Nippan Daido Japanese Market in Houston
Nippan Daido is the only true Japanese market in Houston. And that's a fact Jack.
More commonly referred to as simply "Daido" this market is about the size of Kwik-E-Mart and mostly sells Japanese food and groceries but lots of other stuff too. While many other places sell similar items, this is the only true Japanese market and expat Nipponians drive from near and far to shop here.
Expect to be underwhelmed on your first visit to Daido - UNLESS, unless, you are from Japan, or really know what your are looking for, and have given up on finding your long lost favorites - And then you will run from shelf to shelf exclaiming "They have it, and they have that too!" Then you will understand you have reached the Houston-mecca of essential Japanese supplies (Which is kind of sad). Not row upon row of $1 bright plastic nick-knacks from China, but the real deal.
Spending Alert! If you fill up one of the kiddie-sized grocery carts with stuff, expect to prove just how much you love authentic Japanese stuff at the cash register. Most tourist-style shoppers would never fill a whole cart, but take it from one who has does regularly.
Small Store Stocked for the Native Japanese Shopper
Although the store is small in size, it is Japanese owned and managed and that means the precious little space there is, is filled with the things most sought after by those who want to go home and have a real Japanese home cooked meal.
Daido is one of very few places in Houston where I will buy the thinly sliced beef that is used in Japanese dishes such as Sukiyaki. You will find similar looking beef in other markets at a fraction of the price and I have tried it more than once. No more, there is no comparison even to my accepting taste.
Daido staff, are you listening? Please stock at least ONE brand off edamame that actually comes from Japan. I drive far and don't even flinch during checkout anymore. If you must stock edamame from China please accompany said edamame with a brand from the homeland.
What Other Houstonians Say About Daido
Below are a couple of choice quotes from fellow Houston residents on Yelp. You should see the Yelp page for Nippan Daido where most of the reviewers got it right, but not all.
"Most of the stuff offered here can be found in Chinatown by Beltway 8, however there are some that still can't be found elsewhere in Houston. For example, organic miso, drinking vinegar, Japanese bread, thinly sliced meat for hotpot, and the list goes on and on."
I disagree gaijin. You can find some of the same stuff at other markets, but you're still not comparing apples to apples. If you think you found the same instant Japanese ramen at Hong Kong Market, check the expiration date. A conspiracy theorist told me that some Houston markets buy the more expensive Japanese brands nearing expiration to save money. Actually, I think that. Also check that you aren't being fooled by a knockoff that looks like a Japanese brand. I too buy the same stuff where I can find it for less, it just isn't as easy as I wish it were.
"I guess I am a bit spoiled in the Asian store department as I just moved here from SoCal and lived in NYC before that. But I guess this is as good as it gets in Houston... The store is pretty small, so don't expect a full supermarket like Mitsuwa. Their selection is decent for the size of the store. You'll find your essential Japanese stuff here."
Nailed it. As good as it gets in Houston, essential Japanese stuff... Yep, that sums it up quite nicely. Good place to end this page.
Location and Contact Information
11146 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77042
No website that I know of.