Around the World Without Leaving the Bay Area

Ana Picazo - San Francisco Bay Area
January 1, 2018

One best things about the Bay Area is the wealth of diversity in heritage and culture contained within its 9000 square miles. From the different languages spoken at the local elementary schools to the string of ethnic restaurants in a single strip mall, you don't have to look far to experience this melting pot of cultures. Teaching your little one about other people and places is as easy and delicious as ordering from a menu. Chinese? Israeli? Vietnamese? Take a culinary journey around the world and give your child a taste of the (culinary) wonders of the world at these kid-friendly international eateries around our part of the world:


Pho Vi Hoa in Mountain View is consistently packed during peak hours, and the majority of the crowd is Asian, two good indications that this place serves up tasty, authentic food. The pho (noodle soup) is aromatic and nourishing, and the egg rolls are just heavenly. Their kids' menu serves real food, just like what the grownups eat, only in smaller portions. Don't forget to try the clay pot fried rice and green papaya salad!


Habana Cuba has won numerous awards for its flavorful homestyle cuisine, including Best Cuban Restaurant, Best Authentic Restaurant of the Valley and Top 50 Best Spanish Restaurants in the Country-and it only takes one visit to see why. Don't miss their Lechon a la Cubana, with its tender slow-roasted pork and sweet plantains, and their decadent Tres Leches cake. Kids' menus are as authentic as the rest of the menu (no chicken nuggets or grilled cheese here), and little ones feel right at home in the colorful interior or the dog-friendly outdoor patio.


Kabul in San Carlos is the ultimate dining experience for Afghani cuisine in the Bay Area. The lamb kabobs are tender, the baklava is flaky, the service is top notch, and the decor will have your little travelers feeling like they're right in the middle of the Middle East.


There are many places along the coast that serve nice, fresh fish, but only Barbara's Fishtrap fries it up into such tender, succulent fish-and-chips that expat-Britons are left sighing in ecstasy and waxing nostalgic about the London docks.  Tucked into the farthest corner of tiny Princeton-by-the-Sea, Barbara's is so crowded on weekends that hour-long waits are common. Never fear: they have a takeout window on the side, so you can pick up your cod and chips and stroll down to the nearby docks.


Oren's Hummus Shop in Palo Alto serves up the smoothest, creamiest hummus and baba ghanoush this side of the West Bank. Tiny side dishes of carrots, falafel and chicken skewers are just right for little appetites, and everything is accompanied by warm, fluffy whole wheat pita bread.


The Bay Area is chock full of taco joints, but San Francisco's La Taqueria is a stand-out. They've been serving amazing Mexican food since the 1970s, and they've been gathering crowds and rave reviews ever since. Many say these are the best tacos in San Francisco! Prices are not dirt-cheap, but you get what you pay for: huge, full-to-bursting tacos, fresh, flavorful ingredients, sizzling meat fillings fresh from the grill. Credit cards are not accepted, so bring cash-and save some room for the fruit drink of the day.


From the Parents

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