HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >


Hungry for Armenian Bbq

  • s

I miss the feasts shared amongst friends in Glendale... haven't had an epic Armenian feast like those of yesteryear in a loooong time. Are there any places here in the Bay Area where I can temporarily satisfy my cravings for kebab, dolma, and etc -- at least until the next grand gathering?

I'm currently compiling a list of possibilities, albiet they are each probably a far cry from what I'm looking for...

Zazoo (is this place closed? went here during cravings a few years ago)

Any others to try?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Zazoo in Oakland was still open as of a little over a year ago.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      Zazoo is still open. I walked by it the other day and didn't know what it was but people were walking in. Of course I had to search on CH. Glad I did because looking at the menu and seeing kebabs and American food sort of raised a red flag...seafood, philly cheese steak and kebabs? Any way, definately will check it out and see how it stacks up.

      1. re: ML8000

        My guess ... and this is a guess ... is that the American is average. The kabobs and momo were good though. I always wanted to try brunch there because the view is so pretty. Unless you want a 'vibrant' atmosphere I'd skip weekend nights when there's live music.

        And, I didn't notice this on the first go-around. It's Afghani food, not Armenian.

        I always thought it would be a great place for a large event. Would have to try something from the American side of the menu though.

    2. A La Turca's kebabs are pretty good.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Yep. It is on Van Ness now. Down near The Matterhorn on the east side of the street.

          1. re: chefj

            Now Helmand Palace?

            Helmand Palace
            2424 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94109

            1. re: wolfe

              yep same chairs, strangely formalish service and cobalt blue water glasses.

            2. re: chefj

              That post was from 2007, before it reopened. I've posted about the new place numerous times. Note that it's Afghan rather than Armenian.

          2. For Persian kebabs I'd go Pomegranate in Berkeley and Shalizaar in San Mateo. For Pakistani chicken kebab I'd go Kebabs & Currys (sic) in Santa Clara for their chicken roti kebab. New Kapadokkia in Redwood City does some delicious Turkish lamb and ground meat kebabs and other entrees. The only Armenian place I've been to, Armenian Gourmet in Sunnyvale, was only okay.

            I have reviews for all these places on Yelp, and all but Armenian Gourmet on Chowhound, if you want to do a search.

            1. No kebabs at Haig's Delicacies but the dolmas are amazing.

              1. Check out Aram's in Petaluma for Armenian-lebanese shwarma,

                1. There's a great place called Waterfront Mediterranean Pizza, in Foster City near San Mateo.
                  It's a really nice middle eastern environment, beautiful view, and hookah.
                  The food is delicious, I highly recommend it. =)

                  1. Royal Market is Armenian.

                    Royal Market & Bakery
                    5335 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA

                    1. The festival at St. Vartan's in Oakland is coming up next week, Friday 5:30-midnight and Saturday noon-midnight.


                      Saint Vartan Armenian Festival
                      650 Spruce St, Oakland, CA

                      1. If your looking for food like Zankou Chicken, I don't think there is any in these parts. The skin on the chicken at Il Pollaio in North Beach is very close to that at Zankou and the chicken itself superior.

                        7 Replies
                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            From Zankou's website:

                            'Zankou' is the name of a beautiful river in Armenia.

                            Their first restaurant was in Beirut. I believe that the neighborhood of the branch that I went to last month at Sunset and Normandie is known as Little Armenia.

                            1. re: chocolatetartguy

                              Huh, interesting. I guess both cuisines have that garlic dip.

                              I think that's one of the appetizers at St. Vartan's.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                Now that I am thinking about Zankou Chicken again, I used your link and called them up.

                                Friday they will be serving full dinners until 8:30 and food outside after the dancing begins. Dinner will be in the $15 range. They are bbqing chicken, no rotisserie. The food is homemade, prepared by the parishioners, and seems to include all of the regular suspects.

                                1. re: chocolatetartguy

                                  St. Vartan's is the real deal. Too bad they do it only once a year.

                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                    Adding link:

                                    Saint Vartan Armenian Festival
                                    650 Spruce St, Oakland, CA

                          2. I don't know about barbecue, but Aram's in Petaluma is owned by an Armenian family and has been serving very good food for many years.

                            Aram's Cafe
                            131 Kentucky St, Petaluma, CA 94952

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Mick Ruthven

                              Did you really mean to give Aram's FIVE stars in your review?!?

                              Or maybe that's the default setting on the review page.

                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                I don't remember using the rating thing. I don't like it and didn't intend to use it. Although I'd rate Aram's very high as long as that's based on the type of place it is. To me, the best or close-to-best of a type deserves the same rating as, say, a French Laundry. I have no idea if that's the way the ratings are intended to be used. All in all, the ratings are a can of worms.