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Chefs' Favorite Greasy-Spoon Meals

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A chef cooking away at Yamo in the Mission.
A chef cooking away at Yamo in the Mission.
Photo: muilak/Flickr

As Greasy Spoons Week comes to a close, we hope that you've enjoyed our little detour from the finer things in life to the diner things in life. And now that we've recapped the most iconic 'spoons, the top fried foods, the best milkshakes, and the perfect drink pairings, we have one more blue-plate special to offer: the favorite greasy spoons of our local chefs. Here now, six top SF chefs pick their favorite locales to get greasy, and tell us what they eat there.

Ted Fleury, Alembic: I love the bun ha noi at Turtle Tower on Geary. Other than that, I usually do noodles and a tea leaf salad at Yamo in the Mission. To Hyang [in the Inner Richmond] has the best braised oxtail ever!

Manny Torres Gimenez, Roxy's Cafe/The Palace: Yamo. The food is some of the best you can find for six bucks, and we love the sisters who run it (especially when they're screaming in the background). We order the cold noodles. Make sure you're polite to them when you sit down and order, or you might not get your food for a while.

Ryan Pollnow, Central Kitchen: When I think of my favorite greasy-spoon guilty pleasures, my mind always goes to the great ethnic restaurants of San Francisco. In Polk Gulch, just north of Little Saigon, there's an awesome Vietnamese restaurant, Cordon Bleu. The food always delivers. I always order their specialty, #5—roast chicken seasoned heavily with five-spice powder, with simple rice and a mystery sauce, described only as 'meat sauce.'

Trevor Ogden, Chambers Eat + Drink: Bill's Place on Clement Street for their burger and milkshake. It seems like the building might come crashing down on you with all the cracks in the ceiling, but it would be worth it to have one of their burgers with a milkshake. Oh, and the chandelier really sets the ambience.

John Fink, The Whole Beast: I enjoy TC Pastry on Irving between 23rd & 24th Avenues in the Sunset. One of my favorite dim sum places in the city. Outstanding shrimp dumplings.

Jodi Liano, San Francisco Cooking School: I'll pick three. First, Shanghai Dumpling King for killer soup dumplings. If you peek in the kitchen, you'll see the dough being made by hand—at light speed, may I add. I make a damn good homemade pancake, but the blueberry pancakes at It's Tops are incredibly light. These are some of the only pancakes I order "out." And for a bare-bones, old-school burger, slathered with mayo and the obligatory lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle, Grubstake always does the trick.

Olivia Terenzio

· All Greasy Spoons Week 2013 posts [~ ESF ~]

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