An Indian Kitchen in SF That’s Almost as Good as Mom’s

In San Francisco’s Mission District, Aaha is a beloved spot for those in search of authentic Indian cuisine that won’t break the bank. Despite its unassuming appearance—think pumpkin-orange walls and practical decor—Aaha has earned a stellar reputation among locals, particularly within the Indian community.

What keeps patrons like me coming back to Aaha isn’t the ambiance but the bold and authentic spices that define traditional Indian cooking. Their menu offers a delightful blend of North and South Indian dishes, featuring classics like chana masala alongside Southern specialties like dosas and uttapam.

They even cater to fans of Indo-Chinese cuisine with favorites like gobi manchurian, ensuring there’s something to please every palate.

A standout dish at Aaha is the tandoori pomfret ($18), a whole butterfish expertly marinated and grilled to perfection, served with cilantro chutney and crisp raw onions. Another must-try is the bagara baingan ($14), a Hyderabadi delicacy of baby eggplants simmered in a spicy tamarind-peanut curry that pairs wonderfully with freshly baked naan.

For a hearty and wallet-friendly meal, their generous portions of goat biryani are hard to beat. The “Aaha Special” version ($18) combines tender goat meat with aromatic, spiced rice, accompanied by refreshing raita. Wash it all down with a sweet lime soda, or opt for the salty version for a unique twist.

While Aaha doesn’t serve alcohol, they warmly encourage guests to bring their own beverages, making it easy to enjoy your favorite wine or beer with your meal. Whether you’re seeking a taste of home or a culinary adventure, Aaha delivers on both flavor and value in the heart of San Francisco.

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