Have a Nosh


Keeping kosher is a piece of cake if you take the advice of our readers, who have given their blessing to these kosher restaurants in the Bay Area.

Chinese, anyone? Shangri-La Vegetarian Restaurant, a first-place winner for years, offers delicious kosher food in San Francisco’s Sunset District. Shangri-La is a year-round treat for our readers, with favorites including spicy eggplant and tofu bowls.

Open for business in Oakland only a year and half, Amba is a second-time winner  in Readers’ Choice. Amba’s menu is chock-full of tasty kosher foods, including homemade humus, falafel, Israeli salads and more. “Amba is a clean and modern, fresh take on Middle Eastern–style restaurants,” says Jonathan Wornick, one of the founders. Wornick is already looking to expand to other locations in the Bay Area.

The Kitchen Table in Mountain View serves dairy-free and peanut-free California kosher cuisine. This kosher kitchen offers Jewish delights daily, such as matzah ball soup, knishes, potato latkes and more. The cured and smoked pastrami sandwich is a lunchtime hit, served on rye bread with a special Russian dressing.

San Francisco

Shangri-La Vegetarian Restaurant

(415) 731-2548


East Bay



(510) 339-8000


Peninsula/South Bay

The Kitchen Table

Mountain View

(650) 390-9388



Jewish-Style Deli

A trip to New York for a Jewish deli is quite unnecessary if you know where to go in the Bay Area. Luckily, our readers are experts on where to find the best Jewish-inspired salads, sandwiches and more.

Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen is a pop-up restaurant in San Francisco. Owners Leo Beckerman and Evan Bloom saw an absence of kosher-style food in the Bay Area and were ready for the challenge. “We love the idea of having a deli that gives people the chance to congregate, socialize and enjoy a great meal,” says Beckerman. From pastrami to babka, this deli makes food from scratch with a homemade touch.

Celebrating 25 years of Jewish deli is Saul’s Restaurant and Delicatessen in Berkeley. If customers aren’t ordering the famous pastrami, they’re sipping coffee, greeting friends or dinning with family. “The food is great, but my favorite part about Saul’s is the atmosphere. Everyone is welcome, and every walk of life comes through our doors and enjoys good food and company,” says manager Karen Adelman. The open and welcoming environment makes Saul’s an East Bay favorite.

There’s no doubt about it, Max’s deli is a hot commodity. It was our Readers’ Choice winner in both the South Bay and North Bay. With the slogan “Everything you’ve always wanted to eat,” customers are sure to get great American and Jewish foods at affordable prices. Max’s is moving to a more Jewish-influenced menu, with additions of kugel, Reuben sandwiches and more.

San Francisco

Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen

(415) 787-3354


East Bay

Saul’s Restaurant and Delicatessen


(510) 848-3354


South Bay/North Bay


Various locations



Italian & Pizza

Name something Jews and Italians have in common. If you said a love of food, give yourself a pat on the back. Whether you favor a great slice of pizza or a big plate of gnocchi, these Bay Area favorites will have you feeling stuffed with satisfaction.

Pizzeria Delfina of San Francisco loves to keep things fresh. Inspired by co-owner Craig Stoll’s memories of New York–style pies and the pizzerias of Naples, the menu changes daily. “We’ve made the restaurant a relaxed and fun environment for the local families and for the crowd of tourists,” says general manager Nick Arnerich.

Zachary’s Chicago Pizza offers an East Coast dining experience on the West Coast. Friends and family can gather at one of three East Bay locations. “I think what sets us apart is that we are all about the customers,” says Leandra Schuler, the assistant general manager. “Our food also aims to give that Chicago treat with a California twist, using fresher ingredients and a larger variety.”

Amici’s Pizzeria brings its customers a taste of New York. The Mountain View location is one of several in the Bay Area. Amici’s signature brick ovens produce the crispy yet chewy taste that customers love. With some 30 toppings to choose from and classical Italian dishes on the side, the menu has stayed true to its Italian roots and thrived for 24 years.

Bringing more than a slice of Italy to the North Bay is Napoli Pizza and Pasta of San Rafael. For three years the Italian restaurant has been serving dishes with the savory flavors of Italy. Pasta, pizza, sandwiches and more are on the menu for lunch and dinner. Some customers come in just for the cannoli.

San Francisco

Pizzeria Delfina

(415) 437-6800


East Bay

Zachary’s Chicago Pizza, Inc.


(510) 655-6385


Pininsula/South Bay


Mountain View

(650) 961-6666


North Bay

Napoli Pizza and Pasta

San Rafael

(415) 459-3315




When the craving for a juicy burger and crispy fries hits, our readers know where to go to satisfy it.

Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers isn’t just a burger joint. The menu at this sit-down restaurant, with two San Francisco outlets, even has some 20 vegetarian options. Sprouts, portobello mushrooms and crispy “bacon” are some of the many toppings. Barney’s has several other Bay Area locations and even a few in Southern California.

At the Counter, it’s all about custom-built burgers. It claims more than 312,120 burger combinations. “We really try to make it a fun experience for all our customers,” says Michael Ordonas, manager of the Corte Madera location (one of many in the Bay Area). Another feature of the Counter is that each week the menu includes a special market item, from meat to cheese to toppings.

With four Bay Area locations, Phyllis’ Giant Burger has been serving the needs of locals and travelers for over 27 years. Phyllis’ offers its title famous giant burger, teriyaki chicken sandwiches, Philly cheese steaks and more.

San Francisco

Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers

Various locations


Peninsula/South Bay

The Counter

Various locations


North Bay

Phyllis’ Giant Burger

Various locations



Specialty/Gourmet Market

For those of us who long to be more like Julia Child in the kitchen, it’s important to find the right gourmet market.

Mollie Stone’s Market won in both San Francisco and the North Bay. It prides itself on serving all customers, not just gourmands. “We are going for a kosher specialty,” says owner David Bennett. The year-round kosher selection includes frozen and nonfrozen foods for every day, not just the holidays. Mollie Stone’s also keeps international favorites on the shelf, such as Bamba, tahini, imported coffees and much more.

Making more than a dozen kinds of fresh pasta daily and importing some 75 types from Italy, the Pasta Shop in Oakland’s Rockridge Market Hall is all about selection. Sauces and sides are made with locally grown produce and are sold at local farmers markets and Whole Foods. “We are always adding new additions to our menu,” says buyer Linda Sikorski.

Draeger’s Market sets a high standard among gourmet markets in the Bay Area. “We aren’t just a supermarket; we are a gourmet market,” says Kim Meniguzzi, manager of the San Mateo store. “We have Draeger’s products, foreign products and big-name brand products all in one location.” The Draeger’s bakery, which prepares hundreds of cakes and cookies from scratch, is ever-popular. Draeger’s also offers a dining area, cooking classes and catering services.

San Francisco/North Bay

Mollie Stone’s

Various locations


East Bay

The Pasta Shop


(510) 250-6005


Peninsula/South Bay

Draeger’s Market

Various locations




Our readers have a pretty good idea of where to go to get their bagel fix, but the debate will never end. One way to avoid it is to indulge in a cookie or cupcake every once in a while at one of these sweet spots.

Many San Franciscans agree that Holey Bagel of Noe Valley is the place to get the goods. Holey Bagel is known for its breakfast sandwiches, such as the egg and cheese and the lox cream cheese toasted bagel.

Keeping it simple since 1974, Berkeley Bagels sells 19 types of bagels. Flavors from raisin to asiago cheese give customers plenty of choices. The most popular bagel in the morning? Plain.

Sharing top honors in the East Bay is the Grand Bakery. For over 13 years this kosher bakery has been making a lot more than bagels and sweets. Jewish delights such as latkes, baba ghanoush and challah are sold year-round. Owner Bob Jaffey also reaches out to the community by doing challah workshops with schools and the JCC.

“We do things differently around here,” says manager Maria Arzat of Izzy’s Brooklyn Bagels. “Instead of baking the bagels we boil them first and then bake them. This extra step is what has made Izzy’s so successful.” And it’s true! For 15 years Izzy’s has made its mark selling bagels (17 kinds) along with salads, fish, wraps and more on its extensive menu.

At Sweet Things bakery in Tiburon, the desserts appear to be endless. Everything is made from scratch, giving the products a homemade touch. Sweet Things also has a retail shop in San Francisco.

San Francisco

Holey Bagel

Noe Valley

(415) 647-3334

East Bay

Berkeley Bagels


(510) 524-3104

The Grand Bakery


(510) 465-1110

Peninsula/South Bay

Izzy’s Brooklyn Bagels

Palo Alto

(650) 329-0700


North Bay

Sweet Things


(415) 388-8583



California Winery

Whether our readers are filling their Kiddush cup or relaxing on the weekend, many like to raise their glasses to the grapes of Napa Valley’s Hagafen Cellars.

Hagafen has been a Readers’ Choice winner for years. Owner Ernie Weir says the winery’s key to success has been customer loyalty and the organic grapes produced in its vineyards. Located in the heart of wine country, Hagafen sells cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot, pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, white Riesling and more. “Our small winery is proud of our success and honored to be able to produce the fine wines according to Jewish dietary laws,” says Weir.

 Bay Area

Hagafen Cellars


(707) 252-0781