Book a table at the best new restaurants in San Francisco

Ready your bellies for the hottest and best new restaurants the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer
Photograph: Courtesy Pearl

It can be hard to keep up with San Francisco's dining scene, where it seems like a new restaurant pops up on a daily basis. Already in 2018, we've been blessed with upscale Chinese fare, straight-from-Japan ramen and sushi menus and impeccable rotisserie and barbecue joints. If you're ready to embrace the best cuisine the Bay Area has to offer, head to these new restaurants in San Francisco. 

RECOMMENDED: San Francisco bars you need to visit in 2018

Best new restaurants in San Francisco

Photograph: Courtesy Pearl


icon-location-pin Outer Richmond

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.

Photograph: Courtesy Violet's
Restaurants, American


icon-location-pin Outer Richmond

Outer Richmond favorite Fiorella now has a sister restaurant. Violet's serves elevated American food like house chips with roasted onion dip and duck liver mousse (we suggest eating them together). Belly up to the long, curved bar for seafood platters, clam or anchovy toast and shrimp louie rolls from Fiorella chef Dante Cecchini, paired with Patrick Poelvoorde’s crushable cocktails.

Bone marrow madeleines at Nico
Photograph: Yelp/Julie W.
Restaurants, Contemporary European


icon-location-pin Jackson Square

Nico's new Jackson Square digs feature a stylish full bar and new prix fixe lunch and dinner menus. The menu remains focused on seasonal farmers market finds like smoked trout roe in a warm sabayon or tender duck with sweet grilled peaches. There are two- and three-course lunch menus ($35 and $40) and at night, four-and six-course menus ($65 and $85) available.  

Pav bhaji at Besharam
Photograph: Yelp/Cherylynne N.
Restaurants, Indian


icon-location-pin Dogpatch

Chef Heena Patel had been making regional dishes from her home state of Gujarat, in northwestern India, as part of La Cocina, SF’s nonprofit incubator kitchen. Her new restaurant, Besharam, takes over the Alta space in the Minnesota Street Project. Order the Khichdi Bowl (lentils and rice), inspired by a dish her mother fixed weekly during her childhood: “It was our mac and cheese, our comfort food.”

Pastry at Stonemill Matcha
Photograph: Yelp/Samantha F.
Restaurants, Cafés

Stonemill Matcha

icon-location-pin Mission

The former Bar Tartine space has been transformed into a soothing escape serving Japanese matcha in all forms: sparkling matcha, matcha affogatos, matcha mochi on weekends, and match pastries like the black sesame-filled cream puffs or furikake cream cheese croissants. Chef Keisuke Akabori crafts savory dishes like matchazuke (salmon rice bowl) or katsu sandos served in a basket with crusts cut off just like in department store food courts in Japan.

Dining table at Merchant Roots
Photograph: Patricia Chang, courtesy Merchant Roots
Shopping, Grocery stores

Merchant Roots

icon-location-pin Western Addition

This fantastic neighborhood cafe serves handmade pastas, sandwiches and pastries as well as fresh pastas and sauces to cook at home. At the chef's table—an intimate, 8-seat table available after normal cafe hours— you can order from a variety of menus based on playful themes like the "Colors” menu where each course represents a color.  Tasting menu: $98

Photograph: Yelp/Mandy B.


icon-location-pin SoMa

Chef Chris Bleidorn’s 14–course tasting menu ($168) highlights upscale Pacific Northwest cuisine paired with PNW wines (an additional $85) and features standout dishes like morel mushrooms stuffed with Sonoma lamb, asparagus and green almonds in allium charcoal sauce; halibut pommes soufflé puff; and build-your-own Tsar Nicolai white sturgeon caviar lettuce wraps.

Cento Osteria
Photograph: Yelp/Weich Y.
Restaurants, Italian

Cento Osteria

icon-location-pin South Beach

This new Italian spot offers a classic menu of wood-fired pizzas, housemade pastas and fire-grilled fish and meats. Regional Italian wines (many from small-production wineries), grappa and amari pair well with margherita pizzas, wild boar pappardelle noodles in a sangiovese wine sauce and fresh sea bream cooked in soave white wine with artichokes and garlic.

Photograph: Yelp/Iona C.


icon-location-pin Oakland

James Beard Award semifinalist Reem Assil (Reem’s California) and Daniel Patterson transformed the former Haven space into Dyafa this spring. Assil’s modern Palestinian-Syrian cooking shines in Arabic breads like kohbz chickpea “pancakes” and mana’eesh bread, as well as in traditional mezze spreads like muhammara (roasted red pepper, pomegranate, walnut dip) or hummus kawarma topped with tender spiced lamb and dried lime.

Photograph: Courtesy Sorrel
Restaurants, Californian

Sorrel Restaurant

icon-location-pin Pacific Heights

From former Quince chef Alex Hong, this Cal-Italian eatery does pasta right. Start the night with chilled pea soup or bruleed foie gras parfait before moving on to dishes like smoked duck agnolotti or the oregano-doused scorza di fagioli (pasta and beans) with wild ramps and Meyer lemon.