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
Mauerpark
Photograph: Yelp/Matthew G.
By Virginia Miller |
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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 this December. 

RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in San Francisco 

Best new restaurants in San Francisco

1
Guesthouse
Photograph: Yelp/Stephanie C.
Restaurants

Guesthouse

In an area that often doesn’t see new restaurant opening, Guesthouse, from chef Jared Rogers, brings refined comfort food to the sleepy Marin County town of Kentfield. Rogers’ Virginia roots is evident in dishes like the mini Old Bay lobster rolls, crab-heavy Dungeness crab cakes and grits-and-quail filled with bacon stuffing. Don’t miss specials like the sausage ragu gnocchi and bartender Dustin Sullivan’s perfect Irish coffee. 

Time Out says
2
Isla Vida
Photograph: Yelp/Cherylynne N
Restaurants

Isla Vida

icon-location-pin Western Addition

Opened by the team behind Farmerbrown and Little Skillet, Isla Vida brings breezy Caribbean vibes to the Fillmore District. The new counter-service restaurant draws inspiration from Miami, Cuba, Jamaica and across the Caribbean with dishes like tostones (green plantains), garlic shrimp, guava spareribs and wood-fired meats. The fast-casual, Black-owned business is festive with lush greenery and pink staff shirts. Stick to the heartwarming plates of jerk chicken, snapper or jackfruit.

Time Out says
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3
Mauerpark
Photograph: Yelp/Matthew G.
Restaurants, Cafés

Mauerpark

icon-location-pin The Castro

This sunny, colorful new Castro cafe has a simple, short menu of German meats, cheeses and bread platters alongside German pastries made daily in house. Chef Salome Buelow’s parents hail from Germany and the real draw here is her authentic specials, like fluffy spinach knodel dumplings with sauerkraut salad. Bonus: She also sells a few rare German groceries.

Time Out says
4
chicken at flores, san francisco
Photograph: Yelp/ Kevin B
Restaurants, Mexican

Flores

icon-location-pin Cow Hollow

Flores' new location in the suburban town of Corte Madera is a welcome and rare opportunity to enjoy mole and mezcal in Marin. Dine on Mexican specialities like sikil p’ak (spicy pumpkin seed salsa) and tlacoyos (masa stuffed with huitlacoche and cheese), all sopped up with house made tortillas.

Time Out says
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5
Angler
Photograph: Bonjwing Lee
Restaurants, Seafood

Angler

icon-location-pin SoMa

Expectations were high when Saison’s Michelin-starred chef announced he was opening a more casual restaurant, but Angler does not disappoint. The waterfront restaurant’s land-and-sea theme is evident in everything from the taxidermy-lined walls to the kitchen’s open flame grill, which churns out grilled rabbit and a beautiful 28oz bone-in porterhouse steak. Don’t forget to try raw bar delicacies like antelope tartar and caviar spread on Parker House rolls.

Time Out says
6
Prairie
Photograph: Courtesy Prairie
Restaurants, Italian

PRAIRIE

icon-location-pin Mission

Formerly at Delfina, Chef Anthony Strong’s first solo project fuses his Italian expertise with Asian-inspired flavors in stunning dishes like the guanciale-wrapped mochi in radicchio with aged balsamico. To order, use the restaurant’s dim-sum-like system that involves checking boxes on a menu card.  

Time Out says
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7
Creator burger
Photograph: Courtesy Creator
Restaurants, Hamburgers

Creator

icon-location-pin Yerba Buena

Creator’s burgers are damn good for the price ($6), but the real draw is that the burgers are made by an efficient and mesmerizing robot. In fact, this is the first hamburger robot in the world. Humanely raised, hormone-free beef is the base for the burgers—each item on the menu was created by local chefs like in-house chef David Bordow, Nick Balla (Hungarian smoked paprika, pickles, sunflower seed tahini) and Top Chef Tu David Phu (oyster aioli and shiitake mushroom sauce). 

Time Out says
8
Luke’s Lobster
Photograph: Courtesy Luke’s Lobster
Restaurants, Seafood

Luke’s Lobster

icon-location-pin Yerba Buena

Founding partners Ben Conniff and third-generation lobsterman Luke Holden have opened their first West Coast location, bringing sustainably-sourced, affordable lobster rolls to SoMa. Order lobster, crab or shrimp rolls or chowder and pair with a special Black Hammer Brewing collaboration beer brewed with lobster shells and kelp. Happy hour specials (daily 4-7pm) include a lobster roll and a beer for $19.

Time Out says
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9
Pies at Theorita
Photograph: Krescent Carasso
Restaurants

Theorita

icon-location-pin Alamo Square

This all-day neighborhood cafe below Che Fico serves mouthwatering pies, pastries, burgers and fried chicken sandwiches. Chef Angela Pinkerton relies on her childhood memories growing up in Ohio to inform her amazing baked goods—we love the peanut butter and jelly pie!—while Che Fico chef David Nayfeld excels at comfort food like vegetarian chili and hearty sandwiches. 

Time Out says
10
Kaiyo
Photograph: Courtesy Kaiyo
Restaurants, Japanese

Kaiyo

icon-location-pin Cow Hollow

Cow Hollow’s sleek new eatery showcases Peruvian-Japanese food. Its strength lies in raw seafood dishes like the silky Hokkaido scallop tiradito in passionfruit leche de tigre, ceviche, nigiri and sashimi. Not into raw fish? Try the anticuchos (skewered meats) and cooked nigiri like smoked duck breast topped with a quail egg.

Time Out says
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