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Arts & Entertainment

Popular neighborhood Chinese restaurant bordering the Mission quietly shutters

A vacant restaurant's exterior is seen by day.
For 15 years, Wild Pepper was a popular Chinese restaurant on the border of the Mission District and Noe Valley. | Astrid Kane/The Standard | Source: Astrid Kane/The Standard

Amid a spate of more high-profile restaurant closures this spring, a popular neighborhood Chinese restaurant between the Mission District and Noe Valley has quietly shuttered.

Wild Pepper was a well-regarded spot over the course of its 15-year run on 26th Street between Valencia and Guerrero streets, winning SF Weekly’s Best Chinese Cuisine at least once. Before flashier competitors like Mission Chinese Food debuted, it earned plaudits for its dim sum options and large selection of “meatless chicken” dishes.

A longtime neighborhood staple more than a destination, its closure was decidedly quiet. A sign posted to the door and dated March 30 thanked its patrons, with the owners merely saying it’s “time to face new challenges.”

A large “for lease” sign is attached to the gate. At this time, the restaurant’s website remains up.

According to a somewhat tongue-in-cheek metric, Wild Pepper could be deemed “authentic”—a hazy term at best—simply by virtue of its 3.5-star Yelp rating. A James Beard Award-winning gamer with a large online following stated that he only patronized Chinese restaurants with exactly that score—four stars would mean “too many white people like it.”