When I relocated to the Bay Area in October of 2011, my best friend and I set up weekly breakfast meetings to catch up and have discussions on our studies together before work. In the beginning, we hopped around different restaurants. Eventually, we began defaulting to ABC Bakery Cafe for a number of reasons: spacious atmosphere (raised ceiling, which I always appreciate in public spaces, as well as the booths – there is no need to raise our voices during our conversation-heavy meals!), centralized location, menu variety, and of course – the Hong Kong style cuisine.
Our typical breakfast is consisted of the following:
- Rice porridge (jook) with preserved eggs and shredded pork
- Rice rolls, stuffed with shrimp or beef
- Hong Kong style milk tea, or Hong Kong style milk tea mixed with coffee (drinks are complimentary)
The service is quick. By this point, the waitresses know our normal orders. We’ve worked out a system for when one of us runs late to the breakfast – whoever arrives first does the ordering. This way, the food is served by the time the second party arrives.
We enjoy the food. Although such cafes are considered to provide “quick meals,” the dishes are authentic. It’s nice to have something warm in our stomachs without it being too heavy – who wants to start the work day with a food coma?
My best friend gets the warm Hong Kong style milk tea as her go-to drink. I rotate between the Hong Kong style milk tea mixed with coffee and the milk tea as mine. Instead of using sugar as the sweetener, ABC puts a little bit of condensed milk in both drinks. The sweetness is subtle, and it leaves room for the flavor of black tea, or coffee.
ABC Bakery Cafe has a few locations in the Bay Area, and we are regulars at the downtown San Mateo branch. We return every week not just because the location is on the way to our offices. Truthfully, when the time is limited on a weekday morning, it is nice to have something consistent before we both rush off to meetings and projects. There is no need to fight through a different traffic, figure out parking situations, or get delayed for who-knows-what reason.
Are you a regular at any local restaurant in your city? Why do you return? Share with us in the comments.
ABC Bakery Cafe
210 E. 3rd Ave
San Mateo, CA 94401
Parking: metered, street parking