San Francisco’s restaurant scene is always among the hottest in the nation, and 2017 is no exception. It can be a lot for even locals to keep up. Here are a few delicious places worth experiencing in the next year.
ATwater Tavern (295 Terry Francois Blvd.)
Specializing in “classic” San Francisco cuisine driven by seasonality and sustainability, ATwater Tavern offers American fare such as fried and seared calamari, cioppino and 100% grass fed tri-tip off the Santa Maria Grill. Opened in May 2016, the restaurant is the ideal spot for date night, the perfect cap to a vacation, happy-hour patio bites or to celebrate a special occasion. In the growing Mission Bay neighborhood overlooking AT&T Park, ATwater Tavern won’t be a secret much longer.
Salt & Straw (2201 Fillmore St.)
The much-adored ice cream emporium Salt & Straw is opening its first shops in the city this spring on Fillmore Street and in Hayes Valley. The San Francisco scoop spots will feature a menu of flavors created just for the city, and part of the profits will benefit local schools. Yes, they will still be bringing their much-beloved flavors down from Portland, too.
China Live (644–660 Broadway St.)
Chinatown is getting a huge new destination in 2017 from a team of partners, including George Chen, called China Live. The complex will clock in at more than 30,000 square feet. It will house a market, retail and the lively all-day Oolong Café on the ground floor and a craft cocktail bar, lounge and elegant restaurant.
In Situ (Inside the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, SFMOMA)
It’s not everywhere you can find an award-winning chef running a restaurant in a museum, but not every museum is SFMOMA which re-opened in 2016 after a major expansion and this new fine dining venue. Created by three-Michelin-Starred chef Corey Lee, In Situ’s concept upends the traditional fine dining experience by “curating” benchmark dishes by over 80 chef-colleagues worldwide, including René Redzepi (Noma), Alice Waters (Chez Panisse), Thomas Keller (The French Laundry), Hajime Yoneda (HAJIME), Virgilio Martínez (Central), Martin Picard (Au Pied de Cochon), and Olivier Roellinger (Les Maisons de Bricourt), among others. Think of it as a culinary journey across time zones.
Finn Town Tavern (2251 Market St.)
Described as a “tavern with a twist,” Top Chef alum Ryan Scott’s highly anticipated Finn Town opened in December 2016. Culinary tourists craving an “only in San Francisco” dining and drinking experience will discover a menu where the food is unpretentious and the drinks, described as “strong and satisfying,” include a few named after individuals who once lived or worked here, including the “Call of the Wild”, named for author Jack London, and the “Milkman”, which honors the legacy of Harvey Milk.
Barcha (28 Fremont St.)
Barcha is a Mediterranean bistro with a Parisian flair, serving healthy, fresh and satisfying dishes with Turkish, Tunisian and Spanish influences. Opened in November 2015, it is still a hot spot. The focus is on mezze, which means a lot of small plates. Signatures are the chicken croquettes, lamb meatballs, grilled duck kefta, chickpea falafel, shakshuka and fire-roasted eggplant.
Waxman’s (900 North Point St.)
Opened in Ghirardelli Square in Fisherman’s Wharf in March 2016, James Beard Award-winning chef Jonathan Waxaman’s newest namesake plays on the Bay Area’s seasonality and homegrown ingredients in simply prepared California- and Italian-inspired dishes. The menu offers ingredient-driven pastas, wood roasted farm stand vegetables, meats and fish and fresh salads.
Two Projects by Erik Sun: 715 Brannan St. and The Hunted at 445 Harriet St.
Los Angeles-based food personality Erik Sun has a few projects lined up in San Francisco’s SoMa. The to-be-named project at 715 Brannan St. will open in March and feature two restaurants in one address. One will be a 20 seat noodle bar with all house-made noodles (one preview pic shows a bowl of spicy beef noodle soup with aged sirloin, braised back ribs, and prime rib-eye), while the grill side will feature the world’s most exclusive beef in a Yakiniku-style grill at your table style dining.
The Hunted, opening in late summer, will take inspiration from Sun’s experience on feasting in the outdoors. Sun is a hunter, spearfisher and forager, as well as a partner and sometime chef at Bestia in Los Angeles.
Hitachino (639 Post St.)
International chef Noriyuki Sugie has been collaborating with Japan’s Kiuchi Brewery—which brews Hitachino Nest—for the past eight years, and will be opening a craft beer bar with them. Hitachino beers will be served on tap from kegs and there will be some exclusive San Francisco brews. Whether guests want snacks or a full meal, an izakaya-like menu will offer a range of options.
Alba Ray (2253 Mission St.)
From the minds behind Popsons, one of San Francisco’s most drool-inducing burgers, comes their newest concept, a Cajun restaurant due in early 2017. There will definitely be classics like boudin balls with pickled peppers and creole mustard, frog legs sauce piquant, shrimp and grits, and crawfish boils when in season. Even the bar ha a Cajun beat with N’awlins-style cocktails like the Sazeracs.
RT Rotisserie (101 Oak St.)
The team behind San Francisco’s beloved Rich Table will be bringing a casual and approachable rotisserie chicken restaurant to Hayes Valley with, set to open in early 2017. The menu will be inspired by the comforting meals that husband-and-wife team Evan and Sarah used to refuel with after ski trips: rotisserie chicken, warming soups, California-inspired salads, oysters and hearty sandwiches.
Babu Ji (280 Valencia St.)
Jessi and Jennifer Singh, the team behind the widely popular Babu Ji in New York City, bring their creative and fun approach to Indian dining to San Francisco’s Mission District, where the duo originally met. The food at Babu Ji, opened in November 2016, is simple yet remarkable as it’s made from high-quality ingredients and offered in a creatively driven and regularly changing menu that spans Indian street food, cross-regional curries and tandoori specialties.
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