For those who have gone through life without a nearby H Mart, navigating the 42,000-square-foot San Francisco location may seem daunting when casually wandering the hallways. Here are some suggestions of what to look for on your first trip to this Korean grocery chain.

Your first stops at H Mart should include the food hall, where ready-made meals are sold at five stalls. In particular there is another place of Daeho Kalbijjim and beef soup Here to check out, and fried chicken lovers will want to try Left wing rodKorean fried chicken is served here with some customization options such as: B. a sweet and spicy sticky sauce or a spicy garlic sauce. Yes pan and From SFC will also be available for casual, fried options and the South Korea-based bakery chain Paris baguette is expected to take a stand shortly.

FILE – Check out the snacks at H Mart and sample a wide variety of sweet and savory items like these different cookies that you can find at H Mart in Aurora, Colorado.

Craig F. Walker / Denver Post via Getty Images

Snacks

The “H” in H Mart stands for han ah reum, which means (loosely) “an arm full of groceries” – and you could apply that to your snack aisles. If all kinds of snacks are your thing, H Mart is the place for you. The San Francisco Chronicle critic Soleil Ho called the grocery store “Snacks Paradise” in a recent article. (SFGATE and the San Francisco Chronicle are both owned by Hearst, but operate independently.) Her favorites included Gilim’s honey butter almonds, seaweed tempura, and pepero sticks, which Ho called “the Korean answer to pocky.”

There is also a wide variety of flavored chips, from squid-flavored chips to chocolate-churro-flavored “turtle chips”, which have been described as having a “puffy texture, similar to a bugle.” Meanwhile, try some of the seaweed snacks. Just buy as many snacks as your arms hold – that’s what I intend to do.

Pasta

If you have a deep love for instant ramen, H Mart has a wide variety to choose from. Shin Ramyun is, of course, the one most people reach for, but there is a lot to discover. Indo Mies Mi Goreng fried noodles are a favorite of mine, but there are also Paldo Jjajangmen noodles and Samyang Foods hot chicken ramen, which Ho also recommended.

Meat, frozen food

Of course, every grocery store has a meat and frozen food section, but there are some unique items to look out for. In addition to the usual cuts of meat, check out the marinated options like the short ribs bulgogi and veal. If you’re the type of guy who makes your own bone broth, you can find beef bones in the freezer section. And speaking of things to check in the freezer, don’t sleep on the frozen dumplings or, frankly, on the ice. (You should always check out every grocery store for ice cream and frozen dessert, but I digress.)

Banchan, kimchi

If you’ve only ever made kimchi from napa cabbage, now is the time to expand beyond that. I’m not going to go into all of the options – I just know there’s a lot of variety – but while you’re at it, take a look at the Banchan section. There is a selection of vegetables, pickles, seaweed salads, tofu, fish and other side dishes to peruse and pick up.

Beauty products, housewares

OK, I know I basically took you around the entire store, but listen to me: you will want to dive into the beauty and homewares areas. If you were new to the global phenomenon of Korean beauty products, this is one thing. The face masks are always easy to use and try, but there are plenty of shampoos, toners, and cleansers to look at. I also have a thing for a good homeware section, and there is plenty here to add to your kitchen. I’m in love with the aluminum pots and soup cups (perfect for any pasta you want to buy), but there are also some great items like rice cookers or flat electric grills that you can use to cook all the food you have. I bring home.

H Mart, located at 3995 Alemany Blvd. in San Francisco, opens Wednesday, April 21st. The opening times are Monday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.