San Jose Is the Bay Area’s Great Immigrant Food City

And because of the geographic proximity of these neighborhoods, all these immigrant kids wound up going to school together and learning about each other’s foods instead of staying cloistered in their own enclaves. 

Thien Pham, a high school teacher and comics artist, was a kid when he arrived in the city in 1980, as part of the large wave of Vietnamese refugees who made their home in San Jose around that time—attracted, Pham says, by the weather and the prospect of good, dignified jobs in the burgeoning tech and electronics industries. 

What he remembers is how enmeshed the different immigrant communities were. In particular, he says, “There was a real nice Mexican and Vietnamese cohabitation in San Jose. A lot of Vietnamese people got into eating Mexican food, and Mexican people got into eating Vietnamese food.” The flavors of the two cuisines were just so compatible—all these bold,

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From San Tung to Kezar, San Francisco is an underrated chicken wing city

Hot take: San Francisco is an underrated chicken wing city. There, I said it.

But it’s not just me saying it; the chicken wing game has some backers amongst chefs, too. “Everyone is so talented right now. Like everyone is guns blazing. It’s good to see,” said Shawn Naputi, chef and co-owner of Prubechu in the Mission.

Other cities obviously have a bigger reputation for wings, of course. Buffalo, New York, is the namesake of the fried drums and flats drenched in a mixture of hot sauce and butter. Atlanta is known for the lemon pepper category of wings. Washington, D.C., has mumbo sauce on theirs. Heck, even Portland, Oregon, was known as a wing city mostly for the fame brought by the now-defunct restaurant Pok Pok. But San Francisco is up there with the best. 

We don’t have one particular wing we’re famous for, like the aforementioned cities, but

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This is the Sichuan restaurant that inspired Mission Chinese in San Francisco

On a recent Saturday evening, the hottest day of 2021 for San Francisco, owner Kenny Zhang is behind the counter at Spices, head down, multitasking with a landline tucked between his ear and shoulder while scrolling through an iPad. Zhang doesn’t look up for a solid 5 minutes while he scribbles away phone orders on his pad of paper and confirms digital orders from the likes of DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats. It’s a busy night for business.  But that’s how he likes it, especially during a pandemic.

“We’re grateful that our customers helped support our small business. They kept doing phone call [orders] and they couldn’t walk in, but they just stand outside to order in person and wait for the food,” Zhang said.

Spices has served the people of San Francisco since 2003. The original owner, a Taiwanese man, started the restaurant as a mix between Sichuan and

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Cool off with these fun cocktails from San Francisco and beyond this summer

Can you even call it summer if you’re not sipping a refreshing cocktail? Around the Bay Area, new bars have surfaced within the past seven months, and after a grueling year for bars, we think drinks are in order. SFGATE’s Food + Drink team visited some of the newcomers found throughout San Francisco and beyond to try a selection of tropical to low-proof drinks. Drinks aside, many of the new bars come with a playful atmosphere, like Jaranita’s festive dining space and garden-centric bar Propagation. The only problem you’ll have is deciding which place to hit first.   

The Red Window Cobbler at Red Window, a new tapas bar in North Beach. 

The Red Window Cobbler at Red Window, a new tapas bar in North Beach. 

Madeline Wells/SFGATE

At North Beach’s colorful new tapas bar Red Window, you won’t find any whiskey or gin on the menu. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t cocktails. 


Instead, you’ll find a creative menu of low-proof cocktails, in

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