Believe it or not, new restaurants are still opening.

Jaranita | Photo by Hockeystick Media, courtesy of Jaranita

Jaranita | Photo by Hockeystick Media, courtesy of Jaranita

The last 14 months have been pretty brutal for the catering industry. For eons it was just temporary closings and reopenings (and reruns), shutters, and an overwhelming sense of relentless fear. Although this feeling of fear is still very great, it is accompanied by a feeling of hope. If chefs and restaurateurs still believe enough in SF’s dining scene to open new food trucks, bistros, and bakeries, that has to mean something. And right now it’s for us: “Take a look at them all and tip generously!”

This list includes nine new places that we think are worth visiting ASAP. Still, they aren’t the only ones to add to your culinary to-do list. We’re also excited about these new additions to SF’s restaurant scene:

Tailor son, a casual Italian restaurant in the former Elite Cafe in Lower Pac Heights (we haven’t recovered from the fact that they ripped out the iconic 100 year old stalls, but that doesn’t stop the food and cocktails from being great). Valencia Subs, a mission spin-off of the beloved Irving Subs from Inner Sunset. Total meltdown, a mission popup that is all about grilled, mac’d, and melted cheese. And the The marketplace kitchen, an affordable, women-owned grocery store in the Tenderloin, open for lunch on weekdays.

Finally so many new and exciting things to look forward to and enjoy!

jaranitaPhoto by Hockeystick Media, courtesy of Jaranita

This spring the people behind it The sea, the popular (if slightly touristy) Peruvian seafood restaurant on the Embarcadero, opened a more casual and upbeat eatery along a busy section of Steiner Street. The tables around a dramatic olive tree basking in the spotlight from the glass ceiling of the atrium, as well as the tables in the colorful, heated parklet, are already filled with well-known guests enjoying low ABV cocktails and authentic Peruvian food. The menu is all about slow-roasted fried chicken cooked over a charcoal grill, complemented by traditional dishes like fresh and vibrant cebiches, classic and calming empanadas, and “Okay, I’ll just be another” Dungeness crab croquette.
How to book: Resy

wilderPhoto by Albert Law, courtesy of Wilder

Cow den
It takes something for a restaurant to thrive in Cow Hollow’s famous (also infamous) “triangle,” anchored by the unwavering neighborhood Balboa Cafe. Many have tried. Most of them failed. But it feels like Wilder, a fun, not-too-serious restaurant and lounge of the team behind the country western theme Westwoodcould break that curse.

That’s because Wilder isn’t trying to compete with Balboa. it tries to complement it. And it succeeds thanks to a menu with longing shared plates and meat-oriented starters, as well as dishes that ensure that the fitness and sports set in the gym also has something to order (like a French-style clam pan and a handful) of salads that stand out doesn’t feel like a compromise). Not to mention a solid brunch offering that is a must-have in these areas.

Wilder also nailed down the cocktail list and understood that he has to play what his neighbor is offering, which means: lots of martinis (yes, including one type of espresso), but also things that cannot be brought across the street, like jugs of Aperol spritz and sangria. Seating for drinking and eating currently includes a heated parklet, cozy log cabin-style lounge, bar for 12, and the rustic, Tahoe-inspired dining room.
How to book: Resy

Sicilian pizzaPhoto by Ruben O’Malley, courtesy Harmonic Brewing

Mission Bay
Thrive City didn’t exactly thrive after it opened in late 2019 for obvious reasons (the pandemic). But when things open up again, the huge space around the Chase Center comes back to life. A big part of that life is Harmonic Brewing’s second location, which has just opened and will accommodate 300 people once the city fully reopens. This includes 100 people on the 2,000-square-foot terrace (one of the largest outdoor dining / drinking areas in all of SF) and another 200 people in the taproom with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and tons of HD televisions.

Wherever you sit, enjoy unobstructed bay views and a menu of Harmonic handcrafted beers on tap (and some local wines), as well as fancy bar fare like SF-inspired Sciilliuan pizzas, a pastry-wrapped hot dog. and a soft pretzel with a cheese window (yes, a cheese window!) from a 2019 James Beard finalist. Hours of operation vary currently, but it’s open for all Chase Center events, and eventually seven days a week.
How to book: Walk-ins only

Red window shellsPhoto by Marc Fiorito Photography, courtesy of Red Window

North Beach
There’s nothing to love about Red Window, the new Spanish-inspired restaurant and low-proof cocktail bar on Columbus Avenue, but what we love most is how eclectic it is. Enjoy a full meal of tapas dishes and cocktails at the table, or enjoy a bite (or four) of pintxos and a glass of wine or beer. (There is even a little red window that you can use to get a takeaway along the way.)

After all, you’ll want to move through the entire menu, which is mostly meant to be shared, with the exception of the pintxos, which are organized by piece. Croquetas, crostini, and skewers, as well as patatas bravas, queso fundido, prawns, and pork legs are just a few popular options when it comes to dining. The cocktails – sangria, tiki drinks, splashes, tall balls, sour drinks, a signature cobbler, as well as some that arrive on a bar cart – all have a low ABV, which simply means you can enjoy more of them. Red Window has 100 outdoor seating plus an intimate dining room slated to open soon.
How to book: Tock

Lord Sisig Vegan | Photo by Andrew Ho

The Señor Sisig Food Truck was a big deal when it rolled through SF a decade ago serving Fusion Sisig burritos and tacos with Filipino sweet pork and Sisig nacho fries with pork or chicken. And yes, there has always been the option for tofu, but now that the Señor Sisig Vegano Food Truck is open, vegans (and omnivores) can do even better than tofu. You can receive all of Señor Sisig’s signature offers made with a vegan version of each protein option that has been replicated as close to the “original” version as possible in taste and texture. These include the pork sisig, the chicken sisig, the tocino, the chorizo, the grated and nacho cheeses, and even the scrambled eggs that are placed on top of any or all of them. Specialties like the Taco Bell-inspired crunch-a-dilla are also on the way. At the moment you can find the Señor Sisig Vegano parked on the weekends in Valencia and on 18th Street.
How to book: Show up and wait in line if there is one

Cow den
We mourned Baker Street Bistro, which recently closed after 30 years of business, but now we can dry our tears as a new French bistro has moved into the room with a selection of classic dishes. Think steak fries, mousse de foie gras, moules marinières for dinner and Benedict Tartine (poached eggs over smoked salmon), croque monsieur and a burger with petit basque cheese for brunch. A fresh paint job, updated banquets, and a newly opened kitchen all helped brighten the restaurant. We see these cozy banquets play a huge role in our many brunch endeavors ahead, but for now, the outdoor sidewalk tables are the ones to get stuck on.
How to book: Howl

Lower Haight
If there’s one type of cuisine that SF can never have too many options for, it’s Mexican. And now there’s a new place to satisfy those cravings for tacos and tostadas, thanks to the acclaimed husband-and-wife team behind Son’s Addition. Otra is all about bold and modern Mexican food, made using traditional cooking techniques and fresh homemade masa for tamales and tortillas. While the Masa isn’t the star of the show, she would definitely win “Best Supporting Actor” if movie awards were a food thing. Cocktails by the glass and some in the mug (house margarita and spicy paloma) come out of the bar quickly and round off the cast of characters in the right way.
How to book: Walk-ins only

chow myPhoto by Joseph Weaver, courtesy of Lazy Susan

Hayes Valley
Lazy Susan really gets those of us who grew up ordering Chinese-American food for delivery when the adults were too tired to cook or go out for the night. And she used this nostalgia just right. The menu offers “only” 25 classics such as orange chickens, potstickers and kung pao chickens, all of which are gluten-free and made with fresh ingredients, health and price in mind. (It turns out it’s a lot easier to agree on an order when you don’t have more than 75 dishes to choose from.) They created everything for travel, too (aka no more wet spring rolls). All of the dishes we tried (10+) were fantastic so the only order reference we can offer is to add a side of the umami crunch to your order and apply generously.
How to book: Order for collection and delivery on toast

North Beach
Since 13-time world pizza champion Tony Gemignani hasn’t done enough for this city by making some of the best pizzas in the world, he has now opened a bakery specializing in bagels and sourdough bread. Right now there are around 300 bagels a day (Tony claims they are authentic New York style which is hard to believe but if someone can …) and 100 loaves of bread so if you don’t get there early there is a good one Chance you will miss it.
How to book: Order from Thursday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the counter or until everything is sold out

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Daisy Barringer is a freelance writer who grew up in SF and ordered more potstickers and egg rolls for delivery than any girl should ever admit.