Hours: Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.-10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
There are many reasons you might not have heard of Ben’s Restaurant — because it’s a Chinese restaurant that caters, in large part, to non-Chinese; because of its location, tucked away in the Jack London produce district; because it’s a cash-only place that closes at 2 p.m. and isn’t open on the weekend. Here’s what you need to know: For 25 years, chef-owner Ben Fung has served tasty, inexpensive Chinese food to a diverse, loyal customer base. The restaurant’s crowning glories are its crunchy, surprisingly grease-free batter-fried chicken (an off-menu special available on Wednesdays only) and its house-made black-bean hot sauce. But really, much of the menu is great: luxurious, comforting shrimp and scrambled eggs over rice; chow mein and fried rice dishes that feature fresh, wok-charred vegetables; and more. Best of all, an entire meal will only run you about six bucks.
Payment Type: Cash only