Best tofu in the Bay Area


…and freshest, and most authentically Japanese. Located in San Jose’s Japantown, the San Jose Tofu Company is a two-person shop with a woman at the register and a man making tofu in the kitchen behind. And it’s one of the only such shops in the Bay Area to trade in just tofu. They sell a few complimentary items, like rice, ginger and vinegar, but people come for the freshly made hard or soft tofu and still-warm soy milk, and they line up outside to get it. (Actually, the place is so small it only fits one or two customers at a time, but still!) You’ve never had soy milk or tofu that tastes this fresh or good, and for vegetarians and Asian cooks, it’s a must-visit. They also sell okara – basically the film that gets skimmed off during the tofu-making process. It’s considered old people’s food in Japan, but it’s highly nutritious and versatile. The shop sells it plain or as unohana, a dish with sesame oil, diced veggies and soy sauce.

You can make the drive worth-while by checking out the small Japantown, with a number Japanese shops, restaurants, noodle houses and sushi places to choose from.

Another option for fresh-made tofu is Thanh Son Tofu, a Vietnamese run shop in South San Jose.

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