The best bars in San Francisco to drink at right now
San Francisco's bars are some of the best in the world, whether you are looking for a perfected craft cocktail, a neighborhood pub, or a tiki getaway. These are the bars you should frequent right now, from buzzy outdoor patios to hip Caribbean-themed watering holes and dimly lit speakeasies. You'll also find SF classics with fresh menus (we're looking at you, Trick Dog). After all, experiencing the innovative bar scene definitely tops the list of great things to do in San Francisco. Whether you prefer neighborhood dive bars, elegant cocktail dens, or craft beer bars, there’s a long list of “bests” in every category in this city. These are our favorites right now. RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in San Francisco
The best restaurants in Palo Alto right now
When you think about the best restaurants in the Bay Area, you might not think about the South Bay city of Palo Alto. With its college town vibe and a heavy dose of chain eateries, the tech mecca and home to Stanford Univeristy hasn’t exactly been known as a food destination (especially with the best restaurants in Oakland and San Francisco, plus San Jose restaurants nearby). But that’s all changing thanks to an influx of new restaurants serving fresh Greek, Indian, Italian, Vietnamese and even Georgian dishes. So the next time you're headed to Silicon Valley, consider adding the best restaurants in Palo Alto to your list of things to do in the Bay Area. RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in San Francisco
The 18 most romantic restaurants in San Francisco
When it comes to defining a romantic restaurant in San Francisco, there's a vast spectrum. For new couples on first or second dates (or anyone who hasn't had "the talk" yet), a cheap date idea, featuring affordable grub and tea lights, might be all that is necessary to get the heart racing. For others, white tablecloths and an affordable tasting menu might have you playing footsie all night before looking up the nearest luxury hotel. Whether the mood calls for classy and comfortable or a special-occasion splurge, we found a few romantic restaurants in San Francisco that cover every scenario—all you need is your appetite. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in San Francisco
The best restaurants in Santa Fe to try right now
Santa Fe is, of course, known for its beautiful architecture and art scene, but that does mean its restaurant scene gets a little slept on. But scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find a ton of great restaurants in this New Mexico city, from traditional Mexican cuisine to trendy pizza joints and more. So whether you’re looking for a seriously good Huevos Rancheros, Cubano sandwiches stuffed to the brim, dainty chocolate shops with fiery hot chocs or punchy East African stews, you’re in for a treat in Santa Fe. Read on for the very best restaurants in Santa Fe to try out right now. RECOMMENDED:📍 The best things to do in Santa Fe⛰️ The best things to do in Albuquerque🍽️ The best restaurants in Taos
The 10 best speakeasies in San Francisco
There are only a few things San Franciscans love more than a good cocktail, and one of them is somewhere exclusive to drink it. From tiny bars tucked within cocktail bars to password-protected basements, the best speakeasies in San Francisco offer secrecy, hidden doors, and some of the best drinks in town.These spots offer all the members-only vibes and experiences of a private club without the pretentious membership fees, and your friends will be impressed you even know these exist. So whether you seek clandestine back rooms (inside some of the best restaurants in San Francisco) or intimate whiskey bars, it might take a little extra work to find one of these speakeasies in San Francisco—but they’re all worth it.Here is our list of the most secretive, swanky places to grab a drink in San Francisco, with tropical-themed lounges to Spanish tapas bars to hidden spaces in hotels. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in San Francisco
The 10 best Indian restaurants in San Francisco
When it comes to variety, the best Indian restaurants in San Francisco are upping the ante. A batch of high-end joints recently emerged to shine a spotlight on the already great scene, while mom-and-pops serve pure nostalgia on the regular. Whether you’re hunting for home-style recipes, street food specialties, or inventive twists on the classics, there’s a bounty of fantastic South Asian fare in SF. Different countries and regions (from Pakistan to South India) and various backgrounds of trained chefs (from traditional home cooks to culinary school graduates) make for a diverse selection of deftly-spiced, slow-simmered deliciousness. The best Indian restaurants in the Bay Area span San Francisco from the Mission District to Civic Center, as well as over in the East Bay. You’ll find a range of experiences and price points — if you’re looking for high-end, don’t miss Michelin-starred Taj Campton Place, and if you're looking for something more relaxed, you’ll find fast-casual eateries like Vik’s Chaat. Take a look at these Indian restaurants in San Francisco to find the best bone-warming curries, fresh-baked naan, and authentic tandoori dishes. RECOMMENDED: the best restaurants in San Francisco
The 11 best restaurants in San Jose right now
News flash: The South Bay is bursting with delicious and trendy restaurants. And San Jose, the capital of Silicon Valley, shouldn't be overlooked when it comes to an impressive and exciting food scene. In the diverse city, you'll find stellar taquerias, family-run Greek spots, and even a Michelin star or two. In fact, the best restaurants in San Jose run the gamut from Mexican eateries to Asian noodle houses to Portuguese and Austrian fine dining. If you want to explore the area, head to Downtown San Jose or the South of First (SoFa) district—the fastest growing neighborhoods for restaurants, bars and breweries and a thriving arts scene—to find some of the best eats and things to do in San Jose. All that walking is sure to make you hungry. So, do we spy a foodie road trip in your future? Eaten somewhere on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutEatList. You can find out more about how Time Out makes recommendations and reviews restaurants here.
The best events during SF Beer Week
t's time to belly up to the nearest bar—SF Beer Week 2019 is almost here and there are more opportunities than ever to hammer back (er, responsibly drink) some truly outstanding brews. From February 1–10, craft beer bars, restaurants and even a few cocktail bars are playing host to tap takeovers, dinners, brunches and more, giving beer lovers in the Bay the chance to try brews both old and new. You can peruse SF Beer Week's massive schedule, or just take it from us: these are the best events during beer week. RECOMMENDED: Best beer gardens in San Francisco
Best cheap eats in San Francisco to get more bang for your buck
San Francisco is a wonderland of bargain bites. Depending upon the neighborhood, you can find affordable tacos, ramen, slices of pizza and banh mi sandwiches galore, but the real challenge lies in finding a complete meal in the $10 range. Look in the right places and you’ll find juicy Nepalese dumplings, authentic Greek specialties, Middle Eastern and Filipino food that all come in under budget. In addition to the classics, the newest options include destination worthy yet low priced versions of burgers, Asian bowls, vegan food and a restaurant from a popular food truck. Be sure to check the hours as some spots are only open for breakfast and lunch. RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in San Francisco
The 10 best Napa restaurants to eat at right now
It may be possible to subsist on wine alone during a wine tasting trip to Napa Valley, bouncing from one winery in Napa to the next, but you'd be missing out on an incredible culinary experience. It's not just the Michelin star restaurants that should have you excited at these Napa restaurants, though: Downtown Napa is rife with great burger joints, steakhouses and tapas spots, along with craft cocktail bars and beer bars that offer a momentary respite from all that wine. For a truly savory visit to Napa, check out our guide to the best Napa restaurants. Eaten something you love on this list? Share it under the hashtag #TimeOutEatList to show your appreciation. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Napa
The best wineries in Oakland
Oakland's industrial Jack London Square may be the last place you'd guess to find a decent cabernet. But bespoke urban wineries, housed in renovated warehouses that once catered to the shipping industry, are using California's bountiful grape varieties to produce some if the best wines in the Bay Area (Sonoma be damned). Curious? Follow this walkable trail for a full day of tasty vino and waterfront views.
The 10 best Italian restaurants in San Francisco
Excellent Italian restaurants in San Francisco can be found in every neighborhood—from the historic North Beach 'hood to the hip Mission District. The city offers a wide range of choices from classic Italian-American spots to upscale Michelin star restaurants and regionally focused eateries. Whether you want comforting pizza or pasta, a snack and a cocktail, or a multi-course meal with Italian wines, there are plenty of places where you can experience la dolce vita. Try the best Italian restaurants in San Francisco for delicate fresh pasta, cult pizza and authentic meat and fish dishes. RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in San Francisco
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Step inside this pawn shop and you'll find ... a hidden tapas and wine bar. SoMa's newest restaurant is already drawing crowds and a little controversy (a faux pawn shop on 6th Street does come off as insensitive), but as it stands, Pawn Shop is a fun hybrid of a restaurant and a club, as if plucked from Miami or recalling theh hidden bars of Berlin, but with food and decor inspired by Spain and Cuba. To gain entry, you'll have to find the golden phone hidden inside neighboring Monarch or outside the shop and the Pawn Master will size you up before letting you in. The front of the space displays some vintage items, where hopeful diners wait for a table (there are no reservations except for groups of 10 or more). You're then led into a lofty dining room marked by tropical palm wallpaper, a palm tree, a bar backlit with changing colored lighting and stars projected on a blue ceiling. The buzz is palpable and the music pulsating. The crowd is a mix of those who seem to treat the place like a club (dancing around the bar) and those who are there to dine and sip wine. Chef Nick Ronan (Beso) is in charge of the kitchen, whipping out Spanish tapas like pulpo a la plancha, gambas al ajillo and pan con tomate. California touches come by way of the seasonal vegetables, highlighted in dishes like the coca, a Spanish flatbread covered in greens and cheese over a broccoli-and-almond spread and the ensalada de berza, with kale, dried cranberries, butternut squash, apple and pumpkin seeds
Lofty, bright and cozy, this cafe by day and Italian restaurant by night serves housemade pastas (try the anchovy spaghetti!) and wood-fired dishes like baked ricotta, cauliflower over black tahini hummus and juicy chicken roulade with a charred summer squash panzanella salad.
It’s a brewery but it’s also a distillery, so double-win. In a Bayview warehouse, Seven Stills brewery/distillery offers tastes of their beers and whiskeys brewed from beers. Founded by Tim Obert and Clint Potter, the brewery/distillery also hosts tours, live music, DJ and comedy nights and their Beers for the Bayview community event. They also have an Outer Sunset tap room and this May opened a bar/restaurant in the Stanford Court hotel, Seven Stills on Nob Hill, which serves beer and whiskey flights, their experimental beers with guest brewers and cocktails on draft.
Anchor Brewing Company
The brewery that changed it all — an 1896 legend that Stanford grad Fritz Maytag reopened in the 1960s, pioneering the craft brewing renaissance that didn’t kick more widely into gear until the 1980s. Anchor still offers their famed daily tours daily ($25 for 1.5 hour tour with beer tastings) by reservation only (plan ahead as they book up fast) but opening Anchor Public Taps late 2017 with a rotating food truck schedule means you can now drop in for a pint and a bite without a tour. Regular events include beer workshops, game and trivia nights, limited, experimental beers every Friday and Throwback Thursdays pouring Liberty IPA with throwback tunes.
Almanac Beer Co.
The Almanac Beer Company was birthed in San Francisco in 2010 by Jesse Friedman and Damian Fagan, rapidly becoming an icon for its farmhouse saison beers, farm-to-barrel brewing and use of locally sourced fruit. As the beers grew in popularity, they began work on a 30,000 square foot brewery/taproom on Alameda island, which opened January 2018 with indoor beer hall, outdoor beer garden overlooking the Bay and rotating food trucks. Their original San Francisco taproom and restaurant — with intimate beer garden — opened late 2016, serving their beers on draft and via bottle and can, alongside a pub menu with the likes of hop jelly donuts, Buffalo wings and short rib sloppy joes.
Housed in Oakland’s Fruitvale ‘hood, Ale Industries has been a beer geek favorite since opening in 2009 from co-founders Morgan Cox (brewmaster) and Stephan Lopas. Their beers run dank and sessionable (like Uncle Jesse) to crisp and light (Beast Oakland), with seasonal offerings like Cherry Kush brewed with California bing cherries or the creamy cacao-coffee notes of Spring Fling. In their taproom, they host a weekly Arts & Draft night (complete with adult coloring books), as well as poetry reads, live music, art shows, football games on a big screen and all-day happy hour Mondays. PS: they let you bring in food.
Russian River Brewing
Iconic Russian River Brewing Company hit Sonoma County in 1997 when no one could predict it would become a global pilgrimage destination for beer lovers who line up for hours when Pliny the Younger is released a couple brief weeks a year. Year round, their Russian River brewpub is Santa Rosa’s most popular tourist attraction. Crowd relief may come when of their upcoming Windsor location finally opens, just a few miles north of the brewpub. Owners Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo (Vinnie is credited with inventing the beer style Double India Pale Ale or Imperial IPA when he was head brewer at Blind Pig in Temecula, CA) oversee the building of the new 85,000-square-foot building on 10 acres, part brewery and drinking hall with expansive outdoor drinking space.
HenHouse Brewing Co.
Launched in 2011 in a small Petaluma facility, HenHouse Brewing quickly grew to become a NorCal favorite, eventually opening a new brewhouse in Santa Rosa in 2016 and back again to Petaluma at the end of 2017 to open a second taproom and “HenHouse Palace of Barrels” where head brewer Mike Guilford experiments with different barrels and aging. The Santa Rosa brewery and taproom offers free tours to the public on Sundays (12:30 and 3pm) and sourdough pizzas from local Redhorse Pizza Thursdays through Sundays. The Petaluma Palace of Barrels hosts food trucks Wednesday through Sunday.
Open in 2016, Temescal Brewing gained an immediate cult following for its hoppy ales and easy drinking pilsners and blonde ales, growing so quickly that they’ve been working on a second Jack London Square facility for fermentation and aging. The space is slated to open 2018 and may eventually host a second taproom. The original Temescal brewery draws regulars to its light-strewn, colorfully painted patio. Rotating food trucks and multiple beers on tap keep their beer garden packed on most days.
The Rare Barrel
A sour beer destination, Berkeley’s The Rare Barrel — co-founded by Alex Wallash, Jay Goodwin and Brad Goodwin — operates under the motto “constraint breeds creativity”. Focusing solely on sour beers, they experiment with many combinations, whether aging beer with rose hips and petals or kumquats, orange peel and buddha’s hand citrus. At their Berkeley tasting room, kitchen and production facility, try whatever wonderful creations they are working on at the moment, alongside guest beers, wine, cider and dishes like burrata on toast or confit duck leg and grits.
Fieldwork Brewing Co.
With locations in Berkeley, Napa, San Mateo, Monterey, Sacramento and soon, San Ramon, Fieldwork Brewing Co. has seen explosive growth since opening its Berkeley taproom in early 2015. Founded by owner/brewer Alex Tweet (formerly of Ballast Point and Modern Times breweries in San Diego) and owner Barry Braden (an East Bay native who met Tweet running Local Habit restaurant in San Diego), Fieldwork Brewing has a dedicated cult following for their wide-ranging, experimental beers in almost every category, producing over 200 different beers and conveniently selling crowlers (cans filled and sealed to go from whatever you like best on draft).
With a dreamy vineyard and farm in Hopland, Campovida's JLS location brings Mendocino County to the East Bay. Its sustainable, single-sourced vintages are beauties, whether you opt for the sparkling cuvée brut or full-bodied chardonnay. In the spacious, brick-walled tasting room (a former telephone-manufacturing company in the 1890s) you'll find a reclaimed-redwood bar and rustic wooden communal tables perfect for a happy hour with friends.
Fill your basket with mushrooms on one of these Bay Area foraging adventures
Don’t be scared if, on your next hike through Point Reyes, you come across fleece- and wool-cap–clad folks armed with knives and woven baskets wandering about aimlessly and staring at the ground. They’re mushroom hunters; winter’s wet conditions along the North Coast draw them in droves. But before you start popping these organic beauties straight into your mouth, know that it can be tricky, even for an expert, to discern between poisonous and nonpoisonous ’shrooms. (You’ve seen Into the Wild, right?) Plus, most state parks require permits before you can go picking. So, if you’re interested in seeking your own chanterelles, black trumpets, candy caps and yellow feet, the best and safest way is to tag along with the specialists on one of these guided foraging adventures. Bay Area Mycological Society Armed with microscopes and mushroom experts, this society leads foraging events and tours around the Bay Area. Monthly meetings discuss topics like "What are Mushrooms Doing in My Forest?" and "Fungal Fun in New Zealand." Annual membership $10. Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz An informal group since the 1970s and officially a nonprofit since 1984, the Fungus Federation conducts local forays, weeklong trips and workshops through some of the finest mushroom habitats on the West Coast. Members can party with other fungi enthusiasts at the annual Suds ’n ’Shrooms potluck, featuring local home brews, or the Wine and Mushroom Fest with pairings from local winemakers. Serious about mushr
Ayala inside Hotel G brings stunning and fresh seafood charcuterie to Union Square
It's impossible to turn your nose up at hotel restaurants in San Francisco. In fact, some of our favorite eateries reside inside downtown's hip high rise lodgings—whether old (Kin Khao inside Parc 55) or new (Charmaine's atop Proper Hotel). Union Square's newest addition, Hotel G, is joining this lofty league with the opening of Ayala with chef Bill Montagne (New York's Le Bernardin and Chicago’s Nico Osteria) and Top Chef alum Melissa Perfit (Bar Crudo) in the kitchen. Perfit brings her seafood expertise to the 94-seat dining room, which features a standing-room-only, communal raw bar and an oysterette, separated from the main dining room by a glass partition. Navy banquettes, wood tables, a black-and-gray marble bar and custom white-tiled flooring hint at a subtle nautical theme. Santa Barbara sea urchin at Ayala Photograph: Molly DeCoudreaux It can be hard to choose between the oysters, crudo, trout rillettes and Santa Barbara sea urchin that are all featured on the menu, but don’t miss the seafood charcuterie plate. This dish consists of four different seafood cuts, all cured and cut thin. The quartet currently includes citrus-doused trout, black cod in kombu (kelp) and Chartreuse, halibut accented with grapefruit and fennel, and paper-thin octopus with preserved lemon. Once you've whet your appetite, move on to entrees like cioppino, Dungeness crab and prawns Louie salad. We loved the salty-and-sweet nori spaghettini, dressed in Dungeness crab, white miso, buddha
The Hawaiian food trend continues with Michael Mina's new Trailblazer Tavern
Michael Mina boasts an expansive restaurant empire across the United States and Dubai, but his newest venture is all about island vibes. Trailblazer Tavern fuses Hawaiian fare (Mina also has multiple eateries in the state) with San Francisco sensibilities under the helm of Honolulu-based husband-and-wife team Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka. Housed in the SalesForce East building downtown, the massive, 7,000-square-foot space oozes aloha spirit, including the phrase "E komo mai, e noho mai, e ‘ai a e, wala‘au" (Come in, come sit, eat, and talk) hanging over the doorway. Inside, a lofty dining room and festive bar sport colorful murals of blue waves and green mountains and are lined with palms and greenery. A narrow outdoor patio is strewn with lights, chairs and tables for an urban tropical atmosphere. Photograph: Nicola Parisi The menu centers around classic Hawaiian fare, including a raw bar, land and sea menu sections and a noodles and rice section. Regional favorites like the North Shore-style Kaua’i shrimp coexist alongside universal Hawaiian classics like Spam musubi or old-school fish and poi poke, served in shareable pupu platters and dim-sum–style plates. Modern twists on the classic fare include unagi butterfish arancini, Dungeness crab lumpia and the mochi-crusted monchong fish. And dessert here is no afterthought; The coffee and cream is made with vanilla tapioca, Manulele coffee panna cotta and coffee gelée with Lamill Coffee shaved ice, while the creamsicl
Inside Prairie, the Mission's new Italian-ish destination
Former Delfina chef Anthony Strong’s first solo project, Prairie, officially opened its doors in the Mission this month, fusing his Italian expertise with Asian-inspired flavors. After 11 years of national acclaim at Delfina, Strong is branching out from his European roots, creating new dishes that are inspired by ingredients from Japan, Korea and China. The meal begins with a checkbox, rather than a traditional menu. Dim-sum enthusiasts will already be familiar with the format: Simply put a check next to the dishes you're interested in and stand it at the end of your table when you're ready to order. It makes for a more seamless dining experience, but staff are always nearby if you have any questions. Photograph: Aubrie Pick One word of advice when ordering: Don't overlook the starters. The mochi, wrapped in guanciale and served inside a radicchio leaf drizzled in aged balsamic, is a true scene-stealer. As is the pane distrutto, a huge chunk of olive oil-toasted bread soaked in Early Girl farm’s tomato juices. Finally, the "Deluxe” burrata is like a creamy onion dip, but better, so much better. Gucnciale-wrapped mochi Photograph: Aubrie Pick Inside the kitchen, you'll find a Josper charcoal grill from Spain and a J&R Woodshow Broiler from Texas, imparting smoke, char and depth to main dishes like marrow bones and grilled octopus and eggplant. Strong is also one of the few in possession of one of Elon Musk’s much buzzed-about new flamethrowers, which you can se
Magnolia Dogpatch reopens under new ownership
It's the end of an era. SF beer pioneer Dave McLean has officially passed the reigns of both his restaurant-brewery locations to Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing Company and Belgian brewer Oud Beersel. The new Magnolia Dogpatch has been transformed from its Smokestack barbecue days and reopened as a lighter dining room decked out in grey booths, floral wallpaper and 1960s-1970s photos of San Francisco. In the brewery space, picnic tables and TVs showing the Giants and the Niners form an indoor beer garden. Next year, there are plans to open up a 6500-foot event space next door that will also house a koelschip (or coolship), an open fermenter for sour beer production. Chefs Laurance Gordon (Mikkeller, ThirstyBear) and Roque Mendoza (Magnolia Haight) offer a menu with a little something for everyone—including kids, who now have their own coloring book-style menu. Start off with the clams cioppino (clams baked in a cioppino-like sauce with herbed bread crumbs) and the smoky-sweet popcorn before moving onto the mass-appeal entrees—We like the roast chicken with preserved lemon and olives. Clams cioppino Photograph: Virginia Miller Considering Magnolia’s history as a pioneer of the English ales and cask beer trends, the new bar wisely keeps Magnolia hits like Kalifornia Kolsch and Proving Ground IPA (with new can packaging) on the menu alongside a long, new list of palate-pleasing beers from porters and pilsners to bock and red ales. Initial standouts include the Cucumb
Where to fill up on gin and Campari during Negroni Week 2018
From June 4–10, Negroni Week honors one of the greatest and most ubiquitous cocktails of all time. Despite the simple ingredients, San Francisco bartenders are skilled at turning the classic drink into something special, often incorporating local aperitifs like St. George's Bruto Americano or Tempus Fugit's Gran Classico. San Francisco celebrates the Negroni in all forms. During Negroni Week, dozens of the city's best bars will serve their innovative Negroni creations. Try unique interpretations like Bellota's Negroni, made with lavender, lemon and sweet vermouth. Many of the participating bars will also be serving “Red Light” Negronis served in a lightbulb from Bols Genever as a nod to the historic genever producer's home city of Amsterdam. Most importantly, proceeds from Negroni week cocktails raise money for California charities including Muttville and the SF-Marin Food Bank. Participating bars are searchable by city here https://negroniweek.com. Or search for the #NegroniWeek hashtag on Instagram or Twitter.
Two new rooftop bars just opened in the Bay Area
This week, two new rooftop bars, one in SF and one in downtown Napa, have quietly opened—now all we need are those warm summer nights. Rooftop25 at Twenty Five Lusk With a striking, three-floor layout in a 1917 brick-timber warehouse, Twenty Five Lusk has always been a draw for chef Matthew Dolan's international cooking (sturgeon schnitzel, anyone?) and a cocktail from drink pioneer Daniel Hyatt, who mans the lounge bar downstairs. Now they're elevating their game with Rooftop 25. Mini-olive trees nestle under a canopy of heat lamps at this west-facing (read: sunset-viewing) deck. It's open daily from 11:30am-8pm, and the team plans to add flat screen TVs soon for game days. A playful menu offers boozy slushies (we love the Spicy Passionfruit Margarita), bottled piña coladas and wood-fired pizzas like the Pizza #2, loaded with bratwurst sausage, fennel, shaved apple and oregano. Sky & Vine Photograph: Courtesy Archer Hotel Sky & Vine at the Archer Hotel World has spread quickly about downtown Napa’s only rooftop bar, Sky & Vine at the chic new Archer Hotel. With sweeping views of downtown Napa, cradled by the mountains on either side, this is surely Napa’s new hotspot. There are fire pits, all-day food, a giant Jenga set, red umbrellas, a covered restaurant section and an olive tree surrounded by couches and chairs. While we have yet to try executive chef Jeffrey Russell’s rooftop food, downstairs, Charlie Palmer Steak is a top-notch steakhouse and restaurant. Ra
3 upscale new izakayas to check out this month
San Francisco is no stranger to the izakaya, a casual Japanese-style pub for tasty bites and stiff drinks. But the latest wave of izakayas opening in the Bay Area are getting a boost of chic with elevated dishes and Instagram-worthy decor. Here's where we'll be eating this month. Shinmai Shinmai has been drawing crowds to its modern, minimalist spot in Uptown Oakland. For food, choose between ramen and shared bar bites like fried potato salad smothered in tobiko (fish roe) and truffle aioli and a crudo of ocean trout with piquillo peppers. Cocktails feature house blends of shochu, Japanese whisky and even mescal mixed with toasted brown rice syrup and yuzu soda. Bar at Hotel Kabuki Fresh off of major remodeling, Japantown’s Joie de Vivre hotel unveils a sleek new izakaya and cocktail lounge. Head here to sip highballs, tea cocktails and creamy drinks like the Ichigo (rum agricole, lemon, strawberry, Calpico and St. Germain) over braised short-rib wraps and okonomiyaki (savory Japanese pancakes). Tawara Sake Dining This intimate space takes Asian fusion to the next level, serving Korean kimchi and Chinese dumplings alongside Japanese treats like chicken karaage, takoyaki (ball-shaped breaded octopus) and tiger prawn shrimp toast. Don’t miss the fennel-shiso-bacon potato salad, best enjoyed over rounds of sake with friends.
3 tasty spots to get Southern comfort food this winter
Serpentine This Dogpatch staple has a new chef, Tommy Halvorson (Chez Panisse, Bix, Gary Danko), and a new interior (tons more windows). The restaurant serves vibrant cocktails alongside southern-inspired dishes including a Nashville hot chicken sandwich and tender short ribs over dirty rice with pickled okra and cauliflower. And save room for the tart key lime pudding. The Front Porch Replete with front porch rocking chairs, buckets of fried chicken, eclectic decor and a friendly staff, The Front Porch oozes Southern charm. Try the house hot sauce, crawfish hush puppies, Dr. Pepper-braised short ribs and the blackened wild Gulf flounder with duck fat roasted potatoes and blue lake beans in a blue crab buerre blanc. Botellon Botellón is an ideal meeting spot for a bite and drink. Chef Nicholas Andoe's Oklahoma roots shine in two of the best bites on the menu: jalapeño chorizo cornbread and house smoked pork ribs in charred scallion BBQ sauce.
3 new Italian restaurants to carb load at this month
A new round of Italian openings in Berkeley and North Beach have us dreaming of tagliatelle Bolognese and spritzers. Gio’s Pizza and Bocce Gio’s hit Berkeley last year with pizza, bocce and a vibrant amari selection. Spritzes and cocktails are served in a massive space that can easily hold you and a group of friends on a Friday night. The pizzas and calzones are good, but the real highlight is the boozy desserts (we like the Angostura amaro mousse cake) which all feature amaro and come paired with a glass of the liqueur, too. Pasta Pop-Up From the Il Casaro crew comes the cozy Pasta Pop-Up, where all the pastas are handmade (think red beet spaghetti rosso or tagliatelle Bolognese), the wines are authentic Italian and nothing on the menu is priced over $15. Italian Homemade Company Italian Homemade Company continues to expand with a second location on the Marina and a new spot in Berkeley’s Elmwood ‘hood. Here you can fill up on stellar lasagnas, piadina sandwiches, Italian groceries and handmade pastas to-go.
4 new seasonal treats to try at San Francisco's top bakeries
These are the latest, mouth-watering pastries worth gaining weight for. Our "Just Try It" croissant. Overloaded with house-made pastrami, manchego cheese, and pickled onions. Sprinkled with pumpkin and fennel seeds, topped with another layer of (crispy) manchego cheese. #cantstopwontstop⠀ P H O T O : @stefvicto A post shared by Mr Holmes Bakehouse (@mrholmesbakehouse) on Feb 9, 2018 at 5:37pm PST Mr. Holmes Bakehouse There's a new pastry lineup at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse (the bakery that made the cruffin famous in 2014). The menu is a collaboration between pastry chef Brittany Dunn at the SF location and Mr. Holmes pastry chefs from their eight other locations, including L.A. and Korea. It’s hard to resist the killer garlic sunchoke danish or the banana almond chai danis, but the piece de resistance is the “Just Try It” croissant oozing with housemade pastrami, pickled onions and oranges, Manchego cheese and a dusting of pumpkin and fennel seeds. Yum. Will you be mine? 🥐♥️ #happyvalentinesday caramelized hazelnut raspberry twice-baked #croissant A post shared by 2343 3rd St. Suite 100, SF (@neighborbakehouse) on Feb 14, 2018 at 9:47am PST Neighbor Bakehouse Love the pistachio blackberry twice-baked croissants at Sightglass? You have Neighbor Bakehouse to thank. Their new spring menu is loaded with seasonal pies like the strawberry nectarine with oatmeal crumble and savory pastries like the curry potato turnovers, ham and cheese morning buns an the "everything”
Trick Nuggets, chestnut gnocchi and more dishes worth splurging on this month
Here are the four standout dishes we're craving this month. Happy eating. Commonwealth’s dashi & beef A meal at Michelin-starred Commonwealth is one of the best dining experiences in the city. There’s plenty that wows on the current menu, but the powerhouse pairing is two bites of raw, shaved American wagyu beef swimming in shiitake dashi and shrimp oil with Japanese ginger. SPQR’s chestnut gnocchi SPQR has long been one of the city's great Italian restaurants, thanks to chef Matthew Accarrino and James Beard award–winning wine director Shelley Lindgren. SPQR’s pasta tasting menus are worth splurging on but any Accarrino pasta will do, especially one as comforting as the chestnut gnocchi in a poultry sugo (made with guinea hen, turkey and chicken), laden with pancetta, charred radicchio and piave cheese. Trick Dog’s chicken Trick Nuggets While the crowds may flock to Trick Dog for the cocktails—and the new Trick Dog airline-themed cocktail menu is another great one—their food is no joke, whether you order the irresistible Trick Dog (a burger in a sesame dog bun) or vegetarian Frito pie. But it’s the silky-good chicken Trick Nuggets with a trio of sauces (sweet & sour, bacon ranch and smoky BBQ) that has our attention this month. They taste like childhood gone gourmet. Nomica’s miso black cod From the crew behind legendary Japanese restaurant Sushi Ran in Sausalito, Nomica serves a menu laden with iconic dishes (the whole chicken in brioche and the karaage chicken with J