for all the goodies below). Overall it is such a great spot and I highly recommend checking it out while in the District!