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Li Ming’s Global Market

Posted by DID 23 Feb 2011 34 Comments

I had a chance to check out the newly opened giant (49,000 sq ft. per the Herald Sun) Li Ming’s Global Market today at lunch. Housed in the old Circuit City just off 15-501, Li Ming’s is even larger than the Grand Asia Market in Cary.

The grocery portion of the store is a nice mix of Asian specialties and the everyday items you’d expect to see in a big-box grocery. There are shelves of American cheese slices next to dumpling wrappers, Captain Crunch and specialty miso. There is also a large fish market in the back similar to but not yet rivaling Grand Asia Market with tanks of fish and iced selections.

The cafeteria offers around 10 different dish options, you get three items and rice for an affordable $5.49. I spotted chicken feet, a tofu dish, cabbage, pork, broccoli among the offerings. The cafeteria is cash only, which I didn’t have, so I’ll have to stop in another day to sample the hot bar.

I got the sense this spot is still very much a work in progress. Workers were filling the shelves as I was walking through, there was a sign for a bakery that’s coming soon and Li Ming’s original press release said there would be sushi, which I didn’t see.

Li Ming’s is an exciting addition to Durham and we’re sure it will continue to get better when it has been open a few weeks. It’s definitely worth checking out.

I bought some udon noodles, housemade pork buns, miso, and some mochi for $10.

Li Ming’s Global Market

Monday-Sunday 9am-9pm

3400 Westgate Dr, Durham, NC 27707


  • Christina said:

    This place is actually called Li Ming, not La Ming


  • Joanna said:

    I dropped in here last Thursday on the first day they were opened. One of the workers said that it was a “soft opening” and that it will be “officially” open in a couple of months. She said they have a lot still to put in. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens here!


  • Sant said:

    Li Ming is a lot bigger than 6,000 sq. ft.– heck, my house is 4,000 sq. ft. I think it was Herald-Sun that said it was 40,000 sq. ft. Like the selection that they have so far and it will only get better. I think it’s a misnomer to call it a global mart, however; oriental mart would have been more appropriate. There are no Indo/Pak/Middle Eastern offerings– I wish they had that instead of the regular western food stuff. In other words, I wish it was like Super G in Charlotte/Greensboro. There is a small Hispanic section on the far end though. I had lunch at the cafeteria and the Chinese food was really greasy. Hard to overlook even with the low price. Hopefully the sushi, Japanese, and Thai options that will be going into the cafeteria in the coming weeks will be healthier.


    DID replies on February 24th, 2011 at 1:37 pm:

    good call -updated with the Herald Sun’s data.


    Starman replies on September 6th, 2011 at 2:55 pm:

    If you don’t like greasy food, maybe you just don’t like authentic Chinese food?


  • Nicole said:

    Do they have roasted duck or roast (cha siu) pork anyone? Thanks!


    Sant replies on February 24th, 2011 at 11:52 pm:

    Yes, they have both as well as spare ribs.


  • burgeoningfoodie said:

    Welcome addition to the area (Durham and Chapel Hill). It is a work in progress, but hopefully will remain great once it gets to that level. Given its size though it feels a little soulless when compared next to Grand Asia in Cary. Looking forward to it firing on all cylinders and hopefully getting a steaming table at the cafe.


  • Christina @ ilovefetacheese.com said:

    This is very exciting! I’ve been waiting for this place to open…thanks for the review!!


  • Donny said:

    I ventured in today and got enough ingredients to make a wonderful Pad Thai (and future batches as well) under 10 bucks. Great new addition.


  • Brian said:

    Cool store, worth checking out. Had lunch, the food was very average and very greasy.


  • shane b. said:

    great seafood section fresh and frozen….where else can you get octopus or cuddle fish??
    Live lobster crab and sea bass?? Way to go Li Ming!! keep it up!!

    needs imported tobacco/cigarettes


  • Grep said:

    Do they have the ingredients to make PHO soup?


  • State Farmer’s Market and Restaurant « The Dilettantista said:

    [...] Asia Market in Cary, where we looked but didn’t buy.  It wasn’t as big as the new Li Meng’s Global Market in Durham, and I am no judge on Asian markets but I think they’re comparable, although Li [...]

  • DianaL said:

    I visit family in Durham several times a year. I was last here in January. This visit I was pleasantly surprised to find Li Ming’s Global Mart. I am a Chinese food junkie! The only thing comparable anywhere close to me in Florida is in Tampa. I tested the roast pork buns and shao mai from the huge steamer baskets and they were both very tasty. Looking forward to going shopping with a big cart next time!!!


  • Terry said:

    Sadly, Li Ming’s is essentially the big box store of the Chinese food stuffs world. One of the things we enjoy about shopping for ingredients for Asian cooking is the sights and smells of a culturally Asian shop. Unfortunately, we are losing the last one in Durham, Asia Market on 15-501 Business (Durham Chapel Hill Blvd) right next door to Guglhupf and Fosters. We live right around the corner so are also close to Li Ming’s… hands down, we continue to shop at Asia Market because it’s so much more interesting than Li Ming’s. We learned yesterday when my husband went there to pick up sesame seeds ($1.49 for an 8oz package)that they are closing! Sad because the reason seems to be the reason. They just can’t compete. It’s the classic closing of the local Mom and Pop store due to the opening of a Wal-mart. Price isn’t everything… we’ll really miss Asia Market!


    judas_escargot replies on August 14th, 2011 at 3:57 pm:

    Are you seriously comparing Li Ming’s to Wal-Mart? And what about it is not “culturally Asian”? Just curious.


    Sant replies on August 15th, 2011 at 11:12 am:

    I think that’s an unfair comparison as well. I shopped and appreciated Asia Market for a long time and I don’t think Li Ming’s prices are that much better anyway. Where Li Ming excels is selection. I love the new produce, veggies, and fresh seafood they have brought to Durham. Their selection of fresh noodles blows away the measly few offerings Asia Market had. Besides, how can a place carrying durian and “pork bung” not be culturally Asian?


    Starman replies on September 6th, 2011 at 2:56 pm:

    Honestly, what are you talking about? What do you mean it’s not ‘culturally asian’ enough?


    liwenc replies on January 17th, 2012 at 3:38 pm:

    If it makes you feel any better, Li Ming’s is not a Wal-mart or big box at all. Like all other area Asian markets, it’s also owned and operated by a local family. They also own AC Supermarket in Raleigh, as well as Ginza Restaurant in Cary. One of the owners was one of my mother’s students in English as a Second Language during high school. The family has worked really hard to start and maintain their businesses here, starting with nothing, so it’s another great story of someone coming here and living the American Dream.


  • bert said:

    I found the Lunch offerings to be affordable, but pretty mediocre overall. I tried the bbq pork hot buns, and they were ok, not amazing.
    I was impressed by the rest of the store overall, but I never went to Grand Asian Market to compare.


  • Jim C said:

    Asia market closing? YIPEEEEE

    That is great news

    Those idiots had a heart attack when the overflow of Guglhupf parking
    entered their space. They had plenty of room for their two or three customers and the overflow but what did they do? Build a fence and tow cas.

    Boy I am glad they failed karma ran over their dogma


    MRS replies on October 25th, 2011 at 8:33 pm:

    Apologies if this comes off crude but I find it a touch lame to actively cheer for the demise of any tiny business in 2011 be it a proximate specialty ethnic food retailer or Priscilla McCall’s; especially more so if it’s because the proprietors refused to negotiate a spillover of Lexus SUVs onto their property.

    Asia Market had an insane selection of O’Tasty and We-Chuan frozen dumplings, now I have to plan a trip to Cary.


    Sant replies on October 26th, 2011 at 1:50 am:

    No you don’t, Li Ming’s has an excellent selection of both of those brands. I bought some earlier this week, in fact.


    Jim C replies on October 26th, 2011 at 9:08 am:

    hey I think you are equally lame to defend them

    piss off


    Sant replies on October 26th, 2011 at 1:16 pm:

    You’re being an ass. They had no obligation to Guglhupf whatsoever. How’d you like it if people came and parked in your property? If Guglhupf needs the extra parking space then they should have pony up some money for the extra parking space.

    JohnBlink replies on October 27th, 2011 at 2:34 pm:

    You know, there are a lot of things I really appreciate about the foodism movement (for lack of a better all encompassing term), not the least of which are an emphasis on local farms, restaurants, and businesses. With the good comes the bad, and there do seem to be an awful lot of children of privilege on sites like Carpe Durham (and chowhound, etc).

    I hate to see just about any small family business go kaput, especially one that succeeded for years and had a helpful staff and a good selection. Sorry if you got your car towed, Jim, but how awfully petty and small of you.

    Jim C replies on November 1st, 2011 at 3:50 pm:

    They were the petty ones a few cars in their lot …Oh my

    Some of those people might have in even dropped in their store if they let them park there

    Bad neighbors

    Yes I am GLAD they are gone BAH

  • Chris K said:

    There is another option! The Oriental Supermarket has been in Durham for more than 20 years. Currently located next to the Tire King and Karate International, on the service road across from 15-501 Target.


    Sant replies on November 2nd, 2011 at 9:53 am:

    True, but with the caveat that they are very Korean-centric, which is a good thing because Li Ming’s Korean offerings are limited.


  • Johnforamerica said:

    Just picked up the three item w/rice combo. Price is $5.99 now (also got six fried dumplings for $2.99). I’ll append once I’ve had a chance to try the food.


    gargamel replies on March 18th, 2012 at 5:49 pm:

    He never appended. Maybe he died…


  • Ed B said:

    I have been going to Le Ming’s since it opened. I love the food and inexpensive grocery. Unfortunately, the grocery has gone downhill since it opened:
    1. The place is dirty.
    2. The floors are disgusting.
    3. The tables are ALWAYS dirty. They do not seem to use any soap/disinfectant to clean the tables.
    4. The garbage cans are dirty. Dishes are piled high on top of it.
    5. The smell of the store is horrendous, especially the “fresh seafood” area.

    Please ask the owners to maintain a clean store. Get a used floor sweeper and have somebody clean up the place.

    It’s so disgusting now that my wife has refused to visit the store. Too bad. I wished they have a website so that I can give this feedback.


  • Wang katie said:

    I wonder you have hot pot for sell . Thanks


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