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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. This month's Heatmap is a particularly special edition: thanks to an openings onslaught, every single place listed here opened in the last month. You have a lot of eating to do.

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.


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
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. 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).

3. Kusakabe

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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.

4. Schroeder's

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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.

5. Gaspar Brasserie

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185 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94104
(415) 576-8800
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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.

6. Uno Dos Tacos

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595 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94104
(415) 974-6922
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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.

7. Bartlett Hall

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242 O'Farrell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

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. 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.

13. Urban Putt

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1096 S Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 341-1080
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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.

14. Smokestack

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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.

15. Ume

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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"). 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.

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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. 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

3. 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

4. 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

5. Gaspar Brasserie

185 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94104
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.
185 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94104

6. Uno Dos Tacos

595 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94104
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.
595 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94104

7. Bartlett Hall

242 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
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.
242 O'Farrell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

8. 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

9. 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

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. 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

13. Urban Putt

1096 S Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110
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.
1096 S Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110

14. 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

15. 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"). 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.
2214 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612

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