If you’re packing a picnic or loading up your vacation condo’s fridge and need to get Colombian soda or instant curry mixes or Japanese snack foods or a 50lb bag of rice, then you need to make a beeline for Sanwa Farmer’s Market (2621 E. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa, 813/234-8428, 4:30am-7pm Mon.-Sat., 8am-5pm Sun.).
[Sanwa’s] is a great resource for unique road snacks and reasonably priced fresh food.The market is divided into two sections: the front contains a stunning variety of non-perishables from Asia and Latin America, while the back is a massive area dedicated to fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, meats, and seafood.
While the market’s main purpose is supplying local restaurants with the hard-to-find ingredients they may have trouble sourcing, it’s a great resource for unique road snacks and reasonably priced fresh food. Located in an industrial zone across from the Fun-Lan Drive-In and Flea Market, it’s not really close to many of Tampa’s sights (although it is near the hip Seminole Heights neighborhood). However, Hillsborough Avenue is an easily accessible main drag and the market is close to I-275, making it a semi-convenient detour between the airport and downtown.
Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Florida Road Trip.