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Your Favorite places for Soup

On a day like to day what could be better and wanting the more healthy type-

I heard about the vegetable lentil soup at my neighborhood place called Tabou but never tried it. I did today simply amazed that all this time there is one of the best homemade soups to be had 1/2 block from my house. This is a true Middle Eastern ( Lebanese) classic soup- clear broth with a hint of lemon, the perfect amount of yellow lentils not too many, potatoes, celery, carrots, onions, parsley, rice and sprinkled with a smoky chili powder…heaven. No salt or pepper needed

I liked the onion at Liverpool Lil’s last I was there.

The chicken soup at Genova Deli in Oakland, it can be a bit salty.

The Harvest Market has the basis for good healthy soups, but I find they all can use lots of seasoning.

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  1. On days like this my favorite thing to have has always been a nice big bowl of Pho. Not exactly healthy perhaps but comforting.

    I also like the various soups at Daimo in Richmond, the wonton noodle, chicken corn soup or the seafood combination.

    5 Replies
      1. re: Lori SF

        My current Oakland favorite is Pho King on International and Huong Tra on San Pablo Ave in Richmond.

        They both remind me of my mother's homemade Pho broth, nice quantity of noodles and meat in their Pho Dac Biet, Pho Ga. Pho King's Pho Bo Kho is decent and Huong Tra has some good Goi Cuon.

        1. re: nicedragonboy

          Huong Tra gives a nice quantity of noodles/meat? Have they changed owners? I've been there a few times and have never felt that way. I usually end up at Pho Hoa Thai down the street now. Plus, Huong Tra is closed on Sundays.

          1. re: kc72

            That's funny, I've had the opposite experience at these two places. I felt like I got a bit gyped the last time I was at Pho Hoa Thai.

          2. re: nicedragonboy

            I tried Pho King today and thought their Pho Tai Chin was pretty good. The broth had a bit more clove than I like, but it also had nice depth and lightness.

            The garnishes were very fresh and helped enhance the broth, whereas other broths are so heavy, the garnishes do nothing frankly. I especially liked the Ngo Gai (culantro), I thought it cut the clove flavor and complimented the soup very well. Not many places serve this really.

            Noodles were perfect and steak and brisket were nice and tender.

      2. I know this might not necessarily be along the healthy lines (at least in terms of salting and seasoning) but I always feel Chef Leary at Canteen makes the best soup! I've loved each one I've tried there. Always full body and rich. But like I said, some may consider it too salty and therefore not healthy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: singleguychef

          never tried the soup when I ate there, next time.

        2. I've had some good soups at Soop in the gourmet ghetto (Berkeley). With 6 choices daily, there's bound to be one that's to one's liking, and they let you try before you buy.

          1. I love the samusa soup at Burma Superstar. Yummie House also serves amazing noodles soups, which are rich in flavor and spiciness. Lastly, Golden Era makes a veggie pho to die for. All are perfect (and vegetarian) for cold (as in temperature or sickness!) days:)

            Burma Superstar Restaurant
            309 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

            Yummie House
            6903 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA

            4 Replies
            1. re: rahir

              I'll second the samosa soup at BSS, as well as the catfish curry soup at Inya Lake, the Pho Ga at Turtle Tower, the Pho Bo at PPQ, and whatever homemade concoction they happen to be serving at Starvin' Marvin's.

              Turtle Tower Restaurant
              5716 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

              PPQ Vietnamese Cuisine
              1816 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

              Starvin Marvin
              932 Geneva Ave, San Francisco, CA 94112

              1. re: rahir

                I had the samusa soup at Burma Superstar very recently, and I don't get it. I think it's dull and the samusas in the soup have a very unpleasing texture. That said, my dining companions really liked it.

                I've been enjoying the noodle soup for lunch recently at Angkor Borei.

                We recently tried the seafood noodle soup at Red House Bakery and thought it was very good. The addition of peanuts was great.

                Angkor-Borei Restaurant
                3471 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                Red House Bakery
                2818 San Bruno Ave, San Francisco, CA

                1. re: Atomica

                  Red House Bakey sound interesting, never heard of it.

                  1. re: Lori SF

                    We've started going there a lot for green onion buns and pork buns, mostly. A recent order of mapo tofu (eaten in-house) was very good as well.

              2. Golden Era details

                Golden Era Vegetarian
                572 Ofarrell St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                1. Mijita in the Ferry Building (convenient to my office) has been making really good soups lately. The tortilla soup and the pozole are not on the everyday menu, but are worth seeking out, especially the former.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: foodeye

                    Awesome I knew this would be a good thread, so many great new soups to try. I need to lose 10 pounds and soup is my new happy food. Thanks for all the good suggestions.

                      1. re: foodeye

                        I like their albondiagas soup and it is on their menu.

                        1. re: srr

                          Mijita is also lately making a Shrimp Soup - not sure if it's available every Wed. or not.

                          It is very good: thin broth, but richly flavored and a bit spicy, with chunks of carrots and chayote, some onion and herbs and 3 or 4 large fresh sweet prawns.

                      2. Some of the places I know of, I don't know the names.

                        There's a very good Vietnamese noodle place at Irving and 21st, SE corner.

                        There's a Taqueria in the Excelsior, at Mission and Persia (two doors down from a SE corner or there abouts) very good caldo de pollo. It's better then Chava's back in the day.(Anyone been to Chava's lately?)

                        The minestrone at Tennessee Grill is good, above average but it's a huge deal if you add it on to a meal, $1.25 gets you a bowl (a meal by itself) and coffee and a scoop of ice cream if I remember.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: ML8000

                          I have not been to Chava's recently, a year ago I had their chicken soup and it was just too fatty not nearly as nice as the previous times.

                          Where is Tennessee Grill? Is the minestrone heavy with the bean or not?

                          1. re: Lori SF

                            Tennesse Grill
                            1128 Taraval St, San Francisco 94116
                            Btwn 21st & 22nd Ave

                            Phone: 415-664-7834

                        2. The cac-ik at San Miguel #2 (only served weekends) is amazing. A huge turkey leg in turkey broth with cilantro and some other stuff. It's like Mesoamerican pho.

                          1 Reply
                          1. Good tortilla soup at both Picante and Tacubaya (both in Berkeley).

                            1. el delfin on 24th in the mission has really good soups for this type of weather. their chicken soup is a homey concoction that you'd swear your grandma made. very rich chicken stock with a nice celery taste, a few veggies (cabage, carrots, and potato), and tender dark meat chicken (i think last time it was a whole leg quarter). their pozole is about the best i've found in the city, and they use fresh hominy...last time i had it a few saturday's ago it was fresh purple hominy. i was there last night and had the beef soup, and it was the weakest of all the soups i've had there. it was good and had great flavor, but the broth was a little murkey and the beef wasn't as tender as it could have been.....though it hit the spot on a chilly night.

                              1. A few of my favorite soups:

                                harira (lentil soup with lemon) at Tajine. Often more flavorful later in the day.

                                won ton soup at Tea Garden downtown.

                                escabeche de pavo at Chichen Itza. Mild, comforting turkey soup.

                                Minako makes a lotus root dumpling in broth that is heavenly. I think it's a special though.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Windy

                                  I keep wanting to try the escabeche de pavo at Chichen Itza and keep getting distracted by other items on the menu. Next time for sure!

                                  In the same general neighborhood, sort of, I love both the the hot and sour prawn soup and the chicken soup at Lotus Garden on Mission.

                                  Lotus Garden
                                  3216 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                  Minako Organic Japanese Restaurant
                                  2154 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                  Poc Chuc
                                  2886 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                                2. I keep meaning to try the daily soup at Bar Jules in Hayes, but everyday they make a new one and they always sound awesome!

                                  1. Pho Hoa Hung for Pho - excellent broth
                                    Vien Huong for Chiu Chow Noodle Soup
                                    Pyung Chang Tofu House for Soondubu - complex, homemade broth
                                    PPQ for 5 spice chicken pho - excellent chicken
                                    New China for Lamb in sour soup

                                    New China
                                    1743 Decoto Rd, Union City, CA 94587

                                    PPQ Vietnamese Cuisine
                                    1816 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                                    Pyung Chang Tofu House
                                    4701 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

                                    Vien Huong
                                    712 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607

                                    Pho Hoa Hung
                                    2211 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: DezzerSF

                                      Is Pho Hoa Hung the new one on the opposite corner from the Taco truck?

                                      1. re: nicedragonboy

                                        Yeah, it's opposite the Sinaloa trucks. I'm not sure how new it is though. It has a yellow awning. Let me know if you try it, Pho King is one of the last places I've yet to try in Oakland.

                                    2. i wanted to reply to this thread before, but the two soups i had in mind have been worked over here quite frequently and recently, and i didn't feel i had anything new to say about them. the pho at turtle tower hasn't gone downhill and the stewed pork leg noodle soup at thai house express had better NOT go downhill, though recent reports are still positive.

                                      anyways yesterday a friend drove me to the kukje korean market on junipero serra in daly city to pick up ingredients for kamjatang, or spicy pork neck/potato stew. i've never had it, even while living in korea, but it's been on my mind...if it's successful i will post about it on the home cooking board.

                                      anyways, while there i ordered yukkaejang from the in house restaurant to go. the rain was gone, but spicy soup with shredded beef, fern bracken, thick glassy noodles, and egg in a rich,deep red broth hit the spot. it wasn't amazing, and definitely not as spicy as i had wished for (this soup CAN be one of the most incendiary dishes in the korean armory), but it had a deep flavored broth redolent of dried chiles and garlic. came with rice and a few panchan plus new kimchi. and after intensive grocery shopping (why all the new flavored dried kim, or nori? wasabi flavored? ume flavored? brushed with olive oil? where's the plain sort toasted in sesame oil and salt?) i found it quelled both my hunger, my homesickness, and my seasonal affective disorder, or whatever SAD stands for.

                                      again, kukje's restaurant is not destination eats, but it's quite good. super exponentially better than any of the murky offerings in the soup bins at whole foods, where i'm sure many of us stocked up on in a dash to get home, dry, cozy, and warm.

                                      Kuk Jea Market
                                      2350 Junipero Serra Blvd, Daly City, CA

                                      1. LoriSF - could you give the address, hours, etc for Tabou? I can't find anything about it on the web.


                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: lmarie

                                          203 Parnassus Ave.
                                          SF, CA 94117
                                          Open Daily 11-10 PM

                                          The lady there made the soup on Friday not sure if this is the regular day its made. You could call to find out ahead of time. I had them fill my soup pot cost about 12.00 for five portions..made grilled cheese sandwiches and heated it up the soup for dinner gave it a squeeze of lemon, couple glasses of wine we were happy campers.

                                        2. I really like the Sopa de Albondigas at Los Jarritos - they only serve it on Tuesday and it's best to get it early in the day when it's at it's freshest.

                                          I second (or third) the pho at Pho Hoa Hung - excellent broth.

                                          At Thai House Express they sometimes have a roasted pork leg/pickled mustard green soup the is knock your socks off delicious.

                                          The Caldo Verde at Grubstake can be hit or miss but when it hits, it is wonderful.

                                          Caldo de Pollo at Balompie with pieces of their thick corn tortillas torn into like saltines is heaven in a bowl - shower that with lots of cilantro and chopped onions.

                                          Caldo Tlalpeno at Otaez on International Blvd. is really good as well.

                                          The Wor Won Ton Soup at Shan Dong with hand cut noodles. Also, amazingly, the wor won ton soup at Szechuan Garden is really, really good. . it is the only thing on the whole menu worth ordering - and it is wonderful.

                                          I tend to like brothy soups as opposed to creamy soups and if they are MSG free they are pretty healthy.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: pastryqueen

                                            Agreed Sopa de Albondigas at Los Jarritos is quit good forgot to mention. Thanks for your list.

                                            1. re: pastryqueen

                                              That would be a second on Pho Hoa Hung <g>. I'm counting because I've never heard it mentioned, I'm glad you like it as well.

                                            2. i agree that canteen is great for soup - also tres agaves do a lovely tortilla soup with nice chunks of chicken and 1/2 ear of corn - very tasty!

                                              1. I think I blogged about it already but I just wanted to mention that I thought the Anh Hong noodle soup special was pretty good, Berkeley location on University Ave. It had a very interesting/tasty miso/pork broth.