Welcome to Year in Eater 2022, Eater’s annual tradition of celebrating the past 12 months with help from some of the Bay Area’s top food and restaurant industry experts. Between now and the end of the year, Eater SF will post daily questions about the Bay Area restaurant scene with answers from those who know it best.
Geoff Davis’s upcoming Burdell restaurant. He’s cooked in so many restaurants. It’s his time and his food is timeless, comforting, and luxurious.
— Tonya Pitts, sommelier and wine director at One Market Restaurant
Gumbo Social all the way! They joke that “gumbo pays the bills” on their t-shirts, but they also say their primary ingredients are love, memories, and community. Both are true! Dontaye Ball has a Kickstarter going right now to raise funds to open his restaurant, and I really hope they make their goal. Their menu of gumbo, po’boys, and other classic soul food staples like hoe cakes are just supremely satisfying and nourishing.
— Christine Farren, Executive Director at Foodwise
I’m so excited about a lot of the restaurant debuts coming up in 2023. A number of the restaurants I’m excited about are pop-ups going permanent, and there are so many, I’ll just list them: Sandy’s and its muffalettas, Sfizio, El Chino Grande, and Burdell, to start. I feel like these spots have all solidified their followings and food enough that it only makes sense they’d make the leap into restaurant-dom, and the food scene will be so much richer for it. And while I’m not entirely sure if this counts as a “debut,” I’m also excited about the return of the Slanted Door, especially after visiting the pop-up chef Charles Phan hosted on the UC Berkeley campus. The menu updates are mighty tasty, and it’ll be nice to see the renovated dining room at the Ferry Building when it’s ready.
— Dianne de Guzman, Eater SF deputy editor
It’s not vegan (by a long shot), but I’m a sucker for a good muffaletta sandwich and can’t wait for Sandy’s to open in the Haight.
— Nick Bastone, reporter at Axios SF
Chicano Nuevo in San Francisco. Love their Wu-Tang-shaped flan and Tijuana-style street tacos. It’ll be a dope spot to kick it at for sure.
— Alan Chazaro, food reporter at KQED
As someone who often wakes up with my first thought of the day being, “I want a bagel,” I am very excited for Poppy Bagels to open in Oakland in early 2023. An open-faced veggie bagel sandwich with fuschia-colored beet cream cheese I tried at a Poppy Bagels pop-up a few years ago still lives rent-free in my head. Boichik Bagels currently rules the East Bay bagel scene — and don’t get me wrong, I’m obsessed — but it’ll be great to have another option in the area.
— Madeline Wells, SFGATE food reporter
Lucky for me both of these openings should come right at the top of the year: Piglet & Co., the first full restaurant from the wonderful husband-and-wife team behind El Chino Grande and Henzi, and the new Akiko’s outpost at Avery Lane.
Dontaye Ball’s Gumbo Social! His gumbo is so good, and I am excited to see what he does with the rest of the menu.
— Sarah Henkin, manager at Omnivore Books
Remember SHŌ? The rooftop park location, the high-concept design, the tech money, the NFTs. Whatever happens, it’ll be entertaining.
— Patricia Chang, freelance editorial and commercial photographer
There’s a secret (to me, because the owners wouldn’t tell me about it) bakery going in at 3928 Irving Street, way out near the beach. I love stuff like that. I hope that keeps moving San Franciscans west for eating and drinking — there’s more to enjoy out here than just Hook Fish, you know.
— Paolo Bicchieri, Eater SF reporter
A magician never reveals their secrets. Kidding, I am excited for Burdell though.
— Cesar Hernandez, associate restaurant critic at the San Francisco Chronicle