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South Bay Markets with Thai Ingredients

Return to: S.F. Bay Area Market Listing

The list was last updated in 2012 so it may be out-of-date.

This is just a partial list of the many Asian markets in the South Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. The notes on these markets were provided by Amber, one of Kasma's advanced Thai cooking students, in 2012.

* & ** – given for stores with a good (*) or better (**) selection of Thai ingredients.

San Jose – Asian Markets

Battambang Oriental Market
1091 McCreery Ave.
San Jose, CA 95122
The entrance and sign are actually around the BACK of the building.  Look for the Tak Food and Liquor store from the street. This market is in the same building.  It is a small Cambodian market with a good assortment of sauces and curry pastes. This place was stocked with all the essentials for Thai cooking. It is small and crammed with stuff, but had many of the items Kasma recommends. They also had frozen sour fish, a lot of frozen grachai, thai basil, purple-stem holy basil, lemon basil, smoked dried fish and more. Worth a look if one is in the area. This might be a place to check out if other markets in the area don't carry a hard-to-find ingredient.(Amber, May 2011 & June 2012)
Dai Thanh Market
420 S 2nd St.
San Jose, CA 95113
It was a very nice market with excellent fresh produce, including Thai basil.  They had many staples for Thai cooking and in particular had Tra Chang fish sauce (no Goldenboy, though). This was the first time I found one of Kasma's top fish sauces in the SJ area.(Amber, May 2010)
- - -
This is still a very nice market with a nice meat counter, vegetable and herb selection.  The selection of frozen items was also excellent. This market is definitely worth a stop if one is in the area. (Amber, May 2011)
Fung Shui House
3005 Silver Creek Rd #126
San Jose, CA 95121
(408) 389-9998
This place sells only Asian fruits and has some of the freshest and best selection I'd ever encountered. Apple bananas, rambutans, young coconuts, lychee, jackfruit, ataulfo and manila mangoes (ataulfos are 1/3 the size of manilas and are more flavorful), Hawaiian papayas, and fresh durian. There were many fresh durians to choose from, not just a few. The staff was also friendly and helpful when picking out fruit. Everything I saw was very fresh. I didn't buy any, but my friend tells me this place has the most flavorful rambutans. Fruit can be purchased by the case, by item, or by the pound. This place really was heaven :) (Amber, June 2012)
Manila Oriental Markxet
2812 S. White Rd.
San Jose, CA 95148
(408) 414-9000
This is a really nice store that is very clean.  It has a great meat and seafood counter.  I did spot Thai ingredients and picked up a container of fried shallots (Nang Fah brand). (Amber, March 2010)

At long last... I finally visited this market on Saturday.

There was a bit of a bad first impression with a scent reminiscent of cat urine in the kitchenwares aisle, but I only noticed it for a minute as I passed through.

The produce section has a variety of Asian and Western items. On plastic wrapped styrofoam trays, there was galanga and huge (probably previously frozen) banana blossoms. The herbs all looked good, but the shallots looked awful. Oddly, no Chinese broccoli.

On the shelves, there were a number of staples for the Thai cook: Jars of soft palm sugar (Butterfly brand); Nang Fah-brand fried shallots; Shark-brand Sriracha sauce (Medium); Chaokoh and Mae Ploy coconut milk (in two parts of the store); Kwong Hung Seng soy sauces; Squid-brand Fish Sauce; Golden Phoenix jasmine rice (new crop).

The fish and meat counters were very extensive, and many kinds of fish were just piled up on ice for self-service.

They also have Kopiko candies!!

This market is off the beaten path and, according to a former resident, the neighborhood is best visited during daylight hours only. I probably won't head this far Southeast except in case of emergency, but it's nice to know it's there.
(one of Kasma's south bay students, May, 2010)

They had the light colored soft palm sugar (that was actually soft!) in small and medium sized tubs. (Amber, May 2010)

Maxim Market
1179 S De Anza Blvd
San Jose, CA 95129
(408) 255-2988
I didn't have much time to check this one out thoroughly. It does have all the essentials for Thai cooking and a nice selection of produce. Definitely worthy of your list. (Amber, June 2012)
Story Supermarket
1200 Story Rd
San Jose, CA 95122
(408) 279-1200
They had interesting snacks (including those pineapple cookies, first time I'd ever seen them in the US)  The produce selection wasn't very large, but they did have a good selection of frozen items (actually frozen!).  These included bananas, thai galangal, and grachai. They did have kaffir lime leaves and also a nice meat counter.  Good place to stop in and have a look but overall not a huge selection. (Amber, March 2010)
- - - -
[On a recent visit this market] was well stocked with good-looking produce, thai basil, frozen cha-om, frozen mackerel, Mae Ploy curry paste, Chaokoh coconut milk, pickled leeks (to name a few items) and still a nice meat counter.  I previously noted that had Thai galanga but not this time.  They had frozen galanga from Vietnam (not the reddish variety). (Amber, May 2011)
- - - -
Once again a good selection of produce and frozen items with many essentials for Thai cooking. The frozen shrimp and fish selection is pretty good. (Amber, June 2012)
Thien Thanh Supermarket
455 Keyes St
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 295-1043
Had some Thai ingredients and frozen items.  The produce was ok (kaffir lime leaves and even fresh pandan leaves were present).  However, the frozen stuff really wasn't all that "frozen," and the salted mackerel I spotted in the refrigerated section was not worth buying. (Amber, March 2010)
- - -
Worth a stop if you are in the area. Nice produce here...one of the few places I've consistently found fresh pandan leaves. (Amber, June 2012)

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San Jose – Of interest

These are not all-purpose markets

TT Seafood
2517 South King Road
San Jose, CA 95122
(408) 274-8210
Had great seafood and really nice produce.  It is a small place with no dry goods, so it isn't really good for Kasma's recommended ingredients.  They did have Thai basil and fresh red Thai chillies, though. (Amber, March 2010)
Lee's Sandwiches
2525 South King Road
San Jose, CA 95122
(408) 274-1596
(next to TT Seafood) Lee's is an Asian sandwich chain, but this one in particular sells nice produce such as Thai eggplants, garlic chives, etc.  They also have various sticky rice snacks, banana cake young coconut drink with basil seeds, etc. The main draw for me though, was the fruit.  They had APPLE BANANAS! (I don't mean Manzanos, though they did have those too).  Not sure where they came from, but it's the first time I've seem them here.  They also had fresh jackfruit.  My friends tell me to pass on the sandwiches but go for the fresh fruit and produce. (Amber, March 2010)

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All of these markets are less than a 10 minute drive from each other.

Mekong Market
777 East Capitol Ave
Milpitas, CA
It used to be the Lucky Seven Supermarket and has a grand opening signas the Mekong market. It had items such as Mae Ploy curry paste, frozen grachai, frozen sadtaw, Thai basil, garlic chive flower buds, etc. I didn't see Golden Boy or Tra Chang fish sauces but did spot Squid's premium brand. (Amber, June 2012)
Ocean Supermarket
2 S Park Victoria Dr
Milpitas, CA 95035
(408) 942-3388
This is another market with much of the same goods as Mekong Market above; nice produce with a wide selection and a nice fish and meat counter. (Amber, June 2012)
Seafood City Supermarket
1535 Landess Ave
Milpitas, CA
(408) 240-0160
This is a Filipino market with an awesome fish selection. Not as much in the way of Thai ingredients but worth a look. (Amber, June 2012)

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Lion Food Center
39055 Cedar Blvd.
Newark, CA 94560
A large Filipino market. Although they are not so strong with Thai ingredients, they have most of them as well as a good fish department. Worth a visit. They did have preservative-free pickled cabbage - sometimes hard to find. (Michael, October, 2012)

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