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japanese grocery in DC?

I'll be working in DC (Capitol Hill/8th St SE area) temporarily for the next several weeks and am looking for a good japanese or well stocked asian market. Ideally, I'm looking for somewhere with good produce and dry goods and vegetarian friendly.
I know there are some similar posts already regarding asian markets, and I've sifted through most of them-
But being brand new to DC and only having the Metro as transportation, I could use a little more help...

Any thoughts would be most appreciated!

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  1. that's my 'hood,

    Yes organic grocery (Penn and 7 SE) has a fairly decent assortment of noodles, dry goods and condiments and the E Market at 7 and C has to be combed and questions asked - the more you look, the more you find, but you may be pleasantly surprised.

    sadly, most good Asian markets are way out in the 'burbs now that Da Hua has closed. I suppose you could ride the Orange out to Merrifield and walk the half mile or so to the one at Gallows Road...

    1. Welcome to Washington! One advantage to living here is that numerous expatriates from all countries and cultures are available to help you locate international resources in the area.

      If you call the Embassy of Japan (202-238-6700), I suspect the expat answering the phone will be happy to provide an authentic, personal recommendation. (Or get you one within seconds from the expat at the next desk.)

      I've used this embassy strategy many times to locate not only groceries, but other country-specific resources (e.g. restaurants, translators, bookstores) as well when entertaining foreign visitors to DC was part of my old job. I've never had an occasion where the embassies seemed less than happy to help, or where it took more than a minute to get an answer. And their recommendations were *always* right on target.

      2 Replies
      1. re: tubman

        and/or consulates and chanceries...they seem to be generally less grouchy.

        but a good rec nonetheless.

        1. re: tubman

          If you do call the Japanese Embassy and they offer any recommendations that fit your criteria, please report back. I don't think such a place exists in DC (there used to be a small Japanese market on Wisconsin Ave, but I think it closed many years ago) but would be interested to hear what you find out.

          Daruma in Bethesda is close enough to the Metro. Very expensive produce, though.

          H Mart (the "one at Gallows Road") is Korean-owned but has a good selection of produce and dry goods.

          Another thought might be for you to make a trip to Eden Center (about one mile from the East Falls Church metro). The markets there aren't as good as Super H, but, if you are vegetarian, you would probably be very interested in the tofu store - my Japanese friends love their tofu.

        2. It's not on the hill, but there is a small store in NW called "Danny's Tindahan" which according to the sign is a Filipino - Japanese grocery. I have to admit I've never actually been inside though. It's on Wisconsin Avenue near Van Ness (across from the McDonalds), so probably a 10 minute walk or short bus ride south from Tenley metro.

          1. There are an assortment of "Asian" grocers but they are mostly Korean/Chinese.

            Naniwa is in McLean and is strictly Japanese. There are several in Japanese grocers in the Rockville area; try a Google search to find them. None of these are really accessibel by Metro, however.

            1. The closest Metro accessible Japanese market would be Daruma in Bethesda.