The diner is a cognitive disconnect from the exquisite mochi confections. Soft, aromatic and flavorful. A real treat.
The Only Real Mochi. I grew up a few blocks from Benkyodo and my friend Milton still lives a few blocks from this great and only place to get Mochi. They have been here on this corner for as long as I can remember and I'm 65 and still drive the 70miles to SF for their Mochi. Whenever Milton come to my house he and his mom Rose bring me Mochi from here.
East meets West at this century-old Japantown institution making traditional Japanese sweets and the odd American classic like hot dogs and ham sandwiches..
As new buildings go up and older generations retire, there are few businesses left in Japantown where you can really sense the history and culture of the neighborhood. At Benkyodo, kimono-clad Issei and Nisei women (the first and second generation of Japanese in America) sit at the diner-style counter--alternately ordering hot dogs from the fryer and traditional rice-based sweets like mochi and manju--next to young Japanophiles drawn in by the extensive selection of Japanese crackers and snacks. The company started more than 100 years ago, and preserves its history in the recipes of the chewy, sweet manju, which are filled with everything from smooth white lima bean paste to strawberry slices to whole red beans to (in a nod to American influence) peanut butter.
A Real Treasure. The best mochi around. On every visit I make to San Francisco, Benkyodo is one stop I cannot miss.I would be in big trouble if I did not bring sweets to my Mom and Aunt. They give their approval , the mochi is soft and perfect ,the sweet bean fillings are plentiful and delicious.
FRESH MOCHI and Great Quick Lunch!. A Japantown TREASURE. What a wonderful community place for a quick lunch (tuna sandwich, made to order, for less than $3 (can take it to go, or eat at the counter--- where else can you get such service?) and a super place for freshly made mochi (rice cake) confectionery (super for a potluck dessert!) HAND-made every day! They've got a community following, of course, but it's a treasure worth visiting on your next visit to Japantown (esp during the Cherry Blossom Festival!) -- Their AnPan are fresh and warm and toasty on some mornings, I can't wait for the next lazy morning when I can pay Bobby and June a visit!!!