|Address:||2982 Gallows Rd, Falls Church, VA 22042, USA|
|Working:||8AM–11PM 8AM–11PM 8AM–11PM 8AM–11PM 8AM–11PM 8AM–11PM 8AM–11PM|
As a frequent Asian market shopper, Great Wall delivers consistently low prices and good Asian foods selection. Out of all the Asian markets in the area, Hmart and Great Wall are the only two who offer a great selection of Asian ingredients and cuisine. Many of the others in the area (Grand Mart for example) offer a lot of Hispanic ingredients in comparison. Great Wall has good prices though they are not always the cheapest. I shop at both Hmart down the street and Great Wall, which lets me compare prices frequently. GW beats Hmart on some items but not on others. Since this place opened, I can tell it has taken a lot of customers away from the Hmart down the street. It is generally more crowded on the weekends after noon, so if you want easy shopping, always go early in the morning. Let me comment on each department below: Produce - Very wide selection, lots of stock, good to cheap prices, fresh. Everything from your basic fruits and veggies to more exotic ones like whole jackfruit. Seafood - a huge seafood area that extends about a third of the back wall. They offer fresh fish, shellfish, etc. and occasionally bring in some special ingredients that you dont usually find anywhere else. These things include geoduck, live crawfish, and live scallops in the shell. Selection varies as only fresh ingredients are offered, but the more common fish are usually always available. I would not recommend buying any of the live fish though, as they dont look very healthy and their tanks dont seem very clean. Meats - GW offers a butchers area where you can get various cuts of meat butchered just the way you like it (for the most part). They also offer the standard pre-packed meats. Their selection is very focused on cuts and ingredients used in Chinese/Asian cooking. While they do offer some steaks, you dont come here looking for that. But you will find whole ducks, tendons, gizzards, feet and more here. Pantry - GW has a great selection of Asian pantry items and a smaller selection of Hispanic items. Prices are good and with a sale, can be really great. Selection is somewhat consistent, but they do take items off the shelves here and there. Cafeteria - GW also offers a cafeteria/bakery at the far end of the store. They offer a great deal for a lunch combo, kind of like Panda Express but with authentic Chinese foods. They also offer Chinese sweet and savory breads and pastries and some select dim sum items. This USED to be my favorite place to get dim sum in the area, but last year they changed their chef or their recipes and the dimsum is terrible. Overall, GW gets 3 stars from me because I think it could be better maintained. The employees are studious but could be friendlier at times. Selection could be improved and sales could be better advertised. Their websites weekly ad has been broken for 2 years now. Lastly, they lost a star simply because they changed the dim sum and now I once again do not have a go to spot for shumai.
Great Wall holds a special, nostalgic place in my heart. I grew up in the Fairfax area and my parents and I have been frequenting Great Wall for forever. Its not like the Whole Foods of Asian groceries in terms of cleanliness and urbanity, but they have tons of produce and Chinese/Asian goodies. Lots of veggies especially the rarer, harder-to-find Asian ones. I dont usually purchase fruits here since there isnt as much of a selection (mostly just Fuji apples, Asian pears, peaches, grapes, bananas) but you can find unique fruits like dragonfruit here. Theres a seafood section in the back that has a variety of fish, lobster, crabs, shrimp, oysters, etc. Theres even live turtles and frogs! They will clean and prepare your fish for you at the store. Next to the seafood section is the meat section where you can request certain meat products by the pound. According to some reviewers, theyve gotten sick off the meats but I havent so far. Just use your best judgment. Then, there are just aisles and aisles of various Asian goodies like tofu, frozen dumplings, spices, sauces, tea, herbs, both Asian and American snacks and drinks (THEY CARRY GREEN TEA KIT KATS AND POCKY), cooking supplies, and household items like shampoo and laundry detergent. If youre looking for specific Asian products (especially Chinese), Great Wall is your best bet. They also do seasonal/holiday goodies like moon cakes for Mid-Autumn Festival. Meandering down the aisles, youll find yourself engulfed in nostalgia as you spot various Asian snacks from your youth. Great Wall is where I get my hot pot stuff. From veggies to sliced meats to fish balls, egg dumplings, and more, Great Wall has got me covered. Theyve got a large variety of fish balls in their frozen aisle which you can either buy packaged or by the pound. You can also get the actual stainless steel hot pot, gas powered portable stove, and butane gas here too. A one-stop shop for all your hot pot goodies! And for all your Asian beauty junkies, Great Wall has a wall dedicated to your Asian skincare products. From Hada Labo to Shiseido, they have cleansers, toners, moisturizers, face masks, and lots more. I even saw that they currently carry the SNP Animal Masks! In the very back, theres a small food court. They have both dim sum and hot food thats dirt cheap. Theres also various bread buns (hello, pineapple and custard!) too. This is a great spot to get hot lunch or even an early dinner. I also love that they prepare roasted duck and pork here; its fantastic!
There are a handful of things wrong with this location. As some of the other reviewers pointed out, Great Wall can get very busy. If you have never been to this location before and are used to the busy that is Wegmans or Costco on Saturday morning, it is not the same. The parking situation for this shopping center is bad. That seems to encourage more customers to pull up in front and wait in the fire lane to load their groceries. Every time I have been to this store, I have found myself in a near accident with an automobile. While the produce is cheaper than Safeway/Giant, it is very hit or miss. Some days it is as if all the produce being sold is from a pallet that fell off the back of the truck. They do make up for it by having live seafood at very reasonable prices. Fresh Shrimp is priced similarly with frozen shrimp at Safeway. Overall, I end up at H-Mart across Gallows road more often than Great Wall.
A Private User
I discovered this place from the recommendation of my barber. Hes a good barber by the way. This grocery store has a large variety of vegetables, meats, and seafood. Most food items are oriented towards the Chinese, but they do sell a variety of other cultures. I left with six bags of fresh vegetables and various things I was willing to try and spent a shy over $20. Dont worry about the language barrier. If you have fingers, can point, and have money then you will get by. I dont have a taste for Chinese food, but just like how the other folks commented; this grocery store is also an experience. Good luck getting the same from a farmers market or corporate grocery store. By the way, try not to look too disgusted when you see the turtles and eels.