Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

San Francisco Restaurant News

Whitechapel in San Francisco is worth a visit for the vibe alone, if not the incredible cocktails

 

GAYOT has the restaurant news you want to read on openings, closings, special events, and more. Learn everything you need to know about the restaurants in San Francisco here.

NEW RESTAURANTS IN SAN FRANCISCO

The permanent location of Popsons Burgers is now open on Market Street. The burger spot started as a pop-up offshoot of Causwells, and opened a temporary location on Townsend. That location, however, is slated for demolition, so this latest spot will be their permanent home. Their fast-food-style burgers are on the menu, along with fries and thick shakes. Popsons, 998 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94102, 415-658-7554.
 
Fénix, the new restaurant in the former TBD space, is now open in SoMa. The restaurant serves modern Mexican food, with a selection of small dishes such as oxtail sope and coctel de atún. Larger dishes are served family-style, with a generous selection of accompaniments such as grilled pineapple adobo, sikil pak pumpkin seed hummus and housemade tortillas. There is also a $5 happy hour from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. with seasonal sangria, beer, wine and a selection of appetizers. Dinner Tues.-Sat. Fénix, 1077 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103, 415-431-1826.
 
Homage café is now serving weekday breakfast and lunch in the Financial District. The menu changes daily and celebrates California-grown ingredients with a weekly “homage" highlighting the produce of a particular farm. Breakfast includes seasonal pastries and coffee; at lunch, the cafe also serves beer and wine. Breakfast & Lunch Mon.-Fri. Homage, 88 Hardie Place, San Francisco, CA 94108, 415-800-8741.
 
Modern Hawaiian enclave aina is now open in Dogpatch Modern Hawaiian enclave 'āina is now open in Dogpatch, serving a brunch menu Wednesday through Sunday. Chef Jordan Keao was raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, and brings updated favorites such as malasadas, Spam musubi and loco moco, updated with local ingredients. There is also a list of loophole cocktails, beer and wine. Brunch Wed.-Sun. 'āina, 900 22nd St., San Francisco, CA 94107, 415-814-3815.
 
Chef Ryan Scott of Top Chef fame will open a new restaurant on Market Street in the Castro this fall. Called Finn Town, the venue will be modeled on the classic American tavern, with a nod to San Francisco’s history during the Gold Rush. Dinner will be offered nightly until late, and there will also be weekend brunch. Finn Town, 2251 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94114, No phone.
 
Wildhawk is a new Mission bar from the PlumpJack Group. The new bar features cocktails by Ken Luciano and Jacques Bezuidenhout of Forgery, as well as food from chef Howard Ko. The space, in the former beloved lesbian bar The Lexington, was designed by Jay Jeffers. Wildhawk, 3464 19th St., San Francisco, CA 94110, no phone.
 
The Barbary Coast is now open in North Beach, serving dinner, brunch and beverages. The menu is meaty, comfortable pub food, including a burger with an optional foie gras accompaniment, as well as chicken wings and pizzas. There is also a selection of freshly-shucked oysters and salads. The beverage selections include beer, cocktails and wine --- including three sparkling wines available by the glass. The comfortable patio offers outdoor seating. Dinner Nightly, Brunch Fri.-Sun. The Barbary Coast, 478 Green St., San Francisco, CA 94133, 415-788-0115.
 
Horsefeather, a bar and restaurant born out of the former TSK/TSK pop-up, is now open. Justin Lew and Ian Scalzo are behind the cocktails, while chef Ryan Chinchilla of Blue Plate and Foreign Cinema is running the kitchen. The menu is focused on small plates designed for sharing with cocktails, while the cocktail list offers original drinks with an inventive spin. Both food and cocktails will change with the seasons, and brunch will be added later this spring. Dinner nightly. Horsefeather, 528 Divisadero St., San Francisco, CA 94117, 415-522-0800.
 
The team behind Tacolicious has opened Bar San Pancho in the former Chino space at 16th Street and Guerrero in the Mission. The new project offers cantina-style Mexican food, along with cocktails and beer. While it’s not entirely a sports bar, major sporting events will be on the television, and menu highlights include sports-bar-friendly dishes such as the queso-stuffed burger and meaty tortas. Open daily. Bar San Pancho, 3198 16th St., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-649-6077.
 
Chef Brandon Jew’s Mister Jiu’s is now open in Chinatown Chef Brandon Jew’s new restaurant, Mister Jiu’s, is now open in Chinatown. The menu takes inspiration from Chinese cooking traditions (Jew's heritage is Cantonese), as well as California’s sustainable and seasonal ethos. The menu is served “banquet-style,” which is similar to family-style, for $69 per person. The multi-course meal includes salads, vegetable sides, rice and noodles, and entrées, as well as additional entrée options for the hungry. There is also a full bar with cocktails from barman Danny Louie, plus wine, beer and cider. Dinner Tues.-Sat. Mister Jiu's, 28 Waverley Pl., San Francisco, CA 94108, 415-857-9688.
 
The Absinthe Group will open a Spanish restaurant in SoMa this May. The new project is called Bellota, and the chef is Ryan McIlwraith, who previously worked at Coqueta.  Menu items will include wood-fire-roasted meats and vegetables, paella, pintxos, tapas and family-style dishes. Beer, wine, Basque-style cider and cocktails will make up the beverages. Bellota, 888 Brannan St., San Francisco, CA 94103, 415-864-2693.
 
Second Act Marketplace, a food hall on Haight Street in the former Red Vic theatre, is getting a new food stall. Bulka Bakery comes from owner and baker Tatiana Kasatkina, who serves coffee, Russian-style sweet and savory pastries, croissants, quiches and housemade breads. She also plans to add traditional Russian cakes in the coming months. Breakfast & Lunch daily. Bulka Bakery, Second Act Marketplace, 1727 Haight St., San Francisco, CA 94117, 415-999-6012.
 
The new project in Ghirardelli Square from chef Jonathan Waxman is now open. Called simply Waxman’s, the restaurant offers seasonal New American cuisine, including fresh seafood, pasta dishes, and meat entrées. The space also offers a full bar with classic cocktails, and a wine list with lots of by the glass options. Dinner nightly. Waxman's, Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point St., San Francisco, CA 94109, 415-636-9700.
 
Indian Paradox, a wine bar specializing in pairing Indian street food with wine (often thought of as a difficult task) is now open in NoPa. Look for lots of small bites designed for sharing, along with an international wine list. Dinner Tues.-Sun. Indian Paradox, 258 Divisadero St., San Francisco, CA 94117, 415-699-8725.
 
The team behind Tradition, Rickhouse and other locally beloved bars has opened a new spot for imbibing. It’s called Pagan Idol, and is all about tiki drinks, which are enjoying a bit of a resurgence at the moment. Vintage styling and retro details, along with lush plantings, make the space a fun one for enjoying a tropical beverage. Open Mon.-Sat. Pagan Idol, 375 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94104, 415-985-6375.
 
A new omakase-style sushi restaurant has hit the dining scene, called Ju-ni. Executive chef Geoffrey Lee serves twelve courses at the sushi counter, which seats just twelve diners (ju-ni means twelve in Japanese). Most of the fish on offer is flown in from the famed Tsukiji Market in Tokyo, and prepared using a combination of old-world technique and new-world ingredients and flavors. Dinner Mon.-Sat. Ju-ni, 1335 Fulton St., #101, San Francisco, CA 94117, 415-655-9924.
 
Jewish deli mavens Evan Bloom and Leo Beckerman have opened their much-anticipated Wise Sons Bagel & Bakery on Fillmore Street. The grand opening was February 26th, and the shop serves freshly-baked bagels, along with schmears, egg sandwiches and coffee from Intelligentsia. Wise Sons bagels are also available at their other locations, including inside the Contemporary Jewish Museum and their 24th Street deli. Open daily. Wise Sons Bagel & Bakery, 1520 Fillmore St., San Francisco, CA 94115, 415-872-9046.
 
Chef Josiah Slone, together with his wife and partner Khin Khin Slone, have transformed the former longtime French-California destination Restaurant Sent Sovi in Saratoga into Relish Gastro Lounge. There are more than 24 craft beers on tap to complement dishes like buffalo carpaccio, shrimp & chips and Maple Leaf duck confit. Relish Gastro Lounge, 14583 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070, 408-867-3110.
 

Find more recent openings with our list of the
Top 10 New & Notable Restaurants
and
round-up of all the NEW Restaurants in San Francisco

NOTEWORTHY ANNOUNCEMENTS

WesBurger 'N' More Now Serving Lunch and Afternoon Happy Hour
The Mission’s meaty WesBurger ‘N’ More, known for a menu of burgers (including a veg option) and fried chicken dishes, now serves lunch. Hours are 11:30am-10:30 p.m. daily. They’ve also added an afternoon happy hour from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., when all Lone Star beers are only $2. Lunch & Dinner daily. WesBurger 'N' More, 2240 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-745-9371.
 
Starbelly Serving Weekday Brunch
There’s a new spot for weekday brunch in the Castro. Starbelly now offers morning dishes Mon.-Fri. from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. New Wi-Fi makes their lovely patio a good place to get work down or hold a casual meeting. Starbelly, 3583 16th St., San Francisco, CA 94114, 415-252-7500.
 
Red Dog From Chef Lauren Kiino Reopens
Lauren Kiino’s (Il Cane Rosso) SoMa restaurant Red Dog, open since 2014, underwent a brief closure this spring and is now reopened with a new menu. The smaller and more focused list of seasonal dishes made with organic ingredients includes sandwiches and salads at lunch, and larger dishes such as roasted chicken, hangar steak and burgers in the evening. There is also weekend brunch, now with bottomless mimosas. Red Dog, 303 2nd St., San Francisco, CA 94107, 415-692-0211.
 
Aster Takes On Weekend Brunch
Aster in the Mission is now serving brunch on weekends. The creative menu includes sweet and savory items, as well as a range of dishes intended for sharing. There is also beer, wine and a selection of low-proof cocktails. Brunch is served Sat.-Sun., 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Aster, 1001 Guerrero St., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-875-9810.
 
Laszlo Bar Revamped
Foreign Cinema's sister bar Laszlo, located adjacent to the restaurant and with a shared menu, has reopened after a brief hiatus. The bar features an updated interior, more open space and a platform for DJ performances, as well as an all-new cocktail menu from manager Nicky Beyries. Along with the full Foreign Cinema menu Laszlo also has its own dedicated selection of bar bites. Laszlo Bar, 2526 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-401-0810.
 
Elixir's "Golden Hydrant" -- A Cocktail with a Cause
Elixir has launched their spring cocktail menu. The bar features an ongoing seasonal cocktail on tap that benefits California wildfire relief efforts, and this season it’s the Elixir Mule, with Square One Organic Botanical Spirit, muddled rosemary, Top Hat Ginger Beer and lime, served with a rosemary spring. Open nightly. Elixir, 3200 16th St., San Francisco, CA 94103, 415-552-1633.
 
Outdoor Seating Means More Walk-In Spaces at AL's Place
AL's Place in the Mission has added 18 seats to their sidewalk area, complete with palm trees, raised garden beds and charming string lights. Plus, there are patio heaters for those foggy San Francisco nights. The seats are available for walk-ins only, offering potential solace to those who couldn’t snag a reservation. AL's Place, 1499 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-416-6136.
 
Merigan Sub Shop Launches Summer Hours
Baseball season is here, which means that Merigan Sub Shop is now offering extended summer hours in the evenings. Hours are Monday through Friday 8:30am-7 p.m., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, and during Giants’ games on Sundays. Remember: AT&T Park permits food bought from outside the park, and Merigan subs make for satisfying game-day meals. Merigan Sub Shop, 636 2nd St., San Francisco, CA 94107, 415-536-2991.
 
Marla Bakery Open for Dinner
Marla Bakery is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday, with a special Sunday Supper series as well. The menu changes regularly, and includes hearty, homestyle entrees such as a burger, roasted half chicken and bean soup. Marla Bakery, 3619 Balboa St., San Francisco, CA 94121, 415-742-4379.
 
Added Tapas Concept at Cala, New Brunch
On Friday and Saturday nights, Hayes Valley’s Cala offers a new casual spot to get a drink and a bite. As well as offering dinner in their main dining room, the restaurant's annex and popular lunchtime taqueria Tacos Cala, located in the back of the space, will open as Tapas Cala from 5pm to 11pm. They will also add Saturday brunch to the existing Sunday brunch service, available both days from 10 am to 2 pm. Cala, 149 Fell St., San Francisco, CA 94102, 415-660-7701.
 
Alfred's Steakhouse Re-Opens
A San Francisco classic since 1928, Alfred's Steakhouse has re-opened. It had been closed for renovations by new owners the Daniel Patterson Group, whose properties include Alta CA, Haven, Coi and Aster, among others. Alfred's Steakhouse, 659 Merchant St., San Francisco, CA 94111, 415-781-7058.
 
The Dock at the Lake Chalet Now Open, Plus Happy Hour
The Dock at the Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill on Oakland’s Lake Merritt is now open for the summer season. In addition to serving food and cocktails in the sunny outdoor space, the restaurant will also launch a new happy hour Monday through Friday, from 3 p.m.–6 p.m. and then later in the evening from 9 p.m.–close. The happy hour menu includes snacks, cocktails, wine and beer specials. Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill, 1520 Lakeside Dr., Oakland, CA 94612, 510-208-5253.
 
MINA Test Kitchen Launches Diane's Bloody Mary Brunch
The MINA Test Kitchen offers brunch service on Sundays, called Diane’s Bloody Mary Brunch for Michael Mina’s wife, Diane. Her signature Bloody Marys are on offer, along with other brunch cocktails. Brunch dishes are available à la carte and include options such as jelly donuts, a breakfast sandwich with pastrami on a bagel and french toast. Reservations can be made here, and walk-ins are welcome. Brunch is served Sundays from 10:30 a.m.–3 p.m. The MINA Test Kitchen, 2120 Greenwich St., San Francisco, CA 94123, 415-310-8371.
 
Food Truck Festivities
Off the Grid food truck market has returned to Fort Mason for a new season of eats, drinks, wine and games. Every Friday night from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. until October, check out more than 25 food truck vendors serving everything from tacos to dumplings to barbecue. Additionally, Rye on the Road will be on hand with cocktails, and live music keeps the scene hopping. Off the Grid Fort Mason, 2 Marina Blvd. Building A, San Francisco, CA 94123, 415-339-5888.
 
Ride Along with the San Francisco Brewer's Guild -- For Free
The San Francisco Brewers Guild is launching a new free shuttle service to transport beer lovers from brewery to brewery. Once a month, the Guild’s "Meet the Brewer" nights will include the chance to meet beermakers at several breweries, including Magnolia Brewpub, Barrel Head Brewhouse and Social Kitchen. Visit the official website for info and schedules.
 
The Company is MINA Test Kitchen's Latest
Michael Mina’s MINA Test Kitchen has announced its latest long-term pop-up, and it’s called The Company. Guest chef Vikrant Bhasin will prepare Indian food with a focus on small plates. Guests will have the option of seven courses ($49), nine courses ($59) or eleven courses ($69). Wine and cocktails pairings are also available. Visit the official website for reservations. The MINA Test Kitchen, 2120 Greenwich St., San Francisco, CA 94123, 415-310-8371.
 

UPDATES ON SAN FRANCISCO CHEFS

Sophina Uong, previously of Revival Bar & Kitchen in Berkeley, is now the chef at Calavera in Oakland. In addition to her experience at Revival, Uong has competed in meat-centric events such as Lamb Jam, where she’s been the champion two years in a row. Expect to see some of her meat skills on the menu at Calavera. Calavera, The Hive, 2337 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612, 510-338-3273.
 
The Cupertino location of Alexander’s Steakhouse has named a new executive chef, Jared Montarbo. The California Culinary Academy graduate’s career includes stints at various Wolfgang Puck restaurants, including Postrio, Lupo in Las Vegas and most recently Spago in Beaver Creek, Colorado. In addition to some menu items, Montarbo is also adding an omakase menu option. Alexander's Steakhouse, 10330 N. Wolfe Rd., Cupertino, CA 95014, 408-446-2222.
 

SAN FRANCISCO RESTAURANT CLOSINGS

Chef Jay Porter's restaurant Salsipuedes in Oakland has closed. The food was inspired by the cuisine of Baja California and the Pacific Rim, and was generally well-received. The space is now available, but no word yet on what is moving in. In the meantime, it is available for pop-ups and special events. Porter's The Half Orange in Oakland's Fruitvale District remains open. Salsipuedes, 4201 Market St., Oakland, CA 94608, no phone.
 
After 90 years in business, North Oakland’s beloved Genova Delicatessen closed on April 30th. The Italian specialty deli cites rising costs in rent and utilities as the cause of the closure. Genova Delicatessen, Temescal Plaza, 5095 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA 94609, 510-652-7401.
 
The Mission location of The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen has closed. The location, at the corner of 20th and Harrison streets, was profitable, but the owners reportedly received an offer on the space and decided to sell. Those desiring gooey grilled cheese sandwiches can still find their goods at their remaining locations on South Park Avenue and Battery Street. The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, 2400 Harrison St., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-926-5076.
 
After six months on the Embarcardeo, Caputo has closed. The restaurant offered pizzas, pastas and other Italian-inspired entrées, and despite a positive reception, they just weren’t able to meet their financial goals. Caputo, 100 Brannan St., San Francisco, CA 94107, no phone.
 
Il Cane Rosso in the Ferry Building has closed after seven years in the space. According to owner Lauren Kiino, the lease was up, and they elected not to renew it. There has not been an announcement about what is moving into the prime Bay-front Ferry Building space; Il Cane Rosso will still offer private catering for the time being. Il Cane Rosso, Ferry Building, 1 Ferry Building Plaza, San Francsico, CA 94111, no phone.
 
Reverb, the Polk Street restaurant that replaced Verbena in 2015, has closed its doors for good. The team also owns Berkeley’s Gather, and plans to focus their energy there for the time being. Chef Charis Wahl will also be headed back to Gather, and there is no word at the moment as to who is moving into the space. Reverb, 2323 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109, no phone.
 
Antoinette, the restaurant in the Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, from Dominique Crenn, is closed for revamping. Crenn has left the restaurant entirely, but Antonette will retain its name and the French brasserie concept. No word on when it will reopen, or who will be chef going forward. Antoinette, Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, 41 Tunnel Rd., Berkeley, CA 94705, 510-843-3000.
 
Cupola Pizzeria has closed, according to an announcement on their website. The pizzeria was one of several restaurants on the fourth floor of the Westfield Centre, and joins former neighbor LarkCreekSteak in its recent closure. Cupola Pizzeria, Westfield Centre, 845 Market St., Fourth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103, no phone.
 
After a year of changes and attempts to rework their concept, it looks like St. Vincent in the Mission has closed for good. The space has been on the market for some time now, and a new buyer is lined up to take over the space. As for owner David Lynch, he can still be find running events at Polk Street wine shop Biondivino. St. Vincent, 1270 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110, no phone.
 

CLOSED FOR GOOD
Take your taste buds on a walk down memory lane! Check out our exclusive closed restaurant database for San Francisco to virtually visit your favorite dining spots from the past. XYZ, R.I.P.



CULINARY EVENTS
Want to
learn to cook? Try new dishes? Meet a foodie friend for fun? Check out our compilation of culinary events in your area.


View GAYOT's calendar of Wine Dinners & Tastings in San Francisco

 

View archived news: April 2016 | March 2016 | February 2016 | January 2016 | December 2015 | November 2015 | October 2015 | September 2015 | August 2015 | July 2015 | June 2015 | May 2015 | April 2015 | March 2015 | February 2015 | January 2015 | December 2014 | November 2014 | October 2014 | September 2014 | August 2014 | July 2014 | June 2014 | May 2014 | April 2014 | March 2014 | February 2014 | January 2014 | December 2013 | November 2013 | October 2013 | September 2013 | August 2013 | July 2013 | June 2013 | May 2013 | April 2013 | March 2013 | February 2013 | January 2013 | December 2012 | November 2012 | October 2012 | September 2012 | August 2012 | July 2012 | June 2012 | May 2012 | April 2012 | March 2012 | February 2012 | January 2012 | December 2011 | November 2011 | October 2011 | September 2011 | August 2011 | July 2011 | June 2011 | May 2011 | April 2011 | March 2011 | February 2011 | January 2011 | December 2010 | November 2010 | October 2010 | September 2010 | August 2010 | July 2010 | June 2010 | May 2010 | April 2010 | March 2010 | February 2010 | January 2010 | December 2009 | November 2009 | October 2009 | September 2009 | August 2009 | July 2009 | June 2009 | May 2009 | April 2009 | March 2009 | February 2009 | January 2009 | December 2008 | November 2008 | October 2008 | September 2008 | August 2008 | July 2008 | June 2008 | May 2008 | April 2008 | March 2008

RESTAURANT AWARDS 2016

Sign up to receive the 2016 edition of GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Issue, which will feature the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. and more.

MASTERS OF MIXOLOGYDiscover craft cocktail bars and restaurants that put as much thought into what goes in your glass as what goes on your plate.