For decades, Reliable Market has been Union Square’s go-to for Korean and Japanese groceries and other products: countless frozen dumplings, every type of noodle imaginable, sauces of all kinds, candies, and lots more, not to mention some general groceries, produce, meats, and eggs.
Haven’t been in a while? Time to return. There have been a couple improvements in recent months. The beer selection, for example, has quietly ramped up; plenty of New England favorites are available, including Jack’s Abby, Lord Hobo, Down the Road, and Maine Beer Company. (There’s a lot of sake as well.) The store now hosts frequent beer tasting events; keep an eye on the Facebook page for details.
The newest addition at Reliable Market comes just in time for the bitter remains of winter 2017 — a menu of hot, filling entrees for dining in or takeout. (Staying? Order at the counter in the third room, sit in the second room, and pay at the registers in the first room.) Try the spicy pork bulgogi ($14), for example, and grab a seat at one of three tiny tables nestled between the beer coolers and shelves full of plates, bowls, and tupperware. It comes with white rice and banchan (small Korean side dishes, such as kimchi). Also on the menu: bibimbap, sundubu jigae (a spicy soft tofu stew), kimchi bokkeumbap (fried rice), Korean ramen, and more. Note: Booze can’t be consumed on the premises, so get takeout if you’re looking to pair a beer with your ganpoongki.
Reliable Market’s hot menu items are currently served from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
For other Korean dining options nearby, try Buk Kyung, located right across Union Square, or head into East Cambridge to Kimchi Kitchen.