Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Jun 27, 2006 03:48 AM

New suggestions for shawerma in San Francisco?

I've been consistently disappointed in the San Francisco shawerma offerings, and am interested in additional recommendations within the city. The Truly Med on 16th is passable and fresh tasting, but both the chicken and the lamb shawerma always seem bland and underseasoned, with too much acidity from onion. Surely not the "Best of the Bay", despite the Guardian's claim some years back... Valencia Ali Baba's is even less appealing -- bland and soaking wet with tahini (a huge shame given that I live just a block away). Have also tried Joe's on 24th, which offers many fine and simple sandwiches, though the shawerma was less impressive. Visitted some place in the Sunset but can't recall the name. Minimal decor and a largely Arab-speaking clientele, but the chicken shawerma failed to excite (recall it being very lemony, but this was a couple years ago). And Blue Front on Haight St is now offering a chicken shawerma, but after trying it once, I prefer their "chicken gyro", which is shawerma-like and comes with good garlicky yogurt.
Their "shawerma" offering was dry and stringy.

But none of these options has left any lasting positive impression.
And I know shawerma can be some much better. Have thoroughly enjoyed both Zankou and Marouch in Los Angeles, and Phoenicia in suburban Houston, and I can't believe SF doesn't have a competetive shawerma offering.

Glanced over some earlier threads and am encouraged by the
comments on "Goood Frikin' Chicken" on Mission / 30th, even though
I would not immediately associate shawerma with a restaurant of that name. Any additional comments on this place, particularly the shawerma?

And if anyone has additional suggestions for shawerma within
San Francisco, I'd be very interested to hear them. Feel like
I'm running out of options...


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The Goood Frikin' Chicken guy has some connection with Truly Med.

    1. Don't get the wrong idea from the name. It's as authentic as the ones you mentioned and I love their chicken schawerma. And I agree - the Ali Baba is always too soggy!

      1. There is a new schewarma/gyro place on New Montgomery between Mission and Howard next to Working Girl Cafe and Chipotle, across the street from Lee's Deli. I have not tried it yet though have passed by scores of times. Also, can't recall any posts here about it. Has been open about 5 months. Anyone tried it?

        1 Reply
        1. re: zippo

          i've tried the chicken shwarma here and it was less than mediocre. i was so disappointed that i haven't been back since.

        2. Any intelligence on the newish place on Polk in the vicinity of Swan Oyster Depot? I think it's called Mediterranean something or other...

          1. I was underwhelmed by GFC (dry chicken, and they were out of a lot of stuff when I was in there) and the name annoys me. Agreed that Ali Baba is lacking, maybe someone can speak up about the places in the Loin? I haven't tried them yet.