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The Bay Area Heatmap: Where To Eat NOW

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More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? Restaurant obsessives want to know what's new, what's hot, which favorite chef just launched a sophomore effort, where to sip the cocktail of the moment. And while the Eater 38 is a crucial resource covering old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the 'it' places of the moment. Thus, we offer the Eater Heatmap, which will change continually to highlight where the foodie crowds are flocking at the moment.

Check out the map of the Bay Area's hottest restaurants right now below (in no particular order), and drop any feedback in the comments section.


12/5/13: Added Alta CA, Nico, Merigan Sub Shop, Iyasare, Penrose

11/7/13: Added Tosca Cafe, TBD, Maruya, Chaparral, Box & Bells, Stones Throw, Ala Romana

10/3/13: Added Fog City, 1760, Bergerac, The Vestry

9/5/13: Added The Cavalier, La Urbana, Palmer's Tavern, Pesce, Stuffed

8/1/13: Added Mikkeller Bar, Bouli Bar, Rustic, Homestead, Aliment

7/11/13: Added 20th Century Cafe, Barrel House Tavern, Heartbaker, Le Marais Bakery, Roka Akor, Redford, Waiheke Island Yacht Club

6/6/13: Added Osso Steakhouse, Mason Pacific, Novela, MKT Restaurant and Bar, Mama Ji's, El Techo de Lolinda, The Palace, A16 Rockridge

5/2/13: Added Coqueta, Seaglass, Tribune Tavern

4/4/13: Added Padrecito, Hard Water, Hutong, 20 Spot

3/7/13: Added b. patisserie, South at SFJAZZ

2/7/13: Added Trick Dog, Saison, and Hi-Lo BBQ

1/7/13: Added Ramen Shop, Rickybobby, American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, and KronnerBurger

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Nico

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3228 Sacramento
San Francisco, CA

After cooking in some of the Bay Area's best restaurants, French-trained Nicolas Delaroque and his wife Andrea opened this charming little bistro, featuring an ever-changing menu of seasonal fare. Wine lovers will dig the half-glass options, and a magnum of vintage Champagne gets popped every night.

2. Palmer's Tavern

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2298 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115

Though owners Klaus and Albert Rainer (Leopold's) seemingly don't want anyone to know about it, their revamp of the former Long Bar is open, with swanky cocktails, a clubby vibe, and hearty food like salmon and steak.

3. 1760

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1760 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 359-1212
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The Acquerello team's casual little sister is the first in a wave of new projects to light up Polk. Adam Tortosa's tasty crudos and inventive pastas are a perfect match for Christopher Longoria's creative cocktails, and the fried-duck sandwich will cure any overindulging at the nearby bars (provided you don't decide to tackle the 300-bottle wine list).

4. Stones Throw

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1896 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 796-2901
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Good neighborhood joints can be hard to come by in this wave of culinary innovation, making this comfort-food-with-a-twist spot a counterintuitively rare bird. (Maybe that's why there are stencils of them everywhere.) For a comforting pasta or salmon dish, childhood-influenced dessert, and a smart wine or beer from the extensive selection, Stones Throw seems bound for glory in the Tuesday-night-restaurant category. (But Saturday is fine too.)

5. Ala Romana

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1098 Jackson Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

The first spinoff from Allegro Romano's Lorenzo Logerici and A16 vet David Taylor is all about Roman food, with hearty, satisfying options like seafood in acqua pazza, nettle and ricotta gnocchi, and Jewish-style artichokes. There's plenty of Italian wine, too.

6. Mason Pacific

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1358 Mason St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 374-7185
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This chic new bistro atop Russian Hill is distinguished by its love for vino, with a nifty Copain draft-wine program and a deep reserve list. The chef has cooked at some of the best restaurants in both Paris and SF, and the eclectic menu is fresh and approachable.

7. Tosca Cafe

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242 Columbus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 986-9651
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April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman have revived the North Beach icon with an experience that hits on all levels, from the satisfying Italian food to the fun bar bites and cocktails to the deep Italian wine program. The only problem is getting in: this white-hot spot doesn't take reservations, which is a good or bad thing depending on how you time it.

8. Fog City

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1300 Battery St
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 982-2000
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Bruce Hill's remodel of the iconic Fog City Diner is an ultra-modern stunner, and the menu has been equally updated, with hearty seasonal fare like fish, steak, and burgers. The breakout items: dark and stormy slushies for sipping, and freshly-fried crullers with creamy frozen custard for dessert.

9. La Urbana

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661 Divisadero
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 440-4500
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Easily the most upscale restaurant to ever make its home on the Divisadero corridor, this sleek nouveau-Mexican spot has been packing them in for fancy ceviche, duck sopes, carne asada, and mezcal-centric cocktails. A more casual taqueria component will open later this year.

10. Chaparral

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471 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 793-9016
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The pop-up of the moment comes to us from Thomas Martinez (Mission Beach Cafe), who's turning Lower Haight brunch perennial Kate's Kitchen into an evening spot for smart comfort food like lamb shoulder and roasted Brussels sprouts. The big bonuses: it's currently BYOB, and open until 2 am on weekends.

11. Pesce Seafood Bar

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2223 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 925-8025
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The original project from the duo behind Beretta and Delarosa has moved from Russian Hill to an upscale new home on Market Street, where there are more seats, fancier decor, revamped menu items (still along the original theme of Venetian seafood), and updated cocktails.

12. ALTA CA

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1420 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102

Daniel Patterson's latest boasts Eastern European-tinged comfort food from chef Yoni Levy, a bespoke cocktail program, and ice cream for dessert (or to go). The first upscale restaurant on this stretch of Market, it'll double as a power-dining spot for the swaths of newly transplanted tech employees coming from their nearby offices.

13. TBD

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1077 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 431-1826
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The name is misleading, because the second restaurant from the team behind AQ is very much determined, from its all-live-fire cooking program to its extensive sherry and beer selections. Drop by the bar for a "loophole" low-ABV cocktail and bite, or settle in amongst the camping lanterns for a full meal (complete with concluding s'mores).

14. The Cavalier

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55 5th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 321-6000
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The latest project from the power ladies behind Marlowe and Park Tavern takes a British turn, with Welsh rarebit, lamb scrumpets, and a riff on their infamous burger. Cocktails abound, and the clubby space has taxidermy to spare.

15. Merigan Sub Shop

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636 2nd Street
San Francisco, CA

Former A16 chef Liza Shaw has gone more casual (but by no means sacrificed flavor) with this cute and cheerful sub shop, serving up tastes of East Coast Italian-American goodness like meatball, chicken parm, and roasted pork subs. Italian combos, house pickles, and housemade Italian ice for dessert make Merigan a fun stop for lunch or takeout.

16. Maruya

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2931 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 503-0702

Ultra-pristine omakase is the name of the game at this tiny Mission sushi spot, which boasts the talents of longtime local great Masaki Sasaki. Fast and cheap are not operative words here, but for a Japanese-style sushi experience at Japanese-style prices, it's something of a groundbreaker on the local scene.

17. The Vestry

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777 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 551-7306
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Valencia isn't hurting for dining options in general, but as far as late-night spots with a full bar go, concert venue The Chapel's sister restaurant is still a rare bird. The menu is simple and satisfying, the drinks straightforward and strong, and the soon-to-open patio will provide some serious people-watching.

18. Iyasare

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1830 4th St
Berkeley, CA 94710

Former Yoshi's chef Sho Kamio has gotten personal with his latest project, incorporating both Japanese and American influences into a menu that spans sushi, miso-cured pork chops, sea urchin fettuccine, and hibachi-grilled beef tongue. It's rustic and refined at the same time.

19. Box & Bells

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5912 College Ave
Oakland, CA 94618
(510) 923-2000
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James Syhabout (Commis, Hawker Fare) continues to cement his hometown-hero status with this casual and lively restaurant, built around the kinds of foods he serves for staff meal. Blood pudding poutine, mussels tikka masala, and fried chicken are just some of the mega-hearty options, and with classic cocktails in the mix as well, it's sure to be an industry favorite.

20. Penrose

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3311 Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94610
(510) 444-1649
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The latest from Charlie Hallowell (Pizzaiolo, Boot & Shoe Service), Penrose is a chic take on a bar and grill, with lots of live-fire cooking (think grilled bone-in ribeyes, flatbreads, and a raw bar to start). Cocktails and a stunningly stripped-down space are also part of the package.

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1. Nico

3228 Sacramento, San Francisco, CA

After cooking in some of the Bay Area's best restaurants, French-trained Nicolas Delaroque and his wife Andrea opened this charming little bistro, featuring an ever-changing menu of seasonal fare. Wine lovers will dig the half-glass options, and a magnum of vintage Champagne gets popped every night.

3228 Sacramento
San Francisco, CA

2. Palmer's Tavern

2298 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

Though owners Klaus and Albert Rainer (Leopold's) seemingly don't want anyone to know about it, their revamp of the former Long Bar is open, with swanky cocktails, a clubby vibe, and hearty food like salmon and steak.

2298 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115

3. 1760

1760 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

The Acquerello team's casual little sister is the first in a wave of new projects to light up Polk. Adam Tortosa's tasty crudos and inventive pastas are a perfect match for Christopher Longoria's creative cocktails, and the fried-duck sandwich will cure any overindulging at the nearby bars (provided you don't decide to tackle the 300-bottle wine list).

1760 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

4. Stones Throw

1896 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Good neighborhood joints can be hard to come by in this wave of culinary innovation, making this comfort-food-with-a-twist spot a counterintuitively rare bird. (Maybe that's why there are stencils of them everywhere.) For a comforting pasta or salmon dish, childhood-influenced dessert, and a smart wine or beer from the extensive selection, Stones Throw seems bound for glory in the Tuesday-night-restaurant category. (But Saturday is fine too.)

1896 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94109

5. Ala Romana

1098 Jackson Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

The first spinoff from Allegro Romano's Lorenzo Logerici and A16 vet David Taylor is all about Roman food, with hearty, satisfying options like seafood in acqua pazza, nettle and ricotta gnocchi, and Jewish-style artichokes. There's plenty of Italian wine, too.

1098 Jackson Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

6. Mason Pacific

1358 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94133

This chic new bistro atop Russian Hill is distinguished by its love for vino, with a nifty Copain draft-wine program and a deep reserve list. The chef has cooked at some of the best restaurants in both Paris and SF, and the eclectic menu is fresh and approachable.

1358 Mason St
San Francisco, CA 94133

7. Tosca Cafe

242 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman have revived the North Beach icon with an experience that hits on all levels, from the satisfying Italian food to the fun bar bites and cocktails to the deep Italian wine program. The only problem is getting in: this white-hot spot doesn't take reservations, which is a good or bad thing depending on how you time it.

242 Columbus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133

8. Fog City

1300 Battery St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Bruce Hill's remodel of the iconic Fog City Diner is an ultra-modern stunner, and the menu has been equally updated, with hearty seasonal fare like fish, steak, and burgers. The breakout items: dark and stormy slushies for sipping, and freshly-fried crullers with creamy frozen custard for dessert.

1300 Battery St
San Francisco, CA 94111

9. La Urbana

661 Divisadero, San Francisco, CA 94115

Easily the most upscale restaurant to ever make its home on the Divisadero corridor, this sleek nouveau-Mexican spot has been packing them in for fancy ceviche, duck sopes, carne asada, and mezcal-centric cocktails. A more casual taqueria component will open later this year.

661 Divisadero
San Francisco, CA 94115

10. Chaparral

471 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

The pop-up of the moment comes to us from Thomas Martinez (Mission Beach Cafe), who's turning Lower Haight brunch perennial Kate's Kitchen into an evening spot for smart comfort food like lamb shoulder and roasted Brussels sprouts. The big bonuses: it's currently BYOB, and open until 2 am on weekends.

471 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117

11. Pesce Seafood Bar

2223 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

The original project from the duo behind Beretta and Delarosa has moved from Russian Hill to an upscale new home on Market Street, where there are more seats, fancier decor, revamped menu items (still along the original theme of Venetian seafood), and updated cocktails.

2223 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94114

12. ALTA CA

1420 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Daniel Patterson's latest boasts Eastern European-tinged comfort food from chef Yoni Levy, a bespoke cocktail program, and ice cream for dessert (or to go). The first upscale restaurant on this stretch of Market, it'll double as a power-dining spot for the swaths of newly transplanted tech employees coming from their nearby offices.

1420 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102

13. TBD

1077 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103

The name is misleading, because the second restaurant from the team behind AQ is very much determined, from its all-live-fire cooking program to its extensive sherry and beer selections. Drop by the bar for a "loophole" low-ABV cocktail and bite, or settle in amongst the camping lanterns for a full meal (complete with concluding s'mores).

1077 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94103

14. The Cavalier

55 5th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

The latest project from the power ladies behind Marlowe and Park Tavern takes a British turn, with Welsh rarebit, lamb scrumpets, and a riff on their infamous burger. Cocktails abound, and the clubby space has taxidermy to spare.

55 5th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

15. Merigan Sub Shop

636 2nd Street, San Francisco, CA

Former A16 chef Liza Shaw has gone more casual (but by no means sacrificed flavor) with this cute and cheerful sub shop, serving up tastes of East Coast Italian-American goodness like meatball, chicken parm, and roasted pork subs. Italian combos, house pickles, and housemade Italian ice for dessert make Merigan a fun stop for lunch or takeout.

636 2nd Street
San Francisco, CA

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16. Maruya

2931 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Ultra-pristine omakase is the name of the game at this tiny Mission sushi spot, which boasts the talents of longtime local great Masaki Sasaki. Fast and cheap are not operative words here, but for a Japanese-style sushi experience at Japanese-style prices, it's something of a groundbreaker on the local scene.

2931 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

17. The Vestry

777 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Valencia isn't hurting for dining options in general, but as far as late-night spots with a full bar go, concert venue The Chapel's sister restaurant is still a rare bird. The menu is simple and satisfying, the drinks straightforward and strong, and the soon-to-open patio will provide some serious people-watching.

777 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

18. Iyasare

1830 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

Former Yoshi's chef Sho Kamio has gotten personal with his latest project, incorporating both Japanese and American influences into a menu that spans sushi, miso-cured pork chops, sea urchin fettuccine, and hibachi-grilled beef tongue. It's rustic and refined at the same time.

1830 4th St
Berkeley, CA 94710

19. Box & Bells

5912 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

James Syhabout (Commis, Hawker Fare) continues to cement his hometown-hero status with this casual and lively restaurant, built around the kinds of foods he serves for staff meal. Blood pudding poutine, mussels tikka masala, and fried chicken are just some of the mega-hearty options, and with classic cocktails in the mix as well, it's sure to be an industry favorite.

5912 College Ave
Oakland, CA 94618

20. Penrose

3311 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

The latest from Charlie Hallowell (Pizzaiolo, Boot & Shoe Service), Penrose is a chic take on a bar and grill, with lots of live-fire cooking (think grilled bone-in ribeyes, flatbreads, and a raw bar to start). Cocktails and a stunningly stripped-down space are also part of the package.

3311 Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94610

Related Maps