2017 was a dumpster fire for many reasons, but San Francisco’s restaurant scene continued to thrive, and Eater readers continued to follow along. From Michelin to brunch to sushi and wine country, here’s what grabbed your attention along the way.
It’s kind of theme around here: Opening a restaurant in San Francisco isn’t cheap, or easy. We followed chef Adam Tortosa through the process of opening Robin, one of SF’s hottest openings, from raising money to construction, lifting the veil for non-industry folk.
Bay Area living ain’t cheap, but there are still some places to get a reasonably priced meal around town. From excellent banh mi to juicy burgers and dumplings, there are thrifty options in every corner.
After years of construction and renovation, China Live burst onto the scene this year with restaurants, bars, and retail. Readers loved this guide to the different aspects of the space, from the soy sauce tasting bar to the dumpling bar.
The devastating fires that tore through Sonoma and Napa Counties affected businesses of all types, including many restaurants and wineries upon which many depend for livelihood. This running list helped keep concerned neighbors in the know about closures.
Before and after the fires, Napa Valley has remained a steady destination. This year readers couldn’t get enough of restaurants up north, from newcomers like The Charter Oak and Acacia House to old favorites like La Toque and the Fremont Diner.
After work refreshments were hot this year, as city-dwellers flocked to the many restaurants adding happy hours to the roster. In an expensive city, it’s a great way to experience some of the finer things for less, or just blow off some of the steam that 2017 brought.
2017 continued to demonstrate San Franciscans’ love of raw fish, from traditional omakase to inventive takes on classic styles.
Rising costs in the Bay Area (and beyond) continue to have an effect on the way restaurants operate, from menu pricing to staffing. Jessica Sackler, one of the partners in Oakland’s Calavera and a graduate of Cornell’s business and hospitality program, finally got tired of answering questions from people (including her own mother) about the cost of menu items, penning a breakdown of what exactly goes into the creation and costs associated with the much maligned toast.
Brunch remains the meal of the week, with San Franciscans slithering out of bed on weekends to hunt for avocado toast and third wave coffee in droves. Thus the heatmap — the list of hot and new spots for morning dining — remained one of the most-read maps of the year.
San Franciscans love a good ranking, and this year was no exception as the city shot to the top of the three-starred city list, now boasting seven of the highest rated restaurants in America (more than NYC, which has five). Readers checked it all year long, however, with 2017 and 2018 rankings topping traffic.