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.
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.
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.
This spot opened up in the Fillmore and serves an Afro-Carribean menu. Come here for things like Cuban and jerk-style chicken, plates with shrimp and spare ribs, and sides like tostones and black beans.
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.
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.
This is a new Portuguese spot in the Mission. It’s open for lunch and dinner, and they serve piri piri chicken with sides like grilled corn and chili. The space feels like the test location for a future mini-chain, and it’s a good spot to come during lunch of you work nearby.
We checked out Piri Pica and put it on our Hit List.
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.
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.
Spin-offs usually follow a similar theme as the originals. Buzz and Woody were both in Toy Story II and the T-Mobile Sidekick II was somehow even more fun to open than the original. But things don’t always happen this way. The people behind Che Fico just opened up a new place called Theorita, and it’s conveniently located beneath the Divis Italian restaurant. But instead of serving pizza and pasta, Theorita is a pie shop where you can expect old standards like apple, along with less traditional fillings like passion fruit with bay leaf meringue. You can also get savory items like hash browns and sandwiches if you’re not in the mood for pie.
We checked out Theorita and put it on our Hit List.
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.
Some things don’t change much over time - “Say My Name” is still a masterpiece, Swedish fish are still garbage candy, and mac and cheese is still your favorite part of a meal after all these years. If you live in Russian Hill and get that all too familiar macaroni itch, Mac’d recently opened up a second location on Polk Street. Choose your sauce, noodles, and mix-ins and get taken back to your childhood. If you’re more health conscious these days, there’s also a cauliflower option that can take the place of pasta.
This is Mateo’s second location and it’s set up in the Uber building. The menu is smaller than the original, but still serves breakfast burritos and has a variety of meat and veggie taco and burrito options for lunch.
Smokebread is about as close to Inception as a restaurant can get. They’re not trying to infiltrate founders’ dreams and have them dissolve their companies (we assume), but they are operating out of The Perennial’s space during lunch. This place serves bowls and spoon salads meant to be scooped up with Hungarian flatbread. They also cater if you’ve got a lunch-and-learn coming up and you’re sick of ordering the same gigantic greek salad over and over.
We’re big fans of Farmhouse Kitchen in the Mission and with the same menu, the new Oakland location should be great, too. Besides short ribs, fried chicken, and classics like panang curry, expect the added bonus of outdoor seating and hopefully a similarly lively staff.
Barrio recently opened up in the old Boardroom location after they moved across the street. The small Mexican menu includes things like tacos and quekas, along with yucca fries that are good to split over a few beers. If you’re in for a full meal, don’t miss the cochinita pibil tacos with house-made blue corn tortillas.
We checked out Barrio and put it on our Hit List.
If we were banished to live out the rest of our days on only one street in San Francisco, we’d probably choose Divisadero. It has everything from tacos to BBQ to Italian to Popeyes, and the list keeps growing longer. And more recently, Fool’s Errand opened up between Grove Street and Hayes St. This beer and wine bar has small snacks like charcuterie and cheese boards, and has a weekday happy hour from 2-6pm. It’s less than a block away from Nopa, so it could be a good place to get a drink while you wait for your table.
The Argentum Project in SoMa is open for breakfast and lunch. They serve a variety of greek pastries, like portokalopita and bougatsa me krema, as well as Italian coffee. If you go in for lunch, they have salads and sandwiches, too.
Parranga opened up in Mill Valley recently, serving a variety of Mexican dishes, including tortas, tacos, soup, and salads. They also have whole rotisserie chickens roasted with a house blend of spices and chipotle piloncillo.
We love the Oren’s Hummus in Palo Alto, and are excited that they are bringing this Israeli mini chain to SoMa. The new San Francisco location is open all day and serves things like shakshuka and challah french toast. Maybe push your next morning meeting earlier so you can go to Oren’s and expense it to the company.
We checked out Oren’s Hummus and put it on our Hit List.
If you’ve ever been to Tonga Room and thought, “This place could be a lot more immersive and potentially terrifying,” then Last Rites should be high on your list. This new tiki bar in Duboce Triangle looks like the wreckage of a plane that crashed on Skull Island, complete with airplane seat bar stools and hanging plants. The drink menu includes a wide range of strong tiki drinks, along with over 150 types of rum.
If you can’t get to AT&T Park after work for the game or just really need to be surrounded by baseball memorabilia, head to Pine Tar Grill. The new sports bar in SoMa is Giants themed and serves food that goes hand in hand with baseball - from chicken wings and hot dogs to an onion ring-topped burger.
Located in the former Wooly Pig Cafe space in the Sunset, Yo Tambien Cantina is an airy breakfast and lunch spot with lots of succulents and natural light. The menu at this Venezuelan cafe includes toasts, a seasonal fruit bowl, and sandwiches like the El Cantinero, with mortadella, provolone, and arugula on Montesacro pinsa bread.
Belcampo has a few locations in California, and now they are taking their mission for world domination via responsibly raised meat to Oakland. Everything on the menu at this butcher shop and restaurant - from the 100-day dry-aged burger to the lamb shawarma - comes from their own farm.
Instead of robots destroying us, Creator in SoMa has them feeding us. This place looks more like an installment at SFMOMA than a burger restaurant, but that’s what the machine at Creator makes. You have to buy tickets in advance to go, but all said and done, the burgers only cost $6.
This is the first location for this Japanese chain bakery in the US. They specialize in tarts made from cream cheese mousse, and it’s inside the Westfield Mall, so you can get a few while you’re out shopping for designer t shirts.
School Night is a bar and restaurant inside The Pearl event space in Dogpatch. The bar focuses on cocktails made from pisco, agave, and whiskey, and the kitchen uses a wood-fired oven to make things like baby back ribs, blistered vegetables, and tacos al pastor. It’s open to the public Sunday through Wednesday and used for private events Thursday through Saturday.
We checked out School Night and put it on our Hit List.
This place doubles as a three-lane bowling alley, which can be good if you’re going on a double date or bad if you’re the kid who always had to use bumpers. Fifth Arrow’s menu has better versions of the cocktails, pizza, and burgers you’d expect to find at a bowling alley, along with things like grilled asparagus and a gem salad since life is all about balance. If you don’t want to bowl, but still want to embrace your inner 80s teenager, they have skee-ball and board games too.
Violet’s is the new oyster, burger, and cocktail spot in the Richmond from the team behind Fiorella. Their late-night Happy Hour runs from 10pm to close on weeknights and 11pm to close on weekends, and includes dishes like grilled wings, a shrimp roll, and a $20 burger and cocktail combo.
We checked out Violet’s and put it on our Hit List.
Kantine in the Haight serves Scandinavian comfort food, like porridge and open-faced sandwiches with potatoes, smoked cheese, and meatballs. There are freshly baked breads and pastries too, and if you want to try a bit of everything, you can build your own brunch board.
This Mission bar and restaurant looks like something out of Alice in Wonderland, with lots of neon lights and more clocks than the white rabbit would ever know what to do with. The drinks here are all named after mythical creatures, like the chupacabra and the sphinx, and the food menu includes everything from a charcuterie board and a 22-oz ribeye to seafood towers.
This place in the Inner Richmond serves Chinese and Mongolian hot pot and barbecue, with lamb as the focus of the menu. Come here the next time you want to try something different on a double date, or when your team at work needs a new place to vent about your boss over food.
Merchant Roots is a boutique grocery store where you can also eat Italian sandwiches and handmade pastas. Three nights a week, they do an eight-seat tasting menu concept as well called The Table At Merchant Roots, which you need to buy tickets for in advance.
Cafe Boho in the Marina serves upscale brunch classics like french toast and eggs Benedict, along with a seasonal dinner menu. If you do come for dinner, make sure to order the “seacuterie board” - a charcuterie board that subs in traditional meats and cheeses for salmon pastrami and sturgeon boudin noir.
At Stonemill Matcha in the Mission, you can get everything from matcha lattes and sparkling matcha, to matcha croissants from Tartine Bakery. If you’re looking for something more substantial, the pork katsu sandwich is a great choice.
We checked out Stonemill Matcha and put it on our Hit List.
This Ghirardelli Square brewery has a courtyard with fire pits and outdoor games where you can try flights of the beers brewed on-site. If the weather turns, hang out inside their huge taproom and order a pizza, burger, or wings from the bar.
This modern French place in the Financial District is open for both lunch and dinner. You can choose between two and three-course options for lunch, and four and six courses for dinner - ranging from $65-$85.
Besharam is a California-inspired Indian restaurant in Dogpatch. Everything on the lunch menu is under $20 and ranges from blue cheese naan to a chicken sandwich with mint chutney, while the dinner menu has lamb meatballs and paratha tacos.
We checked out Besharam and put it on our Hit List.
Birdsong serves a constantly changing menu that features ingredients from the Pacific Northwest, like giant clams, trout, and boar. The $168 13-course tasting menu is available Tuesday through Saturday, and smaller 5-course and a la carte menus are available Tuesday through Thursday.
Stop by this Mediterranean all-day spot in the Richmond for bagels and granola in the morning, or potato gnocchi and grilled prawns at night, along with brunch on the weekends. Keep in mind - they are closed from 2-5pm daily, so plan accordingly.
We checked out Pearl and put it on our Hit List.
The Beehive is a 1960s-themed bar in the Mission with interesting cocktails, like the Hound Dog with peanut-infused bourbon, and late-night snacks, including fondue and pigs in a blanket.
We checked out The Beehive and put it on our Hit List.
Despite the name, you can’t sleep at this new bar in the FiDi. The reference actually comes from your uncle’s favorite Eagles song - made more apparent by the neon sign that says “such a lovely place” inside. This place is meant for big groups, offering things like free manicures with drink purchases, group-priced menus, and specials on magnums of champagne.
Located in the old Babu Ji space in the Mission, Dancing Yak serves Nepali food, like momos and daal bhat thali, and has an almost psychedelic vibe with paintings of mushrooms and crystals on the walls.
We checked out Dancing Yak and put it on our Hit List.
Sorrel is a California-influenced Italian spot in Pac Heights. The menu includes a wide range of pastas, along with shareable meat dishes, like lamb tartare, foie gras torchon, and a dry-aged duck for two.
At Dyafa, you can get shareable Middle Eastern dishes like fattoush, charred eggplant, and braised lamb shanks. Brunch at this Oakland spot is also great, and includes staples like shakshuka and a wide range of interesting cocktails.
At Hikari Sushi & Bar, you order, your sushi is prepared, and then it’s sent to you via a miniature Japanese bullet train. Besides raw fish, the menu includes things like hamachi collar, udon, and tempura.
Sunday At The Museum serves a mix of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean food - from prawn noodles to a fried chicken bao. This place is inside the Asian Art Museum and is a definite step up from the overpriced airplane food found at most museum restaurants.
We checked out Sunday At The Museum and put it on our Hit List.
Avery is a seasonal tasting menu restaurant that requires you to buy tickets up front. They’re open Wednesday to Sunday and there are multiple menu options to choose from, beginning at $89 per person.
You can get a lot of SF fine dining staples at The Bear and Monarch in the Loews Hotel, like mussels, tagliatelle, and fried chicken. What sets this place apart, however, is the beef. Order the Wagyu tomahawk steak or 120-day dry aged ribeye and save the usual suspects for another night.
Rooftop 25 is a new addition on top of 25 Lusk in SoMa. They serve woodfired pizzas and cocktails and have outdoor seating with great views of the city.