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Find flavors from around the world in San Francisco

Le Colonial’s main dining room has antique lamps and rattan furniture
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For a culinary trip around the world, just visit San Francisco. With tremendous ethnic diversity, the city is packed with restaurants that reflect the flavors of its residents’ native lands.


Cuisine from several countries in every continent can be found within walking distance of one other: from South American, to Eastern European, to South-East Asian, to Mediterranean to African. There are also many chefs who blend flavors from two or more traditions to create exciting fusion fare that has a unique twist all its own.

There are innumerable varieties of ethnic eateries from which to choose. Below are a few of the most highly regarded by both food critics and diners.

Le Colonial — Tucked away in the inconspicuous setting of 20 Cosmo Place, Le Colonial has French-influenced Vietnamese cuisine, prepared with fresh, locally sourced meats and produce. The vegetable-rich entrées burst with complex flavors without being overbearing.

Palio D’Asti — 640 Sacramento St.  This restaurant offers cuisine from several regions of Italy: Piemonte, Emilia Romagna and Tuscany in the fall and winter, Rome and Umbria in the spring, and Sicily and Naples in the summer. It uses locally sourced and organic produce from small family farms as well as sustainable meats, poultry and fish.

Limón Rotisserie — This is a top South American restaurant, serving the bold flavors of Peru. It specializes in fire-roasted chicken and a full bar with specialty mixed cocktails. It has three San Francisco locations: 524 Valencia St., 1001 South Van Ness Ave., 5800 Third St.

Quince — Situated in the Jackson Square neighborhood at 470 Pacific Ave., Quince is housed in an 1907 historically landmarked brick and timber building. It features a daily changing Italian-inspired menu that celebrates the seasonal bounty of Northern California. Chef Michael Tusk was honored with the 2011 James Bear Foundation award for Best Chef — Pacific.

Aziza — 5800 Geary Blvd.  Chef Mourad Lahlou’s modern reinventions of traditional Moroccan dishes are all about showcasing the flavors of his native cuisine in ways that harmonize with the fresh local ingredients of Northern California. This restaurant is quite vegetarian friendly, with several entrée options from which to choose.

Anzu — Located on the second level of Hotel Nikko at 222 Mason St., Anzu is gaining popularity with both visitors and locals. With sustainable California cuisine enhanced with Asian flavors, diners can get all-American steak or chicken paired with Japanese sushi, accompanied by wine or sake.


Michael Mina — 252 California St.  Named Restaurant of the Year 2011 by Esquire Magazine, Michael Mina pairs Japanese ingredients and a French influence. The dinner menu is à la carte with the option to have the chef cook for your table.

If Peruvian, Italian, Moroccan, Japanese or French cuisine is not your forte, never fear! Right around the corner you will find Mexican, Greek, Thai or Russian food.


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