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Jun 17, 2011 09:04 AM

Brandy Ho's or Henry's Hunan? [San Francisco]

I've been a loyal Henry's diner for more than 20 years (!). I don't live in the City, but that's one of the spots I always hit when I'm there. Now I'm hearing rumblings about how good it "used to be" and am wondering if Brandy Ho's might be a better choice when I'm there next week. Or maybe a completely different Hunan place. There are no Hunan restaurants here in the Seattle area, and I'm looking forward to a nice, spicy Harvest Pork again!


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  1. You may want to explore Hunan Homes Restaurant on Jackson.

    Hunan Homes Restaurant
    622 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133

    2 Replies
    1. re: MeredithR

      I've noticed no difference in quality at Henry's Hunan over the past many years at the Natoma Street branch. I just had my favorite hot and sour chicken there last week and it was amazing as ever. So if it's a favorite I would recommend going back!


      Henry's Hunan Restaurant
      110 Natoma St, San Francisco, CA 94105

      1. re: mdg

        Agreed. The Marty's Special, chicken and smoked ham combo, is still as spicy and delicious as ever.

        Not necessarily Hunan, but a new place to consider might be Spices in the inner Richmond.

        294 8th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118

    2. I went to Brandy Ho's in the Castro a number of times since they have opened. Personally I do not like the food as I feel their flavoring agent in each dish seems to be oil :-(. I would recommend you go somewhere else if you are referring to the Castro.

      1. The Henry's Hunan on Church St in Noe Valley is very consistent. A lot of core family members work there. Henry's and Brandy Ho's are a bit different that other Hunan places. They seem to be based on a specific set of recipies from one family. I like hot/salty/spicy, so I like them. If there is one criticism it's that many of their dishes have the same flavor profile, but that's ok with me.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Calvinist

          To be more accurate, I'm referring to the Henry's on Sansome and the Brandy Ho's on Columbus!

          1. re: Jeffo405

            Brandy Ho, in my opinion, is completely inferior to Henry's Hunan. I've been to the Sansome and Natoma branches dozens and dozens of times over the years, and have seen no changes (always good.)

          2. re: Calvinist

            Yes, I eat at Henry's at least twice a month, and the food is exactly the same and as good as when I started eating it twenty years ago.

            Sansome branch is fine for lunch. But as Calvinist points out, Jeff and Eddie are at Henry's on Church.

          3. We popped into Barndy Ho's on 18th Street (in the Castro) on an impulse a few months back, a move we subsequently sincerely regretted. I cannot recall our menu chices, but came away with the feeling that it was the worst Chinese meal we have had in 30 years in San Francisco.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Alan C

              I went to Spices one night and then Brandy Ho's(on Columbus) the next, last week :) Spices was fantastic as usual. And Brandy Ho's was excellent as usual too. I've been going there since 1981 :) Brandy's food is just sweeter in flavors, but still spicy and delicious!

              1. re: Trumpetguy

                I'm watching this thread with interest, as I love Hunan food and we only have a couple of options in Vancouver. I'm surprised to hear sweet mentioned though as I thought the hallmarks of Hunan were smoky, hot/spicy and marinated. May have to check out Henry's on Church. Anyone know what their Hunanese "bacon" is like?

                1. re: grayelf

                  Henry's signature dish is smoked ham (the #1 rice plate). Virtually everything at Henry's has a similar profile: garlic, chiles, vinegar, not sweet accompanied by sliced onions, carrots, and green peppers.

                  There was a guy who blogged about eating everything on the menu at Henry's. Personally I stick to the smoked ham, cold chicken noodles, and the potstickers.

                  Spices has a great bacon dish, completely different in texture.

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