Regional Chinese roundup 3.0 (SF Bay Area)- Jan 2023 - Jan 2024 archive

I’ve updated the original post to reflect changes since May 2021: lots of closures and nearly 100 new restaurants.

As a lame and inaccurate placeholder, I dumped a bunch of regionally diverse and/or chef-driven dumpling/bao/noodle focussed restaurants into the “Other Northern and Jiaozi /dumplings or bing” category. These include places anchored by XLB and SJB but which have no other Shanghainese signatures; and chains like Dumpling Time, the 4 Sisters group, etc.

Geez, this project will soon enter its tenth year… and its age shows, both conceptually and technologically. Chowhound, where the project originated, is kaput and there hundreds of dead Chowhound links in the original post. I’ll either point them to backed up pages on the Internet Archive, or delete them… I’d like to preserve/credit community members who helped inform this list, but I’m not sure how useful 8+ year old restaurant advice is.


2023 is off to a great start:


  • Lounge Chinatown (Oakland) self-described as “Karaoke, Taiwanese Traditional Street Food, HotPot, Malatang, Bento, BBQ”, it’s Johnny Chang’s follow-up to Oakland’s former Dragon Gate
  • Piglet & Co. (SF Mission), Taiwanese brick and mortar of Chef Chris Yang & Marcelle Gonzales Yang, which you may know as @el_chino_grande & @loveanddimsum
  • So Ho Mei serves ChaoZhou dishes. @KK has extensive write-ups on his Instagram
  • YY Noodles Farmers market stand with Shaanxi items like liang pi and roujiamo and some items that seem more common to Jiangnan/Shanghai or elsewhere. See also Yelp
  • Drooling Kitchen (Milpitas) Taiwanese ghost kitchen
  • HE&C Tea+Pot (Palo Alto) hot pot
  • Duobao BBQ & Dumplings (Newark) opens in the former King of Dumplings space, retaining the latter’s jiaozi and cold dishes, and adding Cantonese BBQ and assorted other things. Are the owners or chefs the same?

A few closures to report:

Permanent closures

  • Lulu’s Kitchen has closed the Concord location of their Sichuan restaurant, the Dublin location remains the same

Temporary closures

  • Din Ding’s Dumpling House’s Fremont location is closed until April
  • Jyun Kang Vegetarian Restaurant, the vegetarian restaurant in Ukiah’s City of 10,000 Buddhas is still dormant because of the pandemic.
  • Tsing Tao (Campbell) has closed, and the Korean Chinese restaurant is slated to re-open in Los Gatos in March

Momo Chang just posted an updated Guide to Chinsee Regional Restaurants in the Bay Aea at SF Eater. Momo and our own Hyperbowler with others worked on the award-winning series five yeears ago at the SF Chronicle, Many Chinas, Many Tables.


I stopped by a place in the Sunset, on Noriga, called SoHoMei. They used to be called Pho Sure, but instead of selling pho, they mostly sold Chaozhou (Teochew) cuisine, and I think they recently rebranded their name to match what they were actually selling.

Their Chaoshan beef balls were some of the bounciest beef balls I’ve ever had, and their Chaozhou pan fried oyster cake and Shantou rice rolls were also dishes that were very unique to that region of China that I’ve never seen anywhere else in the Bay Area. Overall they were excellent.


Impression of Lanzhou opened in the former location of Lulu’s Kitchen, in Concord. Focus on Lanzhou lamian. Photos look good, and menu has many Gansu/Xian/Shaanxi specialties. Looking forward to try this weekend.

Impression of Lanzhou 印象兰州


Lots of action in past two months. More openings than closures. Closures included Five Happiness and three places that had been included in the pre-pandemic SF Chronicle Many Chinas Many Tables project (about 1/3 of that list went out of business since pandemic began).


  • 575 Yunnan Eatery (Saratoga)
  • April 8 (San Ramon) is now Hainan Crispy Chicken
  • Bandbao Beef Noodle (Pleasanton) Taiwanese
  • Brother’s Kitchen (San Ramon) Korean Chinese
  • Dingguagua Tasty Legend (Milpitas) AKA Perfect Food, which in some incarnation was part of the Mainland LiLian Gui XunRou DaBing chain
  • Dongbei Mama (SF Inner Richmond), northeastern specialties. Sister restaurant Royal Cuisine in Cupertino remains.
  • Dumpling Alley (SF Outer Richmond) phone disconnected.
  • Dynasty Pot (San Leandro)
  • Five Happiness (SF Inner Richmond), Taiwanese. Not reported by media AFAIK, but confirmed by lots of Yelpers. Sad to see the closure of this decades old institution known for weekend Taiwanese breakfast, knife-shaved noodles, and various Shanghainese & Taiwanese foods.
  • Pot and Noodle (SF Chinatown) on Monday appeared to be rebranded with a dumpling focus. Chef Yiwen “Truman” Du’s photo was still in the window, so I may have misunderstood something.
  • Tong Tong short lived place in Fremont
  • Vision Dumpling (South SF)

Dumpling Openings

  • 88 Bao Bao (Vacaville) the local chain expands beyond the SFBA
  • Dumpling Dynasty (SF Outer Richmond) replaces New Dumpling King, primarily Cantonese except for XLB & Shanghai Noodles
  • Dumpling Union (SF Haight in former Maven space) sister to SF Marina restaurant
  • Dumpling Zone (SF Forest Hill) across from Laguna Honda
  • Pot and Noodle (SF Chinatown) on Monday appeared to be rebranded with a dumpling focus. Chef Yiwen “Truman” Du’s photo was still in the window, so I may have misunderstood something.
  • Top Dumpling (Sunnyvale)
  • United Dumplings (Rockridge Oakland) the spinoff of SF’s Beijing restaurant joins SF Bernal & SF Marina locations.

Hotpot Openings

Assorted openings


Sad to see two SF classics go–Dongbei Mama and Five Happiness.

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Hilary Fung and Gabriel Hongsdusit wrote a guide to 10 Teochew dishes for the SF Chronicle and, like you, share recommendations of specialties at SoHoMei a few times.



  • Sichuan Chong Qing Cuisine (San Mateo)
  • ASJ Restaurant (San Jose) Taiwanese
  • Dumpling Time (Cupertino)
  • Heritage Noodles (San Jose)
  • Lavender Hot Pot
  • Xiaoman Riceburrito 小滿飯糰 (Santa Clara), Sunnyvale still open

Assorted Openings


Hot pot/Malatang/Steam Pot


do you know if ASJ closure is permanent or if they moved somewhere else? it seemed like they had renovation going on inside the space, but their phone was also disconnected…

is there anywhere else that makes 抓饼/thousand-layer pancake?

I’ve seen from a few different sources that they closed, but no indication of the motivation or it being temporary.

Re: Five Grains, I’ve since learned from Instagram that it’s an international chain originating in Changsha, Hunan province. Looks like they supposedly have 4,500 locations, including mainland China, Philippines, and Malaysia.


Visited yesterday!..technically in the SFBA :grin:

  • Mom Dumpling has had a Pleasanton location for about a year
  • Dumpling Story a Pac Heights / Fillmore edition of Dumpling Home opened. Their uncommon, non-pork, variants of sheng jian bao (chicken, vegetable, beef) have been at the Hayes Valley Dumpling Home for a while.
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Some closures:

  • Rong’s in Outer Richmond. The chef/restaurant were formerly Jiangnan Cuisine. Any idea where they are now or if there’s comparable Wuxi style braised dishes elsewhere?
  • WeHouse (Milpitas), Taiwanese bentos
  • The Davis location of Chengdu Style closed. If anything, I found their cooking elevated during the pandemic, and I’m sad to lose one of my favorite stops en route to Sac. They still have a Berkeley location.



Some closures:

  • Apt Li Xiang (Milpitas)
  • Duobao BBQ & Dumplings (Fremont)
  • 168 Chinese Township (Sunnyvale)
  • Phoenix Tree Hunan Cafe (San Jose)
  • Stix Skewers (Alameda)



  • An 88 Bao Bao is soon opening in Concord, same shopping center as Trader Joe’s.
  • 2543 Noriega has had a sign for Xian Bistro for some time. TV was on during lunchtime yesterday, but door was locked.

Just a quick “thank you” for your diligence doing these updates!


You’re very welcome!

BTW, I’ve updated my scripts, and deleted closed restaurants from the Original Post (I probably won’t add 2023 openings for a while).

If I hadn’t mentioned before, these presumed-closed restaurants have been back at it for a while:

  • DNM Hot Pot (SF Inner Richmond) Inner Mongolia
  • Northwest China Cuisine (Fremont)
  • R Noodles (Oakland) Guilin noodles
  • Shanghai Delight (Milpitas)
  • Chef Cho (Taiwanese) relocated from Fremont to Newark

Here are a bunch of restaurants that are new to this list, some from 2022 that got past my radar until just now, others like Mrs. Khan’s and Dumpling Club that I mistakenly thought were here already. Lots of exciting places.

Why did some get missed? I identify most new openings on Yelp by searching for “Chinese” and “hot and new.” Not a very good strategy for 2023, when 50% of non-Cantonese Chinese openings are BBQ/skewer/dumpling/noodle/hotpot or malatang and may not be listed under the generic “Chinese” category.

  • Warming Rice Noodle (Milpitas) Harbin-based international chain, Wumingyuan Mi Fen (无名缘米粉) opens what may be their first US location
  • Yang’s chicken and rice (Cupertino) a Shandong-based braised chicken restaurant chain
  • Mrs. Khan’s Uyghur Cuisine (Menlo Park) opened in 2022
  • Dumpling Club (SF Mission) opened a few years back, selling frozen and hot dumplings, and has started doing weekend breakfast. Inventive and has some vegan options, note their limited hours.
  • Gaos Kabob and Crab (Milpitas) shaokao & cajun-style seafood chain with locations in Houston, Queens, and Chicago
  • MLBB (Milpitas) mainland based hotpot chain opened in 2022. Has a location in Queens.
  • Special Noodle (Fremont), part of the The Four Sisters Group (四姐) known for their Hunan dishes, sheng jian bao, etc. took over the Always Cool BBQ space. Always Cool BBQ opened in 2022, and reportedly next door. I believe both restaurants shares space with the karaoke lounge.
  • Yi Xiang Ju (Milpitas) Beijing style hotpot
  • Tanghuo Kungfu Mala Town (Berkeley)
  • Tasty Place (Millbrae) since April they’ve steered away from the owners Northeastern roots, and more towards Sichuan cuisine, which they already did surprisingly well. Inside, there’s a photo of a new chef with a medal around his neck, which put him in company with two other chefs along Millbrae’s El Camino Real (Chef Liu at Royal Feast, and Chef Hu Wen Jun at Yummy Szechuan). Any recent experience there? (they sadly pared down the dumpling menu. They still have one variety of fish dumpling, which seemed slightly larger and folded differently than in the past… my guests ate them all before I got to try one…)

The original post should be up to date. But now for some fun facts about chains:

  • As of 2023, about 10% of restaurants on this list are international chains. Hotpot chains, regionally focused or not, continue to be a major theme. More recent additions specialize in foods of Beijing, Chongqing, Dongbei, Guilin, Hunan, Sichuan, Wuhan, or Yunnan. There are also Taiwanese and Korean chains.

  • We’re also now getting some US-based chains that started from outside California, like Dumpling Zone (Seattle), DH Noodles (NY) and Friendship BBQ (NY).

  • Noodle, dumpling/bao (jiaozi, XLB, SJB), and hotpot are the focus of many local-chains. The 4 Sisters group, OX 9 Lanzhou Hand Pulled noodles, and Dumpling Kitchen are among those with stronger regional themes.

A bunch of new openings, and some that missed my radar in 2022.

  • Beijing Chef (Newark) sprouts from the Pleasanton sister restaurant. The original location had some Tan Family Cuisine dishes at some point, not sure about currently.
  • CD BBQ 成都烧烤 (Milpitas) shaokao, some braised cold dishes, Yibin kindling noodles. The name, Chengdu-style shao-kao, suggests that the skewers may be deep fried rather than grilled (that was the case with defunct Rolling Snack, which Luke Tsai wrote about. However, the owner on yelp said they’re grilled. In any case, the restaurant’s symbol refers to Bel Cool Tasty Pot 倍儿爽麻辣香锅 (Cupertino) which serves among other things Sichuan hot pot & Roasted fish
  • DH Noodles (Milpitas) opens in the old Nutrition House space. Servering Northwestern food, notably Lanzhou style beef noodle soup, it the Bay Area’s first location of the NY-started chain, which also has LA locations in SGV and now Westwood.
  • Dou Noodle (Oakland) Sichuan pop-up, not sure if still operational
  • Halal street Hot Pot & Xinjiang Cuisine (Newark) Uyghur & hot pot in former Lavender Hot Pot space
  • Hunan House (Sunnyvale) opened in 2022, Hunan + dry pot
  • Julie’s Noodle (Fremont) Chongqing style noodles, opened in 2022
  • Local Chengdu (San Jose) opened in 2022, hotpot and other Sichuan dishes
  • Meet Rice Noodle (Fremont) part of Yunnan-focussed Meng Ziyuan chain
  • Noodleosophy (Millbrae) opened in 2022 another location in the Social Eatery food court
  • OX 9 Lanzhou Handpulled Noodles (Santa Clara) just opened their 5th SFBA location
  • Simmer Huang (Newark) international chain, whose cooking style involves simmering and stir-frying has a Daly City location too
  • Spicy Tongue (Oakland) Sichuan ghost kitchen at Adeline Food Hall
  • Wei’s Fish (Cupertino) mainland-based sauerkraut fish chain, with a location in NY called Fish with You
  • Xian Bistro (SF Outer Sunset) is open
  • Yao Yao Restaurant (San Leandro) Sichuan, opened in 2022
  • Yummy Time (Newark) some Northern/Beijing style pancakes (shou zhua bing 手抓饼, jing dong pork pie, weekend breakfast. Yelp page, which also shows stuff from former Peach Garden, mentions “Bi Feng Tang Style Seafood.”

Hotpot and malatang


I don’t see a mention of Special Noodle in Richmond, in the 99 Ranch complex.

I’ll be having lunch there tomorrow.

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