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Chicken Soup Season - FiDi and/or Berkeley/Oakland

Celery Nov 15, 2010 09:48 AM

So feeling a cold coming on and my go-to chicken soup place in the Financial District (Soup Freaks) seems to be no more. Any suggestions for good chicken soup - bonus points for organic - and not The Soup Company in the Financial District? I'm at Montgomery and Sutter so anywhere near here or towards the Ferry Building.

Also looking for ideas in Berkeley/Oakland for this evening's dinner of chicken soup. It's the all chicken soup diet this week as I can not be sick I can not be sick I can not be sick for this weekend!


  1. DezzerSF Dec 20, 2010 08:24 AM

    Try Pho Ga Huong Que Cafe in Oakland, best Pho Ga in the area for me.

    Huong Que Cafe
    1228 7th Ave, Oakland, CA

    1. i
      indigirl Dec 18, 2010 11:46 PM

      Taco Grill by Fruitvale BART. Red pozole de pollo. I swear it was the reason I never got sick all last winter!

      Taco Grill
      3340 E 12th St, Oakland, CA 94601

      1. c
        Celery Nov 16, 2010 02:48 PM

        Thanks all for the recommendations. I did the Ferry Building stop yesterday as that was all that fit into my schedule and got a quart of the chicken porridge at Out the Door and the Boulette's soup mentioned so I'm good for a few days. The porridge (jook/congee/rice gruel) hit the spot even though it's a pricey option. There's times you are up to making your own and times you aren't so great to have all these to choose from. Now I just need to clear out my freezer so there's room for some chicken stock!

        Out the Door
        1 Ferry Bldg Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94111

        5 Replies
        1. re: Celery
          osho Dec 16, 2010 09:43 AM

          Believe it or not, I had Pho Ga at Urban Picnic on Kearny yesterday. It was $8.61 incl. tax. And it was pretty good !

          To set clear expectations, I'm not going to come up with sonnets to describe it's glory and it's not quite Turtle Tower but if you're hard pressed for time and craving pho, this is a viable alternative. They also have organic vegetarian pho for a dollar more.

          1. re: osho
            myst Dec 16, 2010 10:13 AM

            La Penca Azul
            La Pinata III

            1619 Webster St, Alameda, CA 94501

          2. re: Celery
            myst Dec 16, 2010 10:10 AM

            I used to love the won ton soup at Garden Restaurant (net to the Hilton on Kearny) but it is closed under renovation. Cafe Venue soup is actually pretty tasty and cheaper than (IMHO awful) SF Soup. Usually if I want soup I go to Golden Star (Vietnamese).

            On Weekends I love to get Pozole. La Penca Azul (used to be La Pinata) in Alameda as well as Otaez are good sources.

            Cafe Venue
            67 5th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

            Cafe Venue
            218 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94104

            Cafe Venue
            215 Fremont St, San Francisco, CA 94105

            1. re: myst
              Ruth Lafler Dec 16, 2010 10:18 AM

              A small pozole at Otaez (including the taquitos on the side and the complimentary chips and salsa) is usually two meals for me! But then, I'm a chips and salsa slut. I have a huge problem at Mexican restaurants because I eat a basket of chips before I get my "real" food and then I'm not hungry and have to take most of my order to go!

              I had steered clear of SF Soup after a couple of bad experiences, but I recently had a couple of good ones (the southwestern corn chowder and a special of Chicken tikka masala soup, with optional rice). I think broth-based soups are a bad idea there, though.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                myst Dec 16, 2010 09:08 PM

                I agree on the Mexican Food, I generally only order two small "street" tacos because I can't eat more than that after my basket of chips...... which I always swear I won't eat....

                SF soup does have a few good ones pop up but I also find the prices too high to revisit. Cafe Venue only has two soup choices each day, but it is much cheaper - I love the ( I'm sure full of fat) cauliflower cheese soup!

                Some people like Napa Ranch because they have a lot of soups. I have only tried the Chili and it was fine.

                Cafe Venue
                67 5th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                Napa Ranch
                465 California St, San Francisco, CA 94104

          3. f
            foodeye Nov 16, 2010 01:31 PM

            Another Ferry Bldg. option today, on the specials board at Mijita, the chicken tortilla soup is great.

            1 Ferry Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94111

            1. Melanie Wong Nov 16, 2010 12:18 AM

              I would suggest heading to Chinatown to buy a salt poached Loong Kong chicken (a heritage breed) from Hing Lung on Stockton Street. Typically there are two or three different kinds of white poached chickens and the loong kong (free-range) is my favorite of them and the bones make a rich and delicious stock.. Ask the counter man to cut it in half lengthwise for you to make it easier to handle and he'll probably ask you if you want the head and feet removed. Don't, you want them for the stock pot. And be sure that you get a container of the ginger condiment, ask for two even as ginger is cold-fighting in the Chinese pharmacopoeia. At home you can strip the meat and skin off the bird and then make a stock with the bones, joints and ligaments (add a smashed knob of fresh ginger root, garlic and charred green onions). Starting with cooked bones, you'll have a wonderful stock very quickly that doesn't need skimming and the steam from cooking will make you breathe easier.

              Hing Lung Meat
              1261 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94133

              1. m
                ML8000 Nov 15, 2010 04:18 PM

                If it's all week why not stop by Berkeley Bowl (or sim) and get some house made chicken stock, a chix breast and mirepoix (do they have it pre-chopped...I know TJ does but I never buy it). If chopping veggies is the hardest part...and that's taken care of, I think it's 3 minutes of actual work.

                Berkeley Bowl
                2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

                1. JasmineG Nov 15, 2010 03:06 PM

                  Rincon Market, at the corner of Howard and Spear, has 6 soups every day, all pretty good, and they usually have a chicken soup during this time of year.

                  1. Robert Lauriston Nov 15, 2010 11:49 AM

                    Holy Land, with matzoh balls.

                    Holy Land Restaurant
                    2965 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

                    1. wolfe Nov 15, 2010 11:42 AM

                      Everest Restaurant Solano Berkeley described by moi as chicken soup on steroids.
                      Chicken Thukpa
                      Special Nepali dish of Sherpa; Noodles, fresh vegetables & marinated chicken breast with homemade sauce and healthy feeling soup.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: wolfe
                        Mola Nov 18, 2010 04:52 PM

                        Thanks for reminding me how awesome Everest is. I stopped by tonight and got an order of Chicken Thukpa to go. Loads of chicken, good assorted veggies, tangy broth, big hunks of ginger: it's a cold-stopper for sure. And they gave me free chai while I waited for my food. Gotta love a place that is both tasty and friendly.

                      2. chefj Nov 15, 2010 10:56 AM

                        Tom Yum Gai from either Chai Thai noodles or Ruen Pair.
                        Phở gà from one of the many Vietnamese joints in East lake area of Oakland or Gaeng Som Gai or Kaopuhn Sai Nam from one of the Laotian restaurants.
                        Some of the Mexican restaurants in Fruitvale have Caldo de Gallina or Caldo Tlalpeño.
                        Hope that gives you a few ideas

                        Ruen Pair
                        1045 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706

                        1. Robert Lauriston Nov 15, 2010 10:47 AM

                          I love the West Style Fish at China Village. It's a big bowl of excellent chicken broth with lots of filleted catfish.


                          China Village
                          1335 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706

                          1. Ruth Lafler Nov 15, 2010 10:20 AM

                            I love the chicken soup (Sngor thhrouk moarn- chicken soup with lemon grass, green onion and sweet mint leaves) at Phnom Penh House in Oakland.

                            Phnom Penh House
                            251 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607

                            1. f
                              foodeye Nov 15, 2010 10:06 AM

                              I picked up a to-go quart of chicken soup with escarole and farro from Boulette's Larder on Friday and fed my cold with it all weekend. A bit expensive, but definitely the best quality/organic ingredients. If they don't have chicken soup on the menu at Boulette's, the chicken noodle soup at Out the Door is also a good, and organic, option.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: foodeye
                                wally Nov 15, 2010 10:11 AM

                                2nd both of those recommendations.

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