The Bay Area’s best and brightest new restaurants span genres, from fresh concepts by Michelin-starred chefs to the latest Nikkei addition to the San Francisco dining scene. Union Square is having a moment with multiple notable openings, while St. Helena and Oakland continue to add offerings to the menu. Here are the best new restaurants in San Francisco and around the Bay Area.
Nikkei is a cuisine forged by Japanese immigrants to Peru, and this playful combo is all the rage in San Francisco. The same can be said of rooftop restaurants and bars, which makes the addition of Chotto Matte to Union Square a perfect fit. It opened in late October on the corner of Stockon and O’Farrell as the newest iteration of Nobu London alum Kurt Zdesar’s concept, which began in 2013. The menu will include highlights like the iconic Chotto Branzino Ceviche, Sato Maki sushi, Pollo den Miso and Tentáculos de Pulpo. Guests can expect consistent culinary theatrics with the robata grill taking center stage and an open sushi counter. Drinks can be enjoyed from the extensive wine list or Tokyo to Lima mixology program.
PLS on Post
Located within the Hotel Zeppelin, the property’s newly launched restaurant is located steps from Union Square (devotees may remember it as the site of Wolfgang Puck’s iconic Postrio restaurant). PLS on Post channels the philosophy of California cuisine by incorporating seasonal, local and responsibly sourced ingredients. Guests will notice California cheeses highlighted throughout the menu, including on their smashburgers, which have their own San Francisco twist. Milkshakes are another notable menu item, as is the highball program, which takes classic fountain drinks like grape, orange soda and root beer and mixes them with select spirits to make creative cocktails.
Imperial Hotel Is Amador City’s Countryside GetawayCome for the tranquil surroundings, stay for the delicious food
The latest concept from Michelin-starred chef Ho Chee Boon, Blue Whale celebrates Asian cuisines defined by fresh, authentic ingredients. Relaxed yet elevated, diners can expect an all-day menu of dishes like Iberico Ham Shanghai Xiao Long Bao, salmon and beet salad, Malaysia grilled California red snapper and a Hong Kong rice noodle roll. The space is as delectable as the food: guests pass through a mysterious corridor to enter an open-air courtyard that precedes the main restaurant space. Despite the bustle of Union Street, the lush garden atmosphere creates a sense of peace.
Burdell brings a flavor of its own to the Temescal neighborhood. From chef Geoff Davis comes a love letter to his grandmother, from the beautifully-set tables to family recipes rich with nostalgia. The food at Burdell rekindles the history of Black farming and foraging, with a menu highlighting farmers and artisans. Highlights include chicken liver and waffles, whole BBQ shrimp and okra stew. Don’t skip the cathead sourdough biscuits, either. The wine has been carefully selected with sustainable practices in mind.
Downtown St. Helena is no stranger to fine food, and new addition Charlie’s only builds on that reputation. The project comes from French Laundry alum Elliot Bell (who is also a volunteer firefighter), breathing new life into a spot that’s been empty for five years. The fare ranges from comfort to fancy, with menu items like local Tomales Bay oysters, “beer can” Sonoma chicken and a campfire pie for dessert that nods to the restaurant previously occupying the spot. If that wasn’t enough, Charlie’s will be open until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, making the wine country town a little less sleepy.
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