Welcome to the Year in Eater 2023 — an annual tradition that looks back at the highs, lows, and in-betweens of the San Francisco Bay Area’s restaurant scene. Today, the Bay Area’s top food writers, editors, reporters, and other industry experts share the 2024 restaurant debuts they’re most excited about.
During Covid, Trick Dog took learnings from their pivot and created a pop-up titled Quik Dog. Soon, it will become a brick-and-mortar location in Mission Bay. It’s cool to see this group open something different from a cocktail bar and have fun with it.
— Andrew Calisterio, photographer based in Sacramento
I bike around Marin a lot, and Larkspur Landing/Marin Country Mart area is becoming a hotspot between the SMART station and the ferry terminal, so I hope that materializes. And while I’m allowing myself to feel tentative excitement over Cliff House’s return, you just know that the forthcoming Quik Dog near Chase Center is gonna be dope. Next year may very well be the year when Mission Bay finally gets legit.
— Astrid Kane, senior editor at the San Francisco Standard
Like most other folks here, I’m definitely excited about the debut of Four Kings and return of the Cliff House this year but I’ll also add Farm at Carneros, whenever chef Chris Bianco’s new menus actually debut and Che Fico Pizzeria at Thrive City.
— Lauren Saria, Eater SF editor
— Intu-on Kornnawong, chef and partner at Jo’s Modern Thai
Four Kings, without a doubt. Those pop-ups were incredible, and who doesn’t want to eat pork chop rice with “90s Cantopop bangin’ on ya eardrums.” I bet there’s not a single tinned fish item on the menu.
— Kevin Alexander, author of Burn The Ice: The American Culinary Revolution and Its End
My nostalgic soft spot for the San Francisco of yesteryear is heavily invested in the return of Harry Denton’s Starlight Room — although next year it will be rebranded as the simplified Starlite. It just feels nice to have back one of the classics for the city, and most especially for Union Square. On the other end of the (new) San Francisco debut spectrum, I’m excited to see how the new Mission Rock developments turn out, especially with Quik Dog leading the charge on the new food and beverage installments out that way. It’ll also be nice to see the pandemic-born restaurant come into its own, in a brand-new space.
— Dianne de Guzman, Eater SF deputy editor
It feels like the entire Bay Area has high hopes for the long-awaited revival of the Cliff House in San Francisco. I look forward to seeing what the new operator, Alexander Leff, and Hi Neighbor Hospitality Group do with the iconic space.
— Elena Kadvany, San Francisco Chronicle food reporter
Four Kings in Chinatown — can an opening get more hype? Last year I thought about the neighborhood spots debuting, for example, Day Moon, which more than lived up to the expectation, but for 2024 it’ll be a new level of badass to see line-drawing dishes such as Four King’s crab congee in the country’s oldest Chinatown.
— Paolo Bicchieri, Eater SF reporter
I cannot wait for the new Ikea-adjacent, mostly vegetarian food hall Saluhall to open in San Francisco in early spring. I’m especially excited to have Oakland vegan taqueria La Venganza and vegan Puerto Rican restaurant Casa Boriqueña so close to my office. Lunch breaks are about to get a lot more delicious.
— Madeline Wells, senior food reporter at SFGATE