ANYWHERE to get Kafteji in Bay Area or NorCal?

I’m now forever ruined by this place -

I would do almost anything for a bowl of kafteji that even approximates the flavors and heat…

is it possible to find this anywhere in California?

A search for Tunisian restaurants in the Bay Area might get some results.

None that I’m aware of… there’s a place called La Marsa in Union Sq. that appears to be more pan-Mediterranean. Kafteji isn’t often served in Tunisian restaurants anyhow, it’s more of a streetfood dish. I’m not surprised there aren’t many/any restaurants from this region, because the best food in Tunis is just fresh seafood + the regional cuisine seems to be largely utilitarian/proletarian (couscous + protein) due to socioeconomic/cultural conditions, most Tunisians cook at home. Many of the nat’l dishes seem heavily influenced by French colonization, they plop canned tuna on everything from salads to sandwiches and fricasees, serve everything with crusty baguettes, etc. It’s not a food region that would necessarily make sense having much representation in California, but I sure would love to find a place that serves kafteji. I have a feeling I’ll prob need to learn to just make it myself :frowning:

Cafe Gourmand- Tenderloin:


Thank you SO much!!! Honestly, it doesn’t look quite right in pictures, but I’ll take it!!! The fries look great. I’ll report back this weekend!

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NP. How’s the food in Tunisia?

It was hit and miss. The street food was my fave, but rather inconsistent. I could live off kafteji - and lablebbi (minus the canned tuna) in colder weather, which is something we certainly didn’t experience… extreme heat waves swept across N.Africa/Europe while we visited. :hot_face:

The higher end places around the Medina catered primarily to tourists and were pretty bland imo - lots of the same nat’l dishes that didn’t really do much for me (brik, underseasoned lamb/fish/veggie couscous, rubbery stuffed squid), but there were a few exceptions. The historic cafes in the old souks were exceptionally cool. The better known establishments and fancier institutions mostly let us down.

This place was one of the best sit-down meals we had (one of the nicest/friendliest proprietors too) - couldn’t even tell you what we had, he just brought out a bunch of (mostly veggie) plates from the daily menu that were so incredibly flavorful:

The food in Sidi Bou Said was more of the same, again catering to tourists (not a lot of diversity anywhere, but not surprising given the lack of food sovereignty and socioeconomic issues) + lots of pan-Mediterranean and French dishes; also quite expensive for Tunis.

In La Goulette, the seafood spots that serve grilled fish were my favorite and top recommendations.

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There is a Tunisian restaurant in SF: Dar Fatma, on the corner of Pine and Battery, and whaddya know they have Kefteji as an appetizer: Dine-in Menu – Dar Fatma. I’ve been meaning to try this place for a while–if you go, report back!


Thanks Stephanie! I’ll definitely go and report back… you’ll find me anywhere in the Bay Area that serves kafteji! :slight_smile:

Edit: looks like it closed recently :confused:

I asked if they are open and they said they have COVID and they will open Sep 6 after labor day.

A bit odd to be so specific.


Do you mean Dar Fatma? That’s the one that appeared to be closed. If it’s only temporary, that’s great news!

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Yes Dar Fatma. I just got curious that it said closed since they just opened not too long ago, so I called.

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I’ve spent a lot of time in Morocco, and a few weeks in Tunisia.

Hands down, the food in Morocco is far more complex and nuanced.

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Quick update: went earlier this week and I’m so glad that this place exists in SF - please go and support this business! The food is delicious and everything’s homemade on the spot. My partner and I both ordered kafteji plates and the proprietor warned us it would take about 20-30 minutes (we’re fine waiting) as he descended downstairs to gather all the ingredients to prep. Can’t say it was the same exact style of kafteji that we enjoyed in Tunisia, but the basic flavors were all there and it came together nicely. The Tunisian street food variant is often much oilier, the egg far less cooked and more incorporated into the dish than this version, but it was still undeniably delicious and perhaps even a bit healthier tasting. It wasn’t a mind-melting experience like the kafteji bowls & sandwiches we had on the outskirts of the Medina, but it was still really good. It’s served with fries (unfortunately frozen crinkle cut that day, although I’ve seen photos of hand-cut Tunisian style potatoes on social media) and a soft French-style baguette. The bread was surprisingly excellent, and I wonder where it’s sourced… it wasn’t typical of SF bakeries that tend to do more crusty loaves. Next time, I’ll request the kafteji extra spicy or Tunisian-level spicy as the dish was pretty mild and I didn’t even break a sweat, whereas in Tunis, I was constantly wiping off my brow trying not to drip sweat into my bowl lol - it was no joke, numbingly spicy everywhere else we’ve had it. The owner said he makes daily specials as well (incl. loubia, couscous and other Tunisian dishes) but he doesn’t have a schedule and doesn’t seem to plan in advance, so you just have to ask when you visit. I’ll be back next week to try other things. He makes a really good cappuccino too.


Thank you for that review! I’ll try to make a point of going now that I know they’re back open.

Just to make sure - your comments are for Dar Fatma ?

Just to be clear, my review was of Cafe Gourmand in the TL. Haven’t been to the other place near union square yet.

No, sorry - should’ve clarified that. Cafe Gourmand in the TL.

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Just want to reiterate how good Cafe Gourmand is. I had a fantastic plate of shakshuka with the best homemade merguez and really tasty sides of eggplant & carrot salad this afternoon. This is Tunisian home cooking straight from the heart. The chef/proprietor is the nicest guy. He prepares everything to order himself. Each dish is around $15 to $18 and comes with fresh baguettes and some come w/ hand-cut fries. Running a small non-corporate/investor/tech-funded, family oriented business in the TL is really difficult. Please go and support his business, there’s nothing else like it in the entire Bay Area!


Just another plug for the bay areas best (and only) Tunisian restaurant serving fresh Mediterranean fish daily! For under $25 you can get a whole branzino with kafteji, housemade fries, omek houria (Tunisian carrot salad), harissa and an entire baguette! Best deal in the city! Just know that it’s a one-man operation, so don’t be hurried and roll with the laidback spirit of the cafe. You’ll be rewarded with some of the tastiest food in the city. He makes great cappuccino too!