San Francisco’s best new bar and restaurant openings of 2023

It’s that time of year again: sifting through the hundreds of new SF Bay Area restaurants and bars visited this year — plus a few hundred more internationally and across the U.S. Here are the San Francisco spots that stand out most, all opened between December 2022 and November 2023. The previous year’s top openings are here.

What stands out most, and why, in one of the best regions to eat and drink in the world: Read more →

3 New Bars with Killer Food in San Francisco

San Francisco has long been rife with world’s best cocktail bars: it was one of three cities, alongside New York and New Orleans, that introduced the world to cocktails in the 1800s, after all. Then SF and NYC led the cocktail renaissance of the past three decades.

Many of these bars also serve killer food. While bars like True Laurel and The Snug are shining examples of this combo, there’s a recent wave of new bars where food and drink shine together, but the vibe is fully bar versus restaurant. Three of the most interesting newcomers? Movida, Bar Gemini, and Stoa. Read more →

Top Chef Master Chris Cosentino Quietly Ups the Seafood Game on Tomales Bay at Nick’s Cove

I’d eat wherever San Francisco chef Chris Cosentino is cooking. I’m still missing his ahead-of-its-time Incanto (2002–2014), and his bold Cockscomb (2014–2020). He’s known for his TV runs, from The Next Iron Chef, to winning season four of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, and he spent recent years in Napa running Acacia House. But he’s long lived in SF and I await the day he’ll open a new restaurant in the City. Unexpectedly, since this fall, he’s commuting north to bucolic Tomales Bay in Marin County to run the kitchen at 1931 institution, Nick’s Cove. Read more →

Why this tapas restaurant has become a Castro institution

Chef Mat Schuster opened Canela Bistro & Wine Bar in 2011 on ever-bustling Market Street in the heart of the Castro. I remember those early days when Canela was immediately a cozy, inviting neighborhood Spanish restaurant. This was before still-excellent Spanish spots like Bellota opened in 2016. And since, we’ve lost some of our best Spanish go-tos like Contigo and Barcino. Read more →

November 15, 2023

This Issue:
— Where to Eat & Drink Now: Five newcomers or reborn spots for food and cocktails.
— Chefs & Restaurants Transforming Fine Dining Across the U.S. Now: My interview with Junghyun and Ellia Park of Atomix in NYC and with chef Peter Hemsley of Aphotic in San Francisco… and other national restaurants talking about the state of fine dining in the U.S. now.
— Palm Springs Bar Guide: My Whisky Magazine guide to 10 of Palm Springs’ best.
— SF’s Korean Wave Continues as Michelin-starred SSAL Matures.
— Distiller Magazine Bottle Column: This month I review forest liqueur, shochu, orange liqueur, gin, agave spirits, non-alcoholic RTD/bottled cocktails, tequila, Scotch, etc. Read more →