Easy access to excellent food is one of the perks of working in the Bay Area. From authentic regional cuisines to inspired modern menus, we have it all. With so much great food around, it takes something truly special for a restaurant to stand out from the crowd. We think you’ll agree that the winners of this year’s Best of Fooda awards are among the best eateries, caterers, and popups the Bay Area has to offer.
Best Popup Entree of 2023 – Poke Bowl from Poke-nomics
How do you make the Best Popup Entree winner? Start with delectable poke proteins, served either marinated or raw, and then place them on a nourishing bed of white rice, brown rice, or freshly prepared salad. Top it with options ranging from seaweed strips to Hot Cheetos, and then serve it with enticing sauces, from everyday favorite spicy mayo to gluten-free shoyu soy. As anyone who has tried one of Poke-nomics’ signature Poke Bowls will tell you, any combination is a winning recipe.
Runner Up: (Tie) Fried Chicken and Waffle from The Waffle Roost & Butter Chicken from The Gurkha Kitchen
Best Customer Service – K-Star Doshirak
As the first U.S. location for this South Korea-based restaurant brand, K-Star Doshirak understands the importance of making a great first impression. While enthusiastic endorsements by Korean celebrities like Park Min-young and Ricky Kim may resonate with some, most Bay Area diners are just looking for a new takeout place to try. To fully appreciate their “Smart Kimchi” (American/Korean fusion) menu, some of these customers may need a little help. By all accounts, the team at K-Star are happy to guide newcomers to the perfect doshirak (lunch box) style dish to sate their appetites.
Runner Up: 333 Truck
Most Likely To Visit Outside Of Work – SAJJ
If you want to truly understand why SAJJ has become one of the most successful Mediterranean chains in the Bay Area, drop by one of their food trucks during a popup or outdoor event. The air soon fills with that heady aroma of spices, luring everyone just a few steps closer to the source of those hauntingly savory scents. That may sound like an exaggeration, but it isn’t. You simply can’t ignore the perfectly grilled chicken shawarma, the freshly made falafel, and the tauntingly tasty sides. If the food is this good at a workplace popup, how could even the strongest of wills resist sampling the full restaurant menu?
Runner Up: Hongry Kong
Best Overall Popup – The Gurkha Kitchen
The best popup dining experiences often combine the familiar with the exotic, allowing customers to see everyday ingredients in a new light. By focusing on regional variations of traditional Indian and Nepali dishes, the Gurkha Kitchen is ready to take curious customers on a culinary journey through the subcontinent’s best cuisines. Even with a limited popup menu of favorites, like paneer tikka masala or chicken biryani, the humble catered lunch break becomes a delicious new adventure.
Runner Up: Poke-nomics
Best Delivery Entree of 2023 – Poke Bowl from Poke-nomics
It’s no surprise that Poke-nomics is an overwhelming favorite with Fooda customers. Their Poke Bowl delivers satisfying portions of freshly diced spicy tuna, salmon, and other classic poke proteins (including marinated tofu for vegan diners) served over a bed of rice or salad, then completed with distinctive sauces, toppings, and sides. This variety of flavors and textures allow Poke-nomics to create the perfect meal for vanquishing even the most stubborn of cravings.
Runner Up: Lomo Saltado from Lima Peruvian Food
Most Likely To Visit Outside Of Work – SAJJ
Once you’ve sampled the addictively aromatic entrees at SAJJ, it’s only a matter of time before you come back for more. What’s not to love about their authentic Mediterranean flavors, their perfectly prepared halal protein options, and their obsession with locally sourced, farm-to-table produce? From their classic steak shawarma to their heavenly falafel (not to mention their “best of both worlds” shawafel), SAJJ has something to satisfy every palate. As a regional fast-casual chain with locations, it’s also easily accessible outside of the office.
Runner Up: World Wrapps
Best Overall for Fooda Delivery – (Tie) Lima Peruvian Food & Poke-nomics
facebook.com/LimaPeruvianFood & poke-nomics.us
The Best Overall Fooda Delivery category was always going to be a close race, but even we were surprised at how close this contest turned out to be. Then again, who could choose a favorite between these two? Lima Peruvian Food is one of the Bay Area’s best-kept secrets, with their authentically savory Lomo Saltado (Peruvian beef stir fry) earning them the Runner Up spot for Best Delivery Entree. Poke-nomics, in contrast, serves up a delectably fresh poke menu that puts a West Coast spin on a Hawaiian favorite. They’re both excellent, and equally deserving of the top spot, but the real winners here are our Fooda customers.
Runner Up: Kasa Indian Eatery