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The San Francisco Chronicle’s New Restaurant Critic Dines Amongst Us

MacKenzie Chung Fegan, the Bay Area born-and-raised writer, is already eating on the job

A woman.
MacKenzie Chung Fegan is in San Francisco and she is eating food.
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Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

This very morning, while getting a BEC from Newkirk’s or picking up honey cakes at Cinderella Bakery, you could be ordering alongside San Francisco’s newest premiere restaurant critic. That’s because the San Francisco Chronicle released writer MacKenzie Chung Fegan’s first words for the paper on Monday, February 12, giving the Bay Area grown reviewer a chance to share her thoughts on this new role, and make things official: She’s finally out on the town and ordering crab rolls and bagels left and right. Moreover, she is also looking for suggestions on where to nosh.

Chung Fegan grew up in San Francisco restaurants as her grandparents opened and ran Kearny Street’s Hunan, later known as Henry’s Hunan. Discussing her family’s business, Chung Fegan says restaurant reviews catapulted the humble operation into the stratosphere as the New York Times and Gourmet sang its praises. “It’s not a stretch to say that my life has been uniquely shaped by restaurant criticism,” she writes. So far, the writer says she’s been doing her research for the past three weeks — eating dumplings and tacos and Konkan crab curry (cough Copra cough) — but she’s looking for new places to try, too. “Help me get up to speed before I pen my first review next month,” she writes.

Chicano Nuevo raising funds for new space

If it feels like it’s been a minute since Abraham Nuñez announced he’d open his first permanent space for his Baja cuisine pop-up Chicano Nuevo on Mission Street, that’s because it was, indeed, back in August 2022. The final push is here, though, and to get momentum going he’ll start a residency at Evil Eye in the Mission for two days a week starting February 18; Chicano Nuevo’s hours are Sundays from 3 to 9 p.m. and Mondays from 5 to 10 p.m.

Santa Cruz vegetarian restaurant expands

The home of the Banana Slugs is no stranger to strong plant-based food, but Pretty Good Advice is a standout for its quality and longevity in the area. Now the Lookout reports the vegetarian cafe opened its second location on February 1 on Pacific Avenue. The restaurants are run by Matt McNamara who co-founded San Francisco fine dining mainstay Sons & Daughters, and the new location and menu are almost identical to the original, but this new outpost is all to-go.

Arizmendi location to close for eight weeks

The Inner Sunset’s outpost for wacky pizzas and worker-owned goodies is going dark for a few months. In an Instagram post, the team at Arizmendi Bakery let fans know it will take about eight weeks to install a new oven. Sunday, February 25 is the last day of service until the installation is completed.

Indian pop-up collabs with Oakland favorite

Country Chaat, hot off a stint at the former Hotline space on Taraval Street, is headed across the Bay Bridge. In an Instagram story, the team teased a collaboration with Daytrip set for Monday, March 4 from 5 to 9 p.m., calling it an “ode to Punjab and California.”