When it comes to new restaurants in the Bay Area, the year 2016 has been one for the books. The Bywater in Los Gatos, Single Thread in Healdsburg and Napa's Miminashi have shown that unique restaurant concepts can thrive all across the region. In Situ's restaurant as an art exhibit is one of the most innovative risks the city has seen, and tasting menu spots like Nightbird and Mosu are proving that prix fixe fine dining isn't leaving anytime soon. As the new year approaches, here's a look at the dozen restaurant openings we'll remember from 2016.
With so many outstanding restaurants in the Bay Area, it's tough for chefs to stand out. Some chefs like Steven Gotham of Bourbon Steak Santa Clara are doing incredible work in the kitchen of a major operation where the owner and the venue (the 49ers) get the marquee attention. Others like Jordan Keao of Aina and Isabel Caudillo of El Buen Comer are showing San Francisco diners a unique and profound taste of where they grew up. Together, these nine unheralded chefs are playing a key role in helping our local food scene continue as one of the most enriching anywhere in the world.
With the massive number of restaurants opening in 2016, it can be tough to know what's not to miss. Here are our top picks in 15 American cities:
Spring 2016 is shaping up to be a strong season for new restaurant openings in San Francisco. Already established dining neighborhoods like Hayes Valley and the Dogpatch are poised to received new signature restaurants. Burgers joints and izakayas show no signs of stopping their popularity. And a nationally renowned chef is returning home after nearly three decades. Here are the dozen spring openings in San Francisco and the Bay Area we can’t wait to visit.
THESE THREE SPOTS ARE GOING WAY BEYOND PLATE LUNCHES
Despite being a hop away from Hawaii, San Francisco’s never had much of a Hawaiian food scene. But lately, we've been riding the wave of aloha. In the past year, three new spots have opened — a significant number, considering there were only a handful of Hawaiian restaurants to begin with. Just don’t go into any of them expecting plate lunches; instead, you’ll see fresh twists on island favorites made with Bay Area ingredients. Below, a snapshot of what to expect.