Falafels, shawarma and more: 3 new spots to score Middle Eastern eats in San Francisco

Looking for your next great Middle Eastern meal in San Francisco? These new spots will satisfy all your cravings. Here are the newest places to check out the next time you're in the mood for Middle Eastern food.

Beit Rima

138 Church St., Duboce Triangle

Photo: Cherylynn N./Yelp

Beit Rima is a Mediterranean, Lebanese and vegetarian spot.

This new restaurant opened in the space formerly occupied by local mini-chain Burgermeister, which shuttered its Church Street location after more than 16 years in operation.

While the burger joint is no more, Beit Rima actually comes from Burgermeister founder Paul Mogannam's 28-year-old son, Samir Mogannam. Beit Rima is Arabic for "Rima's House" in reference to his mother's home cooking, he told us earlier this year.

On the lunch menu, expect to see pita sandwiches, house-made falafel and a vegan "chicken" options, as well as soups, salads and potato dishes with seasonal Arabic flavors.

The restaurant is currently rolling out dinner service, and once things progress, a "full Arabic brunch, something that you'd have at my mom's house on a Sunday," said the younger Mogannam. Shakshuka (poached eggs in a tomato-based sauce) will be served all day, and an assortment of Arabic and Turkish coffees and teas are joining the mix, too.

Beit Rima currently holds five stars out of 39 reviews on Yelp, indicating good reviews.

Yelper Rebecca M., who reviewed Beit Rima on March 3, wrote, "I'm still sitting in the restaurant and enjoyed my meal so much I had to post immediately. We had the Mezze Sampler, lamb shank, chicken shish tawook plate and two extra falafel and the muhalabia."

Yelper Carrie R. wrote, "Best middle eastern food I've had. They serve upscale food in a casual environment with super reasonable prices. Between two we shared the chicken kebob plate, the Ful, and three falafel."

Beit Rima is open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Tuesday-Sunday. (It's closed on Monday.)

Golden Gate Halal Food

979 Market St., SoMa

Photo: Yousuf R./Yelp

Golden Gate Halal Food is a food truck and halal spot.

On the menu, look for items, like chicken or lamb gyros, chicken or lamb over rice with fresh greens, raw onions and tomatoes topped with yogurt, or a combo plate composed of both lamb and chicken. Rounding things out are sodas and bottled water.

With a five-star rating out of three reviews on Yelp, Golden Gate Halal Food has been getting positive attention.

Yelper Snowballs Chance H. wrote, "I am from New York, where Halal carts are everywhere and a regular part of my diet. Golden Gate Halal is better than all of them. Seriously. My GF is Muslim and agrees too."

And Lendehl S. wrote, "First time for yelp review and deserved. Best halal cart. Way better than halal guys. Fresh spices on the rice. Cooked just right. Tried the chicken but will have to come back for combo."

Golden Gate Halal Food is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Monday-Saturday. (It's closed on Sunday.)


1075 Sutter St., Lower Nob Hill

Photo: Ambar C./Yelp

Saha is a wine bar and Middle Eastern spot, offering tapas and more.

Chef Mohamed Aboghanem's Middle Eastern fusion restaurant Saha is back in action at Lower Nob Hill's Hotel Carlton, after a two-year absence.

The restaurant, previously in business for 11 years, closed in 2016 because Aboghanem's family and friends were moving away, and he felt it was time for a change, according to the Chronicle. Now, the Yemen-born chef has decided to return to the city, along with head sommelier Marmee Manack, giving the interior a refresh in the process.

Saha is once again serving up both plant-based and meaty small plates for breakfast, brunch and dinner at 1075 Sutter St. The Berkeley location to which Saha moved in 2016 will also remain open.

For breakfast, look for dishes like the Middle Eastern omelet with spinach, feta and cumin; dinnertime brings small plates like wild mushroom pate with lemongrass, coconut milk and Yemeni bread.

Saha's current rating of 4.5 stars out of 15 reviews on Yelp indicates positive attention from users.

Yelper Carol W., who was one of the first users to visit Saha on November 27, wrote, "Berkeley Location AND San Francisco location...Really cool when you like coming to SF but live in the much cooler, less pretentious East Bay, where the weather is warmer and the entertainment is..."

Ahmed H. noted, "Just reopened after moving to Berkeley, but now back home where they belong. It was a hit as well in Berkeley so I'm sure Saha will do great here again. Can't wait to try just waiting for a..."

Yelper Valerie H. wrote, "What a hidden gem! Totally lucked out when meeting a friend and we couldn't get last minute reservations anywhere except here. Hidden in the back of a quaint boutique hotel, this Mediterranean..."

Saha is open from 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. on Tuesday-Thursday, 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Sunday. (It's closed on Monday.)

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