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How to Find Flavors from Around the World Without Ever Leaving Home 

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  • Café Bahar, Photo by Sarah Flood-Baumann


The Aloha Kitchen Surprisingly, you can find authentic Hawaiian food on the Mainland. The Aloha Kitchen does Hawaiian best when sticking to the basics – and basic does not mean simple. Lau lau and loco moco are attention grabbers. 1151 Harry Wurzbach, (210) 826-7426


Biryani Pot Find food from Hyderabad, a former princely state on India’s Southeast coast. Specialties include rice dishes, fish and goat curries. 9386 Huebner Road, Suite 109, (210) 561-8874.

India Oven Naan bread, vegetable pakoras, tandoori specialties, and a wide buffet have earned India Oven many longtime fans. The cozy interior is perfect for a date or a simple lunch. 1031 Patricia St., (210) 366-1030,

India Palace Buffet chafing dishes are changed regularly, and nothing seems really tired. Saag paneer and dal makhani are reliable staples. Avoid the lunch rush and opt for an intimate dinner. 8747 Fredericksburg Road, Suite 100, (210) 692-5262.

Mustafa Cuisine You’re not visiting Mustafa’s for the décor, but it more than delivers with both familiar dishes and others seldom seen in SA. Breads are fine, curries vary, but goat and cauliflower take two often-neglected ingredients and elevate them to exalted status. 4085 Medical Drive, (210) 615-7861.

Café Bahar Gobi Manchurian, battered and fried cauliflower served with a sweet, spicy sauce with soy and tomato, is one of Bahar’s Indo-Chinese recipes and it’s easy to like. The goat soup is just spicy enough, tastes deeply herbal and would surely cure whatever ails you.10227 Ironside, (210) 558-8289.

Tarka Indian Kitchen This Austin-based franchise is making Indian fare fast casual with a list of curries, kabobs and biryanis that still pack some heat. 427 N. Loop 1604 W., (210) 499-0982,

Taste of India This tiny hole-in-the-wall isn’t much to look at but the friendly service, pillowy naan available in several varieties and the vegetarian paneers beg a second, third or fourth visit. 5999 De Zavala, (210) 561-4409.


Azro Moroccan & Mediterranean Bistro Azro engineer-turned-chef Khalid Said is whipping up Moroccan faves such as the vibrant and warm harira soup, a beautiful tabouli and seafood bastilla made of baked layers of thin pastry filled with salmon and shrimp inside this inviting Castle Hills nook. 2211 NW Military, Suite 131, (210) 342-0011.

Jerusalem Grill Long skewers of lamb and chicken beckon, but try the Syrian-style kibbeh instead, with sides of both hummus and baba ghanoush. It’s one of our falafel faves. Multiple locations,

Mediterranean Turkish Grill Dolmas, hummus and fresh bread are signatures of this authentic Mediterranean grill. 8507 McCullough, Suite B13, (210) 399-1645,

Moroccan Bites Tucked away in a shopping center off Evers, Moroccan Bites is all about family and fresh ingredients. Skip the soups and go straight for the chicken or lamb tagine. 5714 Evers Road, (210) 706-9700.

Pasha Mediterranean Grill It’s hard not to fill up on the hot, fresh flatbread and zaatar spice mix, but you have to save room for Pasha’s delicious Mid-east fare. Standouts include the tender kabobs and the saffron-marinated Cornish hens. Multiple locations,

Shisha’s Café A hotspot for hookah-loving college students, Shisha has plenty to offer. Try the garlicky hummus, the giant falafel or the perfectly seasoned chicken shawarma sandwich wrapped in warm pita bread and filled with garlic sauce, pickles, lettuce and tomatoes. 5500 Babcock Road, Suite 101, (210) 694-4800.

Turquoise Grill Open for lunch and dinner, Turquoise Grille is a welcome setting for a variety of Turkish foods — including excellent Doner kebab, mixed grill, chicken tava, baklava, rice pudding — with affordable prices. 3720 NW Loop 410, (210) 736-2887,

click to enlarge GREG ZARAGOZA
  • Greg Zaragoza


Kohinoor Restaurant & Grill The spices and service are warm and intoxicating at this family-run restaurant that uses 100 percent Zabiha Halal meat. Although the menu is a list of possibilities, take a chance on the special of the day. 9425 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 314-8692,


The Bin Tortillas Españolas with a crispy Dady twist, briny olives, smoked octopus and sinfully delicious goat cheese sandwiches are must-have bites. When the weather cools off, expect the return of Friday night paella! 511 E. Grayson St., (210) 994-8099,

Carmens de La Calle After relocating to the Milam Building, relaunched its global menu with paella, ceviche, empanadas and more. 320 N. Flores St., (210) 281-4349,

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