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Rotisserie chicken dinner with sides at Village Rotisserie Patricia Chang

The Hottest New Restaurants in San Francisco, October 2021

A curated list of San Francisco’s newest and buzziest restaurants to try

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Eater tipsters, readers, friends, and family usually have the same question: Where should I eat right now? Restaurant obsessives want to know what’s new, what’s cool, and where their favorite chefs have landed — and with a host of highly anticipated fall openings, there are more restaurants to try than ever. To answer that question, here are 20 of San Francisco’s most exciting new restaurants, all which are open as of publication time. This should be enough to keep you going until next month, when we’ll update this list with the next class of buzzy openings.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Abacá

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2700 Jones St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 486-0788
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Chef Francis Ang’s hotly anticipated first brick and mortar arrived in early August, bringing contemporary Filipino cuisine to a space on the ground floor of a hotel in Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s perhaps not where you’d expect the face of the Bay Area’s modern Filipino food movement to set up shop, but the plant-filled restaurant is utterly drenched in sunlight and further brightened by sunflower yellow banquettes and woven baskets from the southeast Asian archipelago. On the menu: a selection of sharbale plates including sticky barbecue skewers, a light and refreshing tomato and peach salad, and, of course, a whole pastry case filled with fresh baked delights. And with a cocktail menu by Kevin Diedrich (Pacific Cocktail Haven, Kona’s Street Market) the colorful concoctions demand attention, too. 

2. Norcina

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3251 Pierce St
San Francisco, CA 94123

Chef Kaitlynn Bauman (Cotogna, Presidio Social Club, Greens) previously owned a cafe under the same name, but the new Norcina is her first full-service, sit-down restaurant. And it’s a big pizza and pasta party in the Marina, with full flights of spritzes and torch-it-yourself s’mores.

3. Restaurant Nisei

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2316 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 827-6898
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Californios alum David Yoshimura is channeling inspiration from his Japanese-American upbringing into Nisei, his ambitious debut restaurant where Japanese soul food gets the fine dining treatment. Yoshimura has taken over the former La Folie space, transforming it into a zen retreat with inky black walls and white booths. In the kitchen Yoshimura and his team pull shiny hunks of American-raised unagi off a binchotan grill and pack an explosion of banana flavor into tiny dorayaki topped with salty caviar. The 12-course tasting menu ends with a multi-component course called “ichiju sansa,” or “one soup, three sides.”

4. Empress by Boon

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838 Grant Ave
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 757-0728
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The Empress by Boon grandly reopened in June, bringing modern Cantonese fare to the historic banquet hall in Chinatown. Chef Ho Chee Boon is coming from Hakkasan, but this is his first solo project. He’s starting with a prix fixe menu for $68 to start, starring shrimp dumplings topped with caviar, crispy quail, hand-pulled noodles, and more.

Strawberry egg tart at Empress by Boon Patricia Chang

5. Chao Pescao

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272 McAllister St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 621-2200
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Chao Pescao is a new restaurant that’s taken over the Soluna space. It’s from the same owner, but more casual and colorful. The restaurant blasted open in June, serving a mix of Colombian and Cuban comforts, including arepas and empanadas filled with garlicky pork and plantains or sweet potatoes and beans.

Exterior of Chao Pescao Chao Pescao

6. SSP Beer & NFT Gallery

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59 9th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

The Lee brothers of the Namu Restaurant Group have taken the former Perennial space and transformed it into not just a home for Sunset Square Pizza, but also a beer hall with several different menus, as well as a digital art gallery. Choose from Sunset Squares’ sourdough pizza, Namu Stonepot’s sizzling rice and veggies, and Uncle Tito’s silog specials, as well as dank local beer.

SSP Beer Hall Patricia Chang

7. Otra

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682 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117

The Son’s Addition family, known for an eclectic menu with flavors from all over, opened their second restaurant child in May, and this time it’s fresh, veggie-focused Mexican cuisine. Chef Nick Cobarruvias is doing his own nixtamalization and grinding fresh masa for tamales and tortillas, which are paired with spicy and smoky tequila and mezcal cocktails.

Tamales from Son’s Addition Son’s Addition

8. Fiorella Sunset

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1240 9th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 404-6997
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Fiorella has brought its popular pasta and pillowy pizza to the Inner Sunset, with a new third location close to Golden Gate Park, which might truly be the latest and greatest, featuring a full bar, wood-burning fireplace, and foggy fresh rooftop deck. Never fear, the burrata pie is here, as well as some fresh menu items, including a new housemade farfalle with octopus ragu and king salmon crudo. 

The rooftop at Fiorella’s Inner Sunset location Hardy Wilson/Fiorella

9. Copas

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2223 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114

Copas quietly opened in September as a colorful new cafe and bar on Market, serving sesame avocado toast and pillowy potato dumplings all day, from morning cappuccinos to evening cocktails. The chief of staff for the Saison team opened it as her first solo project, and the name is inspired by the warm feeling of gathering around a table to raise a glass and play cards.

A table of colorful plates of food from Copas on Marker Liz Barclay/Copas

10. BAO

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590 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 658-7453
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In a city with many great dim sum brunch options, Valencia Street was surprisingly deprived of dumplings. Until now: Enter Bao, a sweet new restaurant on Valencia at 17th, now serving crispy fried hargow, green-tinted wasabi sticky rice, swan puffs filled with mango custard, and coconut milk pudding shaped like bunnies.

11. Abanico Coffee Roasters

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2121 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 896-4678
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Abanico is a sweet new coffee shop in the Mission. It’s the cafe dream of Ana Valle, a wholesale coffee roaster who’s finally opening her first storefront. She grew up in El Salvador, sipping cafecito with her grandmother, and wants to bring that comfort to the Mission. The beans are beautiful, but the specialty drinks are truly special: Cafe con leche, cafe con morro, and cafe coco y choco are swirled with condensed milk, horchata, or coconut milk, and sprinkled with cinnamon or cacao.

Anna Valle of Abanico Coffee Roasters Rocio Russo Pearce

12. LUNA American Brasserie

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694 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 737-0908
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Luna is a new restaurant that’s moved into the old Luna Park, bringing back brunches and happy hours to the long-empty spot on Valencia Street. The team is partially coming from Wayfare Tavern, and they’re calling Luna an American brasserie, serving oysters and bone marrow, burgers and mac and cheese, and riffs on classic cocktails.

Roast chicken at Luna Patricia Chang

13. Itria

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3266 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 874-9821
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Chef Daniel Evers (Al’s Place, Cotogna) and partner Min Park (Rooster and Rice, Bonchon) teamed up to open a modern Italian restaurant in the Mission, taking over the Bar Obispo space on 24th Street. Due to the pandemic, they backed into the their business plan and started with pizza delivery, but they finally opened for indoor dining on August 5, debuting the full vision for raw crudo and fresh pasta.

Angelina Hong

14. Village Rotisserie

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4063 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 660-7852
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That new Australian-style chicken shop opened on 24th Street in September, to the delight of busy parents, tech personalities, and everyone else who would really rather not cook dinner tonight in Noe Valley. From a brother-sister duo who both live in the neighborhood, it’s now spinning rotisserie chickens, duck-fat potatoes, and lemony broccoli salad. Get it to go from the front counter, or slide to the back and kick it under fringe umbrellas on stripy deck chairs.

Rotisserie chicken dinner with sides at Village Rotisserie Patricia Chang

15. Chīsai Sushi Club

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3369 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

The opening of Chisai Sushi Club is a bit of a homecoming for chef Erik Aplin, who formerly worked as chef de cuisine at Ichi, the Mission Street sushi restaurant once located in the sliver of space Chisai now calls home. But Aplin is setting a new tone with his self-described affordable omakase menus: he infuses Western influences into his open-face temaki filling sheets of nori with bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado and offers a “deli-style” hand roll with cured carrot “lox” on the restaurant’s vegetarian tasting menu. If you nab a reservation in the tiny dining room, take a moment to gaze up at the painting of Ocean Beach and the Cliff House of a bygone era. 

Uni carbonara made with udon noodles, bacon, uni cream sauce, and a layer of raw uni Darren Samuelson/Chisai Sushi Club

16. Shokudou

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1000 Cortland Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 800-6883
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A new izakaya sizzled open in Bernal Heights in May. Shokudou is a new restaurant from Chef Stewart Chen, who also owns Umi sushi restaurant in nearby Potrero. Shokudou stars kushiyaki grilled skewers and plenty of sake and beer, including crispy hamachi collars sweetened with miso, and steak wrapped around green onions, asparagus, or enoki, then skewered and grilled.

Beef-wrapped enoki skewers from Shokudou Shokudou

1. Abacá

2700 Jones St, San Francisco, CA 94133

Chef Francis Ang’s hotly anticipated first brick and mortar arrived in early August, bringing contemporary Filipino cuisine to a space on the ground floor of a hotel in Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s perhaps not where you’d expect the face of the Bay Area’s modern Filipino food movement to set up shop, but the plant-filled restaurant is utterly drenched in sunlight and further brightened by sunflower yellow banquettes and woven baskets from the southeast Asian archipelago. On the menu: a selection of sharbale plates including sticky barbecue skewers, a light and refreshing tomato and peach salad, and, of course, a whole pastry case filled with fresh baked delights. And with a cocktail menu by Kevin Diedrich (Pacific Cocktail Haven, Kona’s Street Market) the colorful concoctions demand attention, too. 

2700 Jones St
San Francisco, CA 94133

2. Norcina

3251 Pierce St, San Francisco, CA 94123

Chef Kaitlynn Bauman (Cotogna, Presidio Social Club, Greens) previously owned a cafe under the same name, but the new Norcina is her first full-service, sit-down restaurant. And it’s a big pizza and pasta party in the Marina, with full flights of spritzes and torch-it-yourself s’mores.

3251 Pierce St
San Francisco, CA 94123

3. Restaurant Nisei

2316 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Californios alum David Yoshimura is channeling inspiration from his Japanese-American upbringing into Nisei, his ambitious debut restaurant where Japanese soul food gets the fine dining treatment. Yoshimura has taken over the former La Folie space, transforming it into a zen retreat with inky black walls and white booths. In the kitchen Yoshimura and his team pull shiny hunks of American-raised unagi off a binchotan grill and pack an explosion of banana flavor into tiny dorayaki topped with salty caviar. The 12-course tasting menu ends with a multi-component course called “ichiju sansa,” or “one soup, three sides.”

2316 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

4. Empress by Boon

838 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108
Strawberry egg tart at Empress by Boon Patricia Chang

The Empress by Boon grandly reopened in June, bringing modern Cantonese fare to the historic banquet hall in Chinatown. Chef Ho Chee Boon is coming from Hakkasan, but this is his first solo project. He’s starting with a prix fixe menu for $68 to start, starring shrimp dumplings topped with caviar, crispy quail, hand-pulled noodles, and more.

838 Grant Ave
San Francisco, CA 94108

5. Chao Pescao

272 McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Exterior of Chao Pescao Chao Pescao

Chao Pescao is a new restaurant that’s taken over the Soluna space. It’s from the same owner, but more casual and colorful. The restaurant blasted open in June, serving a mix of Colombian and Cuban comforts, including arepas and empanadas filled with garlicky pork and plantains or sweet potatoes and beans.

272 McAllister St
San Francisco, CA 94102

6. SSP Beer & NFT Gallery

59 9th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
SSP Beer Hall Patricia Chang

The Lee brothers of the Namu Restaurant Group have taken the former Perennial space and transformed it into not just a home for Sunset Square Pizza, but also a beer hall with several different menus, as well as a digital art gallery. Choose from Sunset Squares’ sourdough pizza, Namu Stonepot’s sizzling rice and veggies, and Uncle Tito’s silog specials, as well as dank local beer.

59 9th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

7. Otra

682 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Tamales from Son’s Addition Son’s Addition

The Son’s Addition family, known for an eclectic menu with flavors from all over, opened their second restaurant child in May, and this time it’s fresh, veggie-focused Mexican cuisine. Chef Nick Cobarruvias is doing his own nixtamalization and grinding fresh masa for tamales and tortillas, which are paired with spicy and smoky tequila and mezcal cocktails.

682 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117

8. Fiorella Sunset

1240 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122
The rooftop at Fiorella’s Inner Sunset location Hardy Wilson/Fiorella

Fiorella has brought its popular pasta and pillowy pizza to the Inner Sunset, with a new third location close to Golden Gate Park, which might truly be the latest and greatest, featuring a full bar, wood-burning fireplace, and foggy fresh rooftop deck. Never fear, the burrata pie is here, as well as some fresh menu items, including a new housemade farfalle with octopus ragu and king salmon crudo. 

1240 9th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122

9. Copas

2223 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114
A table of colorful plates of food from Copas on Marker Liz Barclay/Copas

Copas quietly opened in September as a colorful new cafe and bar on Market, serving sesame avocado toast and pillowy potato dumplings all day, from morning cappuccinos to evening cocktails. The chief of staff for the Saison team opened it as her first solo project, and the name is inspired by the warm feeling of gathering around a table to raise a glass and play cards.

2223 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114

10. BAO

590 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

In a city with many great dim sum brunch options, Valencia Street was surprisingly deprived of dumplings. Until now: Enter Bao, a sweet new restaurant on Valencia at 17th, now serving crispy fried hargow, green-tinted wasabi sticky rice, swan puffs filled with mango custard, and coconut milk pudding shaped like bunnies.

590 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

11. Abanico Coffee Roasters

2121 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Anna Valle of Abanico Coffee Roasters Rocio Russo Pearce

Abanico is a sweet new coffee shop in the Mission. It’s the cafe dream of Ana Valle, a wholesale coffee roaster who’s finally opening her first storefront. She grew up in El Salvador, sipping cafecito with her grandmother, and wants to bring that comfort to the Mission. The beans are beautiful, but the specialty drinks are truly special: Cafe con leche, cafe con morro, and cafe coco y choco are swirled with condensed milk, horchata, or coconut milk, and sprinkled with cinnamon or cacao.

2121 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

12. LUNA American Brasserie

694 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Roast chicken at Luna Patricia Chang

Luna is a new restaurant that’s moved into the old Luna Park, bringing back brunches and happy hours to the long-empty spot on Valencia Street. The team is partially coming from Wayfare Tavern, and they’re calling Luna an American brasserie, serving oysters and bone marrow, burgers and mac and cheese, and riffs on classic cocktails.

694 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

13. Itria

3266 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Angelina Hong

Chef Daniel Evers (Al’s Place, Cotogna) and partner Min Park (Rooster and Rice, Bonchon) teamed up to open a modern Italian restaurant in the Mission, taking over the Bar Obispo space on 24th Street. Due to the pandemic, they backed into the their business plan and started with pizza delivery, but they finally opened for indoor dining on August 5, debuting the full vision for raw crudo and fresh pasta.

3266 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

14. Village Rotisserie

4063 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94114
Rotisserie chicken dinner with sides at Village Rotisserie Patricia Chang

That new Australian-style chicken shop opened on 24th Street in September, to the delight of busy parents, tech personalities, and everyone else who would really rather not cook dinner tonight in Noe Valley. From a brother-sister duo who both live in the neighborhood, it’s now spinning rotisserie chickens, duck-fat potatoes, and lemony broccoli salad. Get it to go from the front counter, or slide to the back and kick it under fringe umbrellas on stripy deck chairs.

4063 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94114

15. Chīsai Sushi Club

3369 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Uni carbonara made with udon noodles, bacon, uni cream sauce, and a layer of raw uni Darren Samuelson/Chisai Sushi Club

The opening of Chisai Sushi Club is a bit of a homecoming for chef Erik Aplin, who formerly worked as chef de cuisine at Ichi, the Mission Street sushi restaurant once located in the sliver of space Chisai now calls home. But Aplin is setting a new tone with his self-described affordable omakase menus: he infuses Western influences into his open-face temaki filling sheets of nori with bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado and offers a “deli-style” hand roll with cured carrot “lox” on the restaurant’s vegetarian tasting menu. If you nab a reservation in the tiny dining room, take a moment to gaze up at the painting of Ocean Beach and the Cliff House of a bygone era. 

3369 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

Related Maps

16. Shokudou

1000 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110
Beef-wrapped enoki skewers from Shokudou Shokudou

A new izakaya sizzled open in Bernal Heights in May. Shokudou is a new restaurant from Chef Stewart Chen, who also owns Umi sushi restaurant in nearby Potrero. Shokudou stars kushiyaki grilled skewers and plenty of sake and beer, including crispy hamachi collars sweetened with miso, and steak wrapped around green onions, asparagus, or enoki, then skewered and grilled.

1000 Cortland Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110

Related Maps