Imperial Soup has become an Oakland Chinatown destination for health-focused dining. The main attraction is the long list of traditional, double-boiled soups with various healing properties, as it’s one of very few restaurants in the East Bay to serve these medicinal soups at all. On the menu, soups are divided up not by flavor or protein but by purported health benefits. (There’s a section for lung nourishment and another one for reinforcing “vital energy,” for example.) Sticking to the health theme, non-soup dishes are almost all steamed and virtually oil-free, such as rice steamed in lotus leaves and topped with mushrooms, or steamed milk with digestion-friendly papaya for dessert.

— Janelle Bitker


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