Fu-Wah Mini-Market and Deli, located at 810 South 47th Street in West Philadelphia, is a wonderful and eclectic local store that stocks a little bit of everything. On the shelves at Fu-Wah, you can find Thai curry paste, Aunt Jemimah pancake syrup, and everything in between. There is a small section of the store dedicated exclusively to Asian products of all types, but to classify Fu-Wah as an Asian grocery store would be a complete misnomer. At the front of the store is a deli counter where you can buy freshly sliced meats and cheeses, along with a selection of excellent hoagies. The Vietnamese tofu hoagies (banh mi), stuffed with silky tofu, crisp marinated carrots and daikon, fiery jalapenos and cool cilantro, are especially popular. The store also sells a chicken version of the banh mi, but the tofu is the more popular option.
Fu-Wah is well-known for having a thumb on the pulse of West Philly. The owners really take into account what their customers want to see in the store, and stock their shelves accordingly. There is an excellent selection of vegetarian and vegan products, as well as plenty of household necessities like toilet paper and garbage bags. Packages of frozen gyoza share the freezer shelves with boxes of Annie’s microwaveable meals, and the refrigerator section at the rear of the store has a wide selection of drinks ranging from Coke to coconut water.
It’s a good idea to keep in mind that Fu-Wah is more of a general store than a grocery store; there is a limited selection of fresh produce (onions, garlic, ginger, cilantro, lemons, limes, and a few other fruits and vegetables), but it’s not what you’d find in a regular produce section. Fu-Wah is also a cash-only store, but if you come unprepared, there is an ATM located at the rear of the store.
As any West Philly resident can tell you, Fu-Wah is a great neighborhood store, and its location just off of Baltimore Avenue makes it readily accessible, whether by public transportation or on foot. The number 34 trolley goes right down Baltimore Avenue–simply hop on a westbound 34 and get off at 47th street. Fu-Wah is open 7 days a week from 9am to 9pm. If you’re headed to Fu-Wah for a hoagie, it’s a good idea to call ahead (215-729-2993). The front of the store is a cramped space, so you don’t want to have to wait in a line of other hungry customers.
For a quick look at some of the selections that Fu-Wah has to offer, take a look at the accompanying slide show!