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A table is covered with small dishes at Golden Paramount
A Chinese spread from Golden Paramount
Bill Addison

The 22 Essential Restaurants in Richmond, BC

Where to find some of the best Chinese food in North America, and more

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A Chinese spread from Golden Paramount
| Bill Addison

Richmond, British Columbia, right across the Fraser River from Vancouver and a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Seattle, is a culinary destination of its own, home to the Vancouver International Airport, the continent’s largest Asian night market, and hands-down some of the best Chinese food in the world outside of China. With 73 percent of the population boasting Asian heritage, Richmond’s culinary landscape is an exploration of the traditional and hyper-regional foods of its largely Chinese and Taiwanese residents. But it’s also an apex for Canada’s young Asian-Canadian chefs building off the traditional toward something completely their own.

Options range from high-end Chinese imports to low-key nooks in strip malls and overlooked food courts. Easily forgotten amid the many Chinese gems are other eateries well worth a visit, including an Armenian bakery, a world-class chocolatier, and an offbeat brewery producing whimsical beers. Eating here is an immersive experience not to be missed, as there’s no better place to get a taste of the past, present, and future of Asian cuisine in North America. Here, then, are Richmond’s most essential stops.

Editor’s Note: Eater is not updating international maps at this time given disruptions to global travel during the COVID-19 crisis.

Prices per person, excluding alcohol:
$ = Less than $10 Canadian dollars (Less than $7.50 USD)
$$ = $10 - $20 Canadian dollars ($7.50 - $15 USD)
$$$ = $20 - $30 Canadian dollars ($15 - $22.50 USD)
$$$$ = More than $30 Canadian dollars ($22.50 USD and up)

Jay Friedman is an expert on Asian cuisine in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. He is a regular contributor to Eater Seattle and aggregates his writing on his Gastrolust website.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Lamajoun

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Lamajoun might be located in a cold industrial park, but there’s more than enough warmth emanating from its ovens and its staff. In addition to the pizza-like namesake dish, best bets include baked pide — a boat-shaped flatbread lined with house-cured beef or sausage, plus a soft egg — barbecued meats with lavash flatbread, and khinkali, soupy Georgian dumplings reminiscent of the xiao long bao found in the area’s many Shanghainese restaurants. [$ - $$]

A boat-shaped Georgian pide flatbread filled with cheese, bits of meat and an egg yolk at the center on a large black plate, with another pastry sitting on a separate plate nearby all on a wire mesh table.
Pide filled with beef

Richmond Night Market

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Throngs of food lovers swarm the Richmond Night Market on weekend evenings in the summer. The market offers an assortment of entertainment and shopping, but the food stalls are the real draw for anyone seeking the best examples of street food from across Asia and beyond: spicy squid, stuff on sticks (go for skewered lamb), and fermented tofu. Mouths and iPhones jostle to score specialties like rainbow cheese toast, strawberry-filled mochi, and deep-fried watermelon. [$ - $$]

An aerial shot of stalls and tents of a night market at dusk, with crowds of diners lining up to enter and browsing the stands, a large stage at the end of the market to one side, and the Richmond cityscape off to the other
Richmond Night Market aglow in the evening
Richmond Night Market / Facebook

Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle

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Beef noodle soup is the national dish of Taiwan, and this restaurant features a three-time winner of that country’s national beef noodle soup competition. Chef Hung serves a beefy broth that comes with choice of meat cut, noodle types (go wide!), and spice level. Try the champion beef shank with noodle in spicy soup, with chunks of beef shank and a fatty slice of beef bacon. [$$]

From above, chopsticks grab a few noodles from a soup also containing large hunks of tripe and beef shank, bok choy, diced scallions and broth, with a soup spoon resting on the far side of the bowl
Beef shank, tendon, and tripe noodle soup

Lido Restaurant

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Locals flock to Hong Kong-style cafe Lido at all hours — the queue starts as early as 7:15 a.m. — for pineapple buns. Those in the know eschew the ones in view in favor of the ones in back, fresh out of the oven. They’re best with butter (or even “double butter”), the cold creaminess playing off the warm and already buttery bun. They’re fine on their own, too, washed down with some coffee that can be Western-style or HK-style, meaning with milk. Or use the buns as a prelude to something else from a menu that includes noodle soup with squid balls, a corned beef and egg sandwich, and oatmeal with turnip cake. [$ - $$]

A pastry, patterned from rising in the oven and glossy on the crust, sits split open with a large wedge of butter in the middle on a small plate near a cup of coffee and a menu, blurred in the background, on a formica tabletop.
Pineapple bun with butter

Kam Do Bakery and Plaza

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Kam Do Bakery is a classic in Richmond, with two locations on the city’s bustling No. 3 Road. Egg tarts (four kinds!) are the most popular, followed quickly by other pastries made from dates, winter melon, and even lotus seeds with century egg — a delicacy that’s at once sweet, savory, and a touch sulphuric. Skip the classic pineapple buns for a pineapple-coconut version instead. [$]

Rows of various pastries in trays sit in a pastry case with small cutesy labels
The pastry case

Parker Place

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Enter this shopping mall from the No. 3 Road entrance to see crowds of people seemingly entranced by the sight, smell, and thwacking cleaver sounds emanating from Parker Place Meat & BBQ. That’s before even reaching the mall’s food court, which bustles at lunchtime. Cuisine types and offerings vary widely, from Singaporean beef and pork jerky to bubble waffles and fruit juices from staple vendors like Tak Fook Noodle & Congee Shop, Macau Cafe, and Szechuan Cuisine. [$ - $$]

Crowds sit at tables in the center and wander around vendors set on the outer rim of a light-filled atrium with a large skylight
Parker Place mall food court

Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant

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Chef Tony is one of the buzziest restaurants in Richmond in recent years. Contemporary dim sum specialties include shrimp dumplings with matsutake mushrooms, black truffle siu mai (with pork and shrimp), and deep-fried taro and abalone pastry, along with a huge variety of congee. An upscale dinner menu brings dishes like lamb belly, squab, and some special sea cucumber preparations. Save room for steamed-egg sponge cake and salty egg-yolk lava buns for dessert. [$$$ - $$$$]

Three large, black steamed buns sit in a steamer basket
Salty egg yolk lava steam buns

HK BBQ Master

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HK BBQ Master is masterful indeed in its preparation of barbecued meats. Sample everything if you can: The barbecue duck is delicious and tends to sell out early; the barbecue pork is seductively sweet; the soy sauce chicken is incredibly moist. But the roast pork is the most irresistible, boasting three delicious layers: the meat close to the bone, a layer of succulent fat, and a crisp shield of crackly fried skin. There’s room to dine in, though most get their goods to go. [$$]

From above, sliced cuts of chicken and pork, both glazed in sauces, sit on top of rice on a paper plate with a broccoli floret and diced vegetable garnish
Char siu and soy chicken on rice
HK BBQ Master / Facebook

The Fish Man

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Locals know Alexandra Road as “Eat Street” (Wai Sek Kai) for its abundance of restaurants, and while the Fish Man is one of the newest, it’s already one of the most popular. Sichuan roasted fish with ma la (numbing and spicy) sauce is the main feature, with choice of fish (a firm flesh like catfish holds up best) and choice of toppings like tofu skin, lotus root, and wood ear mushrooms. There are also excellent side dishes such as stir-fried spicy clams, a variety of meat skewers, and mantou dumplings to soak up the addictive sauces. [$$$ - $$$$]

A metal tray with a whole roasted fish buried beneath a pile of chiles, herbs, peanuts, and seeds with other dishes visible on the table around the periphery.
Whole roasted fish with ma la sauce

G-Men Ramen at Nan Chuu Ramen Izakaya

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G-men serves some of the best ramen in an area with stiff competition. Tokyo-style shoyu ramen, difficult to find elsewhere, is done to perfection. The broth is dense with chicken and soy sauce flavor, and comes with thin slices of fatty pork and a brilliantly yellow-orange egg. Evening brings porky tonkotsu ramen, as well as a red chile miso pepper version. There’s a standalone G-Men shop down the road in historic Steveston, too. [$$ - $$$]

Chopsticks lift ramen noodles from a bowl filled with soup, pork, boiled egg, nori, and vegetables
Ramen

太二 老坛子酸菜鱼 Chinese Sauerkraut Fish

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Amid all of Richmond’s hot pot restaurants and their endless choices of broths and add-ins is the quirky Too Two Chinese Sauerkraut Fish. At the entrance is a display of large clay jars storing pickled mustard greens that ferment for 30 days. This constitutes the “sauerkraut” for orders of suan cai yu, big bowls of hot-and-sour broth containing chunks of fish topped with chile peppers and Sichuan peppercorns. Diners decide the size of their fish orders (from small to “the feaster”) as well as what else to put in the broth. [$$$ - $$$$]

A soup bowl filled with chunks of fish, chiles, Sichuan peppercorns, and a large fish head pointed toward the sky
Suan cai yu

Origo Club

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French cafe by day and fine dining destination by night — with afternoon tea on the weekend to boot — this East-meets-West restaurant is a relaxing place to sip French wine, pu-erh tea, or coffee made with proprietary beans. Dinner offers a quiet atmosphere, attentive service, and an elegant menu that includes escargots, foie gras, and French-inspired desserts — along with an affordable tasting-menu option. Feast your eyes on the contemporary Asian art gallery on site. [$$$$]

From above, a dark dish containing two slabs of foie gras topped with dots of gels, a crumbly topping, and small cuts of herbs
Terrine de foie gras
Glasfurd & Walker

Dolar Shop

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Richmond is booming with hot-pot restaurants, and this Chinese import is one of the best. In contrast to most other places, which feature a large, shared pot, diners at Dolar get their own individual hot-pots — still with the option of a split bowl containing two broths. It’s the quality of the broths that makes Dolar rise above the others, whether it’s pork leg bone, mushroom, Szechuan hot and spicy, or tomato and oxtail. Items to add to the hot pot are impeccable, and you can always count on a refreshing ice cream cone at the end of the meal. [$$$ - $$$$]

From above, a table spread with large trays of arrayed cuts of beef, baskets of raw vegetables, and bubbling soups
Wagyu beef hot pot
Dolar Shop / Facebook

Xing Fu Tang

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Throw a rock and you’re likely to hit a bubble tea shop in Richmond, and brown sugar is the flavor du jour. With roots in Taiwan, the popular Xing Fu Tang chose the T&T Supermarket at Lansdowne Centre for its Richmond location, and the lines have been relentless since opening. The enchanting brown sugar pearl milk tea includes tapioca bubbles roasted right before customers’ eyes, and the drink is topped with a dusting of caramelized brown sugar. [$]

Empire Seafood Restaurant

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Come for dumplings and stay for dessert at this popular dim sum destination. Steamed scallop and egg-white dumplings are a good place to start; wu gok (with duck meat) and sweet baked barbecue pork buns are also excellent. For dessert, try the rich, creamy baked tapioca pudding, best eaten while still warm. If Empire is too busy, Parklane Chinese Restaurant is a sibling spot in the same shopping plaza. [$$$ - $$$$]

Steamer baskets of dumplings beside a plate of steam buns and a plate of tripe
Dim sum at Empire Seafood

Shanghai River Restaurant

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This mainstay serves some of the most consistently great Shanghainese food in Richmond. Nearly all diners at Shanghai River order the requisite basket (or three) of xiao long bao, with the ability to watch the workers make the soup dumpling orders through the kitchen window that overlooks the main dining room. The menu is full of dishes typical of Shanghai, including juicy sheng jian bao, rice cakes with pickled vegetables, braised eggplant with chile sauce, and black vinegar ribs that are sweet, sticky, and simply delicious. [$$$ - $$$$]

A steamer basket full of juicy soup dumplings, beside a small dish of dipping sauce
Xiao long bao

Richmond Public Market

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The building has seen better days, but the Richmond Public Market, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, unwaveringly holds the promise of an affordable, memorable meal. Downstairs you’ll find vendors selling produce, packages of noodles and dumplings, roasted meat, and more, while upstairs is a food court with specialties from all over China. Of note: Nanjing cuisine at Bian Fu Chang, biang-biang noodles at Xi’an Cuisine, and Richmond’s oldest and possibly cheapest bubble tea at Peanut’s Bubble Tea. [$ - $$]

Diners fill food court tables in front of several vendors in a large mall space
Richmond Public Market food court

Golden Paramount Seafood Restaurant

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Lesser known than some of Richmond’s other dim sum destinations, Golden Paramount offers some superb items, chief among them the fabulously delicate crab dumplings (listed on the menu as “steamed dumpling with crab meat and pork”). The pork siu mai topped with fish roe is another great choice, as is the stir-fried sticky rice, loaded with smoky flavor. Dinner is ideal for a family-style Cantonese meal. Look for pan-fried oysters, salt-baked chicken, and a dish that is deservedly overlooked elsewhere but shockingly good here: sweet and sour pork. [$$$ - $$$$]

A large spoon-shaped dish filled with fried rice studded with bits of meat and greens, with a spoon sticking out one side
Stir-fried sticky rice

Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks

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This offbeat brewery lives up to its slogan of “Keeping Beer Weird,” with an unusual location in a quiet industrial park a ways away from the main Richmond action. Flights allow sampling of multiple beer types, including the Kiwami plum sour, the Last Mango (a wit beer), and Gettin’ Fizzy With It (a brut IPA). A limited food menu includes a steak and onion pie that’s made with Fuggles & Warlock’s Bean Me Up espresso stout, and there’s often a food truck parked just outside. [$]

Four full glasses of beer stick out of holes in a wooden tray, with small labels afixed near each one.
Beer flight

Anar began as a small Persian food stall in a predominantly Chinese food court, and has since moved into a historical house in Steveston. Incorporating herbs, nuts, and a variety of fruit like pomegranates, plums, and prunes into its food, Anar favors flavors that are bold and bright, as evidenced in small plates like mirza ghasemi (smoky eggplant in tomato and garlic sauce) and larger plates like baghali polo ba goosht (lamb shank and dill rice with broad beans). [$$ - $$$]

Dishes and drinks fill a small wooden table, with lamb shank, a bread basket, and two dips, as well as cocktails and wine in different glassware
A dinner spread at Anar

Wild Sweets

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Located in the same industrial park as Fuggles & Warlock, Wild Sweets allows generous sampling of its vast selection of chocolate, ranging from truffles to bark to perhaps the best bet: single-origin bars sold at discount. Weekends are when the chocolatiers whip up some truly wild sweets to enjoy on-site or to go, typically concoctions that can include combinations of cake, ice cream, compote, creme brulee cream, and crunchy bits. [$]

From above, a cup of ice cream studded with mix-ins sits on top of a packaged chocolate bar beside a spoon on a white background
Custard ice cream with chocolate, peach mango fruit confit, and spiced almond paste creme brulee 
Wild Sweets / Facebook

Pajo's Fish and Chips

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There are a few fish and chip restaurants on or by the water in Steveston — the historic fishing village that’s part of Richmond — and many consider Pajo’s to be the best. Choose from cod, salmon, and halibut, which come battered, fried, and loaded in large paper cones that conveniently fit into holes on the outdoor tables. Enjoy water views while delighting in fresh fish wrapped in a thin and crisp, tempura-like shell. [$$]

A paper cone overflows fried fish and fries onto a wooden platter beside a small cup of tartar sauce and a slice of lemon, outdoors on a wooden surface with a waterfront in the background
Fish and chips with tartar sauce
Pajo’s / Facebook

Lamajoun

A boat-shaped Georgian pide flatbread filled with cheese, bits of meat and an egg yolk at the center on a large black plate, with another pastry sitting on a separate plate nearby all on a wire mesh table.
Pide filled with beef

Lamajoun might be located in a cold industrial park, but there’s more than enough warmth emanating from its ovens and its staff. In addition to the pizza-like namesake dish, best bets include baked pide — a boat-shaped flatbread lined with house-cured beef or sausage, plus a soft egg — barbecued meats with lavash flatbread, and khinkali, soupy Georgian dumplings reminiscent of the xiao long bao found in the area’s many Shanghainese restaurants. [$ - $$]

A boat-shaped Georgian pide flatbread filled with cheese, bits of meat and an egg yolk at the center on a large black plate, with another pastry sitting on a separate plate nearby all on a wire mesh table.
Pide filled with beef

Richmond Night Market

An aerial shot of stalls and tents of a night market at dusk, with crowds of diners lining up to enter and browsing the stands, a large stage at the end of the market to one side, and the Richmond cityscape off to the other
Richmond Night Market aglow in the evening
Richmond Night Market / Facebook

Throngs of food lovers swarm the Richmond Night Market on weekend evenings in the summer. The market offers an assortment of entertainment and shopping, but the food stalls are the real draw for anyone seeking the best examples of street food from across Asia and beyond: spicy squid, stuff on sticks (go for skewered lamb), and fermented tofu. Mouths and iPhones jostle to score specialties like rainbow cheese toast, strawberry-filled mochi, and deep-fried watermelon. [$ - $$]

An aerial shot of stalls and tents of a night market at dusk, with crowds of diners lining up to enter and browsing the stands, a large stage at the end of the market to one side, and the Richmond cityscape off to the other
Richmond Night Market aglow in the evening
Richmond Night Market / Facebook

Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle

From above, chopsticks grab a few noodles from a soup also containing large hunks of tripe and beef shank, bok choy, diced scallions and broth, with a soup spoon resting on the far side of the bowl
Beef shank, tendon, and tripe noodle soup

Beef noodle soup is the national dish of Taiwan, and this restaurant features a three-time winner of that country’s national beef noodle soup competition. Chef Hung serves a beefy broth that comes with choice of meat cut, noodle types (go wide!), and spice level. Try the champion beef shank with noodle in spicy soup, with chunks of beef shank and a fatty slice of beef bacon. [$$]

From above, chopsticks grab a few noodles from a soup also containing large hunks of tripe and beef shank, bok choy, diced scallions and broth, with a soup spoon resting on the far side of the bowl
Beef shank, tendon, and tripe noodle soup

Lido Restaurant

A pastry, patterned from rising in the oven and glossy on the crust, sits split open with a large wedge of butter in the middle on a small plate near a cup of coffee and a menu, blurred in the background, on a formica tabletop.
Pineapple bun with butter

Locals flock to Hong Kong-style cafe Lido at all hours — the queue starts as early as 7:15 a.m. — for pineapple buns. Those in the know eschew the ones in view in favor of the ones in back, fresh out of the oven. They’re best with butter (or even “double butter”), the cold creaminess playing off the warm and already buttery bun. They’re fine on their own, too, washed down with some coffee that can be Western-style or HK-style, meaning with milk. Or use the buns as a prelude to something else from a menu that includes noodle soup with squid balls, a corned beef and egg sandwich, and oatmeal with turnip cake. [$ - $$]

A pastry, patterned from rising in the oven and glossy on the crust, sits split open with a large wedge of butter in the middle on a small plate near a cup of coffee and a menu, blurred in the background, on a formica tabletop.
Pineapple bun with butter

Kam Do Bakery and Plaza

Rows of various pastries in trays sit in a pastry case with small cutesy labels
The pastry case

Kam Do Bakery is a classic in Richmond, with two locations on the city’s bustling No. 3 Road. Egg tarts (four kinds!) are the most popular, followed quickly by other pastries made from dates, winter melon, and even lotus seeds with century egg — a delicacy that’s at once sweet, savory, and a touch sulphuric. Skip the classic pineapple buns for a pineapple-coconut version instead. [$]

Rows of various pastries in trays sit in a pastry case with small cutesy labels
The pastry case

Parker Place

Crowds sit at tables in the center and wander around vendors set on the outer rim of a light-filled atrium with a large skylight
Parker Place mall food court

Enter this shopping mall from the No. 3 Road entrance to see crowds of people seemingly entranced by the sight, smell, and thwacking cleaver sounds emanating from Parker Place Meat & BBQ. That’s before even reaching the mall’s food court, which bustles at lunchtime. Cuisine types and offerings vary widely, from Singaporean beef and pork jerky to bubble waffles and fruit juices from staple vendors like Tak Fook Noodle & Congee Shop, Macau Cafe, and Szechuan Cuisine. [$ - $$]

Crowds sit at tables in the center and wander around vendors set on the outer rim of a light-filled atrium with a large skylight
Parker Place mall food court

Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant

Three large, black steamed buns sit in a steamer basket
Salty egg yolk lava steam buns

Chef Tony is one of the buzziest restaurants in Richmond in recent years. Contemporary dim sum specialties include shrimp dumplings with matsutake mushrooms, black truffle siu mai (with pork and shrimp), and deep-fried taro and abalone pastry, along with a huge variety of congee. An upscale dinner menu brings dishes like lamb belly, squab, and some special sea cucumber preparations. Save room for steamed-egg sponge cake and salty egg-yolk lava buns for dessert. [$$$ - $$$$]

Three large, black steamed buns sit in a steamer basket
Salty egg yolk lava steam buns

HK BBQ Master

From above, sliced cuts of chicken and pork, both glazed in sauces, sit on top of rice on a paper plate with a broccoli floret and diced vegetable garnish
Char siu and soy chicken on rice
HK BBQ Master / Facebook

HK BBQ Master is masterful indeed in its preparation of barbecued meats. Sample everything if you can: The barbecue duck is delicious and tends to sell out early; the barbecue pork is seductively sweet; the soy sauce chicken is incredibly moist. But the roast pork is the most irresistible, boasting three delicious layers: the meat close to the bone, a layer of succulent fat, and a crisp shield of crackly fried skin. There’s room to dine in, though most get their goods to go. [$$]

From above, sliced cuts of chicken and pork, both glazed in sauces, sit on top of rice on a paper plate with a broccoli floret and diced vegetable garnish
Char siu and soy chicken on rice
HK BBQ Master / Facebook

The Fish Man

A metal tray with a whole roasted fish buried beneath a pile of chiles, herbs, peanuts, and seeds with other dishes visible on the table around the periphery.
Whole roasted fish with ma la sauce

Locals know Alexandra Road as “Eat Street” (Wai Sek Kai) for its abundance of restaurants, and while the Fish Man is one of the newest, it’s already one of the most popular. Sichuan roasted fish with ma la (numbing and spicy) sauce is the main feature, with choice of fish (a firm flesh like catfish holds up best) and choice of toppings like tofu skin, lotus root, and wood ear mushrooms. There are also excellent side dishes such as stir-fried spicy clams, a variety of meat skewers, and mantou dumplings to soak up the addictive sauces. [$$$ - $$$$]

A metal tray with a whole roasted fish buried beneath a pile of chiles, herbs, peanuts, and seeds with other dishes visible on the table around the periphery.
Whole roasted fish with ma la sauce

G-Men Ramen at Nan Chuu Ramen Izakaya

Chopsticks lift ramen noodles from a bowl filled with soup, pork, boiled egg, nori, and vegetables
Ramen

G-men serves some of the best ramen in an area with stiff competition. Tokyo-style shoyu ramen, difficult to find elsewhere, is done to perfection. The broth is dense with chicken and soy sauce flavor, and comes with thin slices of fatty pork and a brilliantly yellow-orange egg. Evening brings porky tonkotsu ramen, as well as a red chile miso pepper version. There’s a standalone G-Men shop down the road in historic Steveston, too. [$$ - $$$]

Chopsticks lift ramen noodles from a bowl filled with soup, pork, boiled egg, nori, and vegetables
Ramen

太二 老坛子酸菜鱼 Chinese Sauerkraut Fish