A few years ago I got curious about which nationalities are represented by restaurants in the Bay Area, and I’ve built up a list whenever I’ve come across a post or article.
Roughly speaking, I’ve including below nations associated with fewer than five restaurants in the Bay Area. I don’t see the need to make this list exhaustive, but if an outstanding restaurant isn’t listed, please let me know its nation and I’ll edit the original post. Also, if an additional national cuisine appears in the SFBA, let us know! Finally, I’ve included some restaurants that I think are poor portrayals of their country, but better to list the bad restaurant from Pottsylvania than none at all.
The list is admittedly silly. There is often an iffy correspondence between cuisines and geographic borders. Countries like Mexico, China, India, and Italy have several subcuisines, some of which have more in common with neighboring countries than the foods these countries are most known for. And certain cuisines span national borders. Still, if the list introduces us to restaurants that are doing something different, it serves its purpose.
Numbers correspond to population rank.
- 3 US/Native American - Cafe Ohlone
- 4 Indonesia - Borobudur Restaurant, Jayakarta Restaurant(Berkeley) , Indo Cafe Saratoga (Saratoga), Budiman Food (San Jose), Ori Deli
- 7 Nigeria - Miliki, Golden Safari, Eko Kitchen
- 8 Bangladesh - Bongos, Desi Bazar Desi Kitchen
- 15 Egypt - Pharaohs, Royal Egyptian Cuisine
- 25 South Africa - Amawele’s South African Kitchen
- 28 Colombia - Milohas HO, Mamo
- 31 Ukraine - Pushkin HO
- 34 Sudan - Z Zoul Cafe
- 35 Poland - Cafe Europa, Seakor Polish deli,
- 36 Iraq - Jannah HO, Frena HO
- 37 Canada - smokes poutinerie, Beauty bagels, Augie’s Montreal Deli HO
- 42 Venezuela - Pica pica, Coupa Cafe for arepas, Chef Manny Torres Gimenez and Katerina De Torres’ Francisca’s, El Patio, Miss Arepita - Arepa Mobile
- 43 Uzbekistan - one dish at Eurasia see also Chowhound
- 49 Yemen - Saha and HO thread, Yemeni Restaurant, Yemen Kitchen thread 1 and thread 2, Falafelland
- 54 Syria - Palmyra, Old Damascus Fare
- 57 Cameroon - now closed Taste of Africa
- 58 Sri Lanka - 1601 SF, Ayubowan
- 63 Chile - Sabores Del Sur, Chile Lindo Empanadas
- 72 Senegal - bissap-baobab, Little baobab
- 75 Belgium - Belga, La Trappe
- 77 Tunisia - La Marsa
- 82 Somalia - Jubba, Safari Kitchen
- 84 Bolivia - Nuri’s Donut House has cunapes, a Bolivian empanada (call ahead)
- 85 Haiti - Carribean-spices truck, Pilon
- 86 Czech Republic - Vladimir’s Czechoslovakian Restaurant, Cafe Prague
- 88 Portugal - Uma Casa HO, Grubstake, SilvaBakery HO, ADEGA Restaurant, LaSalette Restaurant
- 90 Sweden - pläj, Chef Pelle, Katy’s Creek
- 93 Honduras - El Rinconsito Catracho SF Mission,San Mateo, El Paisa Restaurante-Jenny & Jesse, Maya’s Cafe
- 94 Austria - naschmarkt-restaurant, Konditorei Austrian Pastry in Davis
- 97 Israel - Frena, Holy land, orens hummus, Sababa
- 98 Switzerland - remaining fondue places don’t seem to emphasize Switzerland or other Swiss dishes.
- 105 Jordan - Petra
- 112 Kyrgyzstan - Silk road HO
- 113 Denmark - copenhagen-bakery-and-cafe, Taste of Denmark, Kantine, Copenhagen Crown Bakery and Deli
- 116 Finland - Karelian pies at Kantine
- 123 New Zealand - Burtonz SF Gate
- 126 Palestine - Old Jerusalem, Chef Mona Leena, Reems HO, DyafaHO
- 127 Liberia - Kendejah HO
- 130 Bosnia and Herzegovina - Euro grill and market
- 131 Puerto Rico (USA) - Parada 22, El Nuevo Frutilandia, Sol Food, La Perla, El Coqui
- 133 Georgia - Bevri HO, Kolkhida food truck
- 136 Kuwait - Mama Lamees
- 138 Lithuania - Mama Papa Lithuania
- 139 Mongolia - Mongol Cafe aka Let’s Jam HO, Eurasia see also Chowhound, Great Mongolia Nomads Restaurant
- 141 Jamaica - Flavas SF Gate, Scotch Bonnet Food Truck, Kingston 11 Cuisine, Sweet Fingers, Reggae Pot, Kaya HO, Peaches Patties Jamaican Kitchen, Fiya Spice
- 154 Trinidad and Tobago - Daniels Caribbean Kitchen food cart, for groceries, Specialty Foods (formerly Oriental Lucky Mart) and Man Must Wak, both in the 500 block of Oak St. in Oakland.
- 160 Fiji - Curryous Catering
- 168 Macau - T-28
- 182 Barbados - Miss Ollie’s as per Luke Tsai, chef Sarah Kirnon is inspired by her Barbados background, and also has other Caribbean dishes
- 188 Samoa - Juanita’s Polynesian Delights
- 197 Tonga - katalinas-island-grill Luke Tsai
- 191 Guam (USA) - Prubechu soon re-opening on Guerrero, Booniepepper Islander Grill, Elite Bakery HO, Keepin’ It Island (Vallejo)
And some ethnic groups whose population spans across a few national borders and regional guides:
- Basque - Piperade, Basque Cultural Center
- Kurdish - Rojbas
- See also the Regional Chinese list for Teochew, Hakka, Tibetan, and others; Jonathan Kauffman’s regional Mexican list and chef profiles, and an old Chowhound regional Italian post; or search here for regional Indian cuisines.
There are restaurants with dishes associated with Saudia Arabia, Romania, Netherlands, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and Armenia, but I haven’t identified restaurants which have owners originating from these countries, that focus on that country’s cuisine, or whose dishes deviate in an obvious style from their pan-national versions (e.g., hummus). With that in mind, please help me identify restaurants associated with the following nations:
Croatia, Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Mozambique, North Korea, Australia, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Angola, Romania, Burkina Faso, Kazakhstan, Niger, Netherlands, Malawi, Ecuador, Mali, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Guinea, Rwanda, Benin, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Dominican Republic, Burundi, United Arab Emirates, Tajikistan, Papua New Guinea, Bulgaria, Serbia, Paraguay, Libya, Togo, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Turkmenistan, Norway, Costa Rica, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Oman, Moldova, Mauritania, Panama, Uruguay, Armenia, Albania, Qatar , Namibia , Lesotho , Macedonia , Slovenia, Botswana, Latvia , Gambia , Kosovo , Guinea-Bissau , Gabon , Equatorial Guinea, , Estonia, Mauritius , Swaziland , Bahrain , Timor-Leste, Djibouti, Cyprus, Fiji, Réunion (France), Guyana, Bhutan , Comoros, Montenegro, Solomon Islands, Western Sahara], Luxembourg, Suriname, Cape Verde, Malta, Guadeloupe (France), Brunei, Martinique (France), Bahamas, Belize, Maldives, French Polynesia (France), Vanuatu, New Caledonia (France), French Guiana (France), Mayotte (France), São Tomé and Príncipe, Saint Lucia, Curaçao (Netherlands), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Kiribati, United States Virgin Islands (USA), Grenada, Aruba (Netherlands), Federated States of Micronesia, Jersey (UK), Seychelles, Antigua and Barbuda, Isle of Man (UK), Andorra, Dominica, Bermuda (UK), Guernsey (UK), Greenland (Denmark), Marshall Islands, American Samoa (USA), Cayman Islands (UK), Saint Kitts and Nevis, Northern Mariana Islands (USA), Faroe Islands (Denmark), Saint Maarten (Netherlands), Liechtenstein, Saint Martin (France), Monaco, San Marino, Turks and Caicos Islands (UK), Gibraltar (UK), British Virgin Islands (UK), Åland Islands (Finland), Caribbean Netherlands (Netherlands), Palau, Cook Islands (NZ), Anguilla (UK), Wallis and Futuna (France), Tuvalu, Nauru, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Montserrat, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Falkland Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Vatican City.
These countries are represented by more than 6 restaurants, so aren’t listed above:
China, India, America, Brazil, Pakistan, Russia, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Ethiopia, Germany, Iran, Turkey, Thailand, France, UK, Italy, Burma, South Korea, Spain, Argentina, Morocco, Peru, Malaysia, Nepal, Afghanistan, Taiwan, Chile, Guatemala, Cambodia, Cuba, Greece, Honduras, Hong Kong, Laos, El Salvador, Eritrea, Singapore, Ireland, Lebanon