[Bay Area] Good source for tropical fruits?

Any recommendations for good quality tropical fruit in the Bay Area? I was once recommended a tropical fruit shop in East San Jose by a Vietnamese acquaintance. But I’ve forgotten the name. This past Sunday we got some mangosteens from the Queen Fresh Fruit shop inside Grand Century. All manners of tropical fruit like rambutan, papayas, dragon fruit, durian, Thailand mango, star fruit, sapoche, etc.

Chinatown comes to mind, but recommendations for specific shops will be great. Thanks.

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New May Wah Supermarket on inner Clement Street, San Francisco, carries a vast array of tropical fruit.


One Vietnamese friend told me they are lotus stems.

A second friend, also Vietnamese, said they may be water lily stems (bong sung), which seems to match the sign, I think.

Was this the place recommended to you?

I’ve never been even though it’s been on my radar for a few years.

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In late spring/early summer, I’ve noticed good quality lychee (probably from Hawaii/Mexico) at the produce stores on the south side of Irving in SF. There are two Chinese-owned stores between 20th and 23rd Avenues in addition to the Greek-owned 22nd and Irving Market.

I would be particularly interested in learning which imported tropical fruit is not irradiated, or at least, not so irradiated that it impacts the quality much.

The owner of Azalina’s once told me that there is a farm in southern California that grows durian. Does anyone know if their product can be found in any store up here?


Possibly. I remember the address is somewhere in East San Jose or South Saan Jose. This place is in that area.

Thanks! The follow-up question is, what does one do with them? :smiley:

I forgot exactly where, but I think it might be in one of the Wechat groups. Once someone was selling Hawaii lychees, at a much higher price than those sold in Chinatown. I’ve not tried Hawaii lychees before.

Don’t know about the fruit at ‘San Jose Tropical Fruits’ (though it smells strongly of yummy fruit in the building) but they are one of my go-to’s (once or twice a year when i get down there) for fresh Pennywort juice.
Which leads me to a question that probably doesn’t belong on someone elses thread… what are other places that serve fresh pennywort juice. Pho Kim Long sometimes has it but not always. Bambu used too but no longer does (at least up in SF).

TBH I doubt they are hugely different from other regions’ lychee. As far as l know, most of the lychee sold commercially here is the Mauritius cultivar. (In Florida you can find Brewster lychees as a backyard tree. The fruit is very delicious but tends to have big seeds that make eating it more laborious.) I suspect the main advantage of Hawaiian lychee is that the fruit may be flown in and thus tends to be in better shape by the time it hits store shelves.

Since @sck inquiry, I kept eyes open for fruit on yesterday’s foray into SF Chinatown. At the shop at corner of Stockton & Jackson.

A decent selection. Longan, lychee, durian, star fruit, dragon fruit, rambutan, mangosteen, sugar apples, jackfruit and some others.

The no-name fruit shop on Jackson towards Grant had much the same, but their fruit seemed a bit fresher.

Their sister fruit juice store next door does have signage and name.