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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.


11/7/13: Added Tosca Cafe, TBD, Maruya, Chaparral, Box and 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. 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.

2. 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).

3. 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.)

4. 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.

5. Mason Pacific

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1358 Mason St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 374-7185
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This chic 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.

6. 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.

7. Waiheke Island Yacht Club

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Pier 29
San Francisco, CA
Though the America's Cup is over, Waiheke Island Yacht Club remains, boasting chefs and staff from one of Auckland's most acclaimed restaurants. While the atmosphere is industrial, the food is sublime, and now they're allowed to serve New Zealand wine as well. It all ends December 31, so get in while you can.

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. Bouli Bar

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1 Sausalito - San Francisco Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 399-1155
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The Ferry Building sequel to Boulette's Larder is still getting underway, but they'll eventually have cocktails and dinner entrees to complement the wood-fired pizzas and authentic mezze they're currently serving up at lunch.

10. Mikkeller Bar

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34 Mason St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 984-0279
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Beer lovers would be hard-pressed to find a selection more outstanding at this gleaming bar from the Trappist team and the famed Danish gypsy brewer, and Michael O'Brien's food provides a solid farm-to-table pub grub foundation.

11. 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.

12. 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).

13. 20th Century Cafe

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198 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Michelle Polzine, Range's star pastry chef, now has a bakery of her own, with Eastern European-inspired offerings like potato knish, Russian honey cake, and poppyseed bagels to enjoy with a cup of coffee. A few lunchtime savory options are also offered, like chicken paprikash and kale soup.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. Pesce Seafood Bar

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2223 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 925-8025
Visit Website
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.

17. 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.

18. The Vestry

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777 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 551-7306
Visit Website
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.

19. Homestead

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4029 Piedmont Avenue
Oakland, CA 94611
This husband-and-wife restaurant is ambitious, yet laid-back, with a gorgeous home in a '20s Julia Morgan building and adventurous comfort food like duck confit tortellini and chili-rubbed pork.

20. Box & Bells

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5912 College Ave
Oakland, CA 94618
(510) 923-2000
Visit Website
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, sure to be an industry favorite.

1. 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

2. 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

3. 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

4. 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

5. Mason Pacific

1358 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94133
This chic 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

6. 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

7. Waiheke Island Yacht Club

Pier 29, San Francisco, CA
Though the America's Cup is over, Waiheke Island Yacht Club remains, boasting chefs and staff from one of Auckland's most acclaimed restaurants. While the atmosphere is industrial, the food is sublime, and now they're allowed to serve New Zealand wine as well. It all ends December 31, so get in while you can.
Pier 29
San Francisco, CA

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. Bouli Bar

1 Sausalito - San Francisco Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111
The Ferry Building sequel to Boulette's Larder is still getting underway, but they'll eventually have cocktails and dinner entrees to complement the wood-fired pizzas and authentic mezze they're currently serving up at lunch.
1 Sausalito - San Francisco Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

10. Mikkeller Bar

34 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Beer lovers would be hard-pressed to find a selection more outstanding at this gleaming bar from the Trappist team and the famed Danish gypsy brewer, and Michael O'Brien's food provides a solid farm-to-table pub grub foundation.
34 Mason St
San Francisco, CA 94102

11. 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

12. 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

13. 20th Century Cafe

198 Gough Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Michelle Polzine, Range's star pastry chef, now has a bakery of her own, with Eastern European-inspired offerings like potato knish, Russian honey cake, and poppyseed bagels to enjoy with a cup of coffee. A few lunchtime savory options are also offered, like chicken paprikash and kale soup.
198 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

14. 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

15. 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

Related Maps

16. 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

17. 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

18. 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

19. Homestead

4029 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611
This husband-and-wife restaurant is ambitious, yet laid-back, with a gorgeous home in a '20s Julia Morgan building and adventurous comfort food like duck confit tortellini and chili-rubbed pork.
4029 Piedmont Avenue
Oakland, CA 94611

20. 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, sure to be an industry favorite.
5912 College Ave
Oakland, CA 94618

Related Maps