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Jim Sullivan

The Hottest New Restaurants in San Francisco, December 2022

A list of San Francisco’s newest and buzziest restaurants

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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 openings, there are more restaurants to try than ever. To answer that question, here are San Francisco’s most exciting new restaurants, all of 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 newcomers.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Cassava

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As of October 12, Cassava is back — but you’ll no longer find the restaurant’s affordable prix fixe menu out in the foggy Outer Richmond. Owners Yuka Ioroi and chef Kris Toliao have relocated the 10-year-old restaurant to North Beach, opening in a vibrant new space with outdoor seating and a long bar. The menu remains the same, allowing diners to pick three courses from options including summer squash rigatoni, slow braised lamb belly, and buttermilk fried chicken for $48 per person. 

Albert Law

Bar Sprezzatura

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TableOne Hospitality’s second San Francisco venture brings an Italian oasis to the One Maritime Plaza office tower in FiDi. It’s a California-ized version of a Venetian bacaro, a traditional bar that serves wine and small plates called cicchetti. The beverage list leans into the theme with Italian wines, spritzes, and updated classics including an entire section of negroni riffs. To pair, explore chef Joseph Offner’s menu of savory bar snacks and larger plates including delicate beet-filled casunziei and sepe al nero starring light-as-air whipped Biancoperla polenta.

Patricia Chang

Reem’s California Ferry Building

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In November, Reem’s California became the latest restaurant to join the impressive roster at the historic Ferry Building, which now includes an outpost of Senor Sisig and Fatted Calf. Chef Reem Assil brings exclusive items and familiar offerings including her popular mana’eesh to the entirely grab-and-go operation. For a caffeine fix, try drinks such as cardamom cold brew, which can be paired with pastries like fatayer sabanikh, or spinach and onion turnovers, and chocolate chip halawa cookies.

Ben Sullivan

La Société

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A team of Mina Group alumni struck out on their own with TableOne Hospitality earlier this year and in August brought a new French restaurant to the ground floor of the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Downtown SOMA. Chef Alexandre Viriot came through some star French chefs’ kitchens and now aims to give French bistro classics a California twist. For example, duck a l’orange stars Sonoma County’s Liberty birds, while pork pate gets paired with Jimmy Nardello peppers. Over at the bar, look for a deep selection of French wine and Chartreuse, which can also be enjoyed via tableside service. 

Kin Khao

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After a pandemic-era pop-up in the Dogpatch that ended earlier this year, chef-owner Pim Techamuanvivit has finally reopened her extremely popular Thai restaurant Kin Khao. The spicy wings, tiny jars of mushroom har mok, and coconut-scented green curry are reinstalled on the ground floor of the Parc55 hotel, just a couple of blocks away from Union Square — and it’s all just as appetizing as ever.  

A spread of dishes from Kin Khao. Lauren Saria

Prix fixe is the name of the game at Afici, the fine dining restaurant from executive chef Eric Upper and the team behind Alexander’s Steakhouse. After cooking wagyu for years at Alexander’s, the chef is branching out with a selection of fresh pasta and entrees that use less-common cuts — think wagyu beef tongue served with tomato gastrique or tangled up with rosemary fettuccine. The four-course menu costs $125 per person, with the option for luxe supplements including caviar and wagyu charcuterie that’s cured in-house.

Joseph Weaver

Tenderheart

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There’s a new all-day restaurant open on Market, specifically on the ground floor of the new LINE hotel, perched on the corner of Market and Turk. Chef Joe Hou, who comes to the Bay Area after growing up back East, says he’s blending Northern California ingredients with influences from his Chinese American identity and the result is dishes such as sweet and sour quail, bone-in lionhead meatballs, and kampachi crudo made with fermented black bean. Cocktails including the New Fashioned (rye, bourbon, banana, winter melon, Sfumato amaro) come from experienced Bay Area barman Danny Louie.

Patricia Chang

Birdbox

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The Instagram-famous sandwich known as Claude the Claw landed near Oracle Park with the opening of Birdbox, the fast-casual chicken restaurant from the couple behind Michelin-starred Birdsong. It’s a straightforward menu of fried chicken sandwiches, fried chicken boxes, and sides such as fries and cornbread. In addition to takeout and dine-in options, there are also options for delivery so you can get that sustainably sourced chicken brought right to your front door. 

Cantina Los Mayas

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Explore an all-Mexican wine list and a menu of small plates at Cantina Los Mayas, a more upscale restaurant and wine bar from the team behind Taqueria Los Mayas, located just a couple of blocks away on Clement. The Chronicle reports partner Juve Carillo, who oversees the food, leans into Mayan and Yucatecan specialties such as slow-roasted cochinita pibil.

Cantina Los Mayas

Rad Radish

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Adriano Paganini, the restaurant mastermind behind hits including Wildseed and Super Duper Burgers, strikes again: In August, Paganini’s Back of House restaurant group opened a new vegan restaurant called Rad Radish in Hayes Valley. It’s meant to be a more casual answer to Wildseed, serving grain bowls, salads, and meat-free sandwiches for either dine-in or to-go. Beverage options include organic wines and low ABV cocktails, which can be sipped in a space splashed with groovy murals.

Back of The House

The Laundromat SF

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Though the restaurant’s name might call to mind baskets of warm laundry, not hot bagels, the former is exactly what you’ll find at the Laundromat SF, which opened just up the block from the historic Balboa Theather in the Outer Richmond in November. It’s a joint venture from Jaimi Holker, who owns CinemaSF and runs the Balboa Theater with her partner Adam Bergeron, and Jenna O’Connell and Kevin Rodgers, the duo behind Holey Roller Bagels. The result is a busy bagel operation by day and a neighborhood pizzeria — with a beverage list of beer, natural wine, and low-ABV cocktails — by night. 

Lauren Saria

The former 20th Century Cafe space is now home to Loquat, a bakery from the folks behind Four Barrel Coffee and the Mill, and a former pastry chef from Tartine Bakery. The Chronicle reports the Hayes Valley cafe serves “baked goods inspired by the Jewish diaspora and Levantine flavors.” Coffee, of course, comes from Four Barrel, which is now owned by Tal Mor and Jodi Geren, who took over the business after the former CEO was ousted on the heels of allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

The robots aren’t just coming, they’ve already arrived. At least, that’s the case at Mezli, San Francisco’s entirely robot-run restaurant, which began spitting out customizable Mediterranean bowls in late August. Technically, it’s more of a vending machine on robot steroids: a team of chefs prepares all ingredients at an off-site kitchen before loading them into what’s essentially a refrigerated shipping container. Then robots combine ingredients to customers’ orders and finish off the cooking process. Head to Spark Social in Mission Bay for a glimpse of the future. 

Albert Law

Delfina Restaurant

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After taking a years-long break spurred by the pandemic, Delfina is back in action on 18th Street — and the more-than-20-year-old restaurant has a fresh new look. Co-owners Annie and Craig Stoller are proud to show off a new bar and a new private dining room, where fans old and new can get a taste of the restaurant’s pioneering Cal-Italian cuisine. The spaghetti pomodoro returns to the menu, of course, along with mortadella pizza, porcini and cippolini spiedi, and dry-aged Liberty Farms duck breast. 

Al Carajo

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Chef Javier León has permanently parked his formerly mobile food business at 3224 1/2 22nd Street in the Mission. Al Carajo serves Mayan-inspired cuisine including ceviche Yucanteco, chicken tinga quesadillas, and birria pizza for lunch and dinner every day except Monday. 

Lorena Masso

Damansara Co.

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Tracy Goh found a permanent home for her Malaysian pop-up Damansara in Noe Valley, opening her first petite restaurant in mid-October. There are no reservations and just a few small tables so you’ll need to be patient if you want to be rewarded with small plates like cereal and salted egg fried chicken, sticky barbecue pork sandwiches, and the spicy noodle dish laska, either meat or vegetarian. 

Aron Pruiett

Cassava

As of October 12, Cassava is back — but you’ll no longer find the restaurant’s affordable prix fixe menu out in the foggy Outer Richmond. Owners Yuka Ioroi and chef Kris Toliao have relocated the 10-year-old restaurant to North Beach, opening in a vibrant new space with outdoor seating and a long bar. The menu remains the same, allowing diners to pick three courses from options including summer squash rigatoni, slow braised lamb belly, and buttermilk fried chicken for $48 per person. 

Albert Law

Bar Sprezzatura

TableOne Hospitality’s second San Francisco venture brings an Italian oasis to the One Maritime Plaza office tower in FiDi. It’s a California-ized version of a Venetian bacaro, a traditional bar that serves wine and small plates called cicchetti. The beverage list leans into the theme with Italian wines, spritzes, and updated classics including an entire section of negroni riffs. To pair, explore chef Joseph Offner’s menu of savory bar snacks and larger plates including delicate beet-filled casunziei and sepe al nero starring light-as-air whipped Biancoperla polenta.

Patricia Chang

Reem’s California Ferry Building

In November, Reem’s California became the latest restaurant to join the impressive roster at the historic Ferry Building, which now includes an outpost of Senor Sisig and Fatted Calf. Chef Reem Assil brings exclusive items and familiar offerings including her popular mana’eesh to the entirely grab-and-go operation. For a caffeine fix, try drinks such as cardamom cold brew, which can be paired with pastries like fatayer sabanikh, or spinach and onion turnovers, and chocolate chip halawa cookies.

Ben Sullivan

La Société

A team of Mina Group alumni struck out on their own with TableOne Hospitality earlier this year and in August brought a new French restaurant to the ground floor of the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Downtown SOMA. Chef Alexandre Viriot came through some star French chefs’ kitchens and now aims to give French bistro classics a California twist. For example, duck a l’orange stars Sonoma County’s Liberty birds, while pork pate gets paired with Jimmy Nardello peppers. Over at the bar, look for a deep selection of French wine and Chartreuse, which can also be enjoyed via tableside service. 

Kin Khao

After a pandemic-era pop-up in the Dogpatch that ended earlier this year, chef-owner Pim Techamuanvivit has finally reopened her extremely popular Thai restaurant Kin Khao. The spicy wings, tiny jars of mushroom har mok, and coconut-scented green curry are reinstalled on the ground floor of the Parc55 hotel, just a couple of blocks away from Union Square — and it’s all just as appetizing as ever.  

A spread of dishes from Kin Khao. Lauren Saria

AFICI

Prix fixe is the name of the game at Afici, the fine dining restaurant from executive chef Eric Upper and the team behind Alexander’s Steakhouse. After cooking wagyu for years at Alexander’s, the chef is branching out with a selection of fresh pasta and entrees that use less-common cuts — think wagyu beef tongue served with tomato gastrique or tangled up with rosemary fettuccine. The four-course menu costs $125 per person, with the option for luxe supplements including caviar and wagyu charcuterie that’s cured in-house.

Joseph Weaver

Tenderheart

There’s a new all-day restaurant open on Market, specifically on the ground floor of the new LINE hotel, perched on the corner of Market and Turk. Chef Joe Hou, who comes to the Bay Area after growing up back East, says he’s blending Northern California ingredients with influences from his Chinese American identity and the result is dishes such as sweet and sour quail, bone-in lionhead meatballs, and kampachi crudo made with fermented black bean. Cocktails including the New Fashioned (rye, bourbon, banana, winter melon, Sfumato amaro) come from experienced Bay Area barman Danny Louie.

Patricia Chang

Birdbox

The Instagram-famous sandwich known as Claude the Claw landed near Oracle Park with the opening of Birdbox, the fast-casual chicken restaurant from the couple behind Michelin-starred Birdsong. It’s a straightforward menu of fried chicken sandwiches, fried chicken boxes, and sides such as fries and cornbread. In addition to takeout and dine-in options, there are also options for delivery so you can get that sustainably sourced chicken brought right to your front door. 

Cantina Los Mayas

Explore an all-Mexican wine list and a menu of small plates at Cantina Los Mayas, a more upscale restaurant and wine bar from the team behind Taqueria Los Mayas, located just a couple of blocks away on Clement. The Chronicle reports partner Juve Carillo, who oversees the food, leans into Mayan and Yucatecan specialties such as slow-roasted cochinita pibil.

Cantina Los Mayas

Rad Radish

Adriano Paganini, the restaurant mastermind behind hits including Wildseed and Super Duper Burgers, strikes again: In August, Paganini’s Back of House restaurant group opened a new vegan restaurant called Rad Radish in Hayes Valley. It’s meant to be a more casual answer to Wildseed, serving grain bowls, salads, and meat-free sandwiches for either dine-in or to-go. Beverage options include organic wines and low ABV cocktails, which can be sipped in a space splashed with groovy murals.

Back of The House

The Laundromat SF

Though the restaurant’s name might call to mind baskets of warm laundry, not hot bagels, the former is exactly what you’ll find at the Laundromat SF, which opened just up the block from the historic Balboa Theather in the Outer Richmond in November. It’s a joint venture from Jaimi Holker, who owns CinemaSF and runs the Balboa Theater with her partner Adam Bergeron, and Jenna O’Connell and Kevin Rodgers, the duo behind Holey Roller Bagels. The result is a busy bagel operation by day and a neighborhood pizzeria — with a beverage list of beer, natural wine, and low-ABV cocktails — by night. 

Lauren Saria

LOQUAT

The former 20th Century Cafe space is now home to Loquat, a bakery from the folks behind Four Barrel Coffee and the Mill, and a former pastry chef from Tartine Bakery. The Chronicle reports the Hayes Valley cafe serves “baked goods inspired by the Jewish diaspora and Levantine flavors.” Coffee, of course, comes from Four Barrel, which is now owned by Tal Mor and Jodi Geren, who took over the business after the former CEO was ousted on the heels of allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

Mezli

The robots aren’t just coming, they’ve already arrived. At least, that’s the case at Mezli, San Francisco’s entirely robot-run restaurant, which began spitting out customizable Mediterranean bowls in late August. Technically, it’s more of a vending machine on robot steroids: a team of chefs prepares all ingredients at an off-site kitchen before loading them into what’s essentially a refrigerated shipping container. Then robots combine ingredients to customers’ orders and finish off the cooking process. Head to Spark Social in Mission Bay for a glimpse of the future. 

Albert Law

Delfina Restaurant

After taking a years-long break spurred by the pandemic, Delfina is back in action on 18th Street — and the more-than-20-year-old restaurant has a fresh new look. Co-owners Annie and Craig Stoller are proud to show off a new bar and a new private dining room, where fans old and new can get a taste of the restaurant’s pioneering Cal-Italian cuisine. The spaghetti pomodoro returns to the menu, of course, along with mortadella pizza, porcini and cippolini spiedi, and dry-aged Liberty Farms duck breast. 

Al Carajo

Chef Javier León has permanently parked his formerly mobile food business at 3224 1/2 22nd Street in the Mission. Al Carajo serves Mayan-inspired cuisine including ceviche Yucanteco, chicken tinga quesadillas, and birria pizza for lunch and dinner every day except Monday. 

Lorena Masso

Related Maps

Damansara Co.

Tracy Goh found a permanent home for her Malaysian pop-up Damansara in Noe Valley, opening her first petite restaurant in mid-October. There are no reservations and just a few small tables so you’ll need to be patient if you want to be rewarded with small plates like cereal and salted egg fried chicken, sticky barbecue pork sandwiches, and the spicy noodle dish laska, either meat or vegetarian. 

Aron Pruiett

Related Maps