Regional Chinese roundup 3.0 (SF Bay Area)

Since the 1960s, the Bay Area’s repertoire of Chinese dishes has continued to expand beyond its Cantonese roots. You could eat at Bay Area Chinese restaurants every night for a month, devoting each meal to a different region of China, ethnic group, or international community, and never repeat a restaurant or style.

To help make sense of the diversity of Chinese cuisine available in the Bay Area, this project aims to document restaurants that specialize in a regional, or ethnic-based, Chinese sub-cuisine, or at least have uncommon regional dishes. The list is a superficial treatment, but it will point you to over 400 restaurants whose specialties fall outside the general Cantonese or Chinese American umbrellas.

Regions of course don’t live in a vacuum, and a chef’s pedigree (or menu) says nothing of their skills at making regional dishes. Treat these categories as rough guidance, and be warned the list includes outstanding restaurants and real stinkers. For a more in-depth discussion of a restaurant or regional cuisine, and to help separate restaurant specialties from fool’s gold, check out linked discussions on Hungry Onion or start a new discussion to get the ball rolling. I’ve also included links to Chowhound discussions and journalist reviews, and each restaurant is linked to Yelp for address and location info. For a curated analogue of the guide, consider the San Francisco Chronicle’s James Beard Award winning Many Chinas, Many Tables project, which used this list to identify candidate restaurants, and which contains short descriptions and dish recommendations for dozens of restaurants.

For additional background on cuisines, the Modern Chinese Foodways conference has a bountiful resources page. For specific dishes, I recommend looking through Carolyn Phillips’ website and book on regional Chinese cuisine, All Under Heaven. Her Vice article is an excellent primer. Also check out Clarissa Wei’s regional Chinese guide to LA and Jim Thurman’s Essential Guide to Regional Chinese Food in LA .

Some Cantonese sub-categories are included, but let’s focus on Cantonese (i.e., Guangdong) and Hong Kong in other posts since they form the foundation of the Bay Area’s Chinese cuisine, and have lots of specialty shops worthy of their own discussions (e.g., dim sum, desserts, meats, etc.). The San Francisco Bay Area Cantonese Primer is a quick primer to get you started down that route.

Please add new discoveries and let us know if anything has been mis-characterized, especially if a place’s menu doesn’t reflect the purported region. This initial post is a wiki, so I can update it with your tips to keep things current.

Closures are recorded in the graveyard of 247 regional Chinese restaurants and the 2014 Version 2.0 of this list is on Chowhound. See also Olivia Wu’s SF Gate article to see what the scene was like in 2002.

Northwest 西北

See also Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Daguid’s book, Beyond the Great Wall

Shaanxi 陕西 / Xi’an 西安 (most have wide hand-ripped noodles and liang pi. See also the hand-pulled noodle primer)

Gansu 甘肅 / 甘肃 and capital Lanzhou 蘭州 / 兰州

See also the hand-pulled noodle primer for five restaurants listing Lanzhou hand-pulled noodles and about ten other places with hand-pulled noodles (Lamian 拉麵 aka Shou lamian 手拉麵)

  • Lao Wai Noodles pop-up
  • Lanzhou Hand-Pulled Noodles (Milpitas, Cupertino) HO owner worked in Lanzhou. Regular, thick, wide, & extra-wide hand-pulled noodles
  • Shinry Lamian (Fremont) Jonathan Kauffman; renamed from Xin Yuan House, owner from Lanzhou, six thicknesses/shapes of hand-pulled wheat noodles and also buckwheat noodles
  • Skyview Noodle Tea (Pittsburg) HO Chef Jing is from Gansu, and menu items are similar to Shaanxi restaurants. Currently, knife-shaved noodles rather than wide hand-pulled.


  • Northwest China Cuisine (Fremont) Storefront closed, but available on WeChat. An untranslated menu item 回味宁夏一品锅 (roughly, Hui taste Ningxia variety pot”), explicitly refers to the Hui people, a Muslim Chinese group who make up more than 1/3 of Níngxia’s population. Hand-pulled noodles.

Uighur ئۇيغۇر تائاملىرى 维吾尔族 / Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region 新疆维吾尔自治区

Wide ripped or biangbiang noodles, but not a Shaanxi or Uyghur focussed menu

Some Xinjiang dishes available at:


  • See the hand-pulled noodle primer for places with Lagman aka Legman aka Xinjiang ban mian 拌面 aka Latiaozi 拉条子 aka Shou lamian 手拉麵.

Tibet Autonomous Region 西藏自治区

Shanxi 山西

See the thread devoted to knife-shaved and scissor-cut noodles

  • [Dim Sum Corner](SF Chinatown) has scissor-cut noodles
  • MK Noodle (Dublin) only Shanxi dishes are fried pork (过油肉) and a similar (housemate, machine-cut) noodle dish with vinegar
  • Xiang Xiang (Sunnyvale), has knife shaved noodles and round buckwheat noodles

Northeast / Dongbei / 东北 / 東北

Full menu restaurants

Shao Kao (skewer) restaurants featuring Shenyang items

Shandong 山东 / 山東

Shandong owner and/or food, with no direct nod to Korea. Most Shandong dishes are noodle, bun, or dumpling related.

Shandong &/or Chinese Korean

Shandong dishes with Hangul on the menu. All have black zha jiang mian

Korean restaurants with Chinese Korean dishes

Northern 北方

Geographical usage here, but note that the terms “Mandarin Chinese” and “Northern Chinese” are sometimes used as all-inclusive terms to describe that which is not Cantonese or Cantonese-American.

Beijing 北京

Tan Family Cuisine / Tanjia Cai 譚家菜
See China Daily (article).

  • Beijing Chef (Pleasanton) Peking duck too
  • Royal Feast (Millbrae) Award winning Chef Liu was the executive chef at Beijing Grand Hotel, and Melanie Wong found him here after savoring his food at China Village and in Fresno. See CH thread and Chowdown report.

Islamic Chinese 清真 / Hui 回族
A 2004 SF Gate article discusses some of the below restaurants.

Tianjin 天津

Inner Mongolia 内蒙古

Hand-pulled noodles, non-specific region

  • Bing’s Dumpling (Fremont) HO hand-pulled noodles and Xiao long bao, owner from Shandong, frozen dumplings too.
  • Din Ding Dumpling House (Fremont, Union City) HO hand-pulled noodles and Xiao long bao, some Shaanxi dishes. Sells frozen dumplings too at Fremont location.
  • Yummy Szechuan (Millbrae) HO; CH, CH Chef Hu Wen Jun trained at Shijiazhuang Culinary Academy in Hebei. Also has hand-pulled noodles.

Other Northern and Jiaozi /dumplings or bing (might actually be Shandong or Dongbei or even Shanghai)

Jianbing, but not a Beijing generalist

See also goldthread2

Other Northern, descendant/affiliated with Hebei born restauranteur, Qinghe Li (h/t @souperman). Many also sell frozen dumplings, including takeout only Yummy Dumpling.

Shanghai 上海 / Jiangsu 江蘇 / Huaiyang 淮揚菜 / Zhejiang 浙江 / Jiangnan 江南

See Fuchsia Dunlop’s book Land of Fish and Rice, xiao long bao discussion, and sheng jian bao discussion.

Mix of Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang

Wuxi 無錫 and Suzhou 苏州

Yangzhou 扬州

  • Gangnam House (Milpitas) Menu lists Yangzhou-style dishes in English as “Gangnam style”. By name, most, if not all of these dishes are available elsewhere, but noted because it has an owner from Yangzhou according to Yelpers and more info is desired.

Jiangxi 江西

Wuhan 武汉 / Hubei 湖北

Guangxi / Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region 广西壮族自治区

Guilin 桂林
Classic Guilin Rice Noodles are part of an international chain according to Luke Tsai

Luizhou 柳州

Hunan 湖南

See also Fuchsia Dunlop’s Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook.

General Hunan

Hunan noodle

Hunan dry pot

Sichuan 四川 and Chongqing 重慶

Sichuan dishes are popular on non-Cantonese menus, but these restaurants are more focussed. Many of these have dry pot options too. See also Fuchsia Dunlop’s Land of Plenty and the Hungry Onion Sichuan/Chongqing noodles thread. There are a few local chains in the mix, as well as a contingent of East Bay chefs who once worked at China Village.


Chongqing & Sichuan
These restaurants promote that their owners or chefs are trained in Chongqing, or refer to a large number of dishes as being Chongqing or 山城 (“mountain city”) style.

麻辣一品 Owned by Chef Yiwen “Truman” Du and Jenny Wu

Independent Chongqing restaurants

Sichuan dry pot 干锅
Dry pot is available as a part of many Sichuan, Hunan, and other restaurant menus. These restaurants appear to specialize in dry pot.

  • General Pot (Fremont) same owner as Aceking and Chef Liu

Chongqing hot pot

Sichuan hot pot

Guizhou 贵州省

Yunnan 雲南 / 云南

See also Georgia Freedman’s Cooking South of the Clouds: Recipes and Stories from China’s Yunnan Province

The following have no indicators of a Yunnan kitchen (I think they’re all Cantonese/Hong Kong), but I’ll list because they serve a few dishes containing Mixian noodles:

Teochew 潮洲 / Chiuchow / Chaozhou / Teo Chow / Chinjiew

See also The Cleaver Quarterly’s article on Teoswa cuisine, Diana Zheng’s Jia! The Food of Swatow and the Teochew Diaspora, and the Netflix documentary Flavorful Origins.

Teochew etc. / Vietnamese / Trieu Chau
My understanding is that these reflect the cuisine of Teochew speaking people who immigrated to the US from Southeast Asia.


  • Lion Dance Cafe (Oakland) “Flavors from our teochew-singaporean family recipes, nostalgic hawker favorites and the legacy of the chinese american diaspora”, pre-order or show up. Limited hours. Vegan!

Hakka 客家

See also Linda Lau Anusasananan’s the Hakka Cookbook.

Taiwanese 臺灣 / 台灣

See also bubble tea, shaved ice, Taiwanese fried chicken and various Taiwanese bakeries and desserts. See also Steven Crook & Katy Hui-wen Hung’s A Culinary History of Taipei: Beyond Pork and Ponlai and prolific podcaster Cathy Erway’s Food of Taiwan: Recipes from the Beautiful Island

Taiwanese bento/steam plate, not tea-focussed

Taiwanese "military dependent’s village cuisine"
See description of this cuisine on Chowhound

Taiwanese Hotpot

Cantonese 粵 / Guangdong 廣東 / 广东 subsets and offshoots

See KK’s Regional Cantonese primer. Some scattered Shunde and Zhongshan Cantonese dishes in Millbrae at Gourmet Village, the Kitchen, and Champagne restaurant (San Mateo).

See also dim sum, Cantonese seafood, Chinese bakeries, Chinese BBQ or roast meats, wo choy, clay pot, banquet, congee / jook / porridge, Taishan / Toishan, Cha Chaan Teng, HK Cantonese, Hong Kong cafe, Hong Kong western cuisine, and restaurants Yum’s Bistro and Cooking Papa.

Macanese 澳門 / 澳门

  • T 28 (SF Parkside)

Shunde 順德


See also hot pot, dry pot, and Chinese hybrid cuisines such as Peranakan / Nonya (Singapore / Malaysian Chinese), and of course Chinese American, American Chinese, the elusive “NY Cantonese”, Kosher Chinese, Chinese fusion.

Chinese Vegetarian (notables)

Chinese Vegetarian

Indian / Desi Chinese

Chifa / Peruvian Chinese

Japanese Chinese

  • Yu Raku (San Mateo) currently is the only member of this sub-category. See Luke Tsai’s article and an older CH thread for why.

Shao Kao 烧烤 / Chinese Skewers 串
See Chowhound and SF Chronicle coverage. Many of these have Dongbei side dishes and soups.


Hot pot (unknown or non-specific region)
Please open a new thread if you have info on these places!

To be categorized later
Please open a new thread if you have info on these places!

  • Hunan Chef (Pleasanton) Mostly Chinese American, but scattered other stuff like Chinese breakfast on weekends (fan tuan, soy milk), northern noodles from Qi Shan to Chao Ma Mian, big sesame pancakes, fish gluten
  • MOMO Noodle , a food truck, mentions “family recipes” for what they refer to as “bàn miàn”. Anyone have insights into their brief menu? I thought “bàn miàn” was the same as “lo mein” (the Cantonese dredged egg noodles, not the Northeast Chinese American derivative), but the dishes, have more of a Sichuanish persuasion, perhaps the owner’s contemporary spin.
  • Noobowl in Westfield Oakridge (San Jose) and SF Westfield mall (San Francisco)
  • Taste (Palo Alto) HO Sichuan and various northern specialties. Chef used to work at Chili House in SF.

International chains
In 2013, @chandavkl asked why there weren’t more Chinese restaurant chains. By 2016, he commented on the influx, and in 2018, several have opened, which matches a broader trend of chain Asian restaurants opening in the SFBA. Here’s a running list. I’m generally leaving out pastry/dessert and tea shops, as they’re too numerous to keep track of.

US Chains (from outside the SFBA, not including cafes/tea)

US Chains (started, and expanded from, Bay Area)

Local “Chains” (three or more restaurants with same owners) yet to expand outside SFBA

Large menu virtual restaurants with in-house chefs or partnered with restaurants
Most of these allow you to purchase from different restaurants/chefs all in the same order.

Odds and ends

Category description in progress— contains Celebrity chef, contemporary Chinese-American, and renowned Chinese chefs.

  • The 248 replies from April 2016 to December 19, 2017 are archived here
  • The 207 replies from Dec. 17, 2017 to Dec. 7 2018 are archived here.
  • The 170 replies from Dec. 18, 2018 to Nov. 12, 2019 are archived here
  • The 121 replies from Nov. 14, 2019 to May 2, 2021 are archived here

121 posts were split to a new topic: Regional Chinese roundup 3.0 (SF Bay Area)- November 2019 - April 2021 archive

A post was split to a new topic: [Millbrae] Porridge and Things

I’ve updated the original post to reflect the closure of 67 businesses from January 2020-May 2021. I’ve decided to delete the linked Google Map because it’s tough to keep up to date and I’m not sure anyone uses it as a resource.

Also into the original post, I’m working on incorporating around 40 restaurants not previously on the list (mostly post-pandemic openings, a few I missed first time around), as well as a list of pop-ups, ghost-kitchen businesses, online-only ventures, etc. Please let me know what I’ve missed before I search on Instagram, etc. for more things to incorporate.

Finally, I’m thinking about all the ways this list, and its scope, is dated and how to proceed. Ideas are welcome!

Large menu virtual restaurants with in-house chefs or partnered with restaurants
Most of these allow you to purchase from different restaurants/chefs all in the same order.

Ghost Kitchens / Delivery for established restaurants

Pre-order/Ghost kitchen/Pop-ups

Food trucks and farmer’s market stands


As we enter into the yellow tier, and after a 14 month hiatus, now seemed like a good idea to update the original post.

Below is a summary of forty something new additions to the Regional Chinese roundup since March 2020. Thank you to all the Hungry Onion users who reported on these in earlier posts, and my apologies for missing some places that had actually been open for years-- I’m increasingly out of touch, so additions, corrections, and comments are very welcome.

I’ve noticed that the bulk of new brick and mortars are sister-restaurants or parts of local, and in some cases national or international, chains. That’s nothing new, and testament to the quality and success of many businesses, but it jumps out in this climate where so few solo-businesses are having the opportunity to open. New virtual kitchens and pop-ups have opened, particularly in the Taiwanese category. As if we’re not lucky enough to have new tastes from overseas recreated here, there’s also been lots of chef creativity, from refined to crowd-pleasing. And, of course, there’s been no stop to bao-mania (gua, sheng-jian) and dumpling-mania, even in SF neighborhoods like Hayes Valley and Bernal Heights.


Shaanxi 陕西 / Xi’an 西安

Gansu 甘肅 / 甘肃 and capital Lanzhou 蘭州 / 兰州

Uighur ئۇيغۇر تائاملىرى 维吾尔族 / Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region 新疆维吾尔自治区

Wide-pulled noodle

Northern 北方

Northeast / Dongbei / 东北 / 東北 Full menu restaurants

  • Pan Fried Dumplings (Newark) SJB, “snowflake dumplings” (whispy edge potstickers), and a variety of northeastern dishes. Has a sister restaurant in San Jose, and is part of the same group that owns Yummy Yummy Bao.

Northeast Shao Kao (skewer) restaurants featuring Shenyang items

Jiaozi or bing

Northern 北方 Shandong &/or Chinese Korean

Jiangnan 江南

Central Highlands

Hunan 湖南

Chongqing & Sichuan

  • Chuan Yu (Oakland) former chef from (closed) General Tso Kitchen in SF
  • Yu Noodle (Cupertino)

Sichuan 四川

Guizhou 贵州省

Yunnan 雲南 / 云南



  • Lion Dance Cafe (Oakland) “Flavors from our teochew-singaporean family recipes, nostalgic hawker favorites and the legacy of the chinese american diaspora”, pre-order or show up. Limited hours. Vegan!

Taiwanese 臺灣 / 台灣

Taiwanese bento/steam plate, not tea-focussed

Odds and ends

Hot pot (unknown or non-specific region)

  • Fire Pot (South San Francisco) virtual-kitchen

Steam pot

Shao Kao 烧烤 / Chinese Skewers 串


  • Cozy Wok (Oakland) plant-based virtual-kitchen
  • Lion Dance Cafe (Oakland) “Flavors from our teochew-singaporean family recipes, nostalgic hawker favorites and the legacy of the chinese american diaspora”, pre-order or show up. Limited hours. Vegan!

Finally, some reported-closed restaurants are back (or have been back for a while…)

  • I learned on Chinese language site theChiHuo that a new Mountain View restaurant called Embrace Luck is actually a sister-restaurant to Sichuan-hot-pot restaurant Jin Li Yuan (Sunnyvale). TheChiHuo reports they serve a mix of Hunan, Sichuan, and Shanghai dishes. (See also theChiHuo’s SFBA feed in English)
  • A Chowhound post indicated that Ping’s Bistro, which has connections to other Hunan restaurants, has an unopened third location in San Mateo.
  • Also on Chowhound, Melanie Wong let me know that Wonderful’s Foster City sister restaurant is called Chez Xue . The Millbrae location was the first US location of the Beijing-based Hunan chain.
  • According to ABC records, Rolling Snack (Newark), which opened in late 2020 and serves deep-fried Sichuan skewers, may have a common owner with Zhangfei Hot Pot (Fremont) Sichuan hot pot.
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  • Mandarin Gardin (Concord) Korean-Chinese, has transferred its liquor license to a different restaurant at the same address, but appears to be open based on recent Yelp reviews
  • According to ABC records, the owner of Fiery Shanghai (Pleasanton) is opening up “Top Pot Restaurant” in the same complex, in the former Yummy Chengdu spot. There’s no indication that it is associated with the Pacifica restaurant “Top Pot”, which, incidentally, have/had? biang biang noodles to accompany hot pot. Yay Pacifica!
  • I tossed Dim Sum Corner (SF Chinatown) HO into the Shanxi category to acknowledge that they’re the only remaining restaurant that has scissor-cut noodles (M.Y. China was the first and only other to my knowledge).
  • If I’m understanding a Yelp reviewer correctly, Elite Dumpling (Hayward) has since later 2019 been the rebranded version of Cantonese/Chinese American House Cafe. I’m not sure if House Cafe’s staff/chef are still there now, but they were always very nice, and I recall the chef saying he used to run a Cantonese place somewhere around Fruitvale, Oakland. Anyway … the menus show no obvious connection, but apparently Elite Dumpling shares an owner with Vision Dumpling (South San Francisco) and Dumpling Era (San Bruno)
  • Speaking of dumpling chains, Dumpling Garden (Mountain View) owner Kenny Qiu now owns five places, and managed to pose with customer Tyra Banks early on. In addition to Dumpling Garden HO, he now opens Dumpling Capital (Santa Clara), Epic Dumpling (Sunnyvale), Dumpling Depot (Sunnyvale) HO, and Dumpling City (Palo Alto). Along with the different names, are different menu compositions at each location.

@theluketsai at KQED announced yesterday a weeklong series on Eating Taiwanese in the Bay. His opening statement synthesizes cultural background, interviews, and personal experience and motivates the timeliness of the project, both in terms of Taiwanese food’s local availability/production and global politics. Lots to look forward to, and think about, from the stellar list of contributors he teased on Twitter.



  • Spicy House 川香小館 (Daly City) popular Sichuan items, also lists 油泼面 (you po mian, the Shaanxi noodle dish)
  • Lotus Cafe (Union City) Hunan/Sichuan, in the former Sama Uyghur space (the larger location after they’d moved)


  • Yelp reports that T-28, the Macau/Hong Kong cafe has closed. Can anyone confirm? I’ve come across a few Yelp false alarms recently, so hopefully that’s an error.


  • There’s a pending liquor license for Dumpling Union at 1809 Union St, San Francisco, in Marina/Cow Hollow. Any info on this?
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Closures according to Yelp

  • Simmer (SF Parkside) hot pot
  • Eurasia (Richmond) which had [Edit: I neglected to delete this unfinished thought on a restaurant outside the scope of the Regional Chinese roundup, but serendipity struck when @junesix announced that Eurasia (Richmond) is now Dumpling House Mongolian Cuisine!]
  • Dumpling Station (Sunnyvale)


  • Ubest Dumpling (Fremont)
  • The Mandarin (Menlo Park) Sichuan possibly Chongqing. Has the same owner (current, former?) as China Wok in Vallejo.
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A post was split to a new topic: Dumpling House Mongolian Cuisine (Richmond)


Closures per yelp

  • Suzhe Eatery (Palo Alto), Shanghainese, which was a replacement of long-time Su Hong
  • Mandarin Garden (Concord), which had Korean-Chinese dishes
  • Du Xiao Yue (Fremont), which had Taiwanese dishes
  • Classic Guilin Rice Noodles closes its San Jose, but the Oakland location, the Bay Area’s first Guilin specialist, remains.
  • Yummy Crab, the Fremont offshoot of Spicy Station, a Wuhan specialist , in Cupertino
  • I’ve not seen reported elsewhere the closures of Hong Kong cafe Hang Out Spot or of dim sum spot Golden Saba. Can anyone confirm the latter? Their liquor license expired in May. Tangential factoids— Melanie Wong reported that Golden Saba shared ownership with Basa Seafood Express on 24th St. Basa is to my knowledge is the only place in the Mission District where you can get Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory Fortune Cookies ($2.50/bag, always tastes fresh).

Jessica Yadegaran reports in the Mercury News that the owners of Dumpling Home in SF’s Hayes Valley have soft-opened Dumpling Hours in Walnut Creek. Relatively uncommon (for the SFBA) XLB fillings include numbing spicy pork, beef, chicken, and shrimp and loofah. To my knowledge, they’re the only place on the northern section of the 680-corridor to offer pleat-down low-leavened sheng jian bao aside from San Ramon’s I-Shanghai Delight.

It’s located at 1389 N. Main Street. Anyone know what parking is like there on a typical weekday around lunchtime?

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Drove by a new place on Geneva Ave in SF, B&W Kitchen. From the menu looks like a jack of all trades Chinese, but maybe @hyperbowler can discern a focus.

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Xian Kitchen now has a branch in San Jose, on De Anza in the same mall as Hmart.


It looks like a standard Cantonese restaurant. Some interesting specials worth a try.



  • Imperial Tea Court closed its Berkeley location on August 28th according to their Instagram feed. Their Ferry Building location will continue to have hand stretched noodles.
  • Fusion Pot (San Leandro) has closed per yelp
  • Fire Pot (South SF) has closed per yelp
  • Old Shanghai (Outer Richmond SF) has closed per yelp. There had been an ownership change in 2020, but Yelp is the first I’m hearing it’s permanently closed. Any more info out there?
  • Fortune Kitchen (Fremont), which had northeastern and other fare, has closed and been replaced by One Piece Lamian.


  • One Piece Lamian (Fremont), a northwestern Chinese noodle specialist with hand-pulled noodles, roujianmo, dapanji, etc. Noodles can be ordered as angel hair, regular thin, thicker round, small flat, or general wide.
  • (for record keeping), as noted above, Xian Kitchen opened in San Jose.
  • (Taiwanese) fantuan specialist Xiaoman Riceburritos 小滿飯糰 now has a San Jose and Santa Clara location.
  • Yilan bento Taiwanese Bento in SF Chinatown
  • Oooh, Lion Dance Cafe has a pending liquor license.

4 posts were split to a new topic: East Bay Eateries near Amtrak