Will be making a visit in the coming months and would like to stay in the Avenues for convenience going north of the GG Bridge, safety, and getting to know the neighborhood. Places outside of the Richmond/Sunset I am interested in: La Ciccia, and Swan Oyster. Would like a return visit to Ming Kee and B Patsierrie. Also interested in coffee, preferably at a place that also imports and roasts. I like both pour overs and espresso based (doesn’t have to be traditional European as I also like that black sesame latte at B Pat). I am LA/OC guy and a regular in the SGV. I love Chinese food, so I am always down for my people’s food in other cities that have a decent scene. So I listed a few spots below.

So here’s what I got in the Richmond/Sunset area, I think I will be able to hit everything up.

Jiangnan Cuisine

Andytown Coffee

Mr Bread

Devils Teeth Baking Company


Yuanbao Jiaozi

Tak Kee Lee

Arguello Market (I am a sucker for turkey cran sandwiches might pick up one for day trip outside of SF…I never seen a redwood tree in my life!)

Marla’s Bakery

Dragon Beaux (revisit)

Polly Ann Ice Cream

How’s the above sound? Anything to add? I was also thinking of adding Burmese. Yes SGV has a few spots but SF is kinda known for Burmese now. I know there is Burma Superstar and BStar on Clement. Yamo in the Mission looks awesome and up my alley lol

Any input is greatly appreciated

Marla’s Bakery SF location has closed - they’re doing pop ups in Santa Rosa until they find a permanent location somewhere around there.
If you like rustic hand pulled noodles and pancakes you might check out House of Pancakes,I dig their lamb roll pancake and hand pulled noodles with preserved vegetables and pork - super cheap.

1 Like

Polly Ann has some interesting flavors like durian and soursop. If you like tropical flavors you might want to check out Mitchell’s after La Ciccia, its just a few blocks away and has flavors like ube, avocado, etc. [I like their toasted almond and black walnut].
Ardiana, just across the street from La Ciccia has excellent pizza
If you wanted to do a bang-bang on your La Ciccia night.

1 Like

how about palette tea house? their dim sum is quite pricey and edgy but execution looks way better than dragon beaux.

1 Like


1 Like

Allow me to show you the ways of the Force, JKB …

Tak Kee Lee - if you go for breakfast, try a combo noodle soup. Perhaps a pickled mustard greens with pork, fried sunny egg, spam with an extra charge for instant noodles. Or pork chop in there somewhere. If coming for lunch (they are no longer open for dinner), lemongrass fried chicken wings rice plate, HK style drumstick rice plate with fried egg and sweet soy sauce, or whatever else looks good to you. Get a half milk tea half coffee (if hot, with condensed milk) or a cold version. If you are feeling adventurous, get the iced lemon coffee (no milk), I swear this stuff is like crack and they do it right. Otherwise if the older guy with glasses is there by the cashier, order the lemon tea…although lately they no longer poke the lemons for you.

Zhong Shan Hakka Cuisine on Taraval - Chef Li used to work at Hakka Restaurant on Balboa and was pretty legendary over there. He left and retired then decided he got bored at home and took over the Taraval spot. The original Hakka Restaurant is now run by his former sous chef and they say is no good. You’ll want to bring more people if you come here though. If you do come here and only have one room, if Chef Li is in the house, the sweet and sour spareribs is fantastic…otherwise it’s not bad but other chef might put a bit too much sauce over it. What’s amazing about this prep is that they use pickled garlic or leek bulbs to add complexity to the sour. Legit OG Cantonese style although a touch rustic, but really good stuff. If you don’t want this, Hakka pan fried stuffed tofu with pork is a good choice. Their pre order only double boiled soup (whole chicken wrapped in a pork stomach) is glorious, but you’ll need at least 6 to 8 to feast on it. If you have time and room I suppose give it a go anyway and see how this place works out for you. I would suggest not ordering salt baked chicken unless you are able to preorder a whole one and have enough people with you.

Marco Polo Gelato (Taraval) - legendary. Fewer flavors than Polly Ann (which is ice cream) but I feel far better experience and taste/texture overall. Especially if you are into black sesame, Marco Polo Gelato’s version beats the smell out of the black sesame ice cream at Polly Ann. MP’s Durian gelato is super amazing for those who are fans of Durian. Jackfruit is supposed to be good too. I’m more into the black sesame and Chinese Dragonwell Green Tea gelato combo. Do taste the lychee and red bean gelato as well, not bad at all. Coconut is decent too. The traditional Italian flavors, nowhere near as good as the Asian flavors. Walking distance from Mr Bread.

Stones throw from Mr Bread - Smile House Cafe. Cash only. Mostly HK style western fusion menu and a lot of fun. Inconsistent, but their chilled “champagne” milk tea (bottled cold milk tea on a bucket of ice) is worth the admission. Sometimes the brisket and tendon lo mein is good, and their BBQ pork neck meat fried egg rice (although the neck meat is nowhere near as great as Ming Kee). I quite fancy their spicy tomato sauce ox tongue spaghetti, and their HK style Hainan Chicken rice is not bad once in a blue moon.

Yuanbao Jiaozi - the Jiaozi are not so good…not a lot of filling and a bit too much skin sometimes and the mouthfeel is a bit weird. Focus on their beef noodle soup. The regular one is pretty good but last time I went the salt left a weird coating on my tongue. I think they use some sort of rib side brisket, but they cut into cubes. Noodles are soft, but the broth is good. They now have a sour cabbage beef noodle soup, never tried it.

Ming Kee - get a side order of their crispy ginger powder marinated chicken feet (I believe the Cantonese name translates to “Sand ginger phoenix claws” or “white cloud phoenix claws” (even to go if you like and just eat it in house with your rice plate), or take a look at the take out menu (deli by weight) and see if there’s anything else you want to try. Soy sauce chicken is a must and make sure you order is using regular chicken (in Cantonese “central” (zhong gai) chicken for the plump ones, or “ground” chicken (dei gai) for range chicken which is better suited for Empress chicken, but the local Toishanese want range chicken for anything). Roast duck is inconsistent, if you are unlucky it’s boney as F. You could do a 3 meat combo, but safest is half lean half fatty cha siu (on the sweet side, so eat it with their ginger scallion oil to bring the Force back into balance) with soy sauce chicken or just one protein. You could do soy sauce and empress chicken side by side too. If you are feeling gluttonous, upgrade to an uncut soy sauce chicken thigh, or duck leg/thigh for a fee. Or go low carb / no rice and just do plain protein entrees.

On Irving Street, you can pop into Pineapple King Bakery (they specialize in pineapple buns) and you can get a pineapple bun with butter with a milk tea. It’s not super duper but it’s not bad and they toast the bun to order and put a small slab of salted butter inside for you (which is a nice touch since most bakeries won’t do that). It’s very close to Yuanbao for a bang bang. I think they also offer half sized pineapple buns too and ones with different fillings inside.

Mr Bread…suggest you try both Portugese egg tart and HK style egg tart (which I prefer). Local Cantonese and Taiwanese have mixed views between Mr Bread’s egg tarts vs Golden Gate Bakery (which has skyrocketed to $2.75 per!)…if you happen to be in Chinatown and the wait is not bad, and if GGB is open give them a try.

Dumpling Kitchen might be worth exploring (further down on Taraval though I haven’t been yet). I’m loving Dumpling Alley these days on Clement Street … it’s much less heavier Shanghainese themed bao and dumpling fare that suits Cantonese tastes and done in a nice refined way. The shrimp paste stuffed cruller is a must order for first time visit. XLB and SJB are very decent. Avoid beef noodle soup, it’s not the kind you are looking for.

Andytown… hmmm mixed feelings since the consistency hasn’t been there. Though give the original Snowy Plover a spin, it’s more about that in house whipped cream.

Some friends like Chili House on Clement Street.

Thai Nghiep Ky Mi Gia (Sunset on Noriega Street)- originally started by a female chef who left Hai Ky in the Tenderloin and doing Vietnamese Chinese noodles. It’s different than Trieu Chau in Santa Ana in style. I’d say just stick with #13 and order broth on the side, wide egg noodles then remix the condiments like you’re at a DJ competition. When they do the kidney right it’s very good. And when the shrimp cracker (with whole fried shrimp on top) is freshly fried it’s amazing. Skip the marinated duck leg pork wontons, those are inconsistent. The tendons only noodles (dry, broth on the side), basically tendons from Bo Kho, are pretty good too.

You could also look into Le Soleil on Clement. While their clientele are mostly Hong Kong expats, Asian Americans and non Asians, the flavors are quite fun…SE Asian + Vietnamese fusion. The coconut milk curry Dungeoness crab claypot is great if you want to splurge, and they’ll give you some baguette to soak it up…and if you go I think Monday or Friday lunch, they’ll offer their version of Hainan chicken and it’s very good (refer to the pictures i posted in the recent Dec 2019 thread). The soy sauce marinated flambe quail is very tasty too (appetizer). Other items could be a bit hit and miss. Chef owner Dennis Wong spends his time between SF and the Hong Kong location which I think is anchored inside a hotel in Kowloon (word is a multi billionaire from HK came to SF, tasted the food and became an investment partner to open the HK branch!).

Coffee: not too many great choices unless you really enjoy third wave which is more prevalent (higher acidity, under roasting). Four Barrel Coffee in the Mission is decent and if you’re worried about the higher acidity, get it as an affogato. Home which is up the street from Thai Nghiep Ky is ok in a pinch but the young un’s prefer to go their for their various toasts. If you make it to the Ferry Building, you can try Blue Bottle’s affogato with Humphrey Slocombe’s Blue Bottle Vietnamese coffee ice cream, or get yourself a pint from Whole Foods (they might still have the HK milk tea ice cream, but it’s a bad joke…don’t bother with that one).

B Pat - you could bang bang it with Arsicault croissant…either a plain, almond, or chocolate. Ham and cheese is excellent too.

I’m sure I’m missing a ton.


what happened to “fei cha”?!

Fei Cha is lethal, not everyone knows how to roast it carefully so that it retains the texture of “ice meat” (rose wine cured fat) while the exterior is perfectly roasted and even in Hong Kong only a handful of shops could do it right. Sometimes the half lean half fatty is more fatty than usual at Ming Kee which is good enough. Plus they slice it thin. You get better mouthfeel that way. Or if JKB prefers he can get the BBQ pork neck meat cha siu which is even crazier in fat content (plus you get better chew).

Also, Ming Kee’s cha siu is not typical of Hong Kong Cantonese style (even though Brother Ming is from Hong Kong). It’s lacking some savory elements to it (can’t put my finger on it exactly what’s missing) but in being more sweet forward, it does become more aromatic than normal. I already mentioned the thinner cuts, I think it also has to do with the slabs of pork shoulder they have…he should cut it thicker but the way he preps it, I think it’s designed to be thinner slices. The mouthfeel is very different compared to cha siu from say, HK S&T (seafood restaurant on Noriega), Lam Hoa Thuan (Vietnamese Chinese roasties restaurant on Irving)…which btw they might have the better roast duck. But for MK it works… but one must take a bite of rice with the cha siu and some ginger scallion dip which they provide on the rice plate to temper the sweetness a bit and drive up the aroma and savory. Pure bliss when your cheeks are stuffed to the gills like a chipmunk that way.


Focaccia at the liguria bakery . Look into the back for that oven . Well over a hundred years old . Geary st , Russian district. Pelmini from the deli . And those sheet cakes . Locals reading the newspaper from home .

1 Like

Maybe Royal Market and Bakery, which has all kinds of Armenian stuff, plus Georgian, Turkish, and more.

Aziza is open again and reports are good.

I got a recommendation for Hook Fish Co. from a reliable source.

If you want a soju bang, the wings at Toyose are very good and they’re open until 2am seven days.

I’m a longtime fan of Old Mandarin Islamic.They have some dishes I still haven’t encountered elsewhere.

North of the bridge, longtime top local chef Ron Siegel has his own place, Madcap, in San Anselmo.

Mitchell’s has interesting Filipino flavors but to me the ice ream is waxy and gross.

Palette Tea House is another concept from the same group as Dragon Beaux and Koi Palace.

Liguria’s focaccia is dead to me since they switched from olive oil to canola.

To me, PPQ had that one great dish, roast crab with garlic noodles. Everything else I tried there felt like I made a mistake.


That place sounds like a lot of fun.

how do you know that they switched from olive oil to canola?

That came out on Chowhound (so years ago). People noticed lots of canola oil and no olive oil in the pantry.