HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >


Fresh Tofu

Does anyone out there know if there's a tofu shop in Chinatown? I know that they have tofu shops in NY Chinatown and I was looking to see if they have any such shops in Philadelphia's Chinatown. I love their soy drinks. So fresh!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. i don't know if there are any tofu shops in chinatown, but i do know that iovine brothers in reading terminal has damn fine fresh tofu.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mazza3

      I just bought some there today. It's a sizable chunk/cube, similar to the grocery store variety (12 oz?). It's in a plastic tub with liquid, and was only $1 (!). I haven't tried it yet, but am looking forward to it.

      1. when it gets warm enough for the vendors to set up shop on the streets of chinatown, you can find fresh tofu .. homemade...

        1. Absolutely. Look across the street from the fire station. There may still be two or three on this block, but the one I go to is maybe five or so doors in from Race. I don't remember the name, but I don't know that they have a prominent sign anyway. You'll see one step up on the street before the doorway, and a menu in the window. Inside is a counter where you order takeout and pay on the left, and they also have a half dozen or so tables. The family there is extremely nice, and I've enjoyed watching one young girl grow from the days I couldn't believe she could count my money and give me change. (And English is obviously not her first language!)

          They have delicious homemade soft do-fu with a variety of topings. Most of them are sweet, which I don't eat, so I order the salty do-fu, with soy sauce and a sprinkling of teeny dried fish and such.

          They are also a great source for fresh homemade ho fun type rice noodles, which they sell by the pound, or in containers with the tiny shrimp in them. And they have other great snacks as well which can make for a quick $2-$3 meal! I often get the stewed beef soup with ho-fun noodles for $3, which you can't beat.

          Highly recommended.

          2 Replies
          1. re: photorc

            Photorc, that sounds great! I am not from Philly and would appreciate if you can give me specifics on where they're located. Where's the firestation? Thank you very much!

          2. I found a crumpled up menu in my files. Yay for being sort of organized! I've never tried posting an image here before, so we'll see if this works. If not, it's at 148 N. 10th. (215) 238-1368.

            I believe the other, even older place with a similar menu is still open - on the same side of the street, but closer to Arch. I don't know that they have the soups, though.

            BTW, the fruit shakes and fruit and tapioca-pearl drinks are also a hit at both, and the Side Walk Sweet House is also my favorite place for Congee. (a rice porridge.) $3 for a quart! Better than many places that charge much more. The pork and preserved egg is my favorite. And try the sticky rice tied up in banana leaves that you'll see on the counter. It will set you back another couple of bucks. If you splurge on the $3 chow fun soup, the "beef" version is a trimmer cut of meat, but the "beef stewed" version is more flavorful.

            Lots of hits for such a tiny little place with a small menu! Enjoy!

            1 Reply
            1. re: photorc

              Have you had the "salted bean curd soup"? I have been looking for salty soy bean milk ever since I moved back here last year (yeah, apparently not very hard). I can't read the characters... looks like "xian dou -something- hua" (4th page), but I don't think it's 'jiang'. Nevertheless I can't wait to try it out.

              Thanks so much for posting about this place. I walk by there all the time and never noticed it.

            2. Thank you very much again! I will definitely give that place a try!

              1. Dib, from what I can see, it looks like the "salted bean curd soup" is the same as the "salty dou fu dessert" on page two. The Chinese characters look the same to my untrained eye, anyway. The salty dou fu, by the way, tastes very similar to me at the two different places.

                I'll look forward to hearing what you think of the Sweet House once you've tried it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: photorc

                  I should have figured this out from context - it's "dou fu hua" - "flower beancurd". It's really soft beancurd. The "sweet bean curd soup" at Side Walk Sweet House is just plain dou fu hua, and comes with sweet ginger syrup on the side. You can get hot or cold. Haven't tried any of the different toppings yet. The dou fu tasted very fresh; I'll definitely go back.

                  Other places in Chinatown have this, for example the bakery on 9th and Race, I think it's called New Harmony. Actually, I'm not sure when they do or don't have it; they didn't have it on one Sunday morning, but said they had it other days. They have different toppings like green bean, red bean, etc., along with the ginger syrup.

                  Still searching for sweet or salty soybean milk (tian dou jiang / xian dou jiang) !