My Favorite Cheap Eats SF: Udupi Palace

I had no intention of eating at Udupi Palace for lunch. Originally I’d planned for Chinese food, but due to some confusion I couldn’t find the place I was looking for and in my meanderings came across this Dosa palace and was already geared up for something spicy so on a whim went in.  And boy am I glad I did!

I see from doing some research on line that this is not the most popular place in SF for Dosa, but as a New Yorker who eats Dosa here on a regular basis and loves South Indian food I thought this was some of the best I have ever had.  The place is small, with a high ceiling and lots of fun tacky art on the walls.

The waitstaff were friendly and efficient, but mostly the selection of Dosa was incredible with 17 to choose from, in addition to a full menu of other South Indian dishes. I ordered the Mysore Masala Dosa ($7.95) and a super delicious Mango Lassi ($2.75).  The Mysore Masala is a Spiced Crepe with Potatoes smeared inside with Spicy Chutney.

And from a different perspective:

Dosa are a large thin pancakes made from either fermented lentils or rice.

There were also some onions mixed in with the potato filling.  Often in Indian vegetarian cuisine they don’t use onions or garlic as it causes gas but in the West I find that most Indian restaurants use them.  The Dosa are served in this cool TV dinner type stainless steel trays which are typical of South Indian food and often used when you order a Thali.

The Dosa came with a bowl of sambar, a spicy lentil soup/dipping sauce and 3 chutneys: Coconut, Tomato and Ginger.

My Mango Lassi, which I had almost polished off before I got my food!

Lunch cost me $11.72 and of course it would be the same for dinner.   A simple, delicately seasoned and excellently prepared meal.  It might not satisfy you if you were a big carnivore, but  for anyone else this is one of the most satisfying and inexpensive meals going.  Basically it’s Indian smashed potatoes in a crepe, what could be bad?

This would be a great places to go in a groups so you could order a selection of goodies. Of all the places I went to in search of quality, tasty, inexpensive, food Udupi Palace and Lers Ros Thai restaurant were my favorites.

If you have your own favorite please leave a comment:  I’d love to try it out the next time I am in the Bay Area  – which I hope will be soon!

About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note: urbanfoodguy@gmail.com
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