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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.


7/3/14: 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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The Commissary

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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.

Causwells

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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.

Palm House

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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).

Kusakabe

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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.

Pabu & The Ramen Bar

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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.

Schroeder's

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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.

Gaspar Brasserie

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The latest French spot from Franck LeClerc (Cafe Claude, Gitane) boasts a dark, slinky feel and a menu of brasserie classics like moules frites, duck confit, and a raw bar. Be sure to check out the interesting drinks from bar star Kevin Diedrich.

Uno Dos Tacos

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Adriano Paganini (Beretta, Starbelly, Delarosa) is taking his success with Super Duper Burger into the fast-casual Mexican sphere, offering a selection of tacos, burritos, salads, and other plates in a sizable space to draw FiDi workers. (The original pop-up on Polk is now closed.) They also have a big front patio, and a happy hour with cheap bites and buckets of beer.

Bartlett Hall

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A casual gastropub in the heart of Union Square, Bartlett Hall emphasizes well-made comfort food like butter burgers, wings, fried green tomatoes, and pizzas. They'll eventually brew their own beer; for now, there are cocktails and local craft brews.

Dirty Habit

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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.

Red Dog Restaurant & Bar

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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.

Marla Bakery

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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.

Outerlands

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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.

4505 Burgers & BBQ

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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.

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.

Urban Putt

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Tee off on SF's only mini-golf course, housed inside a Mission building that also includes an upstairs restaurant serving Chicago-style pizza and other comfort foods. There are munchables if you want to eat on the fairway, or hit the downstairs bar after you play a round.

Smokestack

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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.

Perdition Smokehouse

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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.

Daniel Patterson has done a concept shuffle on uptown Oakland's Plum, which is now Ume (that's Japanese for "plum"). Major talent Brett Cooper (formerly of Outerlands) is behind the stove, and the food is seasonal and Japanese-inspired at a more reasonable price point than Plum's. Cocktails continue to come from a window into next-door Plum Bar.

The Dock at Linden Street

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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.

The Commissary

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.

Causwells

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.

Palm House

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).

Kusakabe

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.

Pabu & The Ramen Bar

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.

Schroeder's

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.

Gaspar Brasserie

The latest French spot from Franck LeClerc (Cafe Claude, Gitane) boasts a dark, slinky feel and a menu of brasserie classics like moules frites, duck confit, and a raw bar. Be sure to check out the interesting drinks from bar star Kevin Diedrich.

Uno Dos Tacos

Adriano Paganini (Beretta, Starbelly, Delarosa) is taking his success with Super Duper Burger into the fast-casual Mexican sphere, offering a selection of tacos, burritos, salads, and other plates in a sizable space to draw FiDi workers. (The original pop-up on Polk is now closed.) They also have a big front patio, and a happy hour with cheap bites and buckets of beer.

Bartlett Hall

A casual gastropub in the heart of Union Square, Bartlett Hall emphasizes well-made comfort food like butter burgers, wings, fried green tomatoes, and pizzas. They'll eventually brew their own beer; for now, there are cocktails and local craft brews.

Dirty Habit

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.

Red Dog Restaurant & Bar

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.

Marla Bakery

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.

Outerlands

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.

4505 Burgers & BBQ

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.

Chino

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.

Related Maps

Urban Putt

Tee off on SF's only mini-golf course, housed inside a Mission building that also includes an upstairs restaurant serving Chicago-style pizza and other comfort foods. There are munchables if you want to eat on the fairway, or hit the downstairs bar after you play a round.

Smokestack

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.