Beyond Burgers: Tasting the Rainbow in South City

Getting something other than traditional American food is easy around these parts.

We all know there is no shortage of good eating in the Bay Area. Here, we can bask in burritos all summer long, fill up on pho on chilly nights and linger over linguine any time we want. Our fancy feasts go way beyond a nice steak around here. So for those who are looking beyond classic “American” fare for their next meals, we’ve put together a few favorite destinations for dining from different lands.

Traditional Filipino food in a casual, unassuming atmosphere is what Ongpin has to offer. Enjoy homemade-tasting delicacies like chicken and pork adobo, breakfast served all day and, of course, plenty of pancit noodles.

The incorporated warehouse district may not be the first place you think of heading to when picking your next lunch spot, but Ali Baba’s remains a hidden gem in the South Linden area. Enjoy Middle Eastern specialties for a lunchtime or early dinner feast while soaking in the eatery’s unique architecture and imported décor.

One word summons lovers of Salvadoran cuisine back to this downtown restaurant over and over again: pupusas. Seafood may be a featured (and delicious) specialty here, but the mighty cheese, bean and/or meat-filled pupusa reigns supreme, with its unique appeal beckoning diners on a daily basis.

For those of us who love our meat and cheese-filled pastries, Café di Casa is a dream come true. Perfect for breakfast and lunch, this Brazilian eatery brews its rich coffee one cup at a time and has a changing menu of lunch specials like the classic feijoada (meat and black bean stew), as well as cheese bread and other Brazilian treats.

This is not the first time we’ve sung the praises of this South Spruce Avenue dim sum palace and it likely will not be the last. Hung To’s dim sum selection is simply unparalleled in South City, and their prices, though slightly higher than your average hole-in-the-wall dim sum joint, are still low enough to make a meal of appetizers for a big group completely affordable.


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