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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.


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. Nico

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3228 Sacramento
San Francisco, CA
(415) 359-1000
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After cooking in some of the Bay Area's best restaurants, French-trained Nicolas Delaroque and his wife Andrea opened this charming little bistro, featuring an ever-changing menu of seasonal fare. Wine lovers will dig the half-glass options, and a magnum of vintage Champagne gets popped every night.

2. Verbena

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2323 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 441-2323
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The crew behind Berkeley's Gather have opened their first cityside restaurant, with cocktails, vegetable-centric seasonal fare, and a glowing wall of pickles. It's another nice addition to the suddenly hot restaurant scene in Russian Hill.

3. Barrel Head Brewhouse

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1785 Fulton St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 745-1570
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This lively brewpub features 40+ drafts (some of which will eventually include housemade beers), along with bar food like mini Monte Cristos and a build-your-own Manhattan menu. Unsurprisingly, it's been a big hit in its young, somewhat bar-starved neighborhood.

4. The Square

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1707 Powell St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 525-3579
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Sons & Daughters' Matt McNamara and Teague Moriarty have worked their magic on the onetime Washbag, turning it into a casual locavore spot with cocktails and food until 1 am. Early favorite dishes include the burger, the barley risotto, and the baby back ribs.

5. il Casaro

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348 Columbus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 677-9455
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Intended to be a young, fun antidote to the touristy Italian spots of North Beach, this trattoria features homemade mozzarella and burrata on its Neapolitan pies, as well as bar bites like arancini, potato croquettes, and panuozzo (pizza dough) sandwiches. Bonus: it's open until midnight on weekends.

6. Trou Normand

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140 New Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94105
The new spot from the team behind Bar Agricole features their signature delicious cocktails, with a particular focus on Cognac, Armagnac, and Calvados. The menu is appropriately meat-heavy, with tons of charcuterie options and large-format shared dishes for groups-- which the space was clearly designed to accommodate.

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 gorgeous patio are all part of the tightly curated package.

8. Kin Khao

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55 Cyril Magnin St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 362-7456
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Seekers of authentic Thai flavor will find much to like in blogger/Bangkok native Pim Techuamanvivit's first restaurant. With its housemade curry pastes and chili jam and unusual offerings like the saeng-wah salad, a ceviche-like shrimp dish over ground catfish, it's an eye-opening take on the cuisine. The Bon Vivants' excellent and approachable cocktails help seal the deal.

9. The Coachman

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1148 Mission St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 813-1701
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Charles Phan has gone British in his revamp of the former Heaven's Dog, specializing in across-the-pond favorites like salt-roasted prime rib, potted crab, and sticky toffee pudding. Cask ales, 18th-century cocktails, and a hip modern vibe place it worlds away from a pub setting.

10. ALTA CA

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1420 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Daniel Patterson's latest boasts Eastern European-tinged comfort food from chef Yoni Levy, a bespoke cocktail program, and ice cream for dessert (or to go). The first upscale restaurant on this stretch of Market, it's a power-dining spot for the swaths of newly transplanted tech employees at the nearby offices.

11. Souvla

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517 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 400-5458
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Charles Bililies' Hayes Valley Greek spot has updated souvlaki for a modern crowd, with spit-roasted meats, delicious pita, addictive fries, and frozen Greek yogurt with crumbled baklava. It's casual, but smartly put together, and a nice addition to the neighborhood.

12. Victory Hall & Parlor

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330 Ritch St
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 543-4255
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Little Skillet has gone big with this capacious next-door cocktail bar, featuring an expanded menu of down-home Southern fare (including brunch), inventive drinks, and plenty of room for groups to spread out and tuck in.

13. Loló

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974 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
This uber-popular Mexican tapas spot now has a big, bright new home on Valencia, with gussied-up cocktails, a mezcal bar, some new bites (as well as classics like the tacos tropical), and fun decor that's the opposite of reclaimed-wood dullness.

14. La Nebbia

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1781 Church St
San Francisco, CA 94131
(415) 874-9924
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The team behind family-run gem La Ciccia have expanded with this new Noe Valley wine bar, which boasts a sizable food menu of fresh cheeses, crisp pizzas, and three kinds of homemade lasagna. The all-Italian list offers plenty of intriguing vintages.

15. ICHI Sushi + NI Bar

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3282 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 525-4750
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Tim and Erin Archuleta's sushi bar, an Eater 38 perennial, now has a much bigger home in Bernal, complete with a brand-new izakaya component, Ni Bar, in the back. In a town starved for great sushi, it's a must-visit for thoughtfully sourced, well-made nigiri and new dishes like the miso clams and pork skewers.

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1. Nico

3228 Sacramento, San Francisco, CA
After cooking in some of the Bay Area's best restaurants, French-trained Nicolas Delaroque and his wife Andrea opened this charming little bistro, featuring an ever-changing menu of seasonal fare. Wine lovers will dig the half-glass options, and a magnum of vintage Champagne gets popped every night.
3228 Sacramento
San Francisco, CA

2. Verbena

2323 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109
The crew behind Berkeley's Gather have opened their first cityside restaurant, with cocktails, vegetable-centric seasonal fare, and a glowing wall of pickles. It's another nice addition to the suddenly hot restaurant scene in Russian Hill.
2323 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

3. Barrel Head Brewhouse

1785 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94117
This lively brewpub features 40+ drafts (some of which will eventually include housemade beers), along with bar food like mini Monte Cristos and a build-your-own Manhattan menu. Unsurprisingly, it's been a big hit in its young, somewhat bar-starved neighborhood.
1785 Fulton St
San Francisco, CA 94117

4. The Square

1707 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94133
Sons & Daughters' Matt McNamara and Teague Moriarty have worked their magic on the onetime Washbag, turning it into a casual locavore spot with cocktails and food until 1 am. Early favorite dishes include the burger, the barley risotto, and the baby back ribs.
1707 Powell St
San Francisco, CA 94133

5. il Casaro

348 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
Intended to be a young, fun antidote to the touristy Italian spots of North Beach, this trattoria features homemade mozzarella and burrata on its Neapolitan pies, as well as bar bites like arancini, potato croquettes, and panuozzo (pizza dough) sandwiches. Bonus: it's open until midnight on weekends.
348 Columbus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133

6. Trou Normand

140 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94105
The new spot from the team behind Bar Agricole features their signature delicious cocktails, with a particular focus on Cognac, Armagnac, and Calvados. The menu is appropriately meat-heavy, with tons of charcuterie options and large-format shared dishes for groups-- which the space was clearly designed to accommodate.
140 New Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94105

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 gorgeous patio are all part of the tightly curated package.
12 4th St
San Francisco, CA 94103

8. Kin Khao

55 Cyril Magnin St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Seekers of authentic Thai flavor will find much to like in blogger/Bangkok native Pim Techuamanvivit's first restaurant. With its housemade curry pastes and chili jam and unusual offerings like the saeng-wah salad, a ceviche-like shrimp dish over ground catfish, it's an eye-opening take on the cuisine. The Bon Vivants' excellent and approachable cocktails help seal the deal.
55 Cyril Magnin St
San Francisco, CA 94102

9. The Coachman

1148 Mission St, San Francisco, CA
Charles Phan has gone British in his revamp of the former Heaven's Dog, specializing in across-the-pond favorites like salt-roasted prime rib, potted crab, and sticky toffee pudding. Cask ales, 18th-century cocktails, and a hip modern vibe place it worlds away from a pub setting.
1148 Mission St
San Francisco, CA

10. ALTA CA

1420 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Daniel Patterson's latest boasts Eastern European-tinged comfort food from chef Yoni Levy, a bespoke cocktail program, and ice cream for dessert (or to go). The first upscale restaurant on this stretch of Market, it's a power-dining spot for the swaths of newly transplanted tech employees at the nearby offices.
1420 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102

11. Souvla

517 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Charles Bililies' Hayes Valley Greek spot has updated souvlaki for a modern crowd, with spit-roasted meats, delicious pita, addictive fries, and frozen Greek yogurt with crumbled baklava. It's casual, but smartly put together, and a nice addition to the neighborhood.
517 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102

12. Victory Hall & Parlor

330 Ritch St, San Francisco, CA 94107
Little Skillet has gone big with this capacious next-door cocktail bar, featuring an expanded menu of down-home Southern fare (including brunch), inventive drinks, and plenty of room for groups to spread out and tuck in.
330 Ritch St
San Francisco, CA 94107

13. Loló

974 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
This uber-popular Mexican tapas spot now has a big, bright new home on Valencia, with gussied-up cocktails, a mezcal bar, some new bites (as well as classics like the tacos tropical), and fun decor that's the opposite of reclaimed-wood dullness.
974 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110

14. La Nebbia

1781 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94131
The team behind family-run gem La Ciccia have expanded with this new Noe Valley wine bar, which boasts a sizable food menu of fresh cheeses, crisp pizzas, and three kinds of homemade lasagna. The all-Italian list offers plenty of intriguing vintages.
1781 Church St
San Francisco, CA 94131

15. ICHI Sushi + NI Bar

3282 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Tim and Erin Archuleta's sushi bar, an Eater 38 perennial, now has a much bigger home in Bernal, complete with a brand-new izakaya component, Ni Bar, in the back. In a town starved for great sushi, it's a must-visit for thoughtfully sourced, well-made nigiri and new dishes like the miso clams and pork skewers.
3282 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

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