While New York is still the stronghold of Jewish cooking in the U.S., the Bay Area has seen more Jewish and Kosher eateries cropping up in recent years. Looking to try some kreplach, bapkas and pastrami sandwiches? Here are a few places to visit.
Growing up in the South Bay, I’d never heard of a restaurant that serves “Jewish food.” In fact, my first exposure to matzah ball soup and smoked fish plates outside my family table came during a 2010 trip to New York with lunch at Katz’s Deli. But now the Bay Area is experiencing a fresh crop of interest in this ethnic food. They are some great choices:
Miller’s East Coast Deli, 1725 Polk Street, San Francisco
A personal favorite with locations in San Francisco and San Rafael, Miller’s offers a huge menu of deli sandwiches, fish plates and breakfast options. What exactly is a fish plate? Thin slices of salty fish, perfect to top a bagel. Grab a friend and order the Miller’s Big Fish Platter—a steal for the high-quality fish like sturgeon and smoked sable that are available.
Moishe’s Pippic, 425 Hayes St, San Francisco
This Hayes Valley Chicago-style deli offers a variety of soups, sandwiches and of course, the Chicago dog. It’s been around much longer than most neighboring businesses, offering solid lunch selections such as Reubens, Italian Beef sandwiches and matzah ball soup.
12 Tribes Deli (inside JCCSF), 3200 California Street, San Francisco
Many know about the phenomenal gym at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, but the 12 Tribes Deli is a lesser-known feature. 12 Tribes is fully Kosher and offers catering as well as to-go options. And, they offer monthly cooking classes.
Wise Sons Deli, 3150 24th Street, San Francisco
I watched this place grow from a Saturday pop-up in the Mission to a brick-and-mortar in the same neighborhood—and they still run a Ferry Building stand on Tuesdays! I opt for breakfast items, such as Challah French Toast and the Semite sandwich. Loaves of Challah are available to take home for Shabbat or for snacking. They’re also hosting Seders for Passover this year; sign up early!
The Kitchen Table, 142 Castro Street, Mountain View
Another fully Kosher restaurant—it is dairy-free and no outside food or utensils are allowed—The Kitchen Table opened a few years ago in downtown Mountain View as a higher-end eating establishment. TKT offers breakfast, lunch and dinner with combined classic Jewish dishes and several American additions.
Old World Food Truck, pop-up inside La Victoria Bakery and Café, 2937 24th Street, San Francisco
The latest addition to the San Francisco Jewish food scene is the Old World Food Truck. While the truck is being built, Chef Kenny Hockert and team cook at La Victoria on Wednesday nights. Focusing on Eastern European and Jewish “soul food,” Old World Food Truck offers specials for holidays as well as a variety of just-like-gramma-made-them staples each week.
Have other Jewish and Kosher restaurants to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Photo credit: Wikia Commons