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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.


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. Barrel House Tavern

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660 Bridgeway
Sausalito, CA
(415) 729-9593
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It's hard to miss when you've got a view of the Bay as lovely as Barrel House Tavern's, but a smart menu of French fare from Mirepoix's former chef, as well as exquisite decor and a cool house soda program, definitely don't hurt.

2. Le Marais Bakery

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2066 Chestnut St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 359-9801
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The Marina finally has a top-notch bakery to call its own, with French bread and viennoiserie aplenty and desserts from an Aziza and Presidio Social Club alum. The decor is also a notch above the standard for a bakery.

3. b. patisserie

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2821 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 440-1700
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Belinda Leong's wildly popular new pastry shop faced sellout crowds in the early going, but has settled into its groove as customers flock for her famous kouign amann, the exquisite grande macaron, and the luscious chocolate-caramel-toffee mousse.

4. heartbaker

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1408 Clement Street
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 283-6787
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A bakery in every pot seems to be the mission of the SF food world in 2013, and former Kokkari and Aqua pastry chef Sybil Johnson has a lovely one in the Richmond, with cookies, cheesecake, cupcakes, cream puffs, creme brulee...and that's only the Cs.

5. Osso Steakhouse

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1177 California St.
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 771-6776
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For old-school pleasure-center maximalism, it's hard to beat a steakhouse, and the Bobo's pedigree and Deco decor here are sure to please those with big pocketbooks. (Hey, what can you expect from a place that cheerfully sells Cristal by the glass?)

6. Mason Pacific

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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.

7. Roka Akor

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801 Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 362-8887
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This big, glitzy new edition of the Illinois-based Japanese chain is a looker, with flown-from-Japan sushi, robata-grilled steaks, and a huge bar in the basement featuring the cocktail talents of Alembic alum Daniel Hyatt.

8. Redford

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673 Geary St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 563-8192
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This American tavern in the former Ambassador space isn't fancy, but for simple pub grub, flights of wine and whiskey, and cool decor, it's a friendly, relaxing option.

9. Waiheke Island Yacht Club

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Pier 29
San Francisco, CA
The America's Cup has brought a terrific pop-up to town: Waiheke Island Yacht Club boasts chefs and staff from one of Auckland's most acclaimed restaurants, and while the atmosphere is industrial, the food is sublime. It all ends December 31, so get in while you can.

10. Coqueta

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Pier 5 - The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA
Celebrity chef Michael Chiarello's new Spanish spot is packing them in for tapas, inventive cocktails (liquid-nitrogen sangria!) and the ever-exquisite Bay views. At only 50-odd seats, though, this one's a hot ticket that's filling up fast; reservations are a must.

11. Seaglass Restaurant

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Exploratorium Pier 15/17
San Fracisco, Ca
Yeah, it's a museum restaurant, but with the gorgeous Bay views in that glass box, Cal-Med fare from Loretta Keller, and master sushi chef Sachio Kojima manning the raw bar, this one's not to be overlooked. You don't need a ticket to dine, but do note the wonky hours; it's really only open for dinner on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and the latter night is 18+ only, so don't bring the kids.

12. Hard Water

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Pier 3
San Francisco, CA 94105
Good luck scoring a seat at Charles Phan's shoebox-sized Embarcadero whiskey bar, but if you can get in, you'll be greeted by an impossibly rare collection of bourbons curated by Erik Adkins, tasty Southern-inspired small plates, and a nice Bay view.

13. Novela

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662 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 562-8662
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Kate Bolton and Alex Smith's on-point cocktail menu (including, as far as we can tell, the first-ever draft punch program) is the draw, but it's the opulent decor at this literary-themed bar that will have you goggling after drink #3.

14. MKT Restaurant and Bar

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757 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 633-3838
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The Four Seasons' updated restaurant and bar boasts sleek new newspaper-themed decor, a locally-sourced cocktail list, and comfort food like pastas, steak, and salads.

15. Padrecito

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901 Cole
San Francisco, Ca 94117
(415) 742-5505
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The latest project from the Mamacita, Umami, and Tipsy Pig team has been drawing lots of love from the neighborhood with upscale Mexican fare, tasty tequila cocktails, and a homey, yet lively atmosphere. It's a nice addition to the fairly quiet food scene in Cole Valley.

16. Mama Ji's

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4416 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 626-4416
Good dim sum in the Castro? It seems impossible, but the sticky lotus-leaf rice, pot stickers, and veggie buns will make you a believer. Plus, there's spicy Sichuan cuisine at dinner and Belgian beer aplenty.

17. 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. It's just treats and coffee for now, but savory options will come online soon.

18. 20 Spot

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3565 20th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 624-3140
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This adorable Mission wine bar, housed in a former record shop, has an intriguing menu of small plates from Sea Salt alum Anthony Paone to pair with its lovely mid-century modern decor and thoughtful wine and beer selection.

19. El Techo de Lolinda

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2518 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 550-6970
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Though it's atop Lolinda, El Techo is very much its own entity, with a separate food and cocktail menu and, of course, that to-die-for view. Added bonus: the tenting and glass walls, which keep things toasty for SF "summer" without sacrificing the vista.

20. The Palace

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3047 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 647-2011
Frills are few at Manny Torres Gimenez' new Mission steakhouse, but the high-quality food (lobster, oysters, filet) from the SPQR and Quince alum, not to mention its BYOB status and $50 tasting menu, elevate it to heatmap status.

21. Tribune Tavern

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401 13th Street
Oakland, CA
(510) 452-8742
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Chris Pastena's latest project is getting attention for Huw Thornton's meat-heavy pub menu, the inventive cocktail program, and a strong beer and wine selection. The cool historic vibe of the Tribune building doesn't hurt either.

22. A16 Rockridge

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5356 College Avenue
Oakland, Ca
(510) 858-5587
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The Marina staple's new Oakland sister spot retains its focus on pizza and pasta, but with more of an emphasis on seafood and some unusual pies. The mothership's amazing wine selection remains, and unlike the original, it's got a full liquor license and cocktails.

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1. Barrel House Tavern

660 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA
It's hard to miss when you've got a view of the Bay as lovely as Barrel House Tavern's, but a smart menu of French fare from Mirepoix's former chef, as well as exquisite decor and a cool house soda program, definitely don't hurt.
660 Bridgeway
Sausalito, CA

2. Le Marais Bakery

2066 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123
The Marina finally has a top-notch bakery to call its own, with French bread and viennoiserie aplenty and desserts from an Aziza and Presidio Social Club alum. The decor is also a notch above the standard for a bakery.
2066 Chestnut St
San Francisco, CA 94123

3. b. patisserie

2821 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
Belinda Leong's wildly popular new pastry shop faced sellout crowds in the early going, but has settled into its groove as customers flock for her famous kouign amann, the exquisite grande macaron, and the luscious chocolate-caramel-toffee mousse.
2821 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94115

4. heartbaker

1408 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94118
A bakery in every pot seems to be the mission of the SF food world in 2013, and former Kokkari and Aqua pastry chef Sybil Johnson has a lovely one in the Richmond, with cookies, cheesecake, cupcakes, cream puffs, creme brulee...and that's only the Cs.
1408 Clement Street
San Francisco, CA 94118

5. Osso Steakhouse

1177 California St., San Francisco, CA 94108
For old-school pleasure-center maximalism, it's hard to beat a steakhouse, and the Bobo's pedigree and Deco decor here are sure to please those with big pocketbooks. (Hey, what can you expect from a place that cheerfully sells Cristal by the glass?)
1177 California St.
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. Roka Akor

801 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94133
This big, glitzy new edition of the Illinois-based Japanese chain is a looker, with flown-from-Japan sushi, robata-grilled steaks, and a huge bar in the basement featuring the cocktail talents of Alembic alum Daniel Hyatt.
801 Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94133

8. Redford

673 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102
This American tavern in the former Ambassador space isn't fancy, but for simple pub grub, flights of wine and whiskey, and cool decor, it's a friendly, relaxing option.
673 Geary St
San Francisco, CA 94102

9. Waiheke Island Yacht Club

Pier 29, San Francisco, CA
The America's Cup has brought a terrific pop-up to town: Waiheke Island Yacht Club boasts chefs and staff from one of Auckland's most acclaimed restaurants, and while the atmosphere is industrial, the food is sublime. It all ends December 31, so get in while you can.
Pier 29
San Francisco, CA

10. Coqueta

Pier 5 - The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA
Celebrity chef Michael Chiarello's new Spanish spot is packing them in for tapas, inventive cocktails (liquid-nitrogen sangria!) and the ever-exquisite Bay views. At only 50-odd seats, though, this one's a hot ticket that's filling up fast; reservations are a must.
Pier 5 - The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA

11. Seaglass Restaurant

Exploratorium Pier 15/17, San Fracisco, Ca
Yeah, it's a museum restaurant, but with the gorgeous Bay views in that glass box, Cal-Med fare from Loretta Keller, and master sushi chef Sachio Kojima manning the raw bar, this one's not to be overlooked. You don't need a ticket to dine, but do note the wonky hours; it's really only open for dinner on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and the latter night is 18+ only, so don't bring the kids.
Exploratorium Pier 15/17
San Fracisco, Ca

12. Hard Water

Pier 3, San Francisco, CA 94105
Good luck scoring a seat at Charles Phan's shoebox-sized Embarcadero whiskey bar, but if you can get in, you'll be greeted by an impossibly rare collection of bourbons curated by Erik Adkins, tasty Southern-inspired small plates, and a nice Bay view.
Pier 3
San Francisco, CA 94105

13. Novela

662 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94105
Kate Bolton and Alex Smith's on-point cocktail menu (including, as far as we can tell, the first-ever draft punch program) is the draw, but it's the opulent decor at this literary-themed bar that will have you goggling after drink #3.
662 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94105

14. MKT Restaurant and Bar

757 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
The Four Seasons' updated restaurant and bar boasts sleek new newspaper-themed decor, a locally-sourced cocktail list, and comfort food like pastas, steak, and salads.
757 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

15. Padrecito

901 Cole, San Francisco, Ca 94117
The latest project from the Mamacita, Umami, and Tipsy Pig team has been drawing lots of love from the neighborhood with upscale Mexican fare, tasty tequila cocktails, and a homey, yet lively atmosphere. It's a nice addition to the fairly quiet food scene in Cole Valley.
901 Cole
San Francisco, Ca 94117

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16. Mama Ji's

4416 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114
Good dim sum in the Castro? It seems impossible, but the sticky lotus-leaf rice, pot stickers, and veggie buns will make you a believer. Plus, there's spicy Sichuan cuisine at dinner and Belgian beer aplenty.
4416 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114

17. 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. It's just treats and coffee for now, but savory options will come online soon.
198 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

18. 20 Spot

3565 20th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
This adorable Mission wine bar, housed in a former record shop, has an intriguing menu of small plates from Sea Salt alum Anthony Paone to pair with its lovely mid-century modern decor and thoughtful wine and beer selection.
3565 20th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

19. El Techo de Lolinda

2518 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110
Though it's atop Lolinda, El Techo is very much its own entity, with a separate food and cocktail menu and, of course, that to-die-for view. Added bonus: the tenting and glass walls, which keep things toasty for SF "summer" without sacrificing the vista.
2518 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

20. The Palace

3047 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Frills are few at Manny Torres Gimenez' new Mission steakhouse, but the high-quality food (lobster, oysters, filet) from the SPQR and Quince alum, not to mention its BYOB status and $50 tasting menu, elevate it to heatmap status.
3047 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

21. Tribune Tavern

401 13th Street, Oakland, CA
Chris Pastena's latest project is getting attention for Huw Thornton's meat-heavy pub menu, the inventive cocktail program, and a strong beer and wine selection. The cool historic vibe of the Tribune building doesn't hurt either.
401 13th Street
Oakland, CA

22. A16 Rockridge

5356 College Avenue, Oakland, Ca