We spent the year looking for the best new restaurants across San Francisco. This is where you’ll find them.Less
The galbi from San Ho Won is the best in San Francisco. Each short rib has caramelized edges and lines of fat we can only describe as luxurious. It’s flat-out memorable, but so is the rest of the meal at this Korean restaurant in the Mission. Which is why we've already deemed it one of the very best restaurants in SF. Unless you can hack Tock, set your calendar 29 days in advance to snag a reservation. It's not easy to get a table here.
Ken feels more like a dinner party than another high-end sushi omakase spot. The eponymous chef will crack jokes from across the six-seat counter while he blowtorches tuna and prepares jiggly chawanmushi with creamy cod milt. And this so-small-you-might-miss-it Lower Haight spot is intimate. You’ll probably end up exchanging dog walker recommendations with the couple to your left. The special evening continues with 14 courses of nigiri, sashimi, and small plates that dazzle.
The two-person team behind this former pop-up recently found a permanent home in Union Square. Their $125, six-course tasting menu has been a 2022 high point ever since. This spot fuses Japanese and Filipino flavors. Grilled strip loin is covered in peanut sauce and served next to a panko-crusted fried eggplant. Salmon tataki comes with creamy coconut-mango dip and a bagoong tare-topped seared green mango.
Our mind has been 25% actual thoughts and 75% bánh khọt ever since our first visit to this Northern Vietnamese restaurant. Their turmeric-tinted pancakes are zhuzhed up with caviar dollops for a salty punch, and that unexpected surprise is indicative of what you can expect from a meal here. Each dish is somehow more impressive than the last: papaya salad is topped with crumbled beef jerky, and oysters get a zing from yuzu coconut foam.
It’s no exaggeration to say that there are approximately two million seasonal tasting menu spots in town. Mijoté’s $82, four-course French menu is the only one that makes us feel thrilled about sauces. Just-sweet-enough elderberry jus spills over roast chicken. Rich harissa butter drips over a slow-roasted maitake mushroom. It's so seductive you might want to take it home. This wood-filled spot should be top of mind for intimate celebrations that call for lots of natural wine.
In a city with no shortage of spots doing overcomplicated pies garnished with too many toppings (including eight different vegetables you didn’t know existed), Outta Sight Pizza is refreshing. The Tenderloin slice shop's simple, thin-crust pies—which we call New-York-style-meets-California—will send you to an out-of-body state. One bite of the ranch and hot honey-drizzled pepperoni will make you realize that all future pepperoni slices you eat are certifiably boring.
A newfound appreciation for seafood and rice wasn’t something we expected to cross off on our 2022 bingo card. The Mission restaurant (by omakase experts Ju-Ni) is the first place in SF dedicated entirely to temaki. And the minimalist spot drew long lines of raw fish enthusiasts and kickstarted a Bay Area-wide hand roll mania. The rolls practically glitter with decadent topping combinations. The only decision you have to make is whether to go with a set of five, seven, or ten.
Good Good Culture Club excels at smashing together every flavor to create dishes you won't find anywhere else in the city, let alone the country. We’d expect nothing less from the team behind Liholiho Yacht Club. The mostly Southeast Asian-inspired dishes command your attention, like double-fried boneless chicken wings stuffed with garlic rice and Lao sausage served alongside pasilla pepper jaew. And while the food is thrilling on its own, the space brings in a whole new element.
Have you ever had masa so outstanding you got the sudden urge to replace your dining chairs with corn stools? If the answer is no, go to Donaji. The Oaxacan restaurant in the Mission will make you want to become one with your chair and spend the rest of your days eating through their menu of fork-tender tamales, fried masa discs piled with juicy brisket, and tlayudas that are so thin you’ll wonder what sorcery allows them to hold up to the heap of toppings.
We spent so much time at Automat in 2022 that Google Maps thought this spot was our permanent address. The all-day place in NoPa saw us through espresso-fueled mornings glued to our laptops, breakfast dates with friends in town, and days when the only way to ward off existential dread was to dive headfirst into a cinnamon roll. At Automat, brioche donuts are sugar pillows filled with strawberry jam and chocolate pomegranate cream, and sourdough cookies literally glimmer behind the pastry case.