clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
A bowl of beef noodle soup from Dai Ho Restaurant.
Beef noodle soup from Dai Ho restaurant.
Cathy Chaplin

22 Essential San Gabriel Valley Restaurants, 2022 Edition

Dim sum, Taiwanese breakfast, and Italian sandwiches

View as Map
Beef noodle soup from Dai Ho restaurant.
| Cathy Chaplin

The San Gabriel Valley just east of Downtown Los Angeles is a trove of incredible dining. The expansive area that includes cities like Arcadia, Alhambra, Monterey Park, and San Gabriel contains some of the finest Asian restaurants in Southern California, including a significant Sichuan, Cantonese, and Vietnamese food scene. However, there are plenty of other notable places to eat in the area, like Babita Mexicuisine’s upscale Mexican fare, as well as Claro’s Italian Market for stellar Italian subs. Here now, a guide to essential restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley.

Read More

Lan Noodle

Copy Link

In the running for the best noodle shop in SGV, Lan Noodle, which also shows up as Lanzhou Beef Noodle in listings, is a place for incredible spicy handmade soups and more in a casual strip mall space. Be sure to ask for things on the spicy side for maximum flavor.

A bowl of Lanzhou beef noodle soup with cut garnishes and thinly sliced meat with a printed placemat.
Lanzhou beef noodle soup at Lan Noodle.
Wonho Frank Lee

Din Tai Fung

Copy Link

The original landing spot in North America for this Taiwan-based chain, Din Tai Fung has relocated to inside the Westfield Santa Anita serving Shanghai-influenced xiao long bao and other stir-fried fare. In addition to dumplings, try the refreshing cold cucumber appetizer and comforting pan-fried rice cakes. There are locations in Century City and Torrance as well, both inside malls.

Din Tai Fung xiao long bao soup dumplings.
Din Tai Fung xiao long bao soup dumplings.
flickr/ttseng

Chef Tony

Copy Link

Taking over the former Din Tai Fung space in Arcadia, Chef Tony, conceived by Cantonese chef Tony He, is the smaller menu cousin of its original Rosemead restaurant Sea Harbour (which is also excellent). The dim sum here is among the best in SGV.

Deep fried Chinese dumpling with shrimp, squid, and fish at Chef Tony.
Deep fried Chinese dumpling with shrimp, squid, and fish at Chef Tony.
Wonho Frank Lee

Dai Ho Restaurant

Copy Link

Known for its casual digs and amazing beef noodle soup, Dai Ho is a classic SGV cafe that only serves during lunch from Tuesday to Sunday, from 11:30 to 2:30 p.m. Get there early before anything sells out.

A bowl of beef noodle soup from Dai Ho Restaurant.
A bowl of beef noodle soup from Dai Ho Restaurant.
Cathy Chaplin

Bistro Na's

Copy Link

As the SGV’s only Michelin starred restaurant, Bistro Na’s boasts an extensive menu of palace-style fare with the ambience to match. Prices will be commensurate with the quality, but there’s no doubt that Bistro Na’s is the most upscale place to eat in San Gabriel Valley. Try the spicy dry-braised black cod served in a long oval platter.

Bistro Na’s sign.
Bistro Na’s sign.
Bistro Na’s

Chong Qing Special Noodles

Copy Link

The late Jonathan Gold was a tireless defender of Chong Qing Special Noodles, which sits a bit hidden away from SGV’s main drag. It’s worth finding this noodle shop, which has more types of dishes than three restaurant menus put together. The noodle soups and flavor-laden dan dan noodles are worth ordering.

Dan dan noodles from Chongqing Special Noodles in SGV
Dan dan noodles from Chongqing Special Noodles.
Matthew Kang

Golden Deli San Gabriel

Copy Link

Arguably the best overall Vietnamese restaurant in SGV, Golden Deli’s crispy, crunchy cha gio are always in demand, but everything from the bun to the pho are fantastic too. Expect lengthy waits during prime hours.

Newport Seafood Restaurant

Copy Link

With an expansive Cantonese menu with Cambodian influences, this huge standalone building in San Gabriel remains one of the region’s top overall restaurants, especially for its fresh lobster made with green onion and garlic, and as well as bo luc lac.

Newport Seafood Restaurant
Lobster from Newport Seafood.
Cathy Chaplin

Jiang Nan Spring

Copy Link

With a wide, elegant dining room that feels grow up compared to some of its SGV rivals, Jiang Nan Spring is a Shanghai-style restaurant with a big menu and elegant cooking across the board. The kind of place to have a slightly fancier Chinese dinner if the need arises.

Jiang Nan Spring
Jiang Nan Spring.
Jiang Nan Spring

Yang's Kitchen

Copy Link

A modern Asian American restaurant with chef flourishes, seasonal ingredients, and California-inspired fare, Yang’s Kitchen has had to navigate the pandemic with some major adaptations to its menu. But the brunchy, all-day fare has some highlights, from a customizable set meal to cornmeal mochi pancakes.

Interior of Yang’s Kitchen in Alhambra.
Yang’s Kitchen Alhambra.
Wonho Frank Lee

Probably SGV’s most high-end omakase destination, Kogane is a seven-seat counter that serves incredible sushi from two accomplished chefs at a starting price of $250 for dinner. Lunch time is a more approachable $100 and includes some table seating as well. A truly special experience.

Fumio Azumi and Kwan-san at Kogane restaurant in Alhambra, California.
Chefs at Kogane.
Matthew Kang

Claro's Italian Market

Copy Link

Opened since 1948, this old time Italian deli and market has amazing sandwiches on plush bread. There are six locations in Southern California, but the original in San Gabriel is the one to check out.

Shaanxi Garden

Copy Link

With wide hand-pulled noodles hailing from China’s Shaanxi region, this versatile restaurant always has plenty of seating to accommodate medium to larger parties. Prices are incredible reasonable and the portions are hefty too. Get an order of chewy biang biang noodles for the table.

Biang biang mian at Shaanxi Garden
Biang biang mian at Shaanxi Garden.
Matthew Kang

Chengdu Taste founder Tony Xu has a more casual noodle-centric restaurant just down the street from his famous Sichuan restaurant. Mian might be even better, with elegantly sauced and well-portioned dishes that can be eaten almost every day.

Noodles and chaoshou at Mian
Noodle dishes from Mian.
Matthew Kang

Medan Kitchen

Copy Link

It’s incredible that 77-year-old Siu Chen went from home cook to restaurant owner during a pandemic. The family-run operation is now Rosemead’s hub for Indonesian fare with beef rendang, lemongrass fried chicken, and grilled pork satay. It’s a takeout model where all food is prepared and pre-packaged, so order early or walk-in and try your luck. —Mona Holmes

Prepared food for sale at Medan Kitchen.
Prepared food for sale at Medan Kitchen.
Wonho Frank Lee

101 Noodle Express

Copy Link

Most people come here for the beef roll, a scallion pancake stuffed with thinly sliced beef, cilantro, and sauce, but 101 Noodle Express has a huge menu of other dishes that run the gamut of Chinese cuisine. A reliable, affordable restaurant good for feeding a crowd.

101 Noodle Express
101 Noodle Express
Lindsey Baruch

Chengdu Taste

Copy Link

Tony Xu’s enduring Sichuan restaurant can be inconsistent with the level of spice it puts into its dishes, but when they’re spicy, the heat can be unrelenting (and awe-inspiring). The mung bean noodles, spicy wontons, toothpick lamb, and eggplant dishes are the highlights.

A variety of colorful Sichuanese dishes from Chengdu Taste.
Dishes from Chengdu Taste.
Farley Elliott

Sichuan Impression

Copy Link

One of the two main Sichuan restaurant powerhouses in SGV, Sichuan Impression has a way of serving polished, almost elegant regional dishes with enough spice to draw a decent of sweat on the brow. Start with the cold house special noodles.

Cold special noodles and steamed chicken with chili sauce at Sichuan Impression
Special noodles and cold steamed chicken from Sichuan Impression.
Matthew Kang

Babita Mexicuisine

Copy Link

A true throwback Mexican restaurant with white tablecloths, classic Mexican fare, and a grown up ambience, Babita is a real gem in San Gabriel Valley. A place to experience upscale Mexican food with good wine and stellar service.

Huge Tree Pastry

Copy Link

One of Southern California’s gifts is an abundance of Taiwanese breakfast spots. Operating since 2010, Huge Tree Pastry’s pan-fried omelette, hot soy milk, and crullers are only a small sample of what this diner excels at. If the plant-based crowd wants to make the trek, opt for the vegetarian fan tuan. —Mona Holmes

Pan fried radish cake at Huge Tree Pastry.
Pan fried radish cake at Huge Tree Pastry.
Cathy Chaplin

Elite Restaurant

Copy Link

This dim sum powerhouse is packed most days serving fantastic versions of the daytime fare, like har gow, barbecue pork buns, and shiu mai. The prices are going to be a notch higher than other dim sum houses, but the quality is also better. For dinner, expect a more traditional Cantonese seafood-style banquet experience.

Array of small dim sum plates with shrimp har gow, shu mai dumplings, pork buns, and more on a white tablecloth.
Dim Sum from Elite.
Matthew Kang

Delicious Food Corner

Copy Link

This bustling Hong Kong-style cafe in Monterey Park has a huge menu of every day Cantonese fare, from congee and rice rolls by day to more shareable noodle dishes and stir-frys in the evening. Bring a crew and order a ton of dishes.

Delicious Food Corner dishes overhead.
Congee and more from Delicious Food Corner.
Cathy Chaplin

Lan Noodle

In the running for the best noodle shop in SGV, Lan Noodle, which also shows up as Lanzhou Beef Noodle in listings, is a place for incredible spicy handmade soups and more in a casual strip mall space. Be sure to ask for things on the spicy side for maximum flavor.

A bowl of Lanzhou beef noodle soup with cut garnishes and thinly sliced meat with a printed placemat.
Lanzhou beef noodle soup at Lan Noodle.
Wonho Frank Lee

Din Tai Fung

The original landing spot in North America for this Taiwan-based chain, Din Tai Fung has relocated to inside the Westfield Santa Anita serving Shanghai-influenced xiao long bao and other stir-fried fare. In addition to dumplings, try the refreshing cold cucumber appetizer and comforting pan-fried rice cakes. There are locations in Century City and Torrance as well, both inside malls.

Din Tai Fung xiao long bao soup dumplings.
Din Tai Fung xiao long bao soup dumplings.
flickr/ttseng

Chef Tony

Taking over the former Din Tai Fung space in Arcadia, Chef Tony, conceived by Cantonese chef Tony He, is the smaller menu cousin of its original Rosemead restaurant Sea Harbour (which is also excellent). The dim sum here is among the best in SGV.

Deep fried Chinese dumpling with shrimp, squid, and fish at Chef Tony.
Deep fried Chinese dumpling with shrimp, squid, and fish at Chef Tony.
Wonho Frank Lee

Dai Ho Restaurant

Known for its casual digs and amazing beef noodle soup, Dai Ho is a classic SGV cafe that only serves during lunch from Tuesday to Sunday, from 11:30 to 2:30 p.m. Get there early before anything sells out.

A bowl of beef noodle soup from Dai Ho Restaurant.
A bowl of beef noodle soup from Dai Ho Restaurant.
Cathy Chaplin

Bistro Na's

As the SGV’s only Michelin starred restaurant, Bistro Na’s boasts an extensive menu of palace-style fare with the ambience to match. Prices will be commensurate with the quality, but there’s no doubt that Bistro Na’s is the most upscale place to eat in San Gabriel Valley. Try the spicy dry-braised black cod served in a long oval platter.

Bistro Na’s sign.
Bistro Na’s sign.
Bistro Na’s

Chong Qing Special Noodles

The late Jonathan Gold was a tireless defender of Chong Qing Special Noodles, which sits a bit hidden away from SGV’s main drag. It’s worth finding this noodle shop, which has more types of dishes than three restaurant menus put together. The noodle soups and flavor-laden dan dan noodles are worth ordering.

Dan dan noodles from Chongqing Special Noodles in SGV
Dan dan noodles from Chongqing Special Noodles.
Matthew Kang

Golden Deli San Gabriel

Arguably the best overall Vietnamese restaurant in SGV, Golden Deli’s crispy, crunchy cha gio are always in demand, but everything from the bun to the pho are fantastic too. Expect lengthy waits during prime hours.

Newport Seafood Restaurant

With an expansive Cantonese menu with Cambodian influences, this huge standalone building in San Gabriel remains one of the region’s top overall restaurants, especially for its fresh lobster made with green onion and garlic, and as well as bo luc lac.

Newport Seafood Restaurant
Lobster from Newport Seafood.
Cathy Chaplin

Jiang Nan Spring

With a wide, elegant dining room that feels grow up compared to some of its SGV rivals, Jiang Nan Spring is a Shanghai-style restaurant with a big menu and elegant cooking across the board. The kind of place to have a slightly fancier Chinese dinner if the need arises.

Jiang Nan Spring
Jiang Nan Spring.
Jiang Nan Spring

Yang's Kitchen

A modern Asian American restaurant with chef flourishes, seasonal ingredients, and California-inspired fare, Yang’s Kitchen has had to navigate the pandemic with some major adaptations to its menu. But the brunchy, all-day fare has some highlights, from a customizable set meal to cornmeal mochi pancakes.

Interior of Yang’s Kitchen in Alhambra.
Yang’s Kitchen Alhambra.
Wonho Frank Lee

Kogane

Probably SGV’s most high-end omakase destination, Kogane is a seven-seat counter that serves incredible sushi from two accomplished chefs at a starting price of $250 for dinner. Lunch time is a more approachable $100 and includes some table seating as well. A truly special experience.

Fumio Azumi and Kwan-san at Kogane restaurant in Alhambra, California.
Chefs at Kogane.
Matthew Kang

Claro's Italian Market

Opened since 1948, this old time Italian deli and market has amazing sandwiches on plush bread. There are six locations in Southern California, but the original in San Gabriel is the one to check out.

Shaanxi Garden

With wide hand-pulled noodles hailing from China’s Shaanxi region, this versatile restaurant always has plenty of seating to accommodate medium to larger parties. Prices are incredible reasonable and the portions are hefty too. Get an order of chewy biang biang noodles for the table.

Biang biang mian at Shaanxi Garden
Biang biang mian at Shaanxi Garden.
Matthew Kang

Mian

Chengdu Taste founder Tony Xu has a more casual noodle-centric restaurant just down the street from his famous Sichuan restaurant. Mian might be even better, with elegantly sauced and well-portioned dishes that can be eaten almost every day.

Noodles and chaoshou at Mian
Noodle dishes from Mian.
Matthew Kang

Medan Kitchen

It’s incredible that 77-year-old Siu Chen went from home cook to restaurant owner during a pandemic. The family-run operation is now Rosemead’s hub for Indonesian fare with beef rendang, lemongrass fried chicken, and grilled pork satay. It’s a takeout model where all food is prepared and pre-packaged, so order early or walk-in and try your luck. —Mona Holmes

Prepared food for sale at Medan Kitchen.
Prepared food for sale at Medan Kitchen.
Wonho Frank Lee

Related Maps

101 Noodle Express

Most people come here for the beef roll, a scallion pancake stuffed with thinly sliced beef, cilantro, and sauce, but 101 Noodle Express has a huge menu of other dishes that run the gamut of Chinese cuisine. A reliable, affordable restaurant good for feeding a crowd.

101 Noodle Express
101 Noodle Express
Lindsey Baruch

Chengdu Taste

Tony Xu’s enduring Sichuan restaurant can be inconsistent with the level of spice it puts into its dishes, but when they’re spicy, the heat can be unrelenting (and awe-inspiring). The mung bean noodles, spicy wontons, toothpick lamb, and eggplant dishes are the highlights.

A variety of colorful Sichuanese dishes from Chengdu Taste.
Dishes from Chengdu Taste.
Farley Elliott

Sichuan Impression

One of the two main Sichuan restaurant powerhouses in SGV, Sichuan Impression has a way of serving polished, almost elegant regional dishes with enough spice to draw a decent of sweat on the brow. Start with the cold house special noodles.

Cold special noodles and steamed chicken with chili sauce at Sichuan Impression
Special noodles and cold steamed chicken from Sichuan Impression.
Matthew Kang

Babita Mexicuisine

A true throwback Mexican restaurant with white tablecloths, classic Mexican fare, and a grown up ambience, Babita is a real gem in San Gabriel Valley. A place to experience upscale Mexican food with good wine and stellar service.