Opened in early 2018 in the Mid-Market space that was formerly the original location of Alta, Kaya is Nigel’s first restaurant in San Francisco proper. Named for Bob Marley and the Wailer’s sixth album, Kaya represents the irie feelings cultivated when people gather around a table in community. Kaya offers a distinct experience from Kingston 11 while still retaining the lively and social vibe that has made Kingston a beloved destination for Oakland locals since its opening in 2013.
Alta Group bar director Aaron Paul has collaborated with the Kaya team on a rum-based beverage program to complement Nigel's soulful menu.
Very fun place with excellent staff and a new take on some traditional cocktails.
Amazing customer service
Went to dinner here before a show at the Golden Gate Theatre. Was easy to get reservations ahead of time and they were very good about getting food out so we had a pleasant dinner and plenty of time to get to the theatre. (6:15 reservation with an 8pm show). Everyone enjoied their food except one that found things a bit too spicy to her liking. The only downside was that the music was a bit too loud to talk over.
Great food and overall feel of the room. Some innovative and tasty cuisine. Music was good, but WAY too loud for the size of room.
The jerk chicken papaya salad was delicious. Good portion of chicken and a mild dressing made flavors pop. Especially when you got a plantain in the mix. The meet patty was very plain and needed hot sauce but the fish fritters were great.
delicious food with wonderful service - would highly recommend the blood orange mimosa and the salt fish fritters
Kaya has a NYC Caribbean restaurant vibe. Food is amazing and atmosphere is energetic.
Amazing food, ambience, and service! The plantains are incredible
Great food at brunch. Jerk chicken is delicious atop the sandwich or salad. Plantains were cooked perfectly. Server was kind and prompt (and wore an awesome suit)
Went for brunch with a friend on a rainy weekend - the place was fairly empty so I was nervous but upon looking at the menu and actually getting our food my fears were calmed. The salt fish appetizer was delicious, as was my blackened tofu. I got the montego slang - nice and citrusy and not too strong. Only disappointment was the dessert - it wasn't listed on the menu, but was some kind of rum chocolate cake with dates that was slightly bitter and dry. The overall experience was still a good one, and I would go back - just not get dessert again.
We had a group of 8 for New Years Eve. We got seated right away in a convenient location. The food was very good and came quickly. There was a DJ and the music was just right--not too loud so you couldn't hear each other talk! We danced after dinner and made friends with the group at the next table. They gave out champagne at midnight and we toasted to the New Year with all our new friends in the restaurant. I would highly recommend it for any occasion. I am so glad we chose Kaya over the other New Years Eve price gouger places in SFO.
A really great vibe and experience for a NYE dinner. Just enough music to be fun, and yummy food. Thanks!
small menu, big portions. We got the Papaya & Greens, Jerk Chicken, and Ox Tail Stew, all amazing. Their swirl soft serve is the best I've ever had.
Super yummy, great service, fun vibe!!! Would recommend without reservation.
There were more people in our party than the reservation was made for. They promptly set up additional tables for us. Shani our server was very attentive to us. The food came not long after we ordered. The food was fantastic as well as our cocktails. Kaya is now on our list of favorite restaurants.
After changing our reservation from Friday to Monday via a phone call to the restaurant (for which they updated the OpenTable reservation for me), we arrived on Monday to find the restaurant completely closed. WOW.
A good place for a taste of the Caribbean. Food is good and authentic. I ordered the piri piri chicken. There was no piri piri taste; it was very bland. There was no flavor, the chicken was blackened too much, but the meat was tender. It was served with roasted pickling potatoes that were tasty, no vegetables. The spicy shrimp was very good for an appetizer. The salted fish fritter was a bit too fishy to order a whole plate-we asked for a sampling. The pomegranate and mint soda is excellent though this second time it did not have as much pomegranate juice in it.
Amazing food and great atmosphere! I highly recommend the jerk chicken, green beans and kale salad
Excellent all around and they make a fantastic ackee and salt fish - a traditional Jamaican dish. The DJ made brunch that much more festive!
We have eaten at Kaya three times now and it has been great each time--good food and excellent service.
Great meal! Great drinks. Good price. Cool ambience. Will be back for sure!
Will definitely be a repeat. Great service and very cordial.
Great. Manager came up and greeted us. Server was attentive and food was great.
Great options for gluten free vegans.
I like this place a lot, it's close to work so happy hour is always an option. The food is authentic and sticks to its Caribbean/Jamaican roots, not to mention great tasting cocktails.
Always great food and service.
The food is amazingly good, but we waited forever for it (as in 30 minutes). I guess there was a mix up in the kitchen. They apologized and the waitress asked what she could bring to make up for it. My husband asked for another ginger beer, but they charged us for it. Also, huge appreciation that they brought out champagne for our 15th anniversary, but we're not drinking right now, so it was completely awkward and we had to send it back. Finally, my plate was cleared before my husband's and the waitress didn't ask if I was ready to have it cleared (pet peeve). It seems like they were trying, but some serious hiccups on the service. The one saving grace was that the food, as said before, was incredible.
The music over is very loud and raucous, and nearby conversations were conducted by shouting. It was so unpleasant that I wound up taking my meal to go. The staff was kind and professional about that, so points for them.
Best fried plantains I’ve ever had. Everything was really delicious and the staff were all very friendly.
Enjoyed the food and ambience. Cocktails were great, oxtail stew, jerk chicken, crispy skin salmon and plantains were some favorites. Service was excellent.
Your palette will praise you for this choice. The food is authentic, delicious and will make your tongue dance. I substituted the white jasmine rice for rice and peas, ordered fresh coconut water -inside the coconut! braised kale and beet salad along with the goat curry. I can't wait to come back and sample the rest of the food offerings!
Overall an excellent restaurant choice for San Francisco
Excellent experience both food and vibe. We went for brunch, but would probably even be better for HH or first date spot.
Since there are so few Jamaican restaurants in the Bay Area, this was a fun place to try and it's in an area of SF that needs new places to eat (Market and Van Ness). I had the jerk chicken salad which was perfectly spiced. Be warned, if you are going with anyone else, they will not split the bill (even for only two people!).
Delicious food. Something yummy and different. Great ambiance and live DJ with fun music. Fun, Jamaican vibe. Highly recommended. Especially the punch bowl and fried plantains. Yummmm
Interesting diversity of food.
We enjoyed our meal very much! The service is attentive and the waiter was very good at describing the dishes and advising on his favorites. Drinks are great (punch bowls!!) and the atmosphere is lively and fun. Good spot for pre-theatre dinner!
I just love this spot, delicious food and the staff are all friendly the drinks are great I always ask for them to make me something different and they never disappoint.
In regards to food the best thing was the fried plantains and the fish over plantain chips in the small bites menu. The jerk chicken was very flavorful but a little on the dry side. The only critique I have is the waiter did not offer or informed us of the happy hour menu even after I specifically asked if there was an appetizer that had chicken or something equivalent to a small bite. The table next to us had chicken wings so I asked about it and was told by the guests seating next to us it was the HH menu. Not sure what else was on the HH menu, but the wings were very good!!! Not sure why it was not offered to us despite the fact we got there 20 mins before HH was over. Overall, I would go back and try other dishes. The service was decent. Loved the cleanliness of the restaurant and the decor.
Amazing Jamaican food. We loved this place. I never pick a restaurants without reading any reviews. But this one I picked from their website and it being recommended as nearby The Orphuem. Let me tell you this was the best choice I could have made. The appetizer that was recommended by our waiter was GRILLED WILD GULF SHRIMP with tamarind sauce - best shrimp I EVER had. I ordered the crispy skin Salmon for my entree - again at the waiters recommendation and love is not a strong enough word for how I felt about this dish. The skin was thin crispy and just the right amount of salty and the salmon delicious and the vegetables were perfect. Wished that had been room left to try their soft serve. I will be back in an understatement!