By Randy Yagi
In one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities, finding a delicious Mission burrito in San Francisco is just as easy as finding a similarly tasty dish of egg rolls, or any other international delicacy for that matter. However, it’s obvious that some restaurants are much better than others, backed with loyal customers and a reputation of consistently serving exceptional food. While it’s unlikely that egg rolls will only be ordered as an appetizer or a side dish, the following are five of the best places to order these deep-fried treats in San Francisco.
San Francisco, CA 94133
Named last year’s Restaurant of the Year by Eater San Francisco, China Live immediately became a San Francisco hotspot after its highly anticipated opening last February. Led by well known restaurateur George Chen, China Live is housed within an enormous 30,000 restaurant and retail space along the northern border of Chinatown and features three impressive dining areas, most importantly the new Eight Tables by George Chen, which features an extraordinary tasting menu. The more casual Market Restaurant also offers a remarkably inventive take on classic Asian dishes, including signature items like Sheng Jian Bao Dumplings and the deep fried Dungeness Crab Spring Handrolls, which many customers insist are actually more like traditional egg rolls and exceptionally tasty. Other noteworthy dishes to consider are the Peking Duck with Kumquat Glaze, Dongbei Vegetarian Long Pot Sticks and Betelnut Minced Chicken Lettuce, named after George Chen’s former James Beard nominated restaurant, Betelnut. The eight-piece crab rolls, in addition to most every other creative dishes are also available for pick up or delivery.
Related: Shopper’s Guide To San Francisco
660 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
The sister property to the acclaimed House of Nanking in Chinatown, Fang Restaurant features a sophisticated yet affordable twist on traditional Chinese dishes. This includes the distinctive Fried Pork Confit Eggrolls (with a vegetarian option), served with celebrity chef Kathy Fang’s signature Sweet Chili Mustard and presented in such an inventive manner that many diners will want to share images of it via social media. Founded by Kathy Fang, who not long ago, won a Chinese New Year themed episode of “Chopped” on the Food Network and her famous father Peter, Fang Restaurant offers several other exceptional Chinese dishes, including the Famous Nanking Sesame Chicken, Panfried Vegetarian Dumplings and the superb Fang’s Peking Buns. The Fried Pork Confit Eggs, its vegetarian alternative and many other dishes can also be ordered online through the restaurant for pick up or delivery through on demand services like DoorDash and Grubhub. Chef Kathy Fang also offers several amazing recipes through her food and travel blog, Fangalicious, including a recipe for Pumpkin Eggrolls.
House Of Nanking
919 Kearny St.
San Francisco, CA 94133
With several notable awards and framed restaurant reviews lining its wall and windows, House of Nanking is clearly one of the best known restaurants in Chinatown and a San Francisco landmark. Favored by celebrities like Rachel Ray, Jamie Oliver, Keanu Reeves and Francis Ford Coppola, whose own Cafe Zoetrope is across the street, this legendary restaurant was founded by Peter Fang in 1988 and features an impressive list of menu items that has remained reasonably priced despite the lofty reputation, including the superb Fried Pork Eggrolls. First time customers can’t go wrong with what they order on the menu but particularly any dish that has “Nanking” or “Fang’s” attached to the description, particularly signature dishes like the Famous Nanking Sesame Chicken. Still, servers, including Peter himself, are well known to make recommendations and past guests often wonder whether a menu is actually necessary. First time customers should also expect the possibility of waiting in line out the door, particularly during peak hours. Take out orders can be made by simply calling the restaurant and deliveries can be made through DoorDash.
Lai Hong Lounge
1416 Powell St.
San Francisco, CA 94133
A Michelin Bib Gourmand selection for the past two years, Lai Hong Lounge is yet another Chinese restaurant that may have a line waiting outside the door. But much like House of Nanking or any other San Francisco establishment with a line of eager customers, it’s well worth the wait to get in. Lai Hong Lounge features an exceptionally large dim sum brunch menu, with several options for dumplings and buns, along with the highly desirable Shrimp Eggroll and some other deep fried treats like the BBQ Pork Puff and Fried Pork Puff that are also worth a try. The deep fried Shrimp Eggrolls are also available on the smaller dinner menu, along with other suggestions like Stuffed Crab Claws, Salt & Pepper Chicken Wings and the pan fried Pot Sticker. Delivery items can be made through Postmates.
1031 Irving St.
San Francisco, CA 94122
Best known for possibly serving the best dry fried chicken wings in San Francisco, San Tung is the best known of the many great Chinese restaurants in the Inner Sunset neighborhood. Open for lunch and dinner daily except for Wednesdays, San Tung is also known to have a line of people waiting outside, which is a good indication the traditional Chinese dishes are fabulously delicious and again, well worth the wait. In addition to the Vegetarian Egg Rolls, customers may also want to try the Sizzling Rice Soup, Black Bean Sauce Noodles and of course, the Original Dry Fried Chicken. With more than 5,800 reviews on Yelp, San Tung is by far the most reviewed Chinese restaurant in San Francisco. Fortunately, a second location next door features a similar menu but is known to have smaller lines to get in.
Related: Food Lover’s Guide To San Francisco