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  1. Distance: 0.12mi
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Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.12mi
  2. Distance: 0.15mi
  3. Distance: 0.15mi
  4. Distance: 0.22mi
  1. Distance: 0.12mi
  2. Distance: 0.15mi
  3. Distance: 0.15mi
  4. Distance: 0.22mi

About Mela Tandoori Kitchen

The word "mela" means carnival or fair. When the mela comes to your village, it means an explosion of color, fun and good times (not to mention good eats)! Mela Tandoori Kitchen evokes the mela spirit with colorful striped walls, glittering candles and fragrant Indian dishes. This place is all about family: Mela's North Indian and Pakistani recipes come from three generations of Indian restauranteurs. Brothers Sohel, Zoaib and Moiz run the show now, but it was their father who opened Mela's original location as one of the cities first Indian restaurant in the early 80s.

Mela's food is family-oriented too. It can be ordered family-style to take in the full range of deliciousness on the menu, like the prawn biryani, creamy chicken tikka masala, and house specialty tandoori mixed grill. Save some room for the faluda dessert (an Indian-style ice cream sundae). Sounds like the carnival is in town, and it’s headed to your mouth!

536 Golden Gate Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Indian, Pakistani, Halal

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Thursday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm
Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm

Cross Street:
Van Ness Avenue

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(415) 447-4041

Website:
http://melasf.com/

Catering:
Please consult the Management Team for details.

Parking Details:
Plenty of street parking is available as well as reasonably priced parking garages nearby

Executive Chef:
Moiz Subedar

Private Party Facilities:
A Perfect Space for groups between 20-40 people, located in our upstairs Mezzanine, this "traditional" setting is popular with the masses for birthdays, graduations, work events, etc.

Private Party Contact:
Sohel: (888) 925-8840

Additional:
Banquet, Beer, Delivery, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Mela Tandoori Kitchen Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

3.8

ambience

3.9

value

4.3

Noise

Moderate

83% would recommend it to a friend

Authentic (11)
Good Vegetarian Options (11)
Spicy (10)
See All
Pre/post Theatre (10)
Neighborhood Gem (8)
Casual (7)
Fun (7)
Good for Groups (5)
Comfort Food (4)
Fit for Foodies (4)
Good for a Date (4)
Good for Birthdays (3)
Cozy (3)
Creative Cuisine (3)
Quiet Conversation (3)
Good for Anniversaries (2)
Healthy (2)
Special Occasion (2)
Business Meals (2)
Kid-friendly (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Great for Lunch (1)
Worth the Drive (1)
People Watching (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Romantic (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Vegan (1)
Notable Wine List (1)
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321 reviews
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 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 6, 2017

Great meal, as always. Good is excellent, my favorite Indian restaurant in SF

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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 6, 2017

Our first visit. Food superb. Service friendly, exceptionally accommodating.........a bit slow. Cleanest restroom I've seen in a long time. We loved this restaurant and will be back.

Tags: Casual, Spicy, Great Beer, Pre/post Theatre, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Groups, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 5, 2017

Mela is our favorite restaurant because of the wonderful Indian food

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on April 29, 2017

Our family recently went to Mela Tandoori Kitchen for a birthday and everything was perfect. The food was delicious and the staff very helpful. We even tried the Indian wine choices and it was a hit.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on April 29, 2017

I visit Mela about once a month. Its Civic Center location makes it attractive on nights I visit the symphony or the ballet. It has good, homey, unpretentious Indian food. I like their curries and their lamb dishes. Their rice is is nicely spiced and scented. Its staff are professional, young and fun. They are quick but do not rush their diners. Its prices are of great value particularly when I usually go out with a "doggie bag" filled with one or two more dinners. It used to be that I would just "drop in," but recently a reservation seems the way to go. Good for them!

Tags: Fun, Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on April 18, 2017

Second time to Mela with large group. Again a hit. Staff very nice and helpful, service good, food great . Definitely will return!

Tags: Casual, Authentic, Good for Groups, Good Vegetarian Options, Spicy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on April 7, 2017

Very good experience. Service is usually slow due to crowd and so are wait times to get seated even with reservations.

Overall good is great and recommend.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on April 7, 2017

Super great food. Great find. I will go back, for sure.

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food5
ambience3
service3
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on April 4, 2017

Wonderful restaurant with great food and service. I go here all the time and love it!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on March 31, 2017

Really great Indian food. We ate here while on vaccation and was Not disapointed after reading so many good reviews.
To start we had chicken samosas and vegetable pakoras which were very tasty and perfectly spiced. Mains were chicken jalfrezi and Korma with peshwari nann and rice. Portions were huge and the service was on fast and attentive, topped up our water glasses before they were empty and brough warm water to freshen up at the end, 5 star service for a great price. Fabulous find in the heart of San Francisco, so good we are returning here before we head back to the UK.

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on March 31, 2017

Great service, delicious naan, tasty tandoori menu items, and reasonably priced. The bowls of water with lemon slices to cleanse our fingers at the end of the meal was a nice touch!

Tags: Healthy, Good Vegetarian Options, Pre/post Theatre, Casual, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Spicy
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on March 30, 2017

Very good authentic India food attractively presented. Well prepared, large portions and reasonable prices.

Tags: Authentic, Casual, Disabled Access, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on March 18, 2017

Continues to me my very favorite Indian Restaurant. So delicious!

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Spicy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on March 17, 2017

We loved the naans and paneer. The lamb tikka masala rocked! We told the waiter that we had to be at the symphony at certain time and he was able to take our order, serve us, and get us out in plenty of time. My only complaints: the by-the-glass wine was pretty bad and the door to the women's bathroom would not lock. Otherwise, when we have an event in the Civic Center area, we'll go to Mela.

Tags: Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Outstanding Value
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on March 17, 2017

Despite its proximity to the Opera House, I had not eaten at Mela since fall 2014 when food and service were so poor I swore I would never return. With the opening of August (1) 5 just around the corner, I assumed Mela would go out of business if they weren't already. But then I happened to drive by, noticed they were indeed still open, so checked them out on Yelp. To my amazement, they were receiving excellent reviews. I am delighted to report that they were busier than I had ever seen them; the restaurant was almost full, and both food and service were great. Congratulations, Mela, for the complete turnaround! We will definitely be back.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on March 11, 2017

Though we had a reservation, we had to wait 20 minutes to be seated, and then another 15 minutes to see a menu. After that, things were great. Excellent food. The wait staff was quick and efficient. It was noisy, which is not my preference, but I'll definitely go again for the food.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
ambience2
service3
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 11, 2017

Despite the fact that restaurants are supposed to be non smoking there was a heavy and pervasive smell of cigarette smoke which turned us off. Food was okay but not worth sitting through the cigarette smell.

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food4
ambience2
service3
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on March 10, 2017

We enjoyed a delicious meal, just steps away from the Orpheum Theatre. We were there on the early side and noticed the restaurant get pretty smokey as the meal went on - so my best advice is to enjoy the cuisine earlier if you can, to avoid kitchen smoke. Service was super attentive and nice.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on March 4, 2017

Mela is a high value unpretentious Indian restaurant. The staff are friendly, efficient and professional. The food always is well prepared, and there is almost always enough to "take home." It's close to the Opera House and other Civic Center performance spaces. I drop by frequently.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on February 18, 2017

Amazing food, friendly staff, beautiful decor. Totally worth a visit.

Tags: Spicy, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Authentic, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 17, 2017

Terrible service, but good food. They might benefit from more staff because it just seemed impossible to get anything done from ordering to retrieving a check. That said, once you do get an order in, food comes fast and it's delicious. Hats off to the kitchen!

Tags: Hot Spot
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food5
ambience3
service2
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 17, 2017

The service is always somewhat hit or miss at Mela. Once you get a server's attention, they are very friendly and accommodating. The food is tasty and portions are good. The Samosa "bites" are little strange in that the small size causes the casing to be almost crunchy but the flavor is pleasing.

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food4
ambience3
service3
value5

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on February 11, 2017

We waited at the entrance as there was a sign to wait to be seated. We've made several eye contacts with the staff but, we kept being ignored until after more than 5 mins we decided to approach the manager and ask if they want us to leave. We've been finally seated. Food was very good and authentic. Service is the main reason why I would not go back to this restaurant. Food was great so if you have plenty of time to make your dinner a 2 hr evening event or more then you should go try it. As they knew we were not happy with the service they acknowledged it and apologized with free desert.

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food5
ambience3
service1
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 7, 2017

Dinner here pretheatre group of 8. Not crowded at 6. Lots of great choices on menu. We had a number of dishes and all very very good! Staff was very attentive and aware of time constraints, got us fed in time. Nice settings, liked the lively colors.
Indeed a place to return too becsause of nice atmosphere, staff and the food! Thanks

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Tasting Menu, Good for Groups, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 4, 2017

Food was fantastic from appetizers to drinks to the meal. Everything tasted great and was a good portion size.

In terms of authenticity, the appetizers, drinks, and desserts were super authentic. The food was as well, but more on the creamy side than would be in a home-cooked meal. That being said, it was still delicious.

The usher and servers were great! Once you get your food, they don't come back as often though so you need to flag them down.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Outstanding Value, Good Vegetarian Options, Fun, Cozy
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 4, 2017

I recently have moved from UK to Bay Area USA. I can say that out of all the restaurants I visited around here, Mela Tandoori Kitchen has no parallel having Pakistani/Indian cuisines, especially perfect grill food (highly recommend mixed grill). Do visit it if you ever visit SF/Bay Area.

Tags: Comfort Food, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 3, 2017

We've been coming here for several years and Mela and it's Indian Food never disappoints. Make sure you make reservations on the weekend because you will have a wait.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for Groups, Good Vegetarian Options, Healthy
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food4
ambience3
service4
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 2, 2017

The fresh fish of the day (you have to search the entrees to find it) was excellent: fresh sea bass in a delicious red coconut curry sauce. Paneer tiki masala (fresh cheese with spinach) was overly spicy and not very flavorful. Other items (first rice item, naan) were fine.

Tags: Casual, Spicy
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food4
ambience2
service4
value4

 
 (Tahoe)·Dined on January 28, 2017

Good food lots of variety Bread awesome curries a little spacey but really tastes. Service was very fast

Tags: Authentic
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 27, 2017

I love Indian food, but I was very disappointed in Mela. I ordered the "tiger prawn" tandoori. In no way were they tiger prawns, they weren't even large shrimp. Then they were artificially red, which as I watched other tandoori items be delivered to other tables seemed to be that way for all.

Also, the waiter was not knowledgeable about the menu items. He insisted that the Indian syrah was very good--I found that it had no flavor when matched with the spicy cuisine.

All, in all, a disappointing dinner. I won't be returning.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 23, 2017

Absolutely delicious Indian Food. Very fresh and tasty dishes. The vegetable samosa bites are the best samosas I have ever had. My colleagues and I ordered a lot of dishes to share and all of them were excellent. Look no further, eat here!!!!!

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food5
ambience4
service4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 23, 2017

As always Mela was fantastic A1 Everything, Food, Service, atmosphere. it was great once again thank you

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 21, 2017

The service is inexcusable. I made a reservation for a large group (which they shouldn't allow if they can't keep up). We waited 30 minutes for a table to be put together, waited again for 10+ minutes for someone to actually take our order, and then waited another 2 hours for our entrees to actually arrive.

The staff ignored us during these 2 hours, and we had to ask for the manager before anyone so much as apologized. We completely missed a show, which was scheduled 2 hours after the initial reservation here.

No money was taken off the final bill.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 21, 2017

Mela is a neighborhood restaurant that always seems to have a crowd. It draws people of every age. Families are welcome. It is comfort food Indian style. The portions are generous. The staff are quick without seeming to rush anyone. I always take enough home for a second meal. Needless to say, I think of it as of high value. It is a short walk to the Opera House and Davies.

Tags: Comfort Food, Kid-friendly, Outstanding Value, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience3
service4
value5

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on January 20, 2017

Less than average

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food3
ambience3
service2
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 14, 2017

Food consistently delicious. Owners and all who work there are very friendly and amazing hosts. The taste of Mela can't be matched. Hands down the best Falooda.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 14, 2017

Good food and big menu. The service was a bit inconsistent; needed to ask for rice several times and was needing more guidance on balanced ordering. Yummy food and thoughtful desserts.

Tags: Casual
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 9, 2017

The waiters and waitresses are super friendly :) I love their mango lassi and naan! Everything is good and the prices are pretty worth it. One of my favorite Indian restaurants.

Tags: Special Occasion, Authentic, Spicy, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Great for Lunch, Comfort Food, Good for a Date, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 7, 2017

Delicious, prompt, efficient, INexpensive! YUM. Very close to the symphony and lovely "show" buildings. Generous portions and friendly excellent service.

Tags: Special Occasion, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Good food - great service. Ambiance was only fair - but it may have been the cold draft blowing through the back of the restaurant (cold NYE evening!).

All-in-all - great value for this local Indian restaurant -

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food3
ambience3
service4
value4

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