San Francisco’s New Egyptian Restaurant Hungry Cafe Brings Surprisingly Affordable Cuisine To The Bayview District


Mohamed Ali Abdelmegid is dazzled by the appearance of a giant pastel cat sign outside his new cafe on Evans Street. Hungry His Café, a new restaurant serving Egyptian entrees and fresh pastries on San Francisco’s east side, will have his soft opening in February 2023. But its host building is the Southeast Community Center, which is revitalized, and a black producer-focused farmers’ market opens in June. The development destination, which offers strong coffee and affordable meals, is now fully open to the public. “We are energizing the space,” says Abdelmeguid. “We are building a fresh food lighthouse by offering and sharing my heritage.”

Abdelmeguid’s first food company, the catering company Hungry Kitchens, was personal. Think acai bowls, smoothies, and grilled cheese sandwiches for work events and group lunches. But when the pandemic hit, he couldn’t help but think about how food brings people together. Abdelmegid, who grew up in Egypt, says his main reason for cooking is to bring his community and family together for lunch and dinner. That’s why Hungry’s Café makes everything more affordable than San Francisco dinner-goers might expect. Pastries cost him $3.25, and vegan breakfast entrees like berry tartines topped with nut butter and mascarpone cost him just $11.50.

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Located in the corner of the massive Southeast Community Center, Hungry Café aims to nourish both mind and body.
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He further said that everything is made with group dining in mind. From okra and tomato braised barmias to falafels to flaky croissants and sweet escargots, owners have to share everything. The menu is notable for Egyptian cuisine. Herb-infused labneh, sumac-spiced bastelma toast, and even chickpea confit. To solve okra’s infamous texture, Abdelmegid cooks it Egyptian-style by frying it, roasting it, frying it again, then combining it with tomato salsa. The chef also incorporates Californian flavors, such as using rusticana bread as a garnish. “People are always intrigued,” says Abdelmeguid. “It has a full-bodied taste.”

The entrepreneur, along with many other business owners, applied to run an on-site café at the Southeast Community Center. He was both happy and nervous when he found out that the 2021 bid had been made. It’s not wrong for him that Bayview isn’t considered one of the city’s favorite eateries. “I’m not in the marina or next to Dolores Park,” says Abdelmeguid. “And then there’s the bay view connotation.” he is convinced. He wants his neighbors to use his Hungry café as a go-to place to host events and spend a lot of time. Working remotely. “This is the beginning,” says Abdelmeguid. “It’s all about creating good food and a good spirit. It’s not a Michelin-starred atmosphere, but it’s affordable, healthy food.”

Hungry Cafe is open at 1550 Evans Avenue from 8am to 4pm, Monday through Friday.

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Southeast Community Center is much bigger than expected.
Paolo Bicchieri

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