From Lindsay: This guide to durian in Atlanta, Georgia, is brought to you by Jason Hughes, who has compiled a durian hit list for his city. In his ruthless pursuit of the King, he has discovered Malaysian durian and Fresh Thai durian and he gives you the where-what-and-when to satisfy your cravings. Take it away, Jason!
I am so happy to be able to share with you where I found Durian in Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta is one of the best cities to live. One can find almost anything in town and surrounding metropolitan areas. Atlanta offers great sports teams, music, food, arts community, and hundreds of different cultural experiences.
Some may not be aware of the fact that Atlanta has a very large Asian population and as such has numerous Asian markets that offer all types of tropical fruit. Most of these markets provide Durian in some form. The following is a guide that I use and ensures that I will always find a great supply of Durian. All of these markets are only a few miles from the city of Atlanta, so you could hit all of these locations in half a day if you want. Enjoy!
Malaysian Durian: Get it at Hoa Binh Supermarket
In regards to Durian, this is my favorite Asian market, mainly because I found out that they sell Malay Durian. Currently, they sell the variety D101. I purchase the Malay Durian on a weekly basis because it is so fresh and delicious.
Here’s a tip: the whole Malay durian is kind of pricey but you can save some money if you buy it packaged because Hoa Bin packages it themselves.
- Whole Frozen Malay Durian, D101 Variety for $8.89 per pound.
- Packaged Malay Durian, D101 Variety for $11.00 per pound.
- Whole Frozen from Thailand, No Brand for $3.49 per pound.
- Packaged Seedless Monthong, Slam Brand. 16oz. $8.89 each.
Hoa Binh Supermarket
Address: 4897 Buford Hwy NE, Chamblee, GA 30341
Phone: (770) 457-3383
Web site: http://bpang6.wix.com/hoabinhatl
Fresh Durian: Get it at Hong Kong Supermarket
My partner is from Malaysia and he has always raved about how good fresh Durian tastes. So you can imagine how excited I was when I came across this fresh Durian at Hong Kong Supermarket!
The Durian was overwhelming because I had no idea how to pick fresh Durian. Frozen is usually hit or miss and I wanted to make sure I was selecting good produce. I followed most of the tips that I read on Year of the Durian. I made sure it had a nice smell and when shaken I could hear the pods move around. As soon as we walked out of the market, I immediately wanted to rip into it and begin eating. My partner didn’t think this was the best idea and convinced me that we should open it at home. He is a bit more rational than I am.
The smell of the fresh Durian was somewhat different from the frozen Monthong that I was used to and would normally buy. The fresh Durian was just that…fresh! It smelled sweet, sour, onion-like and earthy. My partner cracked me up because he said it smelled like a leaf. Like I said…earthy.
The Durian was a little dense and the taste of this particular Durian was sweet with a little bitterness on the sides of my tongue. I could definitely taste the typical Monthong flavor but there were some subtle differences. I loved it! Fresh Durian is very expensive and isn’t something I can purchase all the time, however, I will treat myself often and look forward to when I get to try it again. Lindsay has some great tips on how to pick fresh Durian and I can’t wait until I can use those tips next time.
- Fresh Monthong Durian for $8.99 per pound.
Address 4175 Pleasant Hill Rd, Duluth, GA 30096
Phone (678) 728-0086
Cheapest Durian: Get it at City Farmer’s Market (Cho Sai Gon)
This Vietnamese market is great for the cheapest whole frozen Monthong durian. Unfortunately, they don’t sell any Vietnamese Durian but they do offer a few selections of packaged durian that some of the other markets do not.
- Whole Frozen from Thailand, No Brand for $1.99 per pound.
- Packaged Seedless Monthong, Madame Wong Brand. 16oz. $7.99 each.
- Packaged Seedless Monthong, Lotus Brand. 15 oz. $7.99 each.
- Packaged, With Seed Monthong, Asian Best Brand. 1LB. $6.69 each.
- Packaged Seedless Monthong, Asian Best Brand. 1LB. $9.59 each.
City Farmer’s Market
Address 5000 Buford Hwy NE, Chamblee, GA 30341
Phone (770) 936-8858
Dinho Supermarket Of Atlanta (Located in Atlanta Chinatown Mall)
I think this is one of the most adorable markets in the city. It’s located in the Atlanta Chinatown Mall. This mall has exciting Chinese stores with gifts, teas, herbs and restaurants. If anyone is looking for great dim sum, this is the area to visit.
The supermarket carries some whole frozen Monthong. They don’t carry a very large amount so I would suggest going during the week. It is usually gone by the weekend. However, in the summer months, it is the cheapest place to buy Durian. Score!
- Whole Frozen from Thailand, No Brand for $2.63 per pound.
Address: 5379 New Peachtree Rd, Atlanta, GA 30341
Tel: (770) 452-6907
There are five H-marts in Atlanta that all carry Durian but I must mention … buyer beware… they don’t always look very appealing.
The Durian usually appears to be defrosted and soggy early in the day. I have actually found some to smell like alcohol. I don’t normally purchase Durian here. For some reason, the Durian looks better in the summer months and as such, I will purchase Durian here from time to time.
- Whole Frozen from Thailand, No Brand for $2.70 per pound.
Address: 6035 Peachtree Rd, Doraville, GA 30360
Phone: (770) 986-2300
Decatur Farmers Market
This is a popular international market in Atlanta. They have a great selection of fruit but Durian isn’t something that is consistently sold. However, I have seen it here in the past. I would make a trip to this market for great fruit and vegetables and while there, just check to see if they have Durian stocked.
Address 3000 E Ponce de Leon Ave, Decatur, GA 30030
Phone (404) 377-6400
The most exciting durians n Atlanta are to be found at Hoa Binh Supermarket and Hong Kong Supermarket when they have fresh durian. The widest selection of frozen durian brands and the best prices are at City Farmer’s Market.
D’Treasure Map of Atlanta
Jason’s Durian Story
It was October of 2014, here in Atlanta at the Buford Highway Farmer’s Market. My first Durian had a pleasant sweet smell. It was nothing like the horror stories I had heard. My partner is very knowledgeable about Durian, so he opened it when we got home.
When he first cracked the Durian, the smell hit him and he turned his head quickly away from the Durian. I actually freaked out a little when I saw him flinch. He layed all of the durian pods on a plate and at that point, I had my first taste. The initial taste was that of a sweet vanilla onion. I enjoyed the taste very much, and as such, I finished the rest of the pod.
Initially, I did find the texture and taste very rich, so I was only able to finish two pods at that time. The other pods were put into the fridge and I finished them later. I loved how each pod tasted so different and this is probably why I wanted to keep on trying it. Eventually, it seemed to turn into an obsession.
Jason Hughes is a Social Services Professional from Georgia who has been working in the field of Human Services for over ten years. His areas of expertise include Adolescent Residential Care, HIV/AIDS Prevention, Spinal Cord/Brain Injury Rehabilitation and Military PTSD Residential Care. He enjoys watching movies with his partner, playing with his dog, and eating and writing about his favorite fruit, Durian.
Thanks for the tips Jason! Now I’ll know where to go should I ever visit Atlanta.
Want to help durian lovers in your community get the best durian available? Send me an email at durianyearATgmail.com.