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The Top San Francisco Restaurant Newcomers of 2015

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This year's new openings that mattered most, according to some of the city's food writers.

Liholiho Yacht Club is an indisputable major newcomer.
Liholiho Yacht Club is an indisputable major newcomer.
Patricia Chang

Paolo Lucchesi,  food editor at the SF Chronicle

Liholiho, Al's Place, Mourad and the Progress are probably my big four, though I haven’t been to all the new places. I found Spaghetti Bros. to be a delightful neighborhood throwback. Sam Wo's resurrection restores a piece of Chinatown. Bowl’d Acai is the newcomer I revisited the most.

The Dapper Diner, blogger

Of the four billion that opened this year? Octavia, Aster, Petit Crenn, AL's Place, and Liholiho.

Peter Kane, SF Weekly food critic

I feel very lawyerly clarifying the definition of "top," but in terms of overall significance (as opposed to merely "splashiest"), I'll narrow it down to six: Belga, Cala, Petit Crenn, AL's Place, Trestle, and Eatsa.

Petit Crenn

Petit Crenn (Photo: Patricia Chang)

Rebecca Flint Marx, San Francisco magazine food editor

Octavia, Aatxe, Starline Social Club (though I'm sad they ditched their original menu), Petit Crenn, Cala.

Allie Pape, Hoodline editor

Since leaving Eater, my dining out has declined considerably, so I'm not qualified to answer this question when it comes to fine dining. However, I will say that I am very fond of the tacos de guisado stand in the back of Cala, the speculoos-crust cheesecake at Vive La Tarte, and especially Whitechapel, which makes me feel like an excitable, overgrown 10-year-old with an inexplicable penchant for gin. Oh, and I was kind of shocked at how much I liked my robo-quinoa bowl from Eatsa. Cheap, healthy, and relatively tasty (for something cheap and healthy, anyway) aren't a combo you get here very often.

Eloise Porter, Eater SF contributor

2015 was a great year for restaurant openings. Al's Place was far and away my favorite new restaurant of the year, but in close second are Liholiho and Aatxe.

AL's Place Patricia Chang

Al's Place (Photo: Patricia Chang)

Anna Roth, Eater contributor, SF Chronicle columnist

It's testament to how much has happened this year that it's hard to believe that now-staples of the SF dining scene — Liholiho Yacht Club, AL's Place, The Progress — have only opened in the past 12 months. I've been on the pop-up beat, and it's nice to see cuisines like Uighur (Uyghur Taamliri), Cambodian (Nyum Bai) and Filipino (F.O.B. Kitchen) have their chance to shine. And I'm personally grateful for the existence of Hawker Fare on Valencia and the burger and martini at Cafe du Nord.

Daisy Barringer, Eater SF and Thrillist SF contributor

Liholiho Yacht Club, Belga, Old Bus Tavern, Californios, Octavia, Trestle, Cala

Marcia Gagliardi, Tablehopper

Cala, Liholiho Yacht Club, Californios, Petit Crenn, Octavia, Wako, Mina Test Kitchen, and Kronnerburger. And Volta eked in under the wire, can't wait to return.

Stefanie Tuder, Senior Editor, Eater SF

I only moved here in September, but since then, Ninebark, Cala, Whitechapel and — based on pageviews, likes and retweets alone — the boozy Taco Bell. My personal favorite is the Russian Hill Craftsman & Wolves since it's close to home.

Ellen Fort, Editor, Eater SF

Petit Crenn, Mina Test Kitchen (arguable the ultimate newcomer, since the concept changes every few months), Kronnerburger, Liholiho Yacht Club... there was an overwhelming amount of newcomers this year.