If you tried to keep track of every brand new restaurant in San Francisco, you might go a little bit crazy. So just read this list instead. These are the new restaurant openings that seem like they have the most potential - although keep in mind, for the ones we haven’t tried, we make no promises. Go forth and be a pioneer.
We’ll be regularly updating this post. Once we’ve checked out a spot, we’ll add a note if it makes it onto our Hit List.
Wildseed recently opened on Union Street in the space where Belga used to be. It’s still owned by the same people, but all of the food is vegan now. The menu has everything from a mezze plate, Mexican corn cakes, and curried cauliflower, to Beyond Meat paella.
The best thing about all the Little Chihuahuas is the salsa bars that we feel little shame about raiding whenever we eat at any of them. They just opened a new one on Polk Street, which means the people of Polk Gulch now have their own location to fill up little cups with salsas to eat with their tacos and burritos.
New Tartine offshoots are popping up like furry creatures in a bad game of whack a mole, but at least you can get good bread from them instead of worthless tickets. It’s in the newly renovated Graduate Hotel in Berkeley, and has a small menu similar to Tartine Bakery’s, with things like morning buns, croissants, and toasts.
Nido’s Backyard is a new restaurant from the same people as Nido’s, a Mexican spot in Jack London Square. It’s located is in a massive old parking lot that’s been converted into a “margarita garden,” and aside from tequila and mezcal drinks, there are things like empanadas, escabeche, and tacos.
Dumpling Time Express is the latest sibling restaurant of Dumpling Time, just down the block in the Design District. The new spot took over recently-closed Udon Time and now has the same things you can get at the other location like soup dumplings, which you can eat there or take to go.
The people behind Sababa recently opened their newest restaurant, Flybird, in SoMa. This place serves chicken sandwiches prepared in different styles from around the world, like the Tel Aviv with hummus, tahini sauce, and za’atar and the Provencal with chevre, sauteed peppers, and aioli.
After shutting down for seismic retrofitting, Namu Gaji on Dolores Street reopened as the second location of Namu Stonepot. The new restaurant has the same menu as the original on Divis with things like ramen, Korean tacos, and their awesome Korean fried chicken.
Apizza is a new fast food-style pizza place from the La Boulangerie team. Instead of pastries and coffee that comes in cups larger than most soup bowls, at Apizza, you can expect very affordable pizza - between $2 and $6 for a nine-inch pie. The types of pizza range from classics like margherita to BBQ chicken or cheeseburger.
Local Cafe recently opened near Union Square on Kearny. The new spot focuses on healthy breakfast items like acai bowls and wellness drinks like kombucha and turmeric lattes.
A new RT Rotisserie recently opened in the Panhandle. The restaurant has the same menu as the original in Hayes Valley with rotisserie chicken, roasted cauliflower, and glasses of wine that cost around $10.
Great Gold is a new Italian restaurant in the Mission. It’s from some people who used to be at Flour + Water and serves old-school Italian-American dishes. There are things like eggplant parmesan and spaghetti with red sauce and meatballs, and all of the pasta, including gluten-free versions, is made in house.
A new place called Bread N Chu recently opened in the Richmond on Clement Street, and it serves Japanese-style milk bread sandwiches filled with things like egg salad and katsu. The prices range from $8 to $16.
Horn BBQ has been operating as a pop up in Oakland for a few years, but now they’ve found a permanent home in the old Brown Sugar Kitchen location on Mandela Parkway. The restaurant will continue serving Texas-style brisket as well as things like ribs and banana pudding, only without constantly moving around.
Fava is a new lunch counter in Berkeley from some former Chez Panisse employees. The menu at this takeout spot focuses on vegetables, with things like salads with eggplant and hummus, but there are some meat options too, including lamb wraps.
Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters’ original location on Union Street is a tiny shop that maybe 10 people can stand in. Their new location in Berkeley is much larger and has a second floor for people to spread out at large tables with library lamps, on couches, or on the small patio.
What used to be Tamarind Hall in North Beach has been taken over by the people behind Louie’s Bar in SoMa. The Showdown recently opened with a full bar, as well as a menu that almost feels EPCOT-inspired, with everything on it from duck fat popcorn to pork schnitzel to banh mis.
Homage LTD in FiDi is a smaller offshoot of Homage in Union Square. Both restaurants have a constantly changing menu of dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, but the new one is set up as a fast-casual restaurant, making it easy to pop into in the middle of the day. They have things like cubano sandwiches, caesar salads, and if you decide to leave work early, a good selection of wines.
The people behind Al’s Place recently opened their second location called Al’s Deli. Instead of serving mostly plant-based dishes and meat-focused sides like the original, here there’s a mix of Israeli street food and Jewish deli items, including latkes stuffed with avocado, grapefruit, and preserved lemon, and falafel pita sandwiches with tomato salad and schug sauce. The new place is also in the Mission, on the corner of 18th Street and Guererro, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am-9pm.
What started as a pop-up project less than a year ago is now it’s own brick and mortar restaurant in SoMa. Square Pie Guys specializes in Detroit-style, pan-baked pizzas with toppings that range from plain cheese and pepperoni to more seasonal items like corn or mushroom with ricotta cream. Aside from pizza, the small menu includes Sichuan-style dry-fried chicken wings, buffalo chicken salads, and cheeseburgers.
This is the third SF location of this Tokyo-based ramen bar. The new Hinodeya is located in the Financial District and serves dashi-based ramen for lunch and dinner, Monday through Saturday. There are five types of ramen to choose from, including chashu pork, spicy, creamy chicken, and some vegan options. There are also small plates like gyoza, fried oysters, and karaage chicken.
The Tartine team recently opened another bakery, this time in the Sunset. The new outpost is a cafe with breakfast, brunch, and lunch menus. If you’ve been to their other locations, you’ll see familiar things on the menu like morning buns, breakfast tartines, coddled eggs, and a list of pastries including cookies and tea cakes.
This is the third location of this Filipino restaurant based in Daly City. The new Mission Tselogs is open for lunch and dinner, Wednesday and Thursday, and brunch and lunch on Friday and Saturday. Just like the others, the new location serves a menu of garlic rice plates with different meats and lumpia.
Selby’s is a new restaurant from the people behind Spruce that’s trying to bring the grandeur of the mid-1900s to Redwood City. The menu at this fine-dining spot is a mix of old school dishes, like wedge salads, sweetbreads piccata, and braised rabbit. They’ll also wheel a cart to your table to mix your martini tableside if you want, and if you prefer to not drink martinis, there’s a wine list with over 2,000 different bottles as well.
Little Creatures is a brewing company based out of Australia that recently opened their first US brewery and taproom in Mission Bay. It’s a quick walk to the ballpark and the soon-to-be-open Chase Center, which will be especially convenient once fall rolls around. Aside from a variety of beers - some of which are made on-site - Little Creatures also serves wine and has a full menu with things like lamb ribs, beer-steamed mussels, and pizzas.
This is the third location of this all-day cafe based in Napa. They serve a mix of coffee drinks, beer, and wine, along with two different food menus (morning and afternoon), with things like cornmeal pancakes, toast with grilled strawberries, rockfish tostadas, and other Latin dishes.
Elda is a bright new bar in the Mission focused on serving rum, tequila, and mezcal cocktails. They have a kitchen that serves mostly small snacks, like a Mayan pumpkin seed dip called sikil pak, carnitas tacos, and fried chicken sandwiches. If you’re not in the mood for a cocktail, they also have beer, wine, and vermouth on tap, in addition to a list of natural wines.
The second location of 4505 Burgers and BBQ is now open in Oakland. Like the original, it has a lot of patio seating and large picnic tables for big groups. The menu is the same as the Divis location too, with things like their Best Damn Grass-Fed Cheeseburger, brisket, and sides of mac and cheese and pozole.
Mama is a new Italian restaurant in Oakland with a $30 three-course menu designed to make you feel like you’re eating in someone’s home. You’ll see things like meatballs, linguine with asparagus and green garlic pesto, and lemon crostatas.
This is another new spot in Oakland and focuses on using lots of local ingredients. The bistro menu includes things like corn and lemongrass soup and Nashville hot chicken-style soft shell crabs.
We love the pizza at Il Casaro in North Beach, and now we can get it in the Castro with their new Church Street Location. The pizzas here have slightly different toppings than the ones at the original, and the menu also has the addition of pastas like bucatini with shrimp and squash and lumache with pesto.
Grandeur in Oakland serves a mix of vegan and Halal food, in addition to chicken wings and cheese fries with bacon bits. They specialize in burgers and have everything from lamb to impossible meat served on different types of buns.
Mahila is a new Malaysian place from the people behind Azalina’s, the stand inside the Twitter building. The new spot is a free-standing, full service restaurant in Noe Valley, and the menu includes things like sardine puffs, oxtail soup, and salted black cod curry.
One of our favorite restaurants in the city, Flour + Water, recently opened up Flour + Water Pizzeria in the Mission. The menu at the new spot focuses on pizza, with five red pies and five white pies available, and toppings that range from squash blossom to speck ham. They do dine-in, take-out, and delivery, and there’s also a separate window where you can get single giant slices.
Daily Driver is up and running in Dogpatch making wood-oven-roasted bagels. They also run a creamery on site, so the cream cheese, cultured butter, and fresh cheese that you can get on top of your bagels are all made in-house, and they do both catering and wholesale.
Grand Lake Kitchen opened a second location in Dimond in Oakland recently. The new all-day spot has a similar menu to the original in Lake Merritt with things like pastrami benedicts for brunch and vegetable pot pies and pork chops for dinner.
We were bummed when Gioia shut down in Russian Hill a few months back, but now they’ve opened a smaller shop in Hayes Valley. The new spot has a menu of things like chicken parm sandwiches, salads, and a good-sized list of pizzas available as whole pies or by the slice for $4.25.
Sushi Nagai is an omakase-only restaurant now open a few blocks away from Union Square. The 15-course menu costs between $200 and $250 per person.
Taking the space of what used to be the Elbo Room in the Mission is a new bar called The Valencia Room. Aside from a new neon sign out front, the place looks mostly the same - they even kept the pinball machines. There are ten taps for beer and wine plus cocktails, and they already have DJ events on the calendar.
Hotel San Francisco, the FiDi bar named after the Eagles, recently opened this appropriately-named basement-level bar. If you’re a fan of the specials from upstairs like Manicure Mondays (yes, when your cocktail comes with a manicure), you’ll be glad to know you can get them at Downunder too. Along with cocktails, there’s a food menu of things like grilled shrimp and pizza.
Ichi Sando is a booth in the Japan Center that specializes in tamago (Japanese omelette) sandwiches. You can add things like cheese and cod roe, or swap out the tamago for strawberries and cream.
Despite its name and daytime hours, Plain Jane in the Mission was not opened by the Jane (on Fillmore, Larkin, or Bakery) people - it comes from the team behind Mymy. This place is open daily from 8am through lunch, and like Mymy, the new spot serves brunch dishes like salmon tartare on toast and red velvet pancakes.
One65 is a six-floor French restaurant in Union Square, and while its Patisserie section has been open for weeks, the Bistro & Grill is brand new. This place is open for lunch and dinner, serving “California/French” dishes like steak tartare, stuffed artichokes, and larger things like porchetta and skate wing.
Decant SF in SoMa doubles as a bar and a bottle shop. You can come in, buy beer or a bottle of wine, and leave. Or you can also pick a wine by the glass or have them open the bottle you purchased for a corkage fee. There’s no full menu, but there’s a selection of cheeses you can pick up or enjoy with whatever you’ve decided to drink.
One65 Patisserie and Boutique is the first place to open in One65, a six-story collection of interconnected French restaurants in Union Square. The patisserie serves pastries, breads, and chocolates as well as coffee and wine on tap.
The Brixton in Cow Hollow opened up a second location recently on 2nd Street, not far from Oracle Park. The new spot has a smaller menu than the original, but still includes a good selection of soups, sandwiches, and larger plates like steak frites.
The third spot to open up in the new Virgin Hotel in SoMa, Funny Library serves coffee, tea, and pastries from Craftsman and Wolves in a space that looks like a book fair collided with a wine bar.
Black Hammer Brewing recently opened up a second spot in the Castro called Willkommen. It’s an indoor biergarten so it isn’t subject to San Francisco’s constant weather changes and there are a ton of German-style beers on tap as well as food like sausages from Rosamunde.
The owner of Lark recently opened Blind Butcher in the Castro. As its name suggests, it will focus on things like steaks and lamb chops.
Palette in SoMa has a kitchen with a wood burning oven and rotisserie and serves things like vegetable tartares and flatbreads that change up with what’s in season. The space also serves as an art gallery and a ceramics workshop in case you need inspiration and plates for your new home since your company went IPO, but if you just really like it here, you can rent out rooms for private events.
The Vault, in the basement of the Bank Of America building, is from the people behind Trestle on Columbus Avenue, but instead of having a prix fixe menu in a tiny space, The Vault serves an a la carte lunch and dinner with things like parker house rolls with caviar, raw oysters, and braised short ribs alongside a long wine list. If you don’t want to come for a full meal, they have a Happy Hour from 4-6pm on weekdays that includes $9 martinis, $8 glasses of wine, and bar bites.
You’ve been able to pick up momos from Bini’s Kitchen around SF for a while at places like Off The Grid and at their to-go spot on Post Street, but now they’ve opened their first restaurant with a dine-in option in SoMa on Howard Street.
A rooftop bar opened up on the top floor of the Virgin Hotel called Everdene, and it has near 360-degree views of the city from its location by Yerba Buena Park. In addition to the cocktail list, Everdene serves a small menu of things like charcuterie boards that you can snack on while you sit at one of the tables lining the balcony.
We checked out Everdene, and put it on our Hit List
Hell’s Ramen in the Mission is from the people behind Iza Ramen, and focuses on insanely spicy broth with Carolina Reaper and pickled ghost peppers in the bowls. If you’re not looking to have smoke come out of your ears though, they have a few non-spicy versions as well as some small plates.
Che Fico Alimentari opened up in the former Theorita space, downstairs from the main restaurant. There’s a small menu of antipasti, seafood, pastas, and some larger plates like braised short ribs, as well as a large selection of cured meats and cheeses with an entire section devoted to mozzarella.
Moon Gate Lounge, from the team behind Mister Jiu’s, recently opened above their sister restaurant in Chinatown. The new spot will be a natural wine bar and cocktail lounge, and also serve dim sum, for people waiting to eat downstairs.
We checked out Moongate Lounge, and put it on our Hit List
This new spot in Russian Hill has taken over the old Gioia space on Polk Street. The Richmond-based restaurant has the same caricatured wallpaper as the original and is turning out pizzas from a wood-burning oven that’s larger than the original location’s.
We checked out Fiorella, and put it on our Hit List
Dim Sum Corner in Chinatown is a new fast-casual dumpling spot in Chinatown. They serve dim sim like xiao long bao, shu mai, and potstickers, as well as bubble tea and things like custard tarts. The dim sum isn’t made in-house, but is brought in from the Koi Palace commercial kitchen in Daly city.
Adolfo’s recently opened in the former Dip location on Grant Street. The new spot serves standard Mexican food such as tacos and burritos with pork, chicken, and beef.
This is the newest location of the Burma Superstar empire. The new restaurant in SoMa covers three stories of Mint Plaza, but if you’re more concerned about what you’ll be eating than how many stairs you’ll be climbing, Burma Club has the staples of the other restaurants like the tea leaf salad.
While another location opened earlier this month in the Ferry Building, now there is once again a Brown Sugar Kitchen at home in Oakland. Unlike the Ferry Building location though, the Oakland one is full service.
This new spot in Rincon Hill is a joint venture from the people behind places like Bar Agricole and Obispo and the team from Prizefighter in Emeryville. To go with house cocktails, you can get things like oysters and housemade charcuterie, as well as large plates like moules frites, boudin blanc, and a burger.
Crooked City Cider opened its first taphouse in Jack London Square. The new spot has 25 ciders on tap and 10 beers. The space is dog-friendly, and has games like darts to keep people entertained while they drink.
The Boy’s Deli, whose main location is on Polk Street, recently opened its second location in the Financial District. The new spot only serves sandwiches, but they have over 30 kinds, including breakfast options.
Niku Steakhouse is from the people behind Dumpling Time and the recently open Udon Time. The new steakhouse has a list of 100 wines by the glass, a Japanese charcoal grill, and a menu that includes pork chops and Wagyu beef.
This Oakland spot doesn’t have food, but they do have a larger vinyl collection than your high school band teacher. Bar Shiru is the first bar in the Bay Area to follow the Japanese hi-fi concept, and is specially designed for listening to music.
Elephant Sushi, which already has three locations in San Francisco, expanded across the bay to Oakland recently. The new outpost is open from 6pm to 10pm, Thursday through Saturday.
Mamo opened up in the Marina, serving a combination of Colombian and Venezuelan food. The menu is small, but includes things like blood orange burrata, marinated olives, poached fish, and braised pork shoulder.
Another Andytown has opened, this one in the Financial District. They’re serving a limited coffee menu for now, but once the Salesforce Terminal reopens and the coffee shop becomes more accessible, it’ll serve breakfast and lunch options in addition to coffee.
Noosh is a new Mediterranean spot in the Fillmore. While they aren’t fully open for dinner yet, there is a limited menu available for delivery, with things like lamb belly-stuffed pitas, chicken kebabs, and Turkish flatbreads.
We checked out Noosh, and put it on our Hit List
The original Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland shut down in August with two more planned to open. The first of those is up and running in the Ferry Building, where you can get things like buttermilk fried chicken, cornmeal waffles, and gumbo.
Mom Bamh Mi recently opened in the Tenderloin. The menu is small with only six sandwiches, most of which include some kind of pork, and all of which are $4.50 or less.
This is the second location of Frena Bakery, after first opening in SoMa in 2016. The entire menu here is kosher, and includes things like challa, za’atar bagels, pitas, rugelach, donuts, and other pastries.
Vive La Tarte’s latest location is on 24th Street in Noe Valley. Aside from coffee and fancy croissants, they have a menu of brunch items.
We checked out Vive La Tarte, and put it on our Hit List
Cellarmaker, the brewing company based in SoMa, has opened a restaurant in Bernal Heights. Aside from serving their own beer, the new place has Detroit-style pizzas.
The Brew Coop is now open in the Mission. This is San Francisco’s first self-serve beer bar, and it has over 40 beers on tap. They also serve wine, kombucha, and a menu of things like sliders and chicken wings if you want something to eat.
Verjus is a new wine bar in Jackson Square. It’s walk-in only, and aside from an insanely long bottle list, the new bar serves things like charcuterie and cheese, along with a full menu that changes daily.
We checked out Verjus, and put it on our Hit List
Sushi Ondo is a new spot in SoMa that serves Japanese food with Korean influence. Diners can either choose to go with a tasting menu or order a la carte.
The Pawn Shop is a new “secret” tapas bar hiding behind the front of an actual run down pawn shop in the Mission. They serve things like pan con tomate and lamb lollipops, and have a fairly long wine list. You don’t have to know someone who knows someone who knows a secret handshake to get in here. Instead, the instructions on how to get inside are clearly posted on their website, but that won’t stop you from feeling a little cooler when you get in.
We checked out The Pawn Shop, and put it on our Hit List
The former Meatball Bar space on Hayes Street is now a spot called Laguna. They’re open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and have everything from chicken and waffles and eggs Benedict to burgers.
This new spot in Palo Alto’s Stanford Shopping Center serves fresh, homemade udon noodles. There are a few types of udon bowls to choose from, from vegan to duck, each of which costs $10 to $16. The are also some shared items like fried oysters, pork cheek, and a few salads.
Manufactory Food Hall in the international terminal of SFO is the restaurant equivalent of all the superhero crossover movies from the last decade. It’s a collaboration between Tartine, Cala, and Kin Khao, and each place has its own section with both sit down and to-go options. Expect baked goods, soups, salads, and sandwiches from Tartine; breakfast tortas, tacos, salads, and tostadas from Cala; and chicken curry, soups, salads, and fried chicken from Kin Khao.
Afrique Restaurant & Entertainment recently opened in the South Bay. Aside from the large menu of rice platters, fufu platters, meat pies, and offal like pig trotters, they host live music, dancing, and soccer viewing parties.
Udon Time, from the same people behind Dumpling Time, is now open in the Design District. It’s a “build-your-own”-style counter service spot where you can choose different toppings and sauces to go with your udon. And if you’re not in the mood for udon, there are tempura options too.
Franco’s Latin Table recently opened in West Portal and makes Peruvian food. It has a large menu and serves both lunch and dinner with things like ceviche, seafood stew, and rotisserie chicken.
Charmaine’s rooftop gives you a good 360-degree view of the city at night, but the new cafe in the bottom of the Proper Hotel gives you a good look at the bottom of a coffee cup. La Bande serves things like breakfast burritos and overnight oats to start the day, and sandwiches and salads for lunch, along with plenty of coffee.
There’s no hiding the fact that we love this San Francisco mini-chain, from the juicy potatoes to the chicken salads to the Greek yogurt soft-serve that we get on the way out while we rush to where we’re actually supposed to be instead of eating lunch. Now that there’s a location on Chestnut Street, it’s just that much easier to get in a pinch.
The Slanted Door is an SF classic, and while Out The Door is their set of sister restaurants, San Ramon is the first place to receive another location of the original restaurant. The menu is a bit larger here, but still has the classics like the crab cellophane noodles.
This spot is from the team behind The French Laundry in Yountville, not far from the new restaurant’s location. But instead of French, La Calenda serves food from across Mexico, using imported corn for their homemade tortillas.
Paper Rooster opened up on Larkin Street. They serve chicken sandwiches prepared with Chinese ingredients like the jasmine tea-soaked and fried Warrior sandwich, or the Reserve with XO sauce and Chinese roast chicken. They also have vegetarian sandwiches available, as well as homemade chips and sodas.
If you’re tired of Pagan Idol always being too crowded, try out Zombie Nation, a new tiki bar in the Tenderloin from the same team. Most of the drinks are rum-centric, and you can expect the prices to hover around $12.
This place is from the same people that started R&G Lounge on Geary Street and it’s open for dim sim and dinner. You can get things like black truffle pork dumplings and pork buns during dim sum hours, and at dinner, expect things like Dungeness crab, salt and pepper spare ribs, and a large selection of noodle dishes.
We checked out Harborview Restaurant And Bar, and put it on our Hit List
Le Marais makes some of our favorite pastries in SF, and they just opened a new bakery on Sutter Street. They also plan to start serving a full brunch menu in late January.
Co Nam has expanded from their first location on Polk Street into Oakland, where their second shop is serving the same casual Vietnamese food as the original. You can get things like spring rolls, pho, and different noodle dishes.
If you’re looking for a new lunch spot in SoMa, Banh Mi King recently opened on Howard Street. Aside from a handful of sandwich options, you can also get various kinds of rolls and bowls.
After a few terrifying stays in B&Bs as kids, we typically avoid old houses, but the Mansion on Sutter may change our minds. It’s a new boutique hotel with a place inside called The 1881 that serves things like caviar, sweetbreads, and other food you’ll “need” once your bonus check clears.
This wine bar recently opened up in Fisherman’s Wharf. Aside from plenty of wines by the glass and beer, they serve food like salads and paninis.
One good thing about transitioning from a food truck to a brick-and-mortar is that you no longer have to worry about your restaurant getting a speeding ticket. We’re not sure if that had anything to do with El Pipila opening their first permanent location on Brannan Street, but it’s a thought. This spot serves a variety of Mexican food, including enchiladas, pozole, and tacos.
Sasa in the Japan Center is open for lunch and dinner, including a kaiseki tasting menu at night. $60 gets you four small plates and 10 pieces of sushi, amongst other things. Plus, you’re not far from numerous karaoke options once you finish dinner.
Bluestone Lane serves great coffee and solid toasts, and the Australian chain recently opened another location in SF on Bush Street. Head there if/when you need a midday boost.
Gai is up and running in the Castro. They’re open for lunch and early dinner hours and serve poached chicken over rice with a choice of different sauces. Prices for bowls hover around $12.
The Bay Area finally has it’s first Shake Shack, and it’s located in Palo Alto. If you’re a New York transplant who’s been searching for a job that doesn’t involve a bus commute, you should probably hold onto your resume for a little while, at least until you’ve had a few Shackburgers.
Breadbelly is a new Asian-American bakery in the Richmond. Aside from sweet things like sticky buns and almond cookies, expect to find pork belly char siu sandwiches and kaya toast.
San Francisco is a microcosm of mini empires, and adding to one is the newest Pizzeria Delfina on Mission Street. The menu isn’t as large as at their other locations, but you can still expect to see the usual suspects like the carbonara pie.
Chinatown got a recent dessert addition with Magical Ice Cream on Grant Avenue. This place specializes in Thai-style rolled ice cream with around 12 flavors and different toppings to choose from.
Fern Bar is a cocktail bar that recently opened in Sebastopol. Aside from drinks, the bar serves small bites like fries, chicken liver mousse, and fried chicken. They plan on hosting live music in the future too.
This spot opened recently in Fisherman’s Wharf and has two other locations in Modesto. Mango Crazy focuses on fresh fruit paired with savory spices, including their version of a mangonada with mango sorbet.
Zarzuela, the neighborhood Spanish restaurant in Russian Hill, was replaced by Abrazo over the holiday season. The new spot is from the old chef of another Russian Hill restaurant, Frascati, and focuses on Mediterranean and Spanish food.
When we think of dinner theater, it usually involves having lost a bet requiring us to watch someone’s grandmother for the night and a lot of ruffled suits, but we think the people at Berber have something different in mind. The new North African spot in Russian Hill has an $85 prix fixe menu that includes a show with belly dancers, singers, DJ’s, and acrobats. If you’re looking for the next step beyond Beach Blanket Babylon, this may be it.
Ungrafted is a new wine bar in Dogpatch that, aside from the obvious, has beer, sake, and bites, from french fries with sherry salt to full caviar service. They also offer wine classes if you’ve always wanted to know more about wine, but can’t remember if you’re supposed to wear a half or full Windsor while drinking champagne.
Usually when people talk about a tech-driven restaurant, they mean that they have a fancy reservation system or that robots are flipping the burgers, but Trailblazer Tavern takes it to a very different level. The new Hawaiian restaurant doesn’t employ some crazy computer system (at least that we know of), but this place is part of a collaboration with Salesforce. The menu has things like Spam musubi, grilled octopus, and fish wrapped in a banana leaf, and the Happy Hour menu has $8 cocktails and small bites, including the musubi and fried chicken.
We checked out Trailblazer Tavern, and put it on our Hit List
This is the new spot from the people behind Bar Agricole and Trou Normand. It’s in the Mission and focuses on rum-based cocktails. They also serve a menu of Caribbean items like jerk chicken, if you want something to eat with your drinks.
We checked out Obispo, and put it on our Hit List
Golden Crab is a new spot in the Outer Sunset that specializes in Dungeness crab. The main draw here is getting whole crabs either roasted or fried and served with a variety of sauces.
Munch India started out as just a food truck, but has now found a more permanent location in Berkeley. If you come here, expect to see Pakistani and Bangladeshi food, along with Indian classics.
At Pushcart Fare in the Mission, you’ll find some traditional dim sum like pork buns and siu mai, but that’s only half the story. They’re also serving less conventional menu items, from mushu tacos to popcorn chicken served with actual caramel corn. Prices are a little steeper at this takeout spot than what you can find on Clement Street, but it’s not like you see mapo tofu fries all the time.
We checked out Pushcart, and put it on our Hit List
Rakiraki Ramen & Tsukemen is a ramen spot from San Diego that now has a location in Bernal Heights. They specialize in tsukemen-style ramen and yakitori skewers cooked over charcoal.
This BBQ spot recently opened its second location in Corte Madera. Pig In A Pickle focuses on making everything in house, from the meats themselves down to the buns. You can get anything from ribs to brisket, along with a variety of sauces reflecting the different styles of barbecue from across the South.
The fish at this new place in the Financial District has probably flown first class more recently than you have, or at least that’s what it seems like. The meal is set up keiseke-style, so expect roughly 14 courses of whatever is in season if you decide to come here.
Ayala is a new seafood spot in the Hotel G in Union Square. It’s super focused on all things fish with a full raw bar, classics like shrimp Louie, and seafood charcuterie. Of the larger things, you can choose from a few different seafood pastas, a whole fish, and - as a break from the theme - a pork shank.
We checked out Ayala, and put it on our Hit List
What started as a pop-up in San Francisco is now a brick-and-mortar in Oakland. FOB Kitchen is open in Temescal and serves Filipino food. You can show up for drinks and a bite, or a full meal, and get everything from lumpia to larger whole roasted fish.
We checked out Fob Kitchen, and put it on our Hit List
One of the Bay Area’s latest places to offer California-Italian food is Creekwood in Berkeley. This new spot has a custom oven and is making Neapolitan-style pizzas alongside pastas and larger items like a lamb shank.
Prarie is a new restaurant on 19th Street in the Mission serving Italian food with some twists to it. Expect to see things like guanciale-wrapped mochi and Korean rice gnocchi on the menu, alongside things cooked over coals like marrow bones and octopus.
Check out the full review here.
This is the third Bunn Mike location, with another shop in Potrero Hill and one in North Beach not far from the new Green Street location. The menu is small, only serving banh mis and chips, along with Vietnamese coffee.
Soma Eats has a new location on Spear Street that, like the one on Second Street, can be rented out for private events. If you don’t have enough friends for that, you can still come by during the day for breakfast sandwiches and lamb tagine bowls.
Bon Voyage is a new bar on Valencia from the people behind Trick Dog, but instead of hamburger-hot dog hybrids, they serve things like steamed buns and Chinese dumplings. The main reason to go here is for cocktails, and if you have the urge to be in the middle of a disco safari with a few friends.
We checked out Bon Voyage, and put it on our Hit List.
Celebrity chef Sam Choy’s casual poke chain opened up a location in the Bay area. The San Bruno counter-service spot has a large menu with everything from poke bowls to musubis to loco moco.
If you work around Civic Center, Bi Rite opened up a kiosk cafe next to City Hall. The small stand has sandwiches, salads, and bowls. If it’s an especially rough day at the office, they have soft serve too.
Young’s Kung Fu Action Theater And Laundry, which might be the the coolest bar name since Stefon introduced us to Wesh and Crease, is now open in the Tenderloin. They won’t clean your shirts, but with kung fu movies playing above the bar and a working revolving dry cleaning rack, this place sounds like something straight out of an SNL sketch.
Mr. East Kitchen opened it’s small shop in Soma and has a menu of Vietnamese items like pho and chicken satay. If you work in the area, it’s a good spot to come for lunch instead of eating the same sandwich for the third day in a row.
Luke’s Lobster is a New York-based mini chain that’s made its way across the country over the last few years, finally opening it’s first Bay Area location in SoMa. This lunch spot serves New England-style lobster rolls on top-split buns with sides like clam chowder. You get a good amount of lobster for what you pay, and if you’re somehow really in the mood for lobster during lunch, it’s worth checking out.
If your aunt is in town, or you just want to know how Jane Fonda felt preparing for her role in Grace and Frankie, Barney’s opened a location of it’s famous NY restaurant Freds in their SF store. The menu is smaller, but still has some classics like the spaghetti and the chopped chicken salad. If you want to go to NY for a day, dropping by here would be a good idea, but if you also pick up some shoes downstairs, it may cost the same as an actual plane ticket.
Benchmark Pizza in Berkeley has expanded to a new location in Oakland. This Italian spot specializes in pastas and pizzas with crust made from their own sourdough starter.
OneZo is a Taiwan-based boba shop that recently opened a location in Oakland. Come here for tea with boba that they make themselves.
The people behind Saison opened Angler on the Embarcadero recently. The new restaurant specializes in seafood, both raw and grilled/roasted.
We checked out Angler, and put it on our Hit List.
Berkeley-based Sliver Pizza opened a second location in Oakland. Like the original spot, they serve one type of pizza with rotating ingredients that change daily.
Magnolia Brewing in Dogpatch reopened after renovations to give the brewery more space for visitors. They have a brunch menu with things like eggs Benedict, house-cured salmon, and French toast, in addition to a dinner menu that has things like burgers, salads, and steaks.
Bear’s Lair in Berkeley closed down in 2012, but is now back as Bear’s Lair Tavern. It’s a bar and grill on the edge of campus that’s open for lunch and dinner, and serves bar food like burgers, wings, and nachos. The location has indoor and outdoor seating, along with yard games for when it’s nice out.
Veggie Grill has locations around California, and recently opened its first location in downtown Berkeley. This chain serves a full vegan, plant-based menu of items from burgers to tacos to bowls.
Lovessy recently opened up in the Richmond and has entrees like duck breast in passion fruit sauce and grilled octopus, as well as souffles with uncommon flavors like durian and matcha.
Jinya is a ramen chain with over 30 locations in the US and Canada, and recently opened their first shop in East Bay. Aside from ramen, they have salads and small things like buns and dumplings. The menu stays the same between locations, and The Infatuation LA is a fan of the spicy umami miso ramen.
This Peruvian-Japanese spot recently opened in Cow Hollow with a cool dining room complete with an illuminated bar and living moss wall. The menu has everything from ceviche to nigiri to hot stone pots with lobster rice. The don’t take reservations, but you can put your name on a waitlist and go to a nearby bar to pass the time.
We checked out Kaiyo and put it on our Hit List.
This new spot in Hayes Valley has two other locations in Mountain View and Cupertino. They specialize in Neapolitan pizzas and the menu has two sections for them - red with sauce and white without.
This eight-seat sushi spot is located inside the Japan Center in Japantown. While everything around it is bright and colorful, this shop is in its own quiet corner where they offer three omakase options.
This place opened up recently serving Thai dishes like tom yum and panang curry, but what makes Mangrove Thai Kitchen interesting is that they also serve ramen. Hit this place up when you and your friends can’t decide between Thai and Japanese food.
Palermo Delicatessen shut down a few years ago, but they’ve decided to reopen in a new North Beach location as Palermo II Delicatessen. You can get a variety of sandwiches here, including the Crab Jack with Dungeness crab salad and a hot chicken parm.
Z&Y Bistro opened around the beginning of this month. They’re across the street from the original restaurant, but have their own menu, mainly focusing on yakatori and hot pots.
Paramount Superstars recently opened in the Richmond and helps fill the void left by the closing of Shanghai Dumpling King. They serve dim sum in a large space that is available for banquets, weddings, live music, or for whatever reason you have to get your closest 80 or so friends together.
The first location of this LA-based mini chain has landed in the Financial District. At Mendocino Farms, you can get sandwiches and salads in a space you’d feel okay having a casual lunch meeting, but they also cater offices if your whole team doesn’t have time to make the trek. The menu includes seasonal items and mainstays like a pork belly banh mi, as well as vegan options like a chickpea burger.
This spot in the Inner Richmond is open from breakfast to dinner, and while you can get things like yogurt bowls or a burger, you come here for the soul food that takes up a good portion of the menu. Think shrimp and grits for breakfast and fried chicken sandwiches for lunch with red beans and rice or collard greens.
This is a new spot in Fort Mason from the people behind Suppenkuche and Biergarten, but instead of feeling like your drinking in the basement from Inglorious Basterds or being stuck outside and falling victim to random weather changes, Radhaus is set up in an old army machine shop. Check it out with a few friends, get some Bavarian beers and a chicken schnitzel sandwich, and enjoy the views of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge.