Tokutaro Takahashi started his eponymous San Mateo market
in 1906, and there it still stands, operated by three generations of the Takahashi family. What it might lack in polish, it more than compensates for with the Bay Area's best selection of Hawaiian foods.
There's house-made vegan haupia (coconut pudding tarts), light guava chiffon cake from Redwood City's Cake Happy
, and weekly shipments from the mother islands of fresh poi, kalua pork, lau lau (taro-wrapped pork), limu (algae), and Portuguese sausage.
If you live or work in the neighborhood and shop for Asian groceries, Takahashi is probably already a favorite. For everyone else, it's worth a road trip, especially for those who think they've seen it all.
Takahashi 221 S. Claremont (at E. Third Ave.), San Mateo, (650) 343-0394.