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House-special lobster at Newport Seafood.
House-special lobster at Newport Seafood.
Cathy Chaplin

22 Essential San Gabriel Valley Restaurants, 2023 Edition

Cantonese seafood, Northern Chinese noodles, and soup-filled dumplings for days.

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House-special lobster at Newport Seafood.
| Cathy Chaplin

The San Gabriel Valley just east of Downtown Los Angeles is a trove of incredible dining destinations. 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. Here now, a guide to essential restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Din Tai Fung

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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.

A steam basket of dumplings with vegetables on square plates at a restaurant.
Dumplings and appetizers from Din Tai Fung.
Wonho Frank Lee

1919 Lanzhou Beef Noodle

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The region of Gansu might have the best noodles in all of China, with the city of Lanzhou featuring a slew of hand-cut or hand-pulled noodles served in soup or with dry spices. 1919 Lanzhou Beef Noodle follows much of the same recipe as the lauded Lan Noodle in Arcadia, with similarly great broths and spice blends to make every bite interesting. Tired of “handmade pasta” and its sky-high prices? The portions and affordability of Lanzhou noodles will put a smile on your face.

Chopsticks pulling noodles from a spicy bowl of soup.
Noodle soup from 1919 Lanzhou Beef Noodle.
Matthew Kang

Dai Ho Restaurant

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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, and be sure to bring cash.

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

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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

Tam's Noodle House

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A true Cantonese all-day cafe with some of the quickest service anywhere in town. Place an order and expect everything from the kaya toast to the Hong Kong milk tea to arrive in mere seconds. Comforting bowls of shrimp wonton soup and fried rice give way to one of the best fried fish filet dishes in the SGV. The menu’s got all the hallmarks of a classic Chinese restaurant but with affordability, speed, and big portions in mind.

Khaosan Thai Noodles.
Stir-fried noodles with shrimp.
Joshua Lurie

Diamond Bakery

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Cantonese bakeries are numerous across SGV, but Diamond Bakery might be near the best of the bunch, with a huge array of individually wrapped pastries to egg custard tarts to full cream-filled sheet cakes.

Diamond Bakery.
Diamond Bakery.

Ducks Restaurant

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Japanese comfort food is on full display at Ducks, a family-owned restaurant serving katsu curry, yaki udon, spicy tonkotsu ramen, and all manners of tempura at reasonable prices. It’s easily one of SGV’s most beloved and enduring Japanese restaurants. Don’t mind all the ducks on display inside the dining room.

Karaage bowl at Ducks in San Gabriel.
Karaage bowl at Ducks in San Gabriel.
Wonho Frank Lee

Golden Deli San Gabriel

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Arguably the best overall Vietnamese spot in SGV, Golden Deli’s crispy, crunchy cha gio are always in demand, but everything from the bun to the pho are fantastic too. People are almost always waiting for one of the small strip mall restaurant’s coveted tables.

Newport Seafood Restaurant

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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, as well as bo luc lac.

House-special lobster at Newport Seafood.
House-special lobster at Newport Seafood.
Cathy Chaplin

Jiang Nan Spring

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With a wide, elegant dining room that feels grown 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, from the noodles to the fried rice. The kind of place to have a slightly fancier Chinese dinner if the need arises, with a menu and dining area big enough to please a crowd.

Jiang Nan Spring
Jiang Nan Spring.
Jiang Nan Spring

Bistro 1968

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San Gabriel Valley’s newest landmark dim sum spot might also be its best right now, with a bustling, well-designed dining room filled with eager daytime diners ordering a parade of squid ink har gow, crispy lobster rolls, and heaping bowls of congee. Bistro 1968’s specialties extend to sesame-filled peanut mochi, Iberico pork char siu, and curry-laden Singapore-style pan-fried noodles. Expect to wait during prime weekend hours.

Crispy lobster roll with a side of mayonnaise.
Crispy lobster rolls from Bistro 1968.
Matthew Kang

Yang's Kitchen

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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, including a customizable set meal and cornmeal mochi pancakes.

A smattering of dishes from Yang’s Kitchen in Alhambra.
Dishes from Yang’s Kitchen in 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.

Akami, or leaner bluefin tuna in sushi form, at Kogane in Alhambra.
Akami nigiri sushi from Kogane in Alhambra.
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

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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

Chengdu Taste

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Tony Xu’s enduring Sichuan restaurant can be inconsistent with the level of spice it puts into its dishes, but when the dishes are 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

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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 and end with the mapo tofu with a bit of steamed rice.

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

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

Gram Cafe & Pancakes Los Angeles

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Fluffy Japanese souffle pancakes have been around in LA for a couple of years now, but few have perfected the format better than Osaka import Gram Cafe, serving at the ever-busy Atlantic Times Square in Monterey Park to long daytime lines. The labor-intensive process means the batter has to be constantly whipped, but the results are worth the effort, with jiggly, airy creations that come with a side of syrup and whipped cream.

A tattooed person holds souffle pancakes stacked on a plate at Gram Cafe and Pancakes.
Souffle pancakes.
Ariel Ip

Hue Thai Bakery & Deli

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In Rosemead lies perhaps the city’s best banh mi spot, serving the platonic ratio of ingredients stuffed into a bread baked on the premises, with a choice of French roll or light baguette. Staff recommends the latter for a lighter crispness. With meaty paté, head cheese, ham, chả lụa (steamed pork sausage), and crisp pickled vegetables with the intense spice of fresh jalapeño and bright cilantro, this sandwich has it all.

Bánh mì đặc biệt at Hue Thai Bakery & Deli in Rosemead.
Bánh mì đặc biệt at Hue Thai Bakery & Deli in Rosemead.
Cathy Chaplin

The Hat

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This classic fast-food spot makes sliced pastrami an attainable art form, with sandwiches, hot dogs, and burgers used as a format for serving the preserved brisket. The Hat has always been a reliable spot for after-school snacks and late-night munchies in the SGV.

The Hat.
The Hat.
Cathy Chaplin

Delicious Food Corner

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This bustling Hong Kong-style cafe in Monterey Park has a huge menu of everyday Cantonese fare, including congee and rice rolls by day and more shareable noodle dishes and stir-fries 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

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.

A steam basket of dumplings with vegetables on square plates at a restaurant.
Dumplings and appetizers from Din Tai Fung.
Wonho Frank Lee

1919 Lanzhou Beef Noodle

The region of Gansu might have the best noodles in all of China, with the city of Lanzhou featuring a slew of hand-cut or hand-pulled noodles served in soup or with dry spices. 1919 Lanzhou Beef Noodle follows much of the same recipe as the lauded Lan Noodle in Arcadia, with similarly great broths and spice blends to make every bite interesting. Tired of “handmade pasta” and its sky-high prices? The portions and affordability of Lanzhou noodles will put a smile on your face.

Chopsticks pulling noodles from a spicy bowl of soup.
Noodle soup from 1919 Lanzhou Beef Noodle.
Matthew Kang

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, and be sure to bring cash.

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

Tam's Noodle House

A true Cantonese all-day cafe with some of the quickest service anywhere in town. Place an order and expect everything from the kaya toast to the Hong Kong milk tea to arrive in mere seconds. Comforting bowls of shrimp wonton soup and fried rice give way to one of the best fried fish filet dishes in the SGV. The menu’s got all the hallmarks of a classic Chinese restaurant but with affordability, speed, and big portions in mind.

Khaosan Thai Noodles.
Stir-fried noodles with shrimp.
Joshua Lurie

Diamond Bakery

Cantonese bakeries are numerous across SGV, but Diamond Bakery might be near the best of the bunch, with a huge array of individually wrapped pastries to egg custard tarts to full cream-filled sheet cakes.

Diamond Bakery.
Diamond Bakery.

Ducks Restaurant

Japanese comfort food is on full display at Ducks, a family-owned restaurant serving katsu curry, yaki udon, spicy tonkotsu ramen, and all manners of tempura at reasonable prices. It’s easily one of SGV’s most beloved and enduring Japanese restaurants. Don’t mind all the ducks on display inside the dining room.

Karaage bowl at Ducks in San Gabriel.
Karaage bowl at Ducks in San Gabriel.
Wonho Frank Lee

Golden Deli San Gabriel

Arguably the best overall Vietnamese spot in SGV, Golden Deli’s crispy, crunchy cha gio are always in demand, but everything from the bun to the pho are fantastic too. People are almost always waiting for one of the small strip mall restaurant’s coveted tables.

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, as well as bo luc lac.

House-special lobster at Newport Seafood.
House-special lobster at Newport Seafood.
Cathy Chaplin

Jiang Nan Spring

With a wide, elegant dining room that feels grown 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, from the noodles to the fried rice. The kind of place to have a slightly fancier Chinese dinner if the need arises, with a menu and dining area big enough to please a crowd.

Jiang Nan Spring
Jiang Nan Spring.
Jiang Nan Spring

Bistro 1968

San Gabriel Valley’s newest landmark dim sum spot might also be its best right now, with a bustling, well-designed dining room filled with eager daytime diners ordering a parade of squid ink har gow, crispy lobster rolls, and heaping bowls of congee. Bistro 1968’s specialties extend to sesame-filled peanut mochi, Iberico pork char siu, and curry-laden Singapore-style pan-fried noodles. Expect to wait during prime weekend hours.

Crispy lobster roll with a side of mayonnaise.
Crispy lobster rolls from Bistro 1968.
Matthew Kang

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, including a customizable set meal and cornmeal mochi pancakes.

A smattering of dishes from Yang’s Kitchen in Alhambra.
Dishes from Yang’s Kitchen in 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.

Akami, or leaner bluefin tuna in sushi form, at Kogane in Alhambra.
Akami nigiri sushi from Kogane in Alhambra.
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

Chengdu Taste

Tony Xu’s enduring Sichuan restaurant can be inconsistent with the level of spice it puts into its dishes, but when the dishes are 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 and end with the mapo tofu with a bit of steamed rice.

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

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