Hang Ah Tea Room: "Oldest Tea Room in San Francisco" Hang Ah Tea Room Tip by Rixie
Hang Ah Tea Room, San Francisco: 3 reviews and 8 photos
You would probably never see the Hang Ah Tea Room unless you were actively looking for it; it's a tiny, no-frills basement restaurant tucked in next to the playground and tennis courts. It's the oldest tea room in San Francisco.
It was renovated in 2004, and the dark, cavernous look has been replaced with bright lights and neon colors, but I was relieved to see that the photos of Chinatown beauty queens -- white gowns and lacquered hairdos -- are still there.
In my opinion, Hang Ah offers a more authentic Chinatown experience than the fancier restaurants: you?ll find more locals than tourists here.
Favorite Dish: Go for a dim sum lunch between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM.
Hang Ah formerly served dim sum (Chinese hors d'oeuvres) the traditional way: the wait staff brought trays of pork buns, shrimp dumplings, spring rolls, and other savory tidbits to the table, and you chose the ones you wanted. The bill was figured by the number of serving plates.
Recently, however, the restaurant has gone modern, and you now have to order dim sum from the menu, as you would all the other dishes. It's more practical, I suppose, but much less charming.
They still make the best char siu bau (barbecue pork buns) in Chinatown, and they're full-sized, not the mini-buns that some dim sum restaurants serve. Order extras to take with you for a late-afternoon snack. My family also likes the vegetarian spring rolls and foil-wrapped chicken, and the sweet custard buns are ambrosial.
Address: 1 Pagoda Place
Price Comparison: less expensive than average
Directions: Chinatown - Sacramento Street near Stockton, 2 blocks uphill from Grant, past the Willie Wong Playground and tennis courts
Price: less than US$10
Theme: Chinese/Dim Sum
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