I will be going to the Bay Area next week, hopping between SF and Oakland. Am looking for good (but on a budget) dim-sum, Indian, and Ethiopian food. I’m perfectly happy with hole-in-the-wall places (sometimes prefer them); can probably do one not-so-budgety meal. Thanks for your help!
Biggest question: will you have access to a car?
Oh good. There are some very good dim sum places in Daly City, including perennial favorite Koi Palace.
Dumplings and even better the hand cut noodles are good at this budget friendly spot in Oakland Chinatown
SF Chinatown you can come up big for a bargain at
This is our Ethiopian spot in Berkeley which I think is pretty good. Foods great.
my favorite “dive” Indian places in sf and oakland (note the South Bay has far superior Indian food, but I dont eat there often, so dont know enough) include:
- Al-Maida hot food and market (in a grocery store in oakland)
- spicy bite (has got some decent Indian Chinese, and their dosa is different but ok, sambhar sucks there). But in tbe same strip mall is my favorite fish and fried veggies (their chips are awful): handal sahib
For cheap dims, good luck dim sum xia long bao, wing lee on clement are our go-to’s
Or try Lemat/Berkeley. We think it’s the best, slightly ahead of Asmara/Oakland. We prefer them to Addis, but YMMV. Lemat’s parking is difficult; Asmara is easier on the nearby side streets.
Dim sum is a little iffy in the EBay; most use a very high level of MSG. If you would enjoy a change, New Dumpling/El Cerrito is a tiny shop that specializes in boiled dumplings with clean, fresh-flavored fillings. They made an outstanding green onion pancake when we were there that outshone any other we’ve tried, including all the SE Asian roti versions. Parking is easy.
Hands-down winner for Indian food in the EBay is Ajanta/Berkeley. Parking difficulty is average.
Also very good: Ikaros Greek Restaurant/Oakland. They make an outstanding grilled octopus starter and very tasty stewed lamb shank. If you have a companion, share the saganaki grilled cheese (too filling for just one person) - deep-fried halloumi flambeed with plenty of brandy and served with Semifreddi bakery crostini. Full bar, also. Parking is easy, there’s a small city lot right next to it. As long as it isn’t a weekend evening there’s always space.
Lemat: 3212 Adeline St, Berkeley
Asmara: 5020 Telegraph Ave. Oakland
New Dumpling: 10064 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito
Ajanta: 1888 Solano Ave, Berkeley’
Ikaros: 3268 Grand Ave, Oakland
This all looks delicious–thanks!
Ikaros sounds like a great spot to check out thank you.
Many excellent Dim Sum places. Koi is definitely one of them.
Scungilli1: Just beware of long time for any good restauratnt
For dim sum Dragon Beaux (Outer Richmond) and Koi Palace (Daly City) are two of the top places in the Bay Area. As mentioned before good Indian places are more located in the South Bay but if you want to splurge and have some very creative Indian food many of our Indian friends would point you to ROOH (Mission Bay).
I second this and would also add Palette Tea House, which is owned by the same group. I don’t know if you’ve been to SF before or not, but Palette is in Ghirardelli Square with views of the bay and is a much more pleasant space than the other two - also more creative/modern dim sum. Not budget, but as long as you aren’t ordering dungeness crab, Iberco pork cha siu, etc. it’s not crazy.
Second the rec for PTH. The wagyu chow fun is hands down the best chow fun I have ever had and worth the $30 splurge.
For no-frills, take out dim sum in SF, take a dim-sum crawl on Clement Street, starting at 6th Avenue and walking west. Half a dozen excellent dumpling houses before 10th Avenue. Wing Lee, Gourmet Dim Sum on the south side of the street, Good Luck on the north are our go-tos. Approx 3/2.50 as I last noticed. All three and others have tables if you want to sit and eat in.
I love the way chinatown and north beach run into each other makes for a great hot spot for a snacking tour