San Francisco's Top Five Indian and Pakistani Restaurants

The paper dosa from Dosa on Valencia.
Before the Tenderloin became the Tandoorloin a decade ago, Indian food in San Francisco was a restrained, almost elegant affair. Linens and goblets, muted sauces, rather doctrinaire menus of tandoori chicken and mixed vegetable sabzi. A wave of cheap, grotty, chile-strewing Pakistani chains -- Shalimar, Pakwan, Naan 'n' Curry -- changed all that. And so did the later arrival of high-end restaurants that didn't sacrifice flavor in the name of class. San Francisco's desi food still can't top the South Bay's, but now we're eating much, much better. Here are SFoodie's favorites:

Lauren S./Yelp
Masala Dosa
5. Udupi Palace
The quality of this South Indian chain varies from location to location, but the Valencia Street branch is one of the good'uns. The kitchen produces rava (semolina) dosas so lacy they look tatted, crisp vadas (lentil doughnuts) made for swabbing in coconut chutney, and a South Indian thali with at least a dozen different components, the silvery platter sending up aromas of curry leaves, mustard seeds, and cardamom. Order the restaurant's paper dosa, which looks like the world's biggest blunt, and you'll attract the stares of everyone else in the room. If you're into that sort of thing, of course.

Location Info



Udupi Palace

1007 Valencia, San Francisco, CA

Category: Restaurant

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vijay patidar
vijay patidar

great in forain countries we can also taste Indian food and Udupi Palace is one of them  providing great tasty foods with a low cost prices.

Indian restaurants


What about Roti Indian Bistro?  LOVE that place!


I've been eating at Darbar for years. Great choice! Friendly staff and amazing food.


You lost a lot of credibility with the choice of Udupi Palace. Yes, worshipers at the vegetarian altar like it, but let's be objective: all the food tastes the same because the same few vegetables are in every dish. Bland and mushy.


Dosa is highly overrated. The quality varies too much, and the arrogance of the wait staff leaves a bad taste in the mouth. You are better off patronizing some other establishment.

Amy Sherman
Amy Sherman

Great list! Darbar is often overlooked but it's really a gem. The only place I haven't tried yet is Amber India.

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