1. Heavens Dog
Delicious food served all night, delectable cocktails, and dog pop art décor—this sums up Heaven’s Dog. Great for a group of friends, or you can fly solo and sit at the bar. There is even a lovely private room for large groups. Either way you go, Heaven’s dog feels like home.
Heaven’s dog is one of the few Chinese restaurants that will leave you intrigued with never-ending thoughts of food and desserts. Every dish is a star. Daikon rice cakes and pork belly (which also come vegetarian!) are notable mentions. The star cocktail is the “Fourth Regiment Cocktail,” which is similar to a Manhattan.
One quick tip: Heaven’s dog validates parking for 3 hours in the SOMA Grand garage.
1148 Mission Street (between 7th and Julia Street)
San Francisco, CA 94103
2. Liou’s House Chinese Restaurant
Yes, Liou’s House is a Michelin recommended top-tier restaurant. Indeed, Liou’s is always packed and you will need 24 hours advance notice to get a table, but with that said, Liou’s manages to make people feel at home.
Why else is Liou’s House a great place? The chef carefully designs each dish, from their wintermelon soup that "magically" replenishes itself by scraping the sides of the melon and making the soup full again. Talk about going the extra mile with that dish! Another “Must try” are the shrimp lettuce wraps. Liou’s House is well worth the drive to Milpitas.
1245 Jacklin Road
Milpitas, CA 95035
3. Hunan Homes Restaurant
Hunan Homes was the 2009 “Best of the Bay” winner for Chinese food. If this doesn’t convince you to go check it out, then maybe this will: The hot& sour and sizzling rice soups have been described as the best in San Francisco, the green beans are five stars, the portions are large, and the food is hands-down delicious.
622 Jackson Street (between Kearny and Cooper Aly)
San Francisco, CA 94133
Located in the heart of the bustling SOMA area, Fang is an uncharacteristic Chinese restaurant; although the interior is reminiscent of a hip and happening place, Fang offers authentic Chinese food. The menu is simple and portions are filling.
Kung Pao Chicken and Spicy Shrimp are stars on the menu. The lightly fried mushroom and spicy eggplant are classic vegetarian dishes. Fang is the perfect place to take SF visitors, business clients, and foodies alike.
680 Howard Street (between Hawthorne St. 3rd St.)
San Francisco, CA 94105
5. Utopia Cafe
Sometimes, unassuming places are one of the best kept secrets. Utopia Cafe is located in the heart of Chinatown, and offers authentic, home-cooked, Hong Kong-style cuisine. Utopia specializes in clay pots, but the menu is interestingly diverse. Fresh calamari, fried tofu, pepper chicken wings, and wonton soup are all menu highlights. Utopia uses only fresh seasonal ingredients and dishes are prepared using very little oil; food is refreshing and guilt-free.
139 Waverly Pl
(between Clay St & Washington St)
San Francisco, CA 94108