The Bay Area may be a long distance away from Africa, but we’re lucky to have a number of restaurants representing countries all over the continent right here in the Northern California region. We may be best known for our many wonderful Ethiopian restaurants in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley, but are you familiar with the Bay Area’s only Somali and Liberian restaurants? They’re included in this guide to our favorite African spots in the Bay Area. All are independent and family-owned businesses that have long been beloved parts of this community. And you can enjoy them at your next event with Off the Grid Catering

Bissap Baobab

Marco Senghor’s brilliant Bissap Baobab is much more than a Senegalese and African restaurant in San Francisco’s Mission District. It’s a warm gathering place, watering hole, dance club, and special events location that welcomes patrons, musicians, and DJs from all over the world. Grab some fried plantains or other small bites at the bar or sit down for more substantial salads, seafood curries and the hearty, weekend-only special called Ceebu Jen, a fish dish with tomato, jollof rice, yucca, eggplant and other veggies. 2243 Mission Street, San Francisco

Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant

There are a lot of choices for Ethiopian food in the East Bay that are all worth exploring. We know Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant as a longtime staple for getting together with friends over huge family-style plates of veggie or meat dishes. It’s been open in Oakland since 2018 and was previously located in Berkeley for decades. Come through for dine-in or takeout; they offer third-party delivery service as well. 160 14th Street, Oakland

Jollof Kitchen

Oluwakemi Sumbiat’s Jollof Kitchen, a vibrant Nigerian food truck and catering company, is a great option when you need Halal, gluten-free, vegetarian or pescetarian catering options. The food truck is often spotted at big Bay Area gatherings, especially if there’s music playing, but it can be booked for private events, too. Various locations 


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Jubba Somali Restaurant

San Jose is home to the Bay Area’s only Somali restaurant, Jubba, which Amina Nur opened in 2009 and runs with her daughter, Fatima. They’ve absorbed the international influences of San Jose and their most popular dish is a namesake called Jubba chicken, which is wrapped in flatbread (which is called chapati in India and sabaayad in Somalia). There’s a roasted goat cutlet that is a traditional Somali dish as well as beef and fish options and a “sports” plate of two meats that feeds two people. 5330 Terner Way, Suite 40, San Jose


You’ll find Kendejah, the Bay Area’s only Liberian restaurant, right near the San Leandro BART station in Pelton Plaza. The restaurant, opened by Dougie Uso in 2017, has a menu of daily specials with vegetarian, seafood and omnivorous options. Uso moved from Liberia to Oakland as a teenager. Kendejah is a great spot to pick up some next level surf and turf, like Friday plates of smoked turkey, crab legs and palm stew, as well as West African staples such as jollof rice. Kendejah’s restaurant has transitioned to a takeout model until further notice. There’s also a food truck that stops in downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt. 197 Pelton Center Way, San Leandro

New Eritrea Restaurant

This Sunset District mainstay has served family-style, injera-lined plates of Eritrean and Ethiopian classics to the neighborhood for decades. It deserves wider attention, even in the Bay Area’s competitive Ethiopian restaurant scene. New Eritrea Restaurant is a warm place to go in a city that has more chains than we can count. It’s also a smart choice for groups that have a mix of vegans and omnivores, because they serve both so well. 907 Irving Street, San Francisco

Radio Africa & Kitchen

Born in Ethiopia, Eskender Aseged has long been an important fixture in the Bay Area dining scene as well as one of the first chefs to kickstart what is now a vibrant culture of pop-ups in the region. His once nomadic Radio Africa Kitchen became a permanent restaurant on Bayview’s Third Street in 2012, yet he still hosts pop-ups and collaborations. Visit him for an ever-changing menu that draws from Californian, North African, and Mediterranean flavors and techniques. 4800 Third Street, San Francisco


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Sheba Piano Lounge

We also chose to recommend Sheba Piano Lounge out of many other Ethiopian restaurants in the Bay Area because it’s long been part of the music scene on Fillmore Street in San Francisco and has stayed there as the neighborhood has lost other clubs and places to enjoy music. It’s a festive place to go for drinks and tunes, and to try your first plate of the house specialty of kitfo, which is a raw beef staple dish in Ethiopia. 1419 Fillmore Street, San Francisco

Swahili Spot

Priscilla Mkenda offers flavors from Tanzania and East Africa at Swahili Spot, her restaurant in Oakland. Mkenda has grown her business from a home catering operation to vending in a tent, then doing pop-ups, acquiring a food truck and a restaurant where she serves meals and offers catering services. Her extensive menu includes fresh juices, stews, curry rice bowls, and East African pastries, plus whole fried fish, skewers, wings and French fries cooked omelet style. 1327 Peralta Street, Oakland


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Chef Nafy Flatley has brought her Senegalese restaurant Teranga, which was formerly located in the now-closed La Cocina Municipal Marketplace, to Embarcadero Center as part of San Francisco’s “Vacant to Vibrant” program that offers creators opportunities to showcase their businesses downtown. Stop by for delicious Pizza Pulaar flatbread, roasted drumsticks, peanut stew and Flatley’s life-affirming line of baobab beverages. 4 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco


All of these food creators (and hundreds more) are available for your next private or office event with OTG catering