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Mar 4, 2010 05:52 PM

Uighur/Uyghur food in San Francisco proper?

Hi - I have an upcoming trip to SF and am wondering what Uighur/Uyghur/Islamic Chinese food I can find in the area. I'll be staying downtown with limited time, so I won't be able to trek to the outer suburbs. Seems like Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant is pretty good (and hopefully still open - their former URL no longer works). Anything else along those lines I shouldn't miss, or anything unusual/unusually good in Chinatown, since I'll be staying close by? Thanks a lot!

I discovered Uighur food on a business trip to Montreal and have been chasing it down (with mixed success) ever since!

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  1. Old Mandarin is good, but isn't Uighur cuisine. It's basically a porkless twist on Northern Chinese cuisine (which makes me assume that the owners are Hui, not Uighur).

    No Uighur food in SF that I'm aware of, but if you liked the Turkish-influenced parts of the cuisine there are a few Afghan places and a growing number of Turkish ones. I would probably try somewhere like Helmand Palace, Eden's, or A La Turca first as they are closest to downtown. Or there are other Northern Chinese places like King of Dumpling that have good Northern-style dumplings, but the best ones are in more far-flung corners of the city.

    5 Replies
    1. re: bigwheel042

      Thanks! I found a couple of articles online that mentioned that SF had Uighur food, but nothing more specific - seems like that may have been an exaggeration!

      1. re: esbrucho

        Never heard of any Uighur restaurants in the Bay Area. In fact I don't know if there's any in North America right now. The place in Montreal shut down, I think the restaurant in Flushing took it off the menu, and the food court stall in Flushing may have gone on hiatus.

        1. re: Chandavkl

          You can get western Chinese food in Flushing (for instance the roasted lamb/chicken/liver kabobs). Not sure if it's strictly speaking Uighur but it's certainly served everywhere in Uighur parts of China (say Kashgar and Urumqi). I've also seen places selling samsas.

          Same kebabs at three times the price are available in SF at the Stonestown farmer's market. I've heard that guy wants to expand to more markets. I'm also thinking that the closest cuisine might be Afghan - and the Bay Area has the largest Afghan population in the US so if you're willing to travel (east and south) you're in luck.

          I still think about the spiced roasted lamb served on flat bread at the Kashgar Sunday market...

          1. re: boris_qd

            The Islamic Chinese restaurants I've seen in the area are Hui, as opposed to Uighur/Uyghur/(add your own spelling). If anybody comes across a Uyghur restaurant in the area, please let us know! For that matter, I'd be interested in Uzbek restaurants as well.

            I've seen Uyghur waiters at Darda in Milpitas--perhaps somebody could ask them?

            I dream about the food I had in Turpan: lagman with hand-pulled noodles and lamb kabobs.

    2. Forgot the last part of your inquiry. There's a bunch of other Islamic Chinese restaurants in the Bay Area including Chinjin and Ma's in San Jose, Fatima in Cupertino and Darda in Milpitas. Probably others that have slipped my mind.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chandavkl

        There are a bunch of Muslim Chinese places in the burbs:

        Old Mandarin is the only one Zabihah currently has listed in SF proper: