For all the great restaurants we have in the San Francisco Bay Area, sometimes you just want to let your shit go and gorge yourself like nobody’s business. I certainly feel that way… every single day. That must be the reason why the all-you-can-eat hot pot restaurant was invented. To feed the fat kid in all of us. What a great time to be alive.
All around the Bay Area, there are tons of hot pot restaurants, with more seemingly popping up every week. As a result, the staff thought we should take a field trip to figure out which ones deserve the right to take your hard earned money. Here are 6 of our favorite all you can eat hot pot restaurants from around the Bay Area.
Hot Pot Garden
The newest entry on this list. Hot Pot Garden is located on El Camino Boulevard, in the same area as where all the Asian restaurants reside in Millbrae. Many newer hot pot restaurants offer an all-you-can-eat option as well as an AYCE PLUS all-you-can-drink. I’m not quite sure who started that trend, but for an additional 10 dollars, you can select from the wide array of beers that adorn the walls. This is the only hot pot restaurant which offers such an extensive selection of beers on tap. Damn. It is so beautiful.
Shabu House has been around longer than the number of times I have resolved to lose weight. The restaurant is fast becoming a chain, opening up multiple locations in San Francisco, Burlingame and now, Milpitas. The all you can eat festivities don’t end with just food. The all you can drink menu is comprised of beer, sake and as many sake bombs as you can stomach in the 2 hours that you will be there. All this is beautifully topped off with some green tea or red bean ice cream at the end. If you are game, Shabu house also hosts drinking contests at many of its locations. What better than to tell other people you are better than them then by out drinking them.
1150 Paloma Ave, Burlingame, CA 94010
1191 E Calaveras Blvd, Milpitas, CA 95035
San Francisco (Geary)
5158 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118
San Francisco (Clement)
354 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118
San Francisco (Ocean Ave)
2608 Ocean Ave, San Francisco, CA 94132
Zabu Zabu had the unenviable task of going head to head with San Mateo staples Shabuway and Little Sheep Mongolian hot pot. What Zabu Zabu lacks in brand recognition, they make up for it by being the only all-you-can-eat hot pot spot in downtown San Mateo. Not only do you have all the beef, chicken, pork and lamb meet you can shake a stick at. But for people who want some variety, the $33 option comes with unlimited access to additional items such as karage chicken, tempura and other items that will require you to change into stretchy pants.
98 E 3rd Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401
Price: $28 / $33 / $36
Mums House of Shabu-Shabu
For whatever reason, Mums feels like it has been around forever. Ever since I have lived in San Francisco, this was the go to spot if you are looking to get hella full and hella drunk. It is not as busy as it was before (back in the days), but that doesn’t mean the food quality has gotten any worse. If there is one thing I always remember about Mums is that they are pretty consistent. Consistently good that is. As one of the cheaper shabu/hot pot options out there, I fondly remember this place.
Little Hot Pot
What I like most about this place is that each person gets their own individual pot to throw stuff in. No more worrying about everyone dipping their chopsticks into the soup. So instead of a mouthful of meat, you might end up a mouth full of canker sores. The soup bases here are excellent. I’m talking about stinky tofu, miso, herbal and a whole host of others to choose from. Your safe bet is to show up here with a pair of sweat pants on and a fully charged smartphone because you’ll want to stay here for a while.
Boiling Hot Pot
Boiling Hot Pot is a no-frills, somewhat obscure hot pot joint situated right next to the Little Taipei plaza in Fremont. For the food, you really can’t beat the under-$20 dollar price you are paying for all-you-can-eat. Frankly speaking, there is nothing particularly outstanding here, nor is there anything really piss poor about Boiling Hot Pot. Standard sauces, fares and meats are all you really need isn’t it?
Boiling Hot Pot
46997 Warm Springs Blvd, Fremont, CA 94539
Hot Pot City
The f’en OG place that’s been doing it’s thang since the mid 1990’s. I remember coming here since the mid 90’s where the Asian mom perm was in style and Saturday mornings meant Berryessa Chinese school. Hot Pot City was one of the original purveyors of the all you can eat hot pot concept in the Bay Area. Even after 20 years, like a fly at night, it just won’t go away.
These guys kind of have that I-Don’t-Need-No-Stinkin-Marketing-Budget kind of vibe. With absolutely no-frills, not even the health department needs to come here since this is as minimalist as it can get. It is nothing but fire, meat and a pot. Kind of like back in the old country. Not to mention the metal ring along the side of the pot is used to bbq your own meat. #hotdamn
If you aren’t feeling me, then this nostalgic 80’s video that they put together will make you a believer. It is sooo bad, that its damn good.
Hot Pot City
500 Barber Lane, Milpitas, CA
Price: $16.99 / $18.99(weekends)
Picture Source [flickr]