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Diners' Choice: Innovative restaurants in San Francisco

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OpenTable
Updated May 05, 2024

Looking for the best restaurants that are fit for foodies in San Francisco? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!


A photo of Nisei restaurant
5.0
5 (30)
$50 and over
Japanese
Russian Hill
About the restaurant
Nisei presents a contemporary approach to Japanese American cuisine by combining deep Japanese flavors, refined cooking technique, and Northern California's finest ingredients. The restaurant is a personal reflection of Chef David Yoshimura's unique experience as a chef and second generation Japanese American, or Nisei.
Top review
AntonetteS
Dined 1 day ago
Our dinner was phenomenal. Food, service, and ambience impeccable. Would come back again.
A photo of Fare Play restaurant
5.0
5 (21)
$50 and over
Farm-to-table
SOMA
About the restaurant
Fare Play is a pop-up restaurant created by Chef Brenden Blaine Darby, a San Fanfrisco chef, farmer, and artist with a diverse background of culinary collaborations with NOMA, Manresa, Martin Berasategui, and Yoshi's SF. The menu of Fare Play is inspired by Brenden's grandmothers while also showcasing hyper-local and their time working at Michelin-starred restaurants as well as jungles, deserts, and regenerative farms across the globe.

Our atmosphere strives to be a new third place for SF Locals with a unique service style reminiscent of eating with family.

Definition:
Fare (/fer/) -noun
A range of food of a particular type.

Play (/plā/) -verb
-engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.

Our menu features local produce from queer farmers across the Bay Area from roots, stems, seeds, and flowers.

Come with an open mind and leave with a full heart.

Top review
SvenM
Dined 2 days ago
Outstanding food and service! Check it out while it’s still open!!
A photo of AKIKOS restaurant
4.9
4.9 (1566)
$50 and over
Japanese
SOMA
About the restaurant
The diverse, sustainably driven menu presents a modern take on the traditional omakase experience, underscored by whimsical approaches to Japanese cuisine prepared with local, seasonal ingredients and fresh fish from Tokyo’s famed Toyosu Fish Market. With dynamic courses such as the signature shokupan, comprised of grilled milk bread, toro, and golden Kaluga caviar or the aged, soy-cured bluefin tuna nigiri, Akikos’ cuisine fuses curated ingredients and high-quality seafood with innovative preparation and presentation.

Kindly note we are currently offering omakase experiences for lunch and dinner and do not offer an à la carte menu. For those looking to expand their dining experience, additional selections of nigiri are available a la carte on the nama menu following the tasting.

The omakase lunch experience is offered at $150 per guest, and the omakase dinner experience is offered at $250 per guest.

Top review
RachelR
Dined 5 days ago
Absolutely delicious lunch. Great service, the ambiance was wonderful.
A photo of State Bird Provisions restaurant
4.7
4.7 (2985)
$50 and over
Californian
Western Addition
About the restaurant
…..state bird provisions started as a recipe for serving quail, it has slowly evolved into a restaurant without any programmed elements…..

-stuart brioza & nicole krasinski, chef proprietors


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 7 days ago
Great atmosphere with the food to match. All the dishes were interesting and delicious.
A photo of The Anchovy Bar restaurant
4.7
4.7 (785)
$50 and over
Seafood
Western Addition
About the restaurant
From the team that brought you State Bird Provisions and The Progress, The Anchovy Bar is a wine and seafood bar that specializes in West Coast oysters, small fish and sustainably raised shellfish. We work with small producers that favor traditional and antique processes with origin stories that matter and inspire.
Top review
Contessa
Dined 2 days ago
Every dish was exceptional. Such an incredible experience!
A photo of 5A5 restaurant
4.6
4.6 (2315)
$31 to $50
Izakaya
Financial District / Embarcadero
About the restaurant
5A5 Steak Lounge is reopening as 5A5 Izakaya.

Showcasing Chef Cat Wang’s Asian-inspired Izakaya bites

After graduating from James Beard Award-winning restaurant 'Animal' in Los Angeles, Cat won an episode on Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen hosted by Alton Brown. Catch her on Season 15, Episode 3! She travelled throughout Asia, staging at some of 'Asia's 50 Best,' including Nahm, L'Effervescence, and Gaa. In 2017, Cat moved to San Francisco to work at Michelin-starred Kin Khao and later, Akiko's Restaurant. The heart of Cat's food program is to showcase exciting flavors from her worldly travels and to marry them in nuanced, playful ways. Her new izakaya menu features premium A5 Japanese wagyu, fresh local seafood as well as the highest quality seafood flown overnight from the famed Toyosu Market, and the best of California's produce.

Top review
Shell
Dined on Mar 28, 2024
Items in our order was forgotten, had to be reminded. Never got our water cups refilled.
A photo of Lao Table restaurant
4.6
4.6 (352)
$30 and under
Thai
SOMA
About the restaurant
Lao Table on Second Street is a contemporary restaurant and lounge that serves traditional Thai cuisine as well as a variety of Asian fusion dishes. There are various branches located throughout San Francisco and each is popular for its trendy ambiance and swanky presentation. The menu at Lao Table includes several vegetarian options so that everyone can enjoy something. There’s also a wide selection of specialty cocktails that you can choose from to accompany your meal.

Popular starters at Lao Table include “TUM MARG HOONG" grand papaya salad, Crispy garlic wings tossed with garlic caramel and house special spring rolls featuring rice paper rolls stuffed with shrimp, lettuce and mint. For your main course, try an entrée like the volcanic beef made with premium USDA certified flank steak or Pad Mee Lao.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
Food was delicious! Service was great! Would eat here again in the future
A photo of La Société Bar & Café restaurant
4.6
4.6 (20)
$31 to $50
French
SOMA
About the restaurant
Upscale yet casual, La Société is a gathering place for a delicious meal, craft cocktails and attentive hospitality for hotel guests, epicureans and business professionals alike looking for the warmth of a charming neighborhood restaurant with a timeless, yet buzzy atmosphere and globally influenced cuisine.
Top review
RyanP
Dined 4 days ago
Delicious food, excellent service, pleasant atmosphere. Also they said they could accommodate gluten free requests, which bodes well for my next visit with a loved one.
A photo of Sushi Shio restaurant
4.3
4.3 (289)
$50 and over
Japanese
Mission District
About the restaurant

Check out our new menu offerings. We are also offering Pick-up/Delivery options for your added convenience. Please search us at DoorDash.

Please kindly leave a note if you have severe food allergy or dietary restrictions.

Thank you and we look forward to serving you soon.


Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 7 days ago
Very excellent fish, it’s truly exceptional, I will return
A photo of Ballast Point Mission Bay restaurant
4.2
4.2 (11)
$30 and under
Brewery
SOMA
About the restaurant
Now serving Weekend Bruch Buffet every Saturday and Sunday from 9:00a-2:00p!

Ballast Point meets the Bay. Our newest Taproom + kitchen features a full menu of locally-inspired cuisine complete with kid-friendly options, and a large variety of our award-winning beers fresh from the tap.

SAY HELLO TO YOUR NEW PRE- AND POST-EVENT STOP.
Located in close proximity to the SF Giants’ Oracle Park and within walking distance to Chase Arena. Our hours will be flexible based on events at the Stadium(s).

Anchored at the base of the Icona: Labs building in Mission Bay, and adjacent to the waterfront of San Francisco Bay, the approximately 12,000 SF taproom and kitchen joins a dynamic area of the city where visitors can find an eclectic mix of residential and commercial retail offerings.

Tables are seated on a first come, first served basis. Parties of 20+ people, please contact sanfranciscoevents@ballastpoint.com to plan your event.

Top review
Lauravip
Dined on Apr 13, 2024
We wish someone explained that the only way to order is by QR code on the table. Once ordered, items came quickly but no other service provided throughout the meal. Pay on line and leave. Only 2 points of contact—seating you at the table and bringing food to the table. No one checks on tables. Wanted more napkins but no one is actually waiting on tables. Seems to be the system in place, not an issue with the wait staff. Staff was friendly.
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