San Francisco attracts travellers with a free-spirit, an eye for art and culture, but perhaps more than anything, those with a taste for imaginative and vibrant cuisine. Since the 1800s, San Francisco has been a culinary innovator, and today the city’s dynamic and diverse culinary scene is thriving as the city’s innovative chefs, such as Dominique Crenn, Corey Lee, Brandon Jew, David Yoshimura, continue to drive trends and push boundaries, while leveraging the year-round bounty of fresh ingredients from artisanal purveyors and local farms. Innovative and new restaurants are constantly emerging and you’ll find some of the best places to eat in San Francisco on a higher level.
This past year, dozens of exciting new restaurants and bars have opened across the city, and more are set to debut this year – joining iconic establishments, like Delfina, Zuni Cafe, and Atelier Crenn, in the most restaurant-dense city in America.
Below we are sharing some of the best places to eat in San Francisco on your next trip or night out.
- Per Diem opened a second location in San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal in February. The venue incorporates historical elements found in its original Financial District location, offering the same seasonal California-influenced cuisine and a sophisticated cocktail program. The over 3,000-square-foot space includes a full bar and lounge, private dining space, and an outdoor patio. (Location: 41 Mina St. | Downtown/East Cut)
Piglet & Co
- Opened in January, Piglet & Co was called out as one of the most exciting restaurant openings that month by Bon Appetite. Helmed by husband-and-wife team Chris Yang and Marcelle Gonzales, the restaurant is inspired by non-traditional Taiwanese cuisine and night markets. It showcases familiar flavors from Asian comfort food, with dishes such as Mala BBQ Pork Rib and Honey Walnut Shrimp and Pork Toast on the menu. (Location: 2170 Mission St.| Mission District)
- Latin American cocktail bar Cavaña opened in January atop the LUMA Hotel San Francisco in Mission Bay. The rooftop bar celebrates the spirit of Central and South America with a menu featuring an expansive collection of sugarcane and agave distillates alongside artisanal cocktails, minimal intervention wines, and shareable plates inspired by flavors across Latin America. Guests can view San Francisco’s skyline and the surrounding bay amid lush greenery and live foliage. With retractable glass doors, heated banisters, hand heaters and a weatherized patio, Cavaña is a year-round drinking destination. Regular live performances spotlighting local Latin artists are planned. (Location: 100 Channel St., 17th Floor | Mission Bay)
- Opened in late March, Chef Peter Hemsley’s Aphotic, from the Greek word “without light,” references the ocean layer that receives less than 1% of sunlight. The restaurant’s 10-course tasting menu ($230 per person) focuses on seasonality and traceable seafood sourced from mostly local fishermen and women. Aphotic’s 15-seat bar offers an abridged menu and an “Eight Course Cocktail Tasting,” comprised of unique house-distilled spirits based on the wild flora of the Bay Area and surrounding coast. (Location: 816 Folsom St. | SOMA)
- Opened in January, Anomaly SF is a “post-modern restaurant from humble beginnings.” Previously running a fine dining pop-up, Chef Mike Lanham now presents an 11-course tasting menu ($121 per person) in a permanent location. The dining experience, called “Home for the First Time,” offers modern American cuisine in an unfamiliar way (for example, sweet potato in the style of “creme brûlée). (Location: 2600 Sutter St. | Laurel Heights)
- Award-winning Chef Dominique Crenn unveiled a reimaged Atelier Crenn in February. The reborn Atelier Crenn focuses on California—the place the French-born chef now considers home—and celebrates the state’s rich bounty, highlighting plants, fish, and seafood local to the place. The completely renovated dining room features a new pescatarian tasting menu ($475 per person). Guests can also expect to see local produce from Crenn’s own Bleu Belle Farm on the new menu. (Location: 3127 Fillmore St. | Pacific Heights)
- Opened in November 2022, Bar Sprezzatura is a bustling lunch spot by day and an aperitivo and cicchetti bar at night. Located in the Financial District, the venue is inspired by the casual elegance of coastal Italy and features a stunning design inspired by mid-century Venice with a collection of Italy-inspired drinks and bites to match. Its signature Cicchetti Martini features a snack-sized garnish of anchovy-stuffed olives, pepperoncini gran ripieno, and freshly shaved truffle. An entire section of the menu is dedicated to Negroni, and there are more than 30 varieties of amaro, vermouth, and bitters. The food is inspired by Venice’s cicchetti bars. Executive Chef Joseph Offner’s all-day menu of Italian plates includes small savory snacks such as Guanciale Meatballs “Polpette Di Patrizio” and salumi and formaggi plates. The Piatti section features traditional plates with lighter dishes as well as more robust fare, from Pacific Halibut Crudo with passion fruit and red tangerine olive oil to Fresh Bigoli, pasta with Liberty Duck ragu, orange and clove. (Location: One Maritime Plaza, 300 Clay St #100 | Financial District)
- Copra is a love letter from Chef Srijith Gopinathan to his home of Kerala in southern India. Opened in February by Gopinathan. the former chef of the two-star-Michelin Taj Campton Place, and co-owner Ayesha Thapar, the glamorous restaurant is an expansive tropical oasis adorned with thoughtful design details inspired by materials and textures found throughout South India. The menu plays homage to the food of southern Indian and northwestern Sri Lanka, featuring vegan, vegetarian, and pescetarian options with Californian influence. Items such as Konkan crab curry, Cod Pollichathu, an expansive chutney palette, regional dosas and hoppers and signature cocktails are seasoned with the flavors from the spice belt of South India. (Location: 1700 Fillmore St. | Filmore District)
Gao Viet Kitchen
- Gao Viet Kitchen, the popular San Mateo Vietnamese restaurant, opened its first San Francisco location in December 2022. The casual (no reservations) restaurant serves up street eats starters, main dishes, and noodle dishes like Filet Mignon Pho ($19) and its Instagram-famous oversized Phozilla featuring a giant beef rib, filet mignon, butter brisket, tendon, 24-hour broth with spoons of marrow, and a 1.5-pound de-shelled Maine lobster ($95). (Location: 1900 Irving St. | Sunset District)
- Opened in December 2022 by Chef Jongmoon Choi, SuraGan serves a 12-course chef’s tasting menu ($135 per person) that features dishes inspired by ancient texts from the 1400s during the Joseon dynasty of Korea. Choi learned about Korean royal cuisine at Kyung Hee University in Seoul before attending the Culinary Institute of America in New York. He most recently worked as a sous chef at San Francisco’s Marlena before launching his venture. SuraGan’s menu shifts every three months to cover different historical cooking texts through the 1700s. International wines, specialty Korean teas and sool, and craft alcoholic beverages from Korea complement the cuisine. (Location: 250 Hyde St.| Tenderloin.)