In Yong Chen’s Chop Suey, USA, the author writes about Jewish Americans in the 1800s and the early adoption of Chinese food, a chance to lean into what was, at the time, an exciting new part of American imperial identity. A lot has changed since then when it comes to what Jewish food is and isn’t, with Bay Area pop-ups like Hadeem and Midnite Bagel riffing on their cross-coastal experiences in the form of char siu babka and sourdough bagel sandwiches. From Ocean Beach to East Oakland there are dozens of places to get decadent doughnuts and plentiful pastrami, but these 11 businesses keep the community going day in and day out — and work as a gateway to anyone who might want to try the so-called Jewish food revolution.Read More
Where to Nosh on Jewish Food in San Francisco and the East Bay
From meaty reubens and bagels and lox to creamy hummus and crispy falafel
The west side of San Francisco has Hummus Bodega and Laundromat on the north side of Golden Gate Park, but the French-born Valentine Erman brought Jewish food to the Outer Sunset in April 2023. Her babka cake, pie, and rolls aren’t her only offerings as she rotates various dishes including halloumi and sabich sandwiches.
Hummus Bodega’s housemade hummus only lasts a few days after purchase, something that dismayed purchasers until they learned that a tiny consumption window means it’s fresh. The all-kosher spot also serves Frena’s fantastic pita, and a selection of falafel sandwiches and bowls.
From the same owners as the top-notch Balboa Theater comes this pizza parlor and bagel dealer, much like Krupman’s PizzaHacker/BagelMacher combo. The Laundromat opened in 2022 with the team behind Holey Roller Bagels as co-owners, selling cups of Grand Coffee by morning and not-so-Jewish cannoli and vegan pizzas by night.
Wise Sons Bagel & Bakery
Evan Bloom’s new-school 24th Street Jewish delicatessen has spawned a growing bagel empire that’s now operating in the Fillmore, Hayes Valley, and the East Bay. Order a dozen bagels with schmear or a bodega egg and cheese will do just fine, thanks.
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Jeff Krupman may be one of the Bay’s unsung culinary heroes, though his talents have been recognized by former president Barack Obama and — equally as important — mogul Kim Kardashian. Beyond his pizza skills at PizzaHacker, Krupman has moonlighted as a bagel wiz since 2018. He and his team experiment with zaatar, too, alongside a long list of raisin, tomato, and fish-laden bagel sandwiches.
Mark 'n Mike's NY Style Deli at One Market Restaurant
Mark ’n Mike’s first launched as a New York deli–inspired pop-up during the pandemic, serving 12-hour smoked brisket, pastrami reubens, lox, and matzo ball soup. And fortunately, even when One Market reopened for full service in the spring of 2021, the team decided to keep the meaty menu available for takeout, delivery, and on-site dining at the restaurant.
Saul's Restaurant & Deli
Saul's is your classic Jewish delicatessen. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick nosh, or just want to pick up some chopped liver by the pound, Saul’s has what you need. Pastrami, corned beef on rye, matzoh ball soup, and pickles, lots of pickles, are the stars of the show, though breakfast does have the allure of challah French toast.
Reesa Kashuk opened her New York-style bagelry in February, bringing tuna and egg salad sandwiches to Telegraph Avenue. Kashuk’s bagels are proofed for 36-40 hours, boiled in malt and lye, coated in toppings, then baked en masse.
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Chef Mica Talmor previously owned the popular Ba-Bite, before opening the new Pomella in March of 2020, no less. The Cal-Israeli restaurant celebrates many different Middle Eastern flavors in dreamy hummus, cheese-stuffed falafel, salads and wraps, and chicken and veggie tagines. And she often sets out special seasonal menus for the Jewish holidays.
Oakland’s oldest kosher bakery goes back more than 60 years in Grand Lake, but Sam Tobis stepped in as a young and hungry UC Berkeley grad in 2017, firing up the ovens as a wholesale operation. There’s no official storefront, but you can order the challah and honey cake for pickup and delivery, or find them at the Food Mill or other markets.
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Sufganiyot is a delicacy for diners the world over, and Oakland’s Donut Savant knows how to make the sugary treats so as to keep its legions of fans returning time after time. The shop has over 30 types of doughnuts and has dished them out for more than a decade.