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Is Super Bowl Sunday a Great Day to Get Into SF’s Hottest Restaurants?

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Also: A cafe-seeking app that negates the need to think, and more news to start your day

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View of the main dining room
Prubechu, one of SF’s hottest new restaurants, is always packed. Will Super Bowl Sunday leave it empty?
Patricia Chang

Non-football-fans are wondering if SF’s Super Bowl mania means popular restaurants will be empty.

Last fall, the Eater’s Digest podcast explored “dead times” in big cities as opportunities to get immediate tables at popular restaurants, and determined that times of appointment TV viewing and holidays that drive folks out of town are also great chances for people who hate to plan ahead (right here, y’all) to walk in and get seated at spots that typically require advance reservations.

San Franciscans are likely to say that Burning Man is one of those times (though the legacy media has repeatedly said that SF’s Burning Man exodus is a myth), and apocryphally, the San Francisco 49ers last Super Bowl spin, in 2013, prompted social media claims that non-sports-focused venues were empty during the big game.

Bay Area residents should consider a few points:

What time does the Super Bowl start? Super Bowl LIV (that’s 54), starts at 3:30 p.m., and will last until at least 5 p.m. People are likely heading to parties to watch the San Francisco 49ers face off against the Kansas City Chiefs by 12:30 or 1, so shooting for an in-demand late brunch spot isn’t a bad idea.

Many restaurants that one might not think of as sports-centric are hosting Super Bowl watch shindogs (here’s a freshly updated list of some of those events), so check venue websites to make sure a target hasn’t transformed itself into a wings pop-up or whatever for the day.

Be aware that in advance of possible victory celebrations, San Francisco is closing several streets in the Mission, and is re-routing Muni around likely hot spots.

This is a good time to remind everyone that a vocal minority of San Francisco’s sports fans aren’t always the best behaved when their team triumphs. Here’s hoping a Niners win (or loss!) this weekend doesn’t prompt similar mayhem, but in case it does, diners might be best-served by picking restaurants far from anywhere revelers/rioters might congregate. The western and southwestern sides of San Francisco are — not to jinx it — probable best bets.

Fortunately, there’s a map for that. In fact, there are several: Here are Eater SF’s most essential restaurants as of Winter 2020, here are the city’s hottest restaurants as of this month, and here’s a current list of all of SF’s most important restaurant openings. Good luck!

And in other news...

  • Man moves to SF from Florida in 2018, is overwhelmed by the city’s multitude of coffee shop choices. Man creates app to “tell me where to go so I don’t have to think.” [Mission Local]
  • Armando’s, a 14-year-old bar/coffee house/live music venue in Martinez, has been evicted. “My landlord and I don’t get along,” owner Roy Jeans says, but he hopes to reopen the popular spot at another location in the East Bay city. [KPIX]
  • Toriano Gordon, the extremely charismatic chef and owner of plant-based barbecue and soul-food restaurant Vegan Mob, has some ideas on how to make a vegan Super Bowl snack spread. [KRON 4]
  • You know how everyone keeps saying that they’re just going to move to Portland? SF pizza restaurants Montesacro and Little Star spinoff the Star have both opened Portland outposts, so if the only thing that’s keeping you here is the pizza, here’s another reason to head north. [The Oregonian]
  • This week’s food section (kids, ask your parents) of the SF Chronicle doubles down on local brewery Fort Point Beer Co., with a big feature from booze scribe Esther Mobley on the company’s local ubiquity and a review of Fort Point’s Valencia taproom from critic Soleil Ho.

Vegan Mob - Vegan BBQ and Soul Food

500 Lake Park Avenue, , CA 94610 (415) 513-5120 Visit Website

Fort Point Valencia

742 Valencia Street, , CA 94110 (415) 361-7001 Visit Website

Fort Point Beer Co.

583 Shotwell Street, SF, CA 94110

Little Star Pizza

1175 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706 (510) 526-7827 Visit Website