When looking for a delicious and filling breakfast in the bustling neighborhood of Chinatown in San Francisco, there are so many mouthwatering options to choose from that it can be overwhelming. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Head to Mr. Bing’s for their fluffy Chinese pancakes and Cantonese classics, Good Mong Kok Bakery for freshly baked pastries, or New May Wah for dim sum.
In this comprehensive guide, we will dive deep into the top breakfast spots in Chinatown, San Francisco to help you decide where to start your day. With details on the ambiance, signature dishes, wait times, and more, you’ll finish this article with a solid game plan for an unforgettable breakfast in one of SF’s most dynamic neighborhoods.
The Classics: Chinese Bakeries and Cantonese Cuisine
Chinatown, San Francisco is known for its vibrant culinary scene, and when it comes to breakfast, the classics never disappoint. Among the must-visit spots are the Chinese bakeries and Cantonese restaurants that serve up delicious and authentic dishes to start your day off right.
Mr. Bing’s – Fluffy Chinese Pancakes and Cantonese Classics
Mr. Bing’s is a beloved breakfast spot in Chinatown, offering a delightful array of fluffy Chinese pancakes and traditional Cantonese classics. From scallion pancakes to egg custard tarts, the menu at Mr. Bing’s is a treasure trove of mouthwatering options.
The pancakes, in particular, are a must-try, with their light and airy texture that pairs perfectly with a variety of fillings such as barbecue pork or red bean paste. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, a visit to Mr. Bing’s is a breakfast experience you won’t want to miss.
Good Mong Kok Bakery – Freshly Baked Chinese Pastries
Good Mong Kok Bakery is a hidden gem in Chinatown that specializes in freshly baked Chinese pastries. This family-owned establishment has been serving the community for years, and their commitment to quality and taste is evident in every bite.
From pineapple buns to egg tarts, their pastries are baked to perfection, with a golden crust and a melt-in-your-mouth filling. The aroma that fills the air as you step into the bakery is enough to make your mouth water.
Whether you’re grabbing a quick breakfast on the go or sitting down for a leisurely meal, Good Mong Kok Bakery is a top choice for breakfast in Chinatown.
New May Wah – Dim Sum Favorites
When it comes to breakfast in Chinatown, dim sum is a popular choice, and New May Wah is the place to go for delectable dim sum favorites. From steamed dumplings to pork buns, their menu is extensive and offers a wide variety of options to suit every palate.
The restaurant’s lively atmosphere and bustling crowd create an authentic Chinatown experience that adds to the overall charm. Don’t forget to try their famous siu mai, a classic dim sum dish that will leave you craving for more.
With its delicious food and vibrant ambiance, New May Wah is a go-to breakfast spot for both locals and tourists alike.
So, whether you’re in the mood for fluffy pancakes, freshly baked pastries, or savory dim sum, Chinatown in San Francisco has got you covered. These classic breakfast spots offer a taste of authentic Chinese cuisine that will leave you satisfied and ready to explore all that Chinatown has to offer.
Local Favorites: Casual SF Chinatown Institutions
When it comes to breakfast spots in Chinatown, San Francisco, there are a few local favorites that have become institutions over the years. These casual eateries have been serving up delicious and satisfying breakfast options to locals and visitors alike.
Whether you’re in the mood for a traditional Chinese breakfast or craving classic American favorites, these spots have got you covered.
Eastern Bakery – Cash-Only Counter Serving Massive Banh Mi
One of the must-visit spots in Chinatown is the Eastern Bakery. This cash-only counter is known for its massive Banh Mi sandwiches that are packed with flavor. Whether you prefer a savory or sweet breakfast, Eastern Bakery has options for everyone.
Their BBQ pork Banh Mi is a local favorite and is sure to leave you satisfied. Don’t forget to grab a cup of their fragrant Chinese tea to complete your meal.
Baby Blues BBQ – Southern BBQ Breakfast Sandwiches
For those who crave a hearty and filling breakfast, Baby Blues BBQ is the place to go. This Southern BBQ joint offers a unique twist on breakfast with their mouthwatering breakfast sandwiches. From their pulled pork to their smoked brisket, each sandwich is packed with flavor and served on a fluffy bun.
Pair it with their homemade biscuits and you’ve got yourself a breakfast that will keep you fueled for hours.
Mama’s – Huge Portions of American Breakfast Favorites
If you’re looking for a breakfast spot with huge portions and classic American favorites, look no further than Mama’s. This Chinatown institution has been serving up breakfast for over 50 years and is known for its generous portions and friendly service.
From their fluffy pancakes to their crispy bacon, every dish at Mama’s is made with love and care. Be prepared to wait in line, as this popular spot tends to get crowded, but trust us, the wait is worth it.
So, whether you’re in the mood for a Banh Mi sandwich, a BBQ breakfast sandwich, or a classic American breakfast, these local favorites in Chinatown, San Francisco have got you covered. Don’t miss out on the chance to try these delicious and satisfying breakfast options that have become institutions in the community.
Hip Newcomers: Trendy Brunch Spots with a Twist
China Live – Modern Dim Sum in a Sleek Setting
If you’re looking for a trendy brunch spot that combines traditional Chinese flavors with a modern twist, China Live is the place to be. Located in the heart of Chinatown, San Francisco, this hip newcomer offers a unique dining experience with its sleek and stylish setting.
Whether you’re craving dim sum classics like siu mai and har gow or innovative dishes like truffle xiao long bao, China Live has it all.
Not only does China Live offer a mouthwatering brunch menu, but it also features a marketplace where you can find a wide range of Chinese ingredients and culinary products. It’s the perfect spot to explore and indulge in the vibrant flavors of Chinatown.
Mr. Jiu’s – Chinese-Inspired Brunch with Fresh Pastries
For a brunch experience that combines Chinese-inspired flavors with a touch of elegance, Mr. Jiu’s is the place to go. This renowned restaurant offers a delectable menu featuring fresh pastries, savory dishes, and unique twists on traditional Chinese breakfast items.
Indulge in their famous scallion pancakes with black sesame butter or try their mouthwatering char siu buns. The culinary team at Mr. Jiu’s takes pride in using locally sourced ingredients and infusing them with Chinese flavors to create an unforgettable brunch experience.
With its sophisticated atmosphere and attention to detail, Mr. Jiu’s is a must-visit spot for those looking to enjoy a memorable brunch in Chinatown.
China Clipper Club – Pan-Asian Brunch and Build-Your-Own Bloody Marys
If you’re in the mood for a brunch that offers a diverse range of flavors from various Asian cuisines, look no further than China Clipper Club. This vibrant eatery serves up a pan-Asian brunch menu that will tantalize your taste buds.
From Japanese-inspired sushi rolls to Korean-style bibimbap, China Clipper Club offers something for everyone. Don’t forget to try their build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, where you can customize your drink with an array of spices, garnishes, and hot sauces.
With its lively atmosphere and innovative menu, China Clipper Club is a popular choice for brunch enthusiasts looking for a unique and flavorful experience in Chinatown.
So whether you’re in the mood for modern dim sum, Chinese-inspired pastries, or a pan-Asian feast, Chinatown in San Francisco has a variety of trendy brunch spots that are sure to satisfy your cravings.
Coffee Shops: Cafes for a Quick Bite and Caffeine Fix
Chinatown in San Francisco is not only famous for its delicious Chinese cuisine, but also for its thriving coffee shop scene. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a caffeine fix, there are several coffee shops in the area that are worth checking out.
Far East Cafe – Serving Hong Kong-Style Breakfast
If you’re in the mood for a taste of Hong Kong, look no further than Far East Cafe. This coffee shop is known for its authentic Hong Kong-style breakfast, which includes dishes like steamed rice rolls, congee, and Chinese pastries.
The cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it a great spot to start your day. Don’t forget to try their signature milk tea, a perfect blend of strong tea and creamy milk.
Pin Pin Donuts and Coffee – Donuts and Espresso Drinks
For those with a sweet tooth, Pin Pin Donuts and Coffee is the place to be. This charming coffee shop offers a wide variety of freshly baked donuts, from classic glazed to unique flavors like matcha and red bean.
Pair your donut with one of their delicious espresso drinks, made with locally roasted beans. The cozy seating area and friendly staff make it a great place to relax and enjoy your morning treat.
Red Blossom Tea – Chinese Bakery and Bubble Tea Shop
If you’re looking for a unique twist on breakfast, head over to Red Blossom Tea. This Chinese bakery and bubble tea shop offers a wide selection of pastries, including pineapple buns, egg tarts, and sesame balls. But what sets them apart is their bubble tea menu.
From classic flavors like taro and matcha to innovative combinations like lychee rose and passion fruit jasmine, there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget to grab a box of their handmade tea-infused chocolates as a sweet souvenir.
When it comes to coffee shops in Chinatown, San Francisco, these three spots are among the best. Whether you’re craving a traditional Hong Kong-style breakfast, a delicious donut, or a refreshing bubble tea, you’ll find it all in this vibrant neighborhood.
So next time you’re in Chinatown, make sure to visit these coffee shops for a memorable breakfast experience.
With so many excellent options for breakfast in SF’s Chinatown, you’re sure to find a spot that satisfies your cravings, whether you’re looking for classic Cantonese fare, trendy brunch with unique fusion twists, or a quick pastry and coffee.
The neighborhood is busiest in the mornings, so be prepared for a wait at popular spots, especially on weekends. Now that you’re armed with the top recommendations for breakfast in Chinatown, San Francisco, you can start mapping out your meals in this dynamic community.