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San Francisco Headline Predictions for 2019

What Eater editors and friends think will drive news next year

Shake Shack burgers
Shake Shack

Welcome to Year in Eater 2018, Eater’s annual ritual of eulogizing the last year through input from the city’s top food writers. For the last installment, Eater editors and friends of Eater were asked: What is your prediction for headlines in 2019? And as a bonus, here’s what everyone wants to see in SF in 2018.


What are your headline predictions for 2019?

Janelle Bitker, Eater SF reporter: Filipino Food Continues to Sweep the Bay Area

Charlie Hallowell Opens New Restaurant With Permanent Dunk Tank Installation

Greg Morabito, pop culture editor for Eater National: House of Prime Rib Spawns Millennial-Centric Spinoff ‘House of Avo Toast’

Thomas Keller’s Mexican Restaurant Opens With Margarita Machine Designed by Elon Musk

Shake Shack Expands to Berkeley, Oakland, Downtown SF, SFO, Facebook HQ, Coit Tower, and Alcatraz

Peter Kane, editor-in-chief of SF Weekly: Incubators and Community Kitchen Spaces Nibble Away at the Dominance of the Standard Restaurant

Nebulous Quasi-recession Spooks Potential Restaurant Investors While Still-booming Bay Area Economy Prolongs Labor Shortage

Instagram Influencer Wastes to Death in Line for S.F.’s First Shake Shack, Follower Count Subsequently Revealed as Fraudulent

Esther Mobley, wine and spirits critic at SF Chronicle: The Tiki Craze Shows No Signs of Fading

Marcia Gagliardi, founder of Tablehopper and columnist for KQED’s Table Talk: A CBD Supplement Becomes the New Gift From the Kitchen

The Popularity of Avocado Toast Shadowed by Sea Urchin Toast

The Impossible Chicken Finger

Ellen Fort, editor of Eater SF: Souvla Opens First East Bay Location (one can dream)

Instagram Launches Restaurant Awards Based on Influencer Hashtags (please, no)

Robot Barista Becomes Sentient, Spells Your Name Wrong

Caleb Pershan, senior editor at Eater SF: Fremont Diner Reopens (please, god)

Virginia Miller, freelance writer and editor at Liquor.com: San Francisco Possesses the Most Michelin Stars in the US, and Now, the World (ok, reaching? We’re only 7x7 miles, after all.)

What do you want to see in SF in 2019?

Greg Morabito, pop culture editor for Eater National: More than anything, I’m excited to see Soleil Ho shake things up in the critic role at the Chron.

Rachel Levin, former Eater SF critic: Fewer tasting menus, more family style

Caleb Pershan, senior editor at Eater SF: Actually decent paper straws at cocktail bars and coffee shops. We can do this.

Janelle Bitker, Eater SF reporter: More Malaysian and Singaporean street food, please! And I’ll never stop advocating for more bagels and babka.

Ellen Fort, editor of Eater SF: More Lao-Thai, more Greek food, more Middle Eastern, more region-specific Mexican restaurants, more late-night options, more neighborhood restaurants at which one can actually drop in without reservations (a fantasy, clearly).

Peter Kane, editor-in-chief of SF Weekly: More late-night options! Restaurants representing the cuisines of central and Western Asia, from Armenia to Uzbekistan. The return of the hollowed-out middle tier, between fast-casual and three-dollar-sign restaurants (ain’t happening, though).

Paolo Lucchesi, food editor at SF Chronicle: Everybody try their best.

Esther Mobley, wine and spirits critic at SF Chronicle: Greater transparency about how restaurants source their ingredients, treat their employees and operate their businesses.

Jonathan Kauffman, food reporter at SF Chronicle: Someone to figure out the balance between providing living wages for staff and keeping prices affordable. In other pipe dreams, I would love to see all the regional Chinese restaurants that are killing it in the South Bay to consider San Francisco for a second location.

Marcia Gagliardi, founder of Tablehopper and columnist for KQED’s Table Talk: More restaurants owned and operated by women, immigrants, and people of color; less closures of restaurants by women, immigrants, and people of color; La Cocina’s Municipal Marketplace gets funded in Q1 (come on, tech bros, cough it up); someone finally figures out the perfect French bistro (with quality, seasonal ingredients, for the love of gawd); the Theorita space becomes the awesome wine bar Nopa deserves; a cannabis café.

Virginia Miller, founder of The Perfect Spot, freelance food/drink writer and editor: As always, I long for risk-taking, whether from chefs playing with a mix of cuisines and experimentation, or with restaurant concepts opening in cuisine categories we don’t get enough of: Cajun and Creole or Low Country from the South, Malaysian, regional Middle Eastern, Caribbean and African cuisines, to name a few.

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