Best new restaurants in San Francisco
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.