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Belly Up at The Mission’s New Neighborhood Bar Buddy, and More Openings

Plus, more restaurant openings in San Francisco, Oakland, and the Bay Area

Albert Law

This is a curated list of the Bay Area’s most notable restaurant and bar openings, with new updates published once a week. See an opening we missed? Then drop us a line.

November 24

MISSION — Belly up to the bar at Buddy, the Mission’s new spot for top-notch cocktails and crispy mortadella sandwiches. The neighborhood watering hole comes from a crew of industry pros including Alvaro Rojas (Elda), Nicolas Torres (True Laurel), Nora Furst (Uma Casa), and Claire Sprouse (Hunky Dory in Brooklyn).

NOE VALLEY — There’s a new location of La Lucha coffee shop open in Noe Valley, according to a post on Instagram, and it’s serving Sightglass coffee and horchata lattes. Tablehopper reports owner Malia Spanyol used to live in the area and plans to welcome the neighborhood’s many dogs with treats.

LAUREL HEIGHTS — As of December 6, Proposition Chicken will lay down new roots with a flagship location at Laurel Village, serving fried, rotisserie, or “fake” (as in, crispy BBQ tofu) chicken to the Laurel Heights neighborhood. A location at San Francisco International Airport also debuted this month, just in time for busy holiday travel season.

SAN MATEO — You’ll need reservations to step down into Wunderbar, the tarot card-inspired cocktail bar located in the basement of downtown San Mateo restaurant Wursthall, the Chronicle reports.

SAN JOSE — Popular San Francisco dumpling spot Dumpling Time brings its oversize XLB to San Jose’s Santana Row starting the week of December 13, per the San Francisco Chronicle. It’s the restaurant’s first South Bay location.

SONOMA — And if you’re making a trip to wine country, stop by the new Troubador sandwich shop after it opens this month. The Chronicle reports owners Melissa Yanc and Sean McGaughey of Healdsburg bakery Quail & Condor plan to serve classic sandwiches with a twist — think an Italian sandwich dusted with a layer of Parmesan cheese.

November 15

PORK GULCH — There’s a cozy, new, and somewhat under-the-radar new bar open on Polk Street. Ora Wine Bar opened on September 30 after a long pandemic delay, according to an email from owner and native San Franciscan Sabrina Thillard. Located just next door to Swan Oyster Depot, Ora offers a “fun and unique” collection of wines plus small bites like truffle potato chips, sardine spread, and charcuterie plates. There’s also a parklet out front and a stylish space inside with exposed brick, a neon pink sign, and lots of trailing plants.

RUSSIAN HILL — Swing by the newly opened Flori’s restaurant, spotted by Tablehopper, for Salvadoran and Mexican fare like pupusas and ceviche, plus drink options including wine and beer.

MISSION BAY — Machiya, a new restaurant serving sushi and skewers grilled on Japanese charcoal is open for lunch and dinner, Tablehopper reports. There’s also sake and beer to wash it all down.

MISSION — Ichi Ni San Sushi brings heart-shaped and sauce-covered maki, plus udon and bento boxes to the Mission, per Tablehopper. Worth noting: the new restaurant is open seven days a week for both lunch and dinner.

SUNSET — The Inner Sunset has a chill new destination for craft beer and natural wine. Tablehopper says the Red Tail comes from a group of four owners including the owner of the Flying Pig in the Mission.

OAKLAND — Heads up for fans of clown paraphernalia: Dogwood is now Stinky’s Bar, as reported by Tablehopper. Owner Alexeis “Lexi” Wolff Filipello has apparently been collecting all manner of circus-related memorabilia including “robots, vintage toys, [and] musical bears,” all of which now call the Oakland bar home. It’ll reopen around Thanksgiving.

OAKLAND — The SF Chronicle reports Baba’s House opened earlier this month in downtown Oakland, and it’s more than just a restaurant. Head upstairs to check out the very vibe-y Asian snack shop and perhaps enjoy your food while playing mah-jong or exploring the mini art gallery.

November 8

EMBARCADERO — Cholita Linda opened quietly in the Ferry Building in the beginning of November, a rep for the food hall has confirmed. With existing locations in Oakland and Alameda, the restaurant is known for its Latin American street food, including Peruvian, Cuban, and Mexican fare, and this new outpost appears to now be serving Baja fish tacos and meaty Cubano sandwiches in a colorful space. It’s taking over the former Mijita location from star chef Traci Des Jardins, who left behind a big empty space with bay views, as well as a craving for good tacos.

OAKLAND — Berkeleyside reports that Cookiebar Creamery has become Lana’s, which is from the same owners, and still serves the same ice cream, as well as good smashburgers.

LOS ALTOS — Bao Bei, the new fast-counter from the former Maum chefs, opened within the cavernous new State Street Market at the end of October, the SF Chronicle confirmed.

CUPERTINO — A former Spruce chef is opening Bar Bonmot, a new French slash Korean bar, at the beginning of November, according to the SF Chronicle.

November 2

MISSION — San Ho Won, the highly anticipated new restaurant from star chef Corey Lee, fired up the Korean barbecue on Monday, November 1. Click through for a first look at the smoky and soulful menu of ribeye, galbi, veggie bibimbap, abalone jook, and more homey comforts.

TENDERLOIN — Sushi Sato is the latest restaurant from the Mins group (Sushi Hon, Sushi Hakko), and it’s their biggest project yet: Sushi Sato opened with affordable tastings and whiskey cocktails on November 2, while Kuro upscale omakase and Bar Kuro whiskey bar are still to come in this triple-restaurant space.

NORTH BEACH — The popular breakfast-for-dinner pop-up Hilda and Jesse officially opened its first brick-and-mortar restaurant on November 1. It’s a retro-cool new spot on a sunny corner in North Beach, now breaking brunch expectations with savory porridges and lofty pancakes.

SOMA — Thriller Social Club is betting big on the return of arcade bars. The Westwood and Wilder team, of mechanical bull fame in the Marina, has taken over the former Coin-Op space in South Beach, and it opened with a bang on October 29, boasting two levels and three bars, both arcade games and carnival games, a Skee-Ball champion ruling eight lanes, and an $85,000 golf simulator. Oh, and craft cocktails and buttered lobster rolls.

OAKLAND — Smashburger sensation Lovely’s has locked in a permanent location in Uptown, opening this Friday, November 5, the SF Chronicle reports. The popular pop-up is known for using grass-fed, grass-finished beef smashed onto a pillowy potato bun.

OAKLAND — And sharing the same space, there’s a new taproom specifically pouring the sometimes derided shandies. Two Pitcher’s is also opening on Friday, November 5, and will be serving light beers mixed with juices alongside those smashburgers, according to the SF Chronicle.

NAPA — Truss opened within the new Four Seasons Napa on November 1, starting with the more casual Living Room, serving an all day menu from caviar toast for breakfast to oysters and burgers around the fire pit in the evening. Truss Restaurant, the fine dining side, is still slated to open in the “coming weeks,” so they say.

October 26

MISSION — A new Oaxacan restaurant has moved into the former Great Gold space on 24th Street, Tablehopper spotted first. Donaji opened in October, and is now folding fresh masa into tamales, sopes, tortillas, and more.

MISSION — Tablehopper also reports that Yucatecan treats are coming in fresh and warm on 16th Street. El Yucateco Bakery is a new bakery starring an array of breads and pastries.

SUNSET — Mochinut, the popular SoCal chain, soft opened a new location in the Inner Sunset on October 15, according to Instagram. Stop by on the way to the park for crispy, chewy mochi doughnuts and sweet boba drinks.

FRUITVALE — Wahpepah’s Kitchen, one of only two Indigenous restaurants in the Bay Area, opens this Friday, October 30, the SF Chronicle confirmed. Stay tuned for the full reveal of the menu, starring bison chili and blue corn waffles.

SONOMA — Cochon Volant BBQ Smokehouse has served its last barbecue, and the owner is flipping the restaurant into Il Fuoco, a new Italian spot that will start slinging wood-fired pizza on October 28, according to the Press Democrat.

SONOMA — The historic Sea Ranch Lodge reopened after a multi-million dollar renovation on October 1, and with it come a new dining room, bar, lounge, and cafe. Chef Eric Piacentine, formerly of the wonderful Big Sur Bakery, hopped up the coast to craft a menu filled with locally sourced ducks and seafood, foraged mushrooms and seaweed, and figs and honey.

CARMEL — Also in multi-million renovations, Carmel Mission Inn completely revamped and reopened in October, including a new pub called Shearwater Tavern, now serving avocado toast and steak frites in a 70’s-inspired space.

October 19

STONESTOWN — Stonestown Galleria not only has a new movie theater with “scent effects,” but it’s also becoming a fun food destination, with jiggly souffle pancakes, chewy mochi donuts, and now, arguably the greatest mall dining experience of them all — conveyor belt sushi. Kura Revolving Sushi Bar opened on October 16, and for every 15 plates, you get a prize. Kura is a chain with existing locations in Cupertino and Sacramento, but this is the first in San Francisco. But don’t take our word for it, here’s what TikTok has to say.


#ad Checking out the new @Kura Sushi in Stonestown Galleria in San Francisco! #sushi #nigiri #sanfrancisco #bayarea #tiktokfood #fyp

♬ original sound - Tim

RICHMOND — There’s a new pho spot in the Richmond neighborhood that’s blowing up on Yelp. Pho Huong Viet seems to have quietly opened on Geary a couple of months ago, and is now ladling comforting bowls of Hanoi-style pho with flat noodles and tender meat.

OAKLAND — Daytrip is a new natural wine bar that opened in Temescal on October 12, with affordable and funky wines, bubbly focaccia, and disco balls.

SAN JOSE — And Hoodline reports there are several new eateries at the Westfield Oakridge mall: Meet Fresh is now serving sweet Taiwanese desserts, and Umai Savory Hot Dogs is coming soon and promising an array of 27 different hot dogs.

October 14

HAYES VALLEY — The owners of Le Fantastique originally said they were hoping to open by the end of August, but after many pandemic delays, the chairs have finally, the team is ready to rock, and the opening date is officially confirmed for next Friday, October 22. Recall that it’s that cool new wine and seafood bar from the Bird Dog team, serving luxe bubbles and caviar eclairs and spinning vinyl. Eater already did the big photo reveal of the space, drinks, and dishes, but flip through the final menus below, which just dropped this week and are looking so fresh.

MISSION — The latest restaurant from the Flour + Water group is now serving classic cacio e pepe to a cozy heated courtyard. Penny Roma opened on October 11 in the former Central Kitchen space, offering simple but satisfying fresh pastas, shinko pears and prosciutto, and woodfired ribeyes every night of the week in the Mission. ⁣Click through for those sexy pasta photos and menus.

CIVIC CENTER — La Paloma cocktail bar opens within La Cocina Municipal Marketplace on Friday, October 15. An award-winning female bartender developed the drinks, which were specifically crafted to pair well with the female entrepreneurs’ diverse food offerings, and from the tequila cocktails to the tinga tostadas, it promises to be a happy hour scene.

RUSSIAN HILL — Nisei fine dining restaurant opened back in August, and now Bar Iris is opening just next door on October 14. Cocktails come courtesy of the same team, with lots of riffs on highballs, starring Japanese whiskey and spirits.

SOMA — Family Name is a new bistro tucked inside the encyclopedic City Beer Store on Mission. Opening on September 22, it’s now serving a menu of deviled eggs, little gems, hamachi crudo, and steak frites, with plenty of excellently curated wine and beer, of course.

TIBURON — Celebrity chef Michael Mina and nightlife producer and reality TV personality Brent Bolthouse (the Hills) are finally opening Bungalow Kitchen on November 3. Illustrations and photos reveal a haute-hippie, two-level space with waterfront views and a menu of oak-fired steaks and duck-fat fries.

October 7

CASTRO — Step inside the colorful new all-day dining destination Copas, a casual Latin-leaning restaurant and bar from Jessica Kapoor. Kapoor brings experience from Saison Hospitality Group, where she serves as chief of staff, to this breakfast, lunch, and dinner spot.

MISSION — Don’t let the name deceive you: The Korner Store is actually a family-run spot for Korean food and soju in the former Mission Cheese space. Tablehopper spotted the opening first.

LOWER NOB HILL — Tahona Mercado opened its doors in late-August but has been expanding its offerings as it slides into fall. Now there are made-to-order and take-and-bake food options including tortas and quesadillas and products like pupusas and tamales from Estrellita’s Snacks; Cuban flan from What The Flan; vegan ice cream from Lobo’s; and conchas and other modern Mexican pastries from Norte 54.

Shelves of liquor and a table of food products. Tahona Mercado

SACRAMENTO — Plant-based Mexican food pop-up Bambi Vegan Tacos has a permanent home at 1725 I Street. The restaurant is open Thursday through Saturday and serves margaritas and tacos loaded with “crimini beef” and cider battered cauliflower.

LOS GATOS — Silicon Valley restaurateurs Jim and Angelique Stump want Los Gatos diners to enjoy weekday caviar and champagne at Shepherd + Sims, a fine dining restaurant decked out with colorful murals, tile mosaics, and burnished brass.

SAN JOSE — Oakland’s Orbit Coffee, a stellar spot for Vietnamese iced coffee and buckets of miniature doughnuts, has landed in San Jose. The new location can be found inside an office complex and is open Friday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m to 5 p.m.

September 28

MISSION BAY — Chef Tyler Florence of Food Network fame debuts his glitzy new steakhouse Miller & Lux near the Chase Center on September 28, the Marin Independent Journal reported first. Per the Chronicle, Ken Faulk handled the mid-century modern design and the menu offers Cesar salads tossed tableside, dry-aged steaks, and a really fancy burger.

HEALDSBURG — Marine Layer Wines has opened its new Healdsburg tasting room featuring a list of California chardonnay and pinot noir to be enjoyed alongside mezze plates curated by soon-to-open Little Saint, the farm-forward spot from SingleThread owners Kyle and Katina Connaughto.

SANTA ROSA — Los Angeles hot chicken chain Dave’s Hot Chicken landed in the Bay Area on September 24 bringing its bright-red fried chicken tenders in varying levels of spiciness to Santa Rosa, the Chronicle reports.

CAMPBELL — Former Atelier Crenn chef Trent Lidgey has struck out on his own with One Raw Fish Bar, a new seafood-centric restaurant in the South Bay. Mercury News reports Ora King Salmon drizzled with black garlic molasses and salsa and a lobster roll star on the opening menu.

SAN JOSE — Cheers to the arrival of Cash Only, a self-described “West Coast Honkytonk” in San Jose. The bar, which serves six beer-shot combos and a $5 jar of pickles, opened on September 23.

September 21

FIDI — The Michael Mina flagship in downtown San Francisco has officially flipped into a fishy new Greek restaurant. Estiatorio Ornos opened on September 18, the SF Chronicle reported first. Come through for prawns with crushed tomatoes and feta, sole wrapped in a phyllo crust, and wild mushroom moussaka.

OAKLAND — La Santa Torta, the quesabirria food truck sensation, has finally opened its highly anticipated brick-and-mortar restaurant. La Santa Torta “soft” opened on September 21, with a mechanical bull, raffle, and tacos. The permanent location is at 95 Linden Street, and the truck is still roaming.

SAN JOSE — Santana Row is adding two new restaurants and a boba tea shop, Mercury News reports: Left Wing Bar for Korean fried chicken (opened September 16), Boba Guys for milk tea (coming later in November), and Dumpling Time (slated for end of year).

September 14

MARKET — La Bande is reopening within the Proper Hotel on September 22, but it’s really a whole new opening because the former coffee bar is flipping into a full-service tapas bar. Star chef Jason Fox, of the now-closed Commonwealth, has been waiting a pandemic year and a half to debut this new menu of grilled squid, tomato toast, and gin and tonics, all served in the gorgeous green corner cafe.

PRESIDIO — Equator Coffees opened their new location at the foot of Golden Gate Bridge on September 10. The historic Round House Cafe is now serving lattes, salads, and spectacular bay views.

MARINA — Wood-fired bagels are rolling into Ghirardelli Square. Daily Driver bagelry and creamery has a new, third location opening on September 16, the SF Chronicle reported first.

TENDERLOIN — There’s a new dessert tasting menu coming to the Tenderloin. Luis Villavelazquez, a dessert “ghostwriter” behind desserts at Citizen Cake and Absinthe, is now opening his own spot called Les Elements, according to the SF Chronicle.

OAKLAND — Binny’s is a new cocktail bar and restaurant in Old Oakland, now serving steak frites and classic cocktails in Art Deco interiors, Berkeleyside spotted first.

BERKELEY — University Ave has a fresh option for croissants, cookies, and zlabia. Belmo Cafe is a new bakery, now serving French and Algerian pastries, Berkeleyside reports.

RICHMOND — Assemble Marketplace is a big new restaurant, bar, market, and events spaced all combined, Berkeleyside explains. And Tommy’s BBQ Company has also set up shop just outside, serving brisket, ribs, and chicken, with mac and cheese and sweet corn on the side.

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