June 24, 2024


World's finest Food

Grab a bite at these exciting new restaurants in San Francisco and beyond

Despite the dirge of restaurants closing during the pandemic, plenty of new restaurants are opening and keeping the scene fresh this spring. With this latest batch of restaurants, expect some new takes on classic cuisines, the return of local favorites and the expansion of some beloved restaurants into new territory.

Plenty of customers were saddened when Art’s Cafe announced its closure after 30 years in July 2020. Owners Sarah and Hae Ryong Youn were looking to retire, although it meant that longtime staples of the cafe, such as their crispy hash brown sandwiches, would go with them. The story of Art’s, however, doesn’t end there. At the start of February, the cafe reopened under new owners. Read more here.

Lazy Susan (a reference to the rotating tray that sits at the center of dining tables) is a new restaurant serving as an ode to Chinese American cuisine with Mister Jiu’s alum Eric Ehler behind the wok. Expect many of the “classics” of the food genre on the menu, from crab rangoon to General Tso’s chicken, beef and broccoli and more without being too “cheffy,” as Ehler told Eater SF. Read more from Eater SF here.

Hinoya Curry is looking to make Japanese curry more popular stateside with its first San Francisco location in the Marina District. Despite some recent inaccurate reports stating that the restaurant is closing, the curry spot is carrying on. Thank goodness. Read more here.

Mexican bar and restaurant Santeria made its debut in the Castro district in early February with an inventive cocktail menu and bites meant for sharing. The restaurant has some good roots, as owner Eduardo Sandoval also owns and runs nearby Tacorgasmico. Read more from Hoodline here.

The Vegan Mob Plate from with smoked plant-based brisket, smackaroni and cheese, BBQ baked beans, and collard greens. The Oakland-based Vegan Mob is going on the road and has opened its first food truck.

The Vegan Mob Plate from with smoked plant-based brisket, smackaroni and cheese, BBQ baked beans, and collard greens. The Oakland-based Vegan Mob is going on the road and has opened its first food truck.

Douglas Zimmerman/SFGate

Vegan Mob has finally made its way into San Francisco, but rather than a brick-and-mortar spot, the restaurant is expanding with a food truck. Expect the same vegan offerings as the original, such as the barbequitos, mob burger cheese rolls and smackaroni, along with a few specials just for the new spot. Read more here.

The Specialty’s Cafe & Bakery chain was one of those downtown lunch spots that won over the local workers who eschewed home-brought lunches for the sandwiches, salads and yes, cookies, that made it popular. So when the owners decided to close all 50 of its locations after 33 years in May, many wept over those beloved cookies that have showed up at many catered office lunches. And yet, this is just another comeback story that is happening this year: One of the original founders of Specialty’s has resurrected the chain — albeit with just one location — and reopened in Palo Alto in early March. Read more here.

Korean restaurant Um.ma is expanding in San Francisco with a new sister restaurant, Bap. Although Bap will similarly serve Korean dishes to-go, this restaurant will instead focus on rice dishes with an eye toward keeping dishes takeout-friendly, as it’s operating out of a ghost kitchen in the Bayview neighborhood and available via delivery apps only. There’s a generous selection of bibimbap offerings, such as the tempting pork belly bibimbap made with pork belly glazed with gochujang and citrus, along with party wings. Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here.

East Bay fans of the popular Square Pie Guys in San Francisco were excited by the news in December that the Detroit-style pizzeria was taking their square slices to Oakland, and that day has finally arrived. The new shop opened in early March with its signature cupped pepperoni and crispy cheese edging, a tasty hot chicken sandwich and to-go cocktails to boot. Read more about it from Eater SF here.

Hungry for more? Check out SFGATE’s new restaurant list from January here.