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The One Word That Defined the Bay Area Restaurant World in 2019

Local food writers sum up the year in dining

The Mission Pie sign at night Mission Pie/Facebook

We asked a group of local restaurant critics, journalists, and other assorted, and uniformly brilliant, friends of Eater SF to weigh in on this past year in food. We’ll share their answers to the annual “Year in Eater” survey over the course of several posts during this next week. Next up: pithy one-word summaries of the year in dining, both serious and not so serious.

Paolo Lucchesi, editorial director at Resy: Shift.

Katherine Hamilton, restaurant critic at East Bay Express: Traditional-yet-modern.

Luke Tsai, editor at Eater SF: Lines. (I waited in so many lines.)

Eve Batey, senior editor at Eater SF: Delivery.

Elena Kadvany, food reporter at Palo Alto Weekly: Labor. It felt like every other conversation I had with chefs and restaurant owners turned to staffing challenges, and many trends — the rise of delivery, ghost kitchens, and fast-casual restaurants — were rooted in labor as well.

Sarah Han, editor at Berkeleyside Nosh: Hustling.

Soleil Ho, restaurant critic at SF Chronicle: Precarious.

Janelle Bitker, food enterprise reporter at SF Chronicle: Sad. (In SF at least.) (Because closures!)