5 Downtown best kept secrets that foodies want to keep hidden


In another post we talked of popular haunts for the foodies in Downtown Woodbridge. This time we shine some light on the best kept gastronomic secrets on Main Street, Woodbridge. Some of these are almost invisible. You may not realize that you are starting at a store that sells food even when you are staring at it. There are others that hide in plain sight. Despite the prominent signs that announce their presence. In general, these are like the man in a gorilla suit wandering about in a basketball court. The crowd does not see him because they are totally focused on the game.

Chinese Takeout

Let us begin with Asian food. If you are thinking Chinese, there is a high possibility that you are thinking “take out.” If so, Cheng’s Kitchen is the place for you. This tiny, dingy, and almost invisible store is the hidden gem of Downtown Woodbridge. You have to be a local to know that it exists. Inside the store you will find that it is not a restaurant but a simple family business. The husband and wife team serve big portions of good quality food at and cheap prices!

The other Chinese spot on the street is the Red Dumpling Noodle Shop. It has more prominent signage and is on a section that is well lit up. But it is also a family run mom and pop store, so ambiance is not their strength. People like their fried fantail shrimp, red bean or lotus buns, and their homemade iced tea. So fresh and delicious and delivery is always on time.

Home-style Mexican Restaurant

Let us now talk about a place where you can sit down and have a meal. Actually, you may bring in your six pack and find a seat even when they are busy. You would go to Jose Tejas (not on Main Street) for a fun night out and when the food is incidental. But this article is for the foodies.

When you want authentic home style Mexican food, El Ranchito on Main Street is where you need to be. That is, if you don’t mind ordering out of a Spanish menu. Some get round this issue by taking their time to order on a smartphone. That way, you get to spend a bit more time understanding the menu. But as I said, the food is authentic. Do not go there if you are Tex-Mex fan. The location is not hot. Go behind the building to find a parking spot – though you can park on Main St. And did I say, people generally love the food?

European Deli

Most foodies are familiar cold cuts from the friendly neighborhood Eastern European Deli. Often they do not remember whether they got the kielbasa, knockwurst, or the bratwurst. They just enjoy the Deli fare in general.

Woodbridge helps to you go beyond the Polish, German and Austrian offerings. It brings you genuine Hungarian deli! But as you know, ethnic cuisines that from neighboring countries similar dishes. So do not let this Hungarian focus stop you from going in there.

When you do, you will find different types of bacon like smoked with Paprika or cooked with garlic to name two. You will find delicacies like hurka and Hungarian Salami. The cheese here is authentic Hungarian. Their fresh baked goods include bread and pastries. Actually, I am surprised that you are still not out of the door and on your way to the European Deli.

Delicious sandwiches

But if you are still here on this page let me tell you about a sandwich shop in town. No you did not miss the grand opening of a Subway somewhere in the Downtown. I am referring to Amici’s Gourmet Sandwich Shop on 96 Main Street. The shop needs to have a red and yellow blinking warning sign that says “Prepare to be Confused.” I cannot say that the number of sandwiches that are available on the menu are infinite. That is because there are only about over 90 sandwiches to choose from. If you read the reviews you will see that is not what people rave out.

They are ecstatic about the bread that you get. Customers describe the size of the sandwich as “huge”. After the onslaught of the sandwiches other items seem like a list of “also ran.” Yet, I must tell you that we know folks who go in there only for their Arugula Salad. If you believe in social media reviews then the cannoli are to for. Here is how one of the reviews go. “The handmade sweet cream is evident and the crunch from the freshly made shells will resonate throughout.”

So there you have it. We have spoken of Cheng’s Kitchen, Red Dumpling Noodle Shop, El Ranchito Mexican Restaurant, European Deli, and Amici’s Gourmet Sandwich Shop. We have reviewed the most known spots and the least noticed ones. But we have not dealt with them all. Hope to see you when we soon go through some stores on our list.