9 Must Try Shabu and Hot Pot Restaurants in San Francisco

There’s nothing like some hot pot and hot sake on these cold, foggy, summer days in San Francisco. A fun communal dish, hot pot and shabu shabu can easily be conceptualized as the Asian version of fondue.  

Both dishes involve dipping an array of thinly sliced raw meats and vegetables into a boiling pot of either spicy or non-spicy flavored soup, followed by dipping sauces for added flavor. Beef, pork, and lamb are the main meats used in both dishes.

Believed to have originated from Mongolia during the Jin Dynasty over 1,000 years ago, many variations of hot pot have since been developed. The most popular soup base offered in hot pot is “ma la”, which translates to “numbing spicy” in Chinese. There’s typically a much wider selection of side dishes and sauces offered in this dish than it’s Japanese cousin, shabu shabu. Side dishes of hot pot entail various seafoods, meat balls, dumplings, noodles, vegetables, and other delicacies like pork blood.

Shabu shabu, which translates to “swish-swish”, is the Japanese version of hot pot. Shabu is typically made by “swishing” thin slices of beef, pork or lamb and is served with an assortment of udon noodles, tofu, mushrooms (enoki & shiitake), and vegetables. Common dipping sauces are ponzu (citrus based) and a paste like sesame sauce.

9 Must-Try Shabu and Hot Pot Restaurants in San Francisco

Mums Home of Shabu Shabu
$$ | 1800 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA
One of the longest standing shabu restaurants in the City, Mums specializes in the traditional style of this dish. Though their broth is relatively plain at meals start, the flavors from the meat and complementary side dishes contribute to the broth’s flavor as the meal progresses.
All You Can Eat: Yes
Rib Eye Steak, Lamb
Daily: 7AM–10PM

Photo: Kufuya, Facebook.

$$ | 7001 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA
Eat and drink to your heart’s content in the presence of good company. Great for big parties, Kufuya is a cozy shabu and sushi restaurant in the Outer Richmond District. Guests are warmly greeted by a team of truly hospitable staff members and judging by the number of regulars that frequent Kufuya, they make an effort to actually get to know you. Order shabu by the plate or do it the right way and get all you can eat. Walk in’s are welcome but reservations are recommended for large parties. Limited guest parking is available via the lot out back.
All You Can Eat: Yes
Order: Spicy Miso Soup Broth, Beef, Pork, Hot Sake
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 5PM–9:30PM, Friday-Saturday: 5PM–10PM
Website: Yelp 

Photo: Justin Wong, 49miles.com.

$$ | 1325 9th Avenue, San Francisco, CA
Serving only the finest ingredients, like certified A5 Miyazaki Wagyu Beef in addition to some of the best sake and craft beers imported from Japan, Nabe has quickly become a favorite within the Inner Sunset District. Nabe is also one of the few Shabu restaurants that concludes your meal with a complementary traditional Japanese dish called “Zosui”, a flavorful porridge made by adding rice to the leftover soup from your pot. Also check out their second location in the Marina District. Reservations for parties 8 or more are highly recommended.   
All You Can Eat: No
Order: Sukiyaki with Japanese Miyazaki A5 Wagyu Beef, Premium Sake Flight
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 5PM–10PM, Friday-Saturday: 5PM–10:30PM
Website: www.nabesf.com

Shabu House
$$ | 2608 Ocean Avenue, San Francisco, CA
Notable for their generous portions of high quality lamb and beautifully marbled American style Kobe beef, Shabu House invites guests into their beautifully decorated dining room for a heart warming meal. While an all-you-can-eat option is offered, the slices of meat served at Shabu House are comparatively thicker than other restaurants, so their 2 meat combination option will typically suffice for the average bear. Additional highlights include vegetarian, all you can eat & drink options, and complimentary red bean or green tea ice cream for dessert. Visit during happy hour which takes place daily between 5PM and 6PM for 15% off your meal.
All You Can Eat: Yes
Order: Half Spicy Miso and Half Ginger Chicken Broth, Kobe Beef, Lamb
Hours: Weekdays: 5:00PM–10:00PM, Weekends: 11:30AM–2:30PM & 5:00PM–10:00PM
Website: www.myshabuhouse.com

Flavored Korean Soju. Photo: Shabu Club, Facebook.

Shabu Club
$$ | 951 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA
With ample seating in their lounge like atmosphere, Shabu Club has innovatively given an age old dish a splash of modern flare, expanding their palate with internationally inspired flavors like their special Italian influenced “Green Sauce” and flavored Korean soju. Happy hour takes place everyday between 5PM–6:30PM entailing discounted drinks and appetizers. Have a birthday coming up? Celebrate your special day with Shabu Club and enjoy a free all you can eat dinner which includes a complimentary birthday sake bomb when you visit with 6 or more people ordering all you can eat.
All You Can Eat: Yes
Order: Half Spicy Tonkotsu and Half Regular Tonkatsu Broth, Kobe Beef, Ramen Burger
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 5PM–10PM, Friday-Saturday: 5PM–10:30PM
Website: www.shabuclubsf.com 

Photo: The Pot’s, Facebook.

The Pot’s
$$ | 2652 Judah Street, San Francisco, CA
Recently renovated, The Pot’s has since added a new snack section to their menu and an open sauce bar to compliment its’ already impressive list of meats and side dishes, but what stands out is their wide selection of broths including their unique “Very Curry Broth”. All you can drink beer and sake options are available at cost. Reservations on weekends are highly recommended as it tends to get busy.
All You Can Eat: Yes
Order: Very Curry Broth, Fire Spicy Broth, Pork Bone Broth, Prime Rib Slice, Kobe Beef Slice
Hours: Daily: 5PM–10PM
Website: Yelp 

$$ | 1420 Irving Street, San Francisco, CA
Offering the dynamic combination of BBQ & Hot Pot, guests have the option to do either or, or both. With an extensive 9 category menu filled with top quality food and drink items including hand made dim sum, “Biang Biang”, their unique handmade noodles presented hanging on small wooden racks, and milk tea. You’ll definitely need to visit iPot a few times before you can finish sampling their entire menu.
All You Can Eat: Yes
Order: Pork Bone Broth, Biang Biang Noodles, Wagyu Beef, Rib Eye, Short Ribs
Hours: Monday-Friday: 5PM–12AM, Weekends: 11AM–3PM & 5PM–12AM
Website: Yelp 

Boiling Hot Pot
$$ | 5512 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, CA
Great service and a strong offering of fresh hot pot varieties is what you’ll find at Boiling Hot Pot. End your meal on a sweet note with one of their delicious shaved ice desserts.
All You Can Eat: Yes
Order: Spicy Soup, House Special Slice Lamb Shoulder,House Special Slice Beef, Fatty Pork Belly
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 5PM–10PM, Friday-Saturday: 11:30AM–2:30PM & 5PM–10:30PM, Sunday: 11:30AM–2:30PM & 5PM–10PM
Website: Yelp

Photo: Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot.

Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot
$$ | 405 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA
If you’re a fan of spicy food and high quality foods, this is the spot for you. Specializing in the traditional Inner Mongolian style of hot pot, Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot’s herb and spice filled broth is so rich in flavor, it’ll have you second guessing your request for sauce. All you can eat options at their San Francisco location are only available on Tuesdays between June and September, but if you’re willing to drive to their second peninsula location in San Mateo, all you can eat is regularly available with the exception of holidays.  
All You Can Eat: Yes
Order: Ma La broth, Premium Lamb, Kobe Beef Ribeye, Mongolian Beef Pie
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11:30AM–2:30PM & 5:30PM–10PM, Friday: 11:30AM–2:30PM & 5:30PM–10:30PM, Saturday: 11:30AM–2:30PM & 5PM–10:30PM, Sunday: 11:30AM–2:30PM & 5PM–10PM
Website: www.littlesheephotpot.com

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