I have a secret… Want to hear it? I actually love tofu. And honestly, I’ve loved it for all 13 years that I’ve been vegan. So I’ve ended up buying tofu from a lot of grocery stores over the years!
Tofu can be found in most grocery stores, including large chain stores. It’s also stocked at health food co-ops and natural food stores. Tofu is usually found in the refrigerated shelves at the edge of the produce section. It may also be in the natural foods or Asian food sections.
Below, I’ll show pictures of exactly where the tofu is located in Safeway, Wegman’s, and Meijer. I’ll also show what tofu packages look like. And I’ll share my favorite tofu recipes! But first… let’s cover which stores even have tofu.
Which Stores Have Tofu?
Most grocery stores have tofu, including big chains and department stores like Walmart and Target. All health food stores, food co-ops, and natural food stores should also have tofu. Tofu tends to be more commonly stocked than tempeh, seitan, and other meat substitutes.
To be clear, I would expect to find tofu in all these major grocery stores:
- Whole Foods
- Trader Joe’s
- Food Lion
- Giant Food
- Harris Teeter
- Fred Meyer
- And many more…
Also: Even discount groceries stores like Aldi should generally have tofu. (PETA gave Aldi an award for their vegan options, including their Sriracha Baked Tofu!) So, most food stores have tofu. But not all.
Food Stores That Don’t Have Tofu
I would not expect any of the following stores to have tofu:
- Gas stations
- Small convenience stores
- Party stores
- Stores like Walgreens, CVS, or Rite Aid
- Dollar stores (like Dollar Tree, Dollar General, or Family Dollar)
However, as plant-based eating becomes more and more popular, maybe even some of these stores will start to carry tofu!
Where to Find Tofu in the Grocery Store
There are 4 places I would recommend checking in the grocery store to find tofu.
1. Refrigerators in the Produce Section
Look around the edges of the produce section. You will normally see refrigerated wall sections with fresh salad greens. Often, there will be water occasionally misting onto the greens.
The tofu will usually be in one of those wall refrigerators.
In the photo above, the bagged vegetables are on the right, and the tofu and meatless options are on the left. This is very common—I’ll show more example pictures below.
This is where a lot of the refrigerated (not frozen) meatless options will be. This includes vegan hot dogs and sausages, vegan cheese, vegan mayonnaise, Tofurky products like vegan deli slices, and more.
You’ll typically see different options for the firmness of tofu. I’ll cover that more below.
2. Refrigerators in the Natural Foods Section
Check in the “Natural Foods” or “Healthy Living” section of the store. This is where you’ll find gluten-free aisles, vegan and vegetarian options, and organic stuff.
If there are refrigerators, refrigerated islands, or open refrigerated shelves, the tofu is very likely to be found there.
Above, you see a large “Meatless & Tofu” section of refrigerators at Wegman’s. The tofu is right above the seitan in this case. (I have another post about where to find seitan.)
3. Refrigerators in the Asian Section
I don’t have a picture of this one—but I’ve seen it before. In Wegman’s, they actually have a refrigerator with tofu on the end of the international aisle.
This refrigerator has kimchi, miso paste, and other cold foods used in Asian or other international cuisines. Since tofu is so common to Asian dishes, of course they have tofu!
4. The “Meatless” Section of Freezers
Honestly, you’re not likely to find normal packages of tofu in the freezers. But you may be able to find frozen meals that contain tofu. Or you’ll at least find other vegan protein options like veggie burgers.
Often, this section of freezers will be labeled “Meatless.” Or it might say “Vegetarian.” Or maybe it will be an unlabeled freezer in the natural foods section of the store.
The most common brands you will see stocked in this freezer—at least in the U.S.—are Boca, Morningstar, and Amy’s. Beyond Burgers may be here or in another section closer to the real meat.
Where to Find Tofu in Meijer (Example)
Meijer is a big department store in the Midwest of the United States. It’s similar to Walmart and Target: It has a grocery section—plus clothes, electronics, and everything else.
In stores like this, there is not usually a “natural foods section” or anything. So the tofu is almost always at the edges of the produce section.
Here’s how it looks in Meijer:
Here you can see the tofu on the bottom level:
This is the setup at Target, Walmart, Safeway and many other grocery stores. Whenever there’s not a separate “natural” or “healthy” foods section, this is where I’d expect to find the tofu.
Sometimes even when a store does have a natural food section, they will still have some tofu at the edge of the produce section like this.
Where to Find Tofu in Safeway (Example)
Safeway is another example of the tofu being at the edge of the produce section. Here’s what it looks like:
Where to Find Tofu in Wegman’s (Example)
Wegman’s grocery stores tend to be enormous. So you can actually find the tofu in multiple areas. Here are the 3 spots I’ve found tofu at Wegman’s:
1. In the “Meatless & Tofu” refrigerators in the natural foods section. It’s right next to the gluten-free aisle, near the vitamin supplements and bulk food bins.
2. In the refrigerator at the end of the international food aisle. With other Asian foods like kimchi.
3. In a refrigerated section next to the hummus. This is a pretty random place for tofu—but I’ve seen it there in my Wegman’s.
What Tofu Packages Look Like
Tofu packages usually have a soft top with a plastic “carton” thing going around the sides and bottom. You just peel off the top to open.
Typically, tofu is packaged with extra water. (You just pour out the water after opening.)
Here are some common tofu brands you’ll see:
Sometimes, tofu will just be shrink-wrapped and vaccum-sealed all the way around—no carton on the bottom.
Other brands you might see: Soy Boy, House Foods, Morinaga (Mori-Nu), and Hodo. There are also store brands, like the 365 Organic brand at Whole Foods Market.
Should I Buy Silken, Firm, or Extra Firm Tofu?
Tofu comes in different levels of firmness. Commonly, you’ll see multiple options at the store. So which should you buy?
Personally, I only ever buy extra firm tofu. It works well if you want chunks of tofu in a pasta or rice dish. And it also crumbles well for scrambled tofu.
Silken tofu is really soft. It can be used for things like smoothies, pudding, or mousse. It can also be used in baking to replace eggs. (See more egg replacement tips in my post on vegan emulsifiers.)
For most recipes that call for tofu, I would recommend extra firm tofu. But it obviously depends on the specific recipe.
Tofu Recipes You Should Try
There are countless ways to prepare tofu—it’s very versatile. But typically, it’s going to involve some sauce, marinade, or something else to add a lot of flavor. Because tofu itself doesn’t have much flavor.
My favorite way to eat tofu is as scrambled tofu. When I’m trying to put on muscle, sometimes I eat it every day (for the protein!).
There are many scrambled tofu recipes you can find online.
The best scrambled tofu recipe for you will depend on your personal tastes. Since I’m a bit of a picky eater, I keep mine pretty simple. Here’s what I do:
- 14 to 16 ounces of extra firm tofu (a full block)
- 2 or 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- just a little black pepper (it boosts the benefits of the turmeric)
- a handful or two of greens (I usually do arugula or spinach)
- optional: just a bit of cooking oil
- Mix up in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Scramble it around at some points. Add the greens close to the end.
Other people like adding more vegetables to their scrambles. Pan-fried onion and bell pepper are pretty common additions. I’ve also seen people add broccoli and black beans.
If you’re not on a strict health regimen, then you may also want to try deep-fried tofu. It’s not really good for you, but wow, it’s delicious! Especially in the context of Chinese food.
I sometimes get General Tso’s Tofu from Chinese restaurants, and I love the deep-fried tofu along with the sauce, rice, and broccoli.
However you try tofu, I hope you end up liking it as much as I do. It’s an amazing source of vegan protein, and it can be seasoned so many different ways. Don’t give up if you don’t love the first way you try it!
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