If you love travel and food, as I do, you would have spent nearly every Uber ride in the last year talking with drivers about where they come from (an overwhelming number of them are immigrants) and, amongst other things, where they go to get a taste of home when they’re away from home.
What follows is my compiled list of restaurant recommendations from countless Uber drivers. Every establishment here was recommended by someone from the country of origin of that cuisine who regularly patronizes the business.
Han IL Kwan, 1802 Balboa St (at 19th), San Francisco
Arang, 1506 Fillmore St (at Geary), San Francisco
A La Turca, 869 Geary St (at Larkin), San Francisco
Pera, 1457 18th St, San Francisco (at Connecticut), San Francisco
El Mansour, 3119 Clement St (at 32nd), San Francisco
Cafe Zitouna, 1201 Sutter St (at Polk), San Francisco
Saha, Hotel Carlton, 1075 Sutter St (at Larkin), San Francisco
Mehfil, 2301 Fillmore St (at Clay), San Francisco
Golden Gate Indian Cuisine & Pizza, 1388 46th Ave (at Judah), San Francisco
Cafe Chaat, 320 3rd St (at Folsom), San Francisco
Amber, 25 Yerba Buena Ln (at Market), San Francisco
Kirala, 2100 Ward St (at Shattuck), Berkeley
Potala Organic Cafe, 1045 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA
Plaj, 333 Fulton St (at Franklin), San Francisco
Addis Ethiopian Restaurant, 6100 Telegraph Ave (at 61st), Oakland
Sheba Piano Lounge, 1419 Fillmore St (at Ellis), San Francisco
Asmara, 5020 Telegraph Ave (at 51st), Oakland
Café Eritrea D’Afrique, 4069 Telegraph Ave (at 41st), Oakland
Las Tinajas, 2338 Mission St (at 19th), San Francisco
Espetus Churrascaria, 710 S B St (at 7th), San Mateo, CA
Minas Brazilian Restaurant & Cachaçaria (formerly Canto do Brasil), 41 Franklin St (at Market), San Francisco
Cleo’s Steak House, 446 San Mateo Ave, San Bruno, CA
Sol Food, 903 Lincoln Ave (at 3rd), San Rafael, CA
Chutney, 511 Jones St (at O’Farrell), San Francisco
Royal Market Food & Bakery, 5335 Geary Blvd (at 17th), San Francisco
R&G Lounge, 631 Kearny St (at Clay), San Francisco
Limón Rotisserie, 1001 S. Van Ness Ave (at 21st), San Francisco
Fresca, 24 W. Portal Ave (at Ulloa), San Francisco
Old Jerusalem, 2976 Mission St (at 26th), San Francisco
I was told about a food truck, Everest, that frequents Off the Grid at Fort Mason, but couldn’t find anything about it online.
I was also told about Curry Without Worry, a nonprofit founded by Nepalese chef Shrawan Nepali that runs a food truck, free of charge, for the poor in downtown San Francisco and Kathmandu, Nepal. The organization and its mission certainly qualify for an honorable mention.