Best Asian Convenience Store Phoenix 2001 - Fujiya Market
This bright and shiny little convenience store feels like it was transplanted straight out of Tokyo. The greasy hot dogs, sickly-sweet snack cakes and gargantuan Big Gulps are markedly absent. In their place, you can grab a salmon o-bento (a pretty arrangement of grilled salmon, rice and vegetable side dishes), some pastel-colored daifuku rice cakes filled with sweet red bean paste, or a six-pack of miniature Sapporo beers. And unlike its American counterparts, Fujiya carries a huge range of ingredients for making a tasty home-cooked meal, Japanese-style, including frozen octopus, dried seaweed, udon noodles and a different sauce for every possible dish. It even has hard-to-find items like enoki mushrooms and fresh quail eggs. After we pick out shampoo from the toiletries, snag some cute lacquered chopsticks and rent a videotape of a Japanese television drama, the only stop left on our little consumerist tour of Japan is the corner shelf of good sake. Kampai!