The 5 Best Restaurants That Opened in the Bay Area This July
Including super-cheap eats from a Michelin-starred chef and a $50 burger
To keep tabs on every S.F. restaurant and bar opening is folly. But to keep tabs on the most worthy? Yeoman’s work, and we’re proud to do it. Thus we present Table Stakes, a monthly rundown of the five (or so) must-know spots that have swung wide their doors in the past thirty (or so). Bon appétit.
Why now: You know you’re pushing the envelope when even the seen-it-all S.F. dining press is gaping at your prices (“What might best reflect the restaurant’s ambitions is the $50 burger …” notes the Chron). But it is in Atherton, where the average household income is around $450,000, so maybe they’re banking on clientele who don’t take a passing glance at prices. Alternatively: it’s great for engagements, promotions, meals the company is paying for, etc.
Eat this: About that $50 “Black Label” burger: it comes with Époisses (a French soft cheese legally only made in one small town in Burgundy) and Australian black truffle. There’s also a $21 burger, with a slightly inferior French cheese: comté.
3001 El Camino Real, Atherton (map)
Why now: The titular “AL” is chef Aaron London, whose AL’s Place is a go-to for Michelin-starred eats on a green-card budget. Expect quasi-Israeli and slightly funked-up — like Miznon after a trip through a state fair.
Eat this: The falafel corn dog bites fit amply fit the description above. We’re also looking at the potato latke pockets stuffed with cream cheese and smoked salmon.
598 Guerrero St. (map)
Adams Point, Oakland
Why now: A three-course meal for under $30 in the Bay Area, courtesy of local favorite Bay Grape’s Stevie Stacionis and Josiah Baldivino? Sign us up. (Speaking of, see here for Stacionis’s favorite bottles.)
Eat this: That prix-fixe obviously, the precise elements of which will depend on what’s looking good at the markets. Recent dishes include a chilled zucchini soup with toasted almonds, linguine with pesto and roasted cherry tomatoes, and a hazelnut gelato.
388 Grand Ave., Oakland, (map)
Churn Urban Creamery
Why now: Perennial pop-up favorite Churn sets down roots at the former Avenue Theatre, with Philippines-born, S.F.-raised founder Rica Sunga-Kwan incorporating ingredients from her farm in the Outer Sunset.
Eat this: The two flavors that made the brand famous: the vegan rosemary olive oil or the lemon thyme, made with an eggless dairy base.
2646 San Bruno Ave. (map)
Why now: The once-indie, now Kirin-owned Aussie brand kicks off its American program in a 6,300-square-foot, sun-soaked taproom/restaurant that’s within easy walking distance of every major sports spot in the city (read: Oracle Park and Chase Arena).
Drink (and eat) this: The pale ales that made it famous in Australia, or one of the new, unique-to-S.F. brews under development. There’s also a full menu with pizzas, burgers and beer-steamed mussels.
1000 3rd St. Unit A (map)
Big Sur Smokehouse
Why now: You needed another reason to come south? This roadside stand (actually housed within an exquisite 1867 home) serves barbecue on a patio just off the loveliest stretch of highway in the country.
Eat this: The pulled pork platter with mac ‘n’ cheese and collard greens. There’s also a veg barbecue plate (with smoked nebrodini mushrooms) and a quinoa salad for lighter options (or for anyone who wants to save room for the apple and cinnamon hand pies).
48123 Highway 1, Big Sur (map)