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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.


8/7/14: Added Monsieur Benjamin, Plin, Shakewell, Urchin

7/3/14: Added Causwells, The Dock at Linden Street, Marla Bakery, Pabu & The Ramen Bar, Perdition Smokehouse

6/5/14: Added 4505 Burgers & BBQ, Bartlett Hall, Chino, The Commissary, Gaspar Brasserie, Kusakabe, Outerlands, Palm House, Schroeder's, Red Dog, Ume, Uno Dos Tacos, Urban Putt

5/1/14: Added Dirty Habit, Souvla

4/3/14: Added Trou Normand, Barrel Head Brewhouse, Il Casaro

3/6/14: Added The Coachman, Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar, Kin Khao, The Square

2/6/14: Added Victory Hall & Parlor, Loló, Second Act Marketplace

1/2/14: Added Verbena, La Nebbia

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. The Commissary

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101 Montgomery
San Francisco, CA
(415) 561-3600
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Traci des Jardins' Presidio debut is a Spanish-inspired restaurant in the historic former barracks, featuring classic dishes like pea and ham croquetas, octopus with potatoes and olives, and churros with hot chocolate. There's a full bar and a lovely front patio with views of the main lawn.

2. Causwells

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2346 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 447-6081
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This casual new bistro comes from two restaurant vets, with a Flour + Water alum in the kitchen. Expect casual bites like deviled eggs, grilled octopus, and a burger, along with beer and a big wine-by-the-glass program.

3. Palm House

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2032 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 400-4355
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Take a tropical vacation without leaving Cow Hollow at this bright and colorful successor to Nettie's Crab Shack, featuring cocktails from the Bergerac team (including fancy frozen daiquiris) and a menu of pan-Caribbean bites developed by Foreign Cinema's Gayle Pirie. There's a big front patio for nice days (it has heat lamps for more typical ones).

4. Kusakabe

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584 Washington Street
San Francisco, CA
(415) 757-0155
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Mitsunori Kusakabe made his name slicing fish at Sausalito's acclaimed Sushi Ran, and now he's flexing his talents at this omakase-centric restaurant in the FiDi. Expect exquisite sushi and other kaiseki dishes prepared to the chef's whim ($95). There's also a petite a la carte nigiri menu.

5. Pabu & The Ramen Bar

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101 California St
San Francisco, CA 94111

Michael Mina and Ken Tominaga's lavish new duo of Japanese restaurants have landed at 101 California. Pabu features authentic sushi and izakaya fare, as well as a serious cocktail program centered around Japanese whisky; the more casual Ramen Bar is focused on ramen, donburi, and salads.

6. Schroeder's

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240 Front St
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 421-4778
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This historic Financial District gasthaus has gotten a huge revamp from the Press Club folks, separating it into a boisterous after-work beer hall in front and a more upscale California-German restaurant in the rear. In either case, expect seasonal twists on classics like schnitzel and spaetzle, plus plenty of beer and cocktails.

7. Dirty Habit

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12 4th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 348-1555
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The sexed-up "tech noir" reimagining of Fifth Floor still boasts its crack culinary team, with David Bazirgan turning his talents to small plates, Francis Ang offering top-notch desserts, and Brian Means overseeing a dizzying list of cocktails. The funky decor and big firelit patio are all part of the tightly curated package.

8. Red Dog Restaurant & Bar

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303 2nd Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 692-0211
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Lauren Kiino's sequel to Il Cane Rosso is a casual spot for a drink and a bite, with dishes like deviled ham Scotch eggs, a kale and mushroom carbonara, and two different burgers (one with crispy pork trotter). A full bar is on the way, and beer and wine are available. Kiino also owns neighboring coffee shop Fearless, which offers breakfast and lunch.

9. Marla Bakery

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3619 Balboa St
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 742-4379
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Don't believe the name: this labor of love from an adorable couple (who even got married there) is a full-service restaurant, with lunch, brunch, dinner, and Sunday suppers. Their awesome baked goods and desserts are, of course, worthy of note, as is a wine program from Nopa's former wine director and a lovely back patio/garden.

10. Outerlands

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4001 Judah St
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 661-6140
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Outerlands is finally back and double the size, meaning you're more likely to get a table. The new renovation is beautiful, there's a new chef and an amped-up bar program, and morning pastry service is a total wonderland. It's still a destination in the wilds of the Outer Sunset.

11. 4505 Burgers & BBQ

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705 Divisadero
San Francisco, CA 94112
(415) 231-6993
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Get your brisket, ribs, and burger on at Ryan Farr's takeover of Divis' former Da' Pitt, where you'll be greeted with fried mac and cheese, draft brews, and other delights. Fair warning: seating is almost exclusively limited to a small, still-under-construction patio, but taking it to go at a nearby bar or a Panhandle picnic are good stopgap options.

12. Monsieur Benjamin

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451 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA
(415) 403-2233
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The second project from Benu whiz Corey Lee is a thoroughly French bistro, with takes on the classics both familiar (duck confit, steak frites, a burger) and less so (escargot, sweetbreads, beef tongue). There are cocktails and a solid under-$100 wine list, and it's open until 1 am.

13. Plin

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280 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 655-9510
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Alexander Alioto, the former chef of Seven Hills, has taken over Valencia's former Conduit/Another Monkey space for this Italian small-plates spot, which emphasizes seafood dishes, pasta, and wine. Italian-influenced cocktails complete the package.

14. Urchin Bistrot

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584 Valencia
San Francisco, CA
(415) 861-1844
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Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani (Ame, Terra) have landed in the Mission, with a new French bistro-inspired restaurant in the former Wo Hing General Store on Valencia. Expect updated classics and plenty of cocktails and wine.

15. Chino

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3198 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 552-5771
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The first non-Mexican restaurant from the Tacolicious team retains its lively spirit thanks to a pan-Asian menu that's not strictly canonical, but is definitely a good time. Try the soup dumplings, wings, Chinese chicken salad, and sesame noodles, and don't miss Danny Louie's fun cocktails, including alcoholic boba drinks.

16. Smokestack

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2503 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA
(415) 864-7468
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After years of delays, Magnolia's Dogpatch brewery is finally open, and so is the accompanying BBQ spot from Namu Gaji's Dennis Lee. The fantastic brisket is accompanied by sides both traditional (baked beans) and less so (kimchi), and there's a ton of Magnolia brews on draft, plus excellent cocktails. And the space, which was very expensively renovated to look as if it hasn't been touched since the '30s, is super-cool.

17. Perdition Smokehouse

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2050 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 900-5858
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The name says "hell," but this new spot from the Mikkeller Bar team is more like nirvana for barbecue and beer aficionados, who can choose from all the usual hits (brisket, housemade hot links, ribs, mac and cheese), paired with one of the 43 drafts. They've got a huge back patio, too.

18. Ume

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2214 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 444-7586
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Daniel Patterson has done a concept shuffle on uptown Oakland's Plum, which is now Ume (that's Japanese for "plum"). The food is now seasonal and Japanese-inspired, at a more reasonable price point than Plum's. Cocktails continue to arrive from a window into next-door Plum Bar.

19. Shakewell

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3407 Lakeshore
Oakland, CA
(510) 251-0329
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A duo of Top Chef alumni are behind this new Spanish-Mediterranean restaurant and cocktail bar on Lakeshore, which offers classic tapas, bomba rice dishes, and cocktails. Be sure to save room for desserts like blackberry-Manchego tart.

20. The Dock at Linden Street

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95 Linden St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 338-3965
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James Syhabout's latest is a restaurant collaboration with west Oakland's Linden Street Brewery, featuring both a full-service restaurant with global shared plates and a more casual "beer shed" with snacks.

1. The Commissary

101 Montgomery, San Francisco, CA

Traci des Jardins' Presidio debut is a Spanish-inspired restaurant in the historic former barracks, featuring classic dishes like pea and ham croquetas, octopus with potatoes and olives, and churros with hot chocolate. There's a full bar and a lovely front patio with views of the main lawn.

101 Montgomery
San Francisco, CA

2. Causwells

2346 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94123

This casual new bistro comes from two restaurant vets, with a Flour + Water alum in the kitchen. Expect casual bites like deviled eggs, grilled octopus, and a burger, along with beer and a big wine-by-the-glass program.

2346 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA 94123

3. Palm House

2032 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123

Take a tropical vacation without leaving Cow Hollow at this bright and colorful successor to Nettie's Crab Shack, featuring cocktails from the Bergerac team (including fancy frozen daiquiris) and a menu of pan-Caribbean bites developed by Foreign Cinema's Gayle Pirie. There's a big front patio for nice days (it has heat lamps for more typical ones).

2032 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123

4. Kusakabe

584 Washington Street, San Francisco, CA

Mitsunori Kusakabe made his name slicing fish at Sausalito's acclaimed Sushi Ran, and now he's flexing his talents at this omakase-centric restaurant in the FiDi. Expect exquisite sushi and other kaiseki dishes prepared to the chef's whim ($95). There's also a petite a la carte nigiri menu.

584 Washington Street
San Francisco, CA

5. Pabu & The Ramen Bar

101 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Michael Mina and Ken Tominaga's lavish new duo of Japanese restaurants have landed at 101 California. Pabu features authentic sushi and izakaya fare, as well as a serious cocktail program centered around Japanese whisky; the more casual Ramen Bar is focused on ramen, donburi, and salads.

101 California St
San Francisco, CA 94111

6. Schroeder's

240 Front St, San Francisco, CA 94111

This historic Financial District gasthaus has gotten a huge revamp from the Press Club folks, separating it into a boisterous after-work beer hall in front and a more upscale California-German restaurant in the rear. In either case, expect seasonal twists on classics like schnitzel and spaetzle, plus plenty of beer and cocktails.

240 Front St
San Francisco, CA 94111

7. Dirty Habit

12 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

The sexed-up "tech noir" reimagining of Fifth Floor still boasts its crack culinary team, with David Bazirgan turning his talents to small plates, Francis Ang offering top-notch desserts, and Brian Means overseeing a dizzying list of cocktails. The funky decor and big firelit patio are all part of the tightly curated package.

12 4th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

8. Red Dog Restaurant & Bar

303 2nd Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

Lauren Kiino's sequel to Il Cane Rosso is a casual spot for a drink and a bite, with dishes like deviled ham Scotch eggs, a kale and mushroom carbonara, and two different burgers (one with crispy pork trotter). A full bar is on the way, and beer and wine are available. Kiino also owns neighboring coffee shop Fearless, which offers breakfast and lunch.

303 2nd Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

9. Marla Bakery

3619 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121

Don't believe the name: this labor of love from an adorable couple (who even got married there) is a full-service restaurant, with lunch, brunch, dinner, and Sunday suppers. Their awesome baked goods and desserts are, of course, worthy of note, as is a wine program from Nopa's former wine director and a lovely back patio/garden.

3619 Balboa St
San Francisco, CA 94121

10. Outerlands

4001 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122

Outerlands is finally back and double the size, meaning you're more likely to get a table. The new renovation is beautiful, there's a new chef and an amped-up bar program, and morning pastry service is a total wonderland. It's still a destination in the wilds of the Outer Sunset.

4001 Judah St
San Francisco, CA 94122

11. 4505 Burgers & BBQ

705 Divisadero, San Francisco, CA 94112

Get your brisket, ribs, and burger on at Ryan Farr's takeover of Divis' former Da' Pitt, where you'll be greeted with fried mac and cheese, draft brews, and other delights. Fair warning: seating is almost exclusively limited to a small, still-under-construction patio, but taking it to go at a nearby bar or a Panhandle picnic are good stopgap options.

705 Divisadero
San Francisco, CA 94112

12. Monsieur Benjamin

451 Gough Street, San Francisco, CA

The second project from Benu whiz Corey Lee is a thoroughly French bistro, with takes on the classics both familiar (duck confit, steak frites, a burger) and less so (escargot, sweetbreads, beef tongue). There are cocktails and a solid under-$100 wine list, and it's open until 1 am.

451 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA

13. Plin

280 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Alexander Alioto, the former chef of Seven Hills, has taken over Valencia's former Conduit/Another Monkey space for this Italian small-plates spot, which emphasizes seafood dishes, pasta, and wine. Italian-influenced cocktails complete the package.

280 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

14. Urchin Bistrot

584 Valencia, San Francisco, CA

Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani (Ame, Terra) have landed in the Mission, with a new French bistro-inspired restaurant in the former Wo Hing General Store on Valencia. Expect updated classics and plenty of cocktails and wine.

584 Valencia
San Francisco, CA

15. Chino

3198 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

The first non-Mexican restaurant from the Tacolicious team retains its lively spirit thanks to a pan-Asian menu that's not strictly canonical, but is definitely a good time. Try the soup dumplings, wings, Chinese chicken salad, and sesame noodles, and don't miss Danny Louie's fun cocktails, including alcoholic boba drinks.

3198 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

Related Maps

16. Smokestack

2503 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA

After years of delays, Magnolia's Dogpatch brewery is finally open, and so is the accompanying BBQ spot from Namu Gaji's Dennis Lee. The fantastic brisket is accompanied by sides both traditional (baked beans) and less so (kimchi), and there's a ton of Magnolia brews on draft, plus excellent cocktails. And the space, which was very expensively renovated to look as if it hasn't been touched since the '30s, is super-cool.

2503 3rd Street
San Francisco, CA

17. Perdition Smokehouse

2050 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

The name says "hell," but this new spot from the Mikkeller Bar team is more like nirvana for barbecue and beer aficionados, who can choose from all the usual hits (brisket, housemade hot links, ribs, mac and cheese), paired with one of the 43 drafts. They've got a huge back patio, too.

2050 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

18. Ume

2214 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

Daniel Patterson has done a concept shuffle on uptown Oakland's Plum, which is now Ume (that's Japanese for "plum"). The food is now seasonal and Japanese-inspired, at a more reasonable price point than Plum's. Cocktails continue to arrive from a window into next-door Plum Bar.

2214 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612

19. Shakewell

3407 Lakeshore, Oakland, CA

A duo of Top Chef alumni are behind this new Spanish-Mediterranean restaurant and cocktail bar on Lakeshore, which offers classic tapas, bomba rice dishes, and cocktails. Be sure to save room for desserts like blackberry-Manchego tart.

3407 Lakeshore
Oakland, CA

20. The Dock at Linden Street

95 Linden St, Oakland, CA 94607

James Syhabout's latest is a restaurant collaboration with west Oakland's Linden Street Brewery, featuring both a full-service restaurant with global shared plates and a more casual "beer shed" with snacks.

95 Linden St
Oakland, CA 94607

Related Maps