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Jul 16, 2012 07:31 PM

Best authentic Southern Chinese breakfast ... for vegans

I know, this is going to be a tricky one -- but that's why I can't figure it out myself!

I've been craving a "real" Chinese breakfast of the kind one can find pretty much anywhere in SF/LA -- or, let's be honest, China -- but I'm also a vegan without a car living in Washington, DC. And a native Chinese, so I have high standards -- Ping Pong Dim Sum is not what I'm looking for.

The lack of car thing isn't a huge problem -- I'm absolutely willing to bike 10 miles from a metro station for a Chinese breakfast place with great vegan options: fresh (not frozen) steamed red-bean and taro buns and rolls, hot soy milk, "fried dough", sesame pan-fried cakes, scallion and taro pancakes, and of course hot salty congee with (non-meat) mix-ins.

I'm appealing to the collective wisdom of Chowhound for a solution to this puzzle. Hours of poring Google and vegan message boards has done me no good.

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  1. Hey LD-- have you tried the blog
    I've had success emailing Doug on a few food questions.

    That being said, I cannot tell you what sort of "lifestyle adjustment" it has been for me and my HS daughter that we can't gallop out of the house in the a.m and grab one of the 20+ freshly prepared For Me breakfasts off the street in front of the subway.

    Kris in Beijing (NOW in NOVA


    A pic for you from

    1. I'm afraid that competing with SF/LA is well-nigh impossible, even before you get to the vegan/DC clauses. The best options are all in the suburbs.

      In Rockville (not too far from the Twinbrook Metro) is Maria's Bakery and Cafe - - which is Hong Kong style and has red bean and taro buns.

      In Wheaton (other side of the Red Line) is Hollywood East ( which has congee. I don't recall any baked good though.

      Otherwise, maybe Great Wall in Merrifield (Dunn Loring Metro, probably at least a 15 minute /bike/ ride), or Great Wall (second location) or Maxim Gourmet Oriental Market in Rockville (Rockville Metro, 15 minute walk) have bakeries? I can't say for sure.

      Good luck and report back what you find.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chuletas

        I'm not even sure one can get a true vegan Chinese breakfast in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley in LA.