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Nov 19, 2007 03:19 PM

San Francisco Kosher

My SO and I are looking for some places to eat for our upcoming trip to SF. Meat, dairy, anything so long as its kosher and moderately priced. We will be staying near the Embarcadero Center without a car, so proximity to public transportation is a plus.

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  1. BS"D

    Only 2 places in SF, so that's easy. The first place is a New York style deli, probably called something like that. I believe it's on or close to the Embarcadero. The second is Sabra in Chinatown. Both are meat. The pizza place, Izzy's Bagels, also on the Embarcadero, closed or went nonkosher.

    6 Replies
    1. re: ganeden

      Here's a link to the San Francisco Bay Area Places hub for "kosher", which supplies addresses, maps, websites, links to discussions for those two and others outside the City.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Way out of date, Melanie. Sophie's closed, Holy Land might still be around but it's (or was) in Oakland (so not accessible for these people who don't have a car), meat, non-glatt. Israel and Tel Aviv are butchers, nonglatt if they're still open, may be able to get a sandwich, but they don't make hot food (or at least didn't), Mac's not kosher (just kosher style), Shangrila may not be supervised, and besides, it's out in the Avenues (pretty difficult to get to from Embarcadero by public transportation). Just the 2 I mentioned earlier.

        1. re: ganeden

          In another post, the OP indicated they'd be in SF for four days. My reply above notes that some are outside the City, but in four days, one can cover a lot of ground via public transportation if so moved.

          I called Sophia's earlier today and it is open. Oakland Holy Land is also open for business. Israel has hot prepared foods to-go, which you can read about if you click on the Places link for the restaurant and study the attached discussion threads, plus it is known for its baked goods which might make a nice breakfast or snack.

          Yes, Mac's is not kosher, but unfortunately the search engine picks up the "kosher" part. Before providing the link above, I did edit the entry to indicate that is is not kosher, which notation appears on the search result page linked. This fact should be very clear.

          Shangri-la is out in the Avenues, but if the visitors are going to Golden Gate Park, they'll be right there. The Places entry includes a link to the norcal rabbis website which says that it is supervised, but maybe it's out of date. I'll let others judge the validity of the supervision.

          Tel Aviv, I don't know as much about. It does sell sandwiches, and the housemade gefilte fish is said to be good.

          So, I hope the OP will enjoy our city and having more than just two choices with this current information. Of course, one should always call to verify as things change all the time. Also many places will take an extra day or two off this holiday week.

          1. re: Melanie Wong


            I wasn't getting after you, or accusing you of tying to be anything less than helpful. I was simply trying to illustrate that the kosher restaurant scene in the Bay Area is far from robust. And it's indicative of the Jewish community there in general. Which is why I sold the winery after 20 years and moved to LA, so we don't see each other at Family Winemakers anymore. You can tell a lot about the Jewish community of the Bay Area by looking at at the ebb and flow of the kosher food scene there. And it doesn't look good. Ristorante Raphael closed. Izzy's closed. Izzy's Deli closed in Palo Alto. Meeks in Palo Alto closed. The crepes place in San Francisco closed. Etc., etc. Jewishly, the Bay Area remains only just a bit more accessible than Fresno or Bakersfield, or Little Rock or Lubbock, though as a center of culture, it exhibits far more.

          2. re: ganeden

            i was in San Fran Christmas time and at that time shangrila was under supervision of the k orc (rabbi troub) it is probably the best vegetarian chinese i have had anywhere,
            Sabra in chinatown is horrible and the deli which is basically o the embarcardo was closed.

            1. re: cwilliam

              Thanks for the updates. I've added individual Place links for those spots.

              419 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108

              Shangri-La Vegetarian
              2026 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

              S.F. New York Deli
              5 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA

      2. Thanks for all of your replies. We attempted to go to the NY style deli and Sabra in chinatown. Unfortunately both were closed during our visit to SF (Thanksgiving, followed by shabbos).

        9 Replies
        1. re: jaq121897

          there used to be a french crepe place or soemthing...

          Café de la Terrasse 5217 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94118 Owner: Jean-Paul Dan Zerdoun (415) 379-9588

          1. re: LoveKosherEats


            It was a wonderful place. Unfortunately, they were dropped by the vaad when they stayed open on a Shabbos, which breached the contract with the vaad. I don't think they even use verifiably kosher ingredients now, if they still exist.

            1. re: ganeden

              I agree it was a wonderful place, probably the best kosher dairy food I ever had, cafe de la terrasse stayed opened only 5 months, because they couldn't get delivery of cholov israel dairy product to keep the vaad certification.

                1. re: cwsilverberg

                  I'll be in SF in a week and a half. Sadly, I assume this place won't be open in time, though it would be a shlep anyhow (but it sounds like it would be worth it). But with the SF NY deli and Ristorante Raphael in Berkeley closed (both were open last time I was there, June 2007), I can't believe that Sabra will be my only option.

                  1. re: downtownNYCjew

                    Unfortunately, as far as major cities go, especially a restaurant city like SF, kosher here is pretty much nonexistent. This new one will be only the second one I know of here. Sabra is a little spot just inside chinatown. Don't know anyone who actually eats there.

                    1. re: LarryW


                      When I lived up north, we would occasionally eat there when we went to Chinatown, one of my kids' favorite places to buy stuff. Or, we would go when we were in the city with guests. Sabra is not going to get you sick, and the quality is alright for what it is, but they didn't know how to make fries (underfried) and the service was lousy, steaks were chronically overcooked, and the shawarma was not well executed (I don't even know whether they had a spit). But the kabobs and shishlich were decent enough, and everyone liked their yellow rice.

                      1. re: LarryW

                        I ate at Sabra last time I was in SF because I needed a place to sit down and eat with people I was meeting up with. It's not inedible, I just remember the food being highly disappointing. It is not somewhere I will refuse to step foot in, but it is somewhere I would not give business to if I had the choice, which is why it's a shame that right now, there is no other option in SF. It's also a shame simply because I loved the food at both the SF NY deli and Ristorante Raphael.

                        I am taken care of for meals throughout shabbat plus one other night I am in town; it is really only 2 lunches and maybe 1 dinner for which I will need food. I'm sure I'll manage.

                        But I am curious about the status of Shangri La. I haven't heard any positive endorsements of its rabbinic supervision on this board. I know that its being open on shabbat means that it cannot get hashgacha from the standard mainstream Orthodox supervising organization of the area. But where I'm from, there are tons of places like that with a variety of supervising organizations, and some are okay to eat in, while some are really not. Does anyone have information on is current hashgacha and how reliable the rabbi is?

                      2. re: downtownNYCjew

                        There's also Holy Land in Oakland, and very close to there Oakland Kosher Foods, which has eat in and take out options.

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