Since this is San Francisco, there were about a million and a half new restaurants opened this year. Here are some of the best ones you should check out according to people that have had the chance to check out all 1.5 mil. Or so.
Joshua Oakley, Chef/Proprietor, Tango & Stache: Big. This tiny, beautifully curated, no detail overlooked, even down to the vintage cloth cocktail napkins, arrests your senses when you walk in. And it only gets better, the guys behind the bar produce one of the best drinks in the city. And not from a menu either, just out of pure inspiration, and so much love for what they do.
Jay Barmann, Editor, San Francisco Grubstreet: It's kind of a tie between State Bird Provisions and Rich Table, but I can barely get into either of them now thanks to the press. I'm also a fan of Local's Corner in the Mission, Sweet Woodruff, and Big, the little bar in the 'Loin.
Robin Song, Executive Chef, Hog & Rocks: I can't think of many places that actually opened this year, that I've had the chance to visit. Rich Table is definitely on the list. I think Evan Rich is an amazing Chef and doing some cool things there.
Lisa Nourse, Owner, Lisa Nourse PR: Lolinda. It's a deliberate and abrupt 180 from the quintessential San Francisco restaurant style (intimate, chef-driven, produce-focused, you know the rest). San Francisco needed a place like this. Also: Eastern Addition @ Vinyl Cafe. Leave it to my whip-smart boys Desi Danganan and Tim Luym to launch an Asian food pop-up series that brings Eastern cuisine to the Western Addition. These guys aren't in the game for themselves, they're in it to spotlight lesser-known regional Asian fare and give Burmese, Japanese street food, and Filipino food the attention it deserves. They're inventors.
Trevor Ogden, Chambers: We just went to AQ last week and really enjoyed their atmosphere and the beautiful dishes. I have to say it is one of the places that I respect most for going beyond the normal simple cooking that California cuisine can be sometimes. The only hiccup in the whole meal had to be when they brought me my beer and the cap was still on. I thought it was a new hipster style of bartending, "open your own bottle".
Michael Mauschbaugh, Chef/Proprietor, Sous Beurre Kitchen: Far from new, but Eiji on 16th and Sanchez has become my go to spot for sushi this year. It only took me three years of living three blocks away to find it.
Anna Roth, Food Editor and Restaurant Critic, SF Weekly
Places I've been that I'll go back to (or have been back to) on my own time: Rich Table, Abbot's Cellar, Bar Tartine Sandwich Shop, Del Popolo, Namu Gaji, Southern Pacific Brewery, and Soma StrEat Food Park. I'm sure there would be more but I've only lived here for five months.