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Nine Restaurants You Need to Experience in 2016

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Perennial owners PicmonkeyKaren Leibowitz and Anthony Myint of Perennial

By Marcia Gagliardi

The restaurant scene in San Francisco continues to grow, with new openings happening faster than diners can keep up, making the “restaurants to try” list for locals ever-changing. 2016 is no exception to that list.

Here are nine restaurants to seek out in 2016:

Volta (868 Mission St.)

Staffan Terje and Umberto Gibin of Perbacco and Barbacco opened a modern brasserie in December 2015 that pays homage to France (and highlight chef Terje's classic French training) while using local and seasonal ingredients, plus feature some Scandinavian influences too. There are classic brasserie selections, older styles of Swedish charcuterie, cold and hot appetizers, shellfish, and entrées—and a full bar too (break out the aquavit). http://voltasf.com

The Perennial (59 Ninth St.)

Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz, the team behind local ventures Mission Chinese Food and Commonwealth, have a new (and ambitious) project now open in SOMA. It's called The Perennial and is looking at sustainability in a vertically integrated way. They utilize hydroponics, perennial farming and energy efficiency in the restaurant's operation as well as in the production of ingredients. Chris Kiyuna is the chef, crafting (sample) dishes like smoked oyster pappardelle with lamb ragù and preserved fennel. http://www.theperennialsf.com

George Chen Chef PicmonkeyGeorge Chen of China LiveChina Live (644–660 Broadway St.)

Chinatown is getting a huge new project in 2016 called China Live, from a team of partners including George Chen. The complex will clock in at over 20,000 square feet and is often compared to New York's Eataly. It will include lots of interactive activities, vendors, and a fine dining restaurant upstairs called Eight Tables. http://www.chinalivesf.com

The Manufactory (18th St. at Alabama)

Tartine Bakery has gained national attention for its superlative baked goods and equally exceptional lines to buy them. The famed bakery is opening in another Mission location in the most artisanal of spaces: they've taken over part of the large building that also houses the Heath Ceramics factory and warehouse and a Blue Bottle Coffee stand. The 5,000-square-foot space will be quite the destination with a restaurant, guest bakers and chefs, classes, and lots of other exciting happenings to be revealed soon.

Mister Jiu's (731 Grant Ave.)

Chef and San Francisco native Brandon Jew is working on an ambitious project in Chinatown, revamping the established and multi-level Four Seas into a more modernized Chinese restaurant. His dishes will be featuring organic, seasonal, local, and house made ingredients, all the way from the housemade tofu to the brewed soy sauce. http://misterjius.com

Nightbird (330 Gough St.)

The talented Kim Alter (previously at Plum) is opening a project of her own in Hayes Valley, offering her ingredient-driven and seasonal cuisine in the form of a four- to five-course tasting menu that will change each week; there will also be a seven-seat cocktail bar, the Linden Room.

Brezza Emporio and Pizzeria + Le Marais (Ghirardelli Square)

Ghirardelli Square has two exciting projects this year. Local baker Le Marais Bistro & Bakery has opened a 116-seat bakery and bistro, serving their fantastic baked goods, with an outdoor terrace. Chef Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto in NYC will soon be opening a sit-down brasserie and a fast-casual in the Upper Plaza called Brezza Emporio and Pizzeria, serving his seasonal and Italian-inflected cuisine http://www.ghirardellisq.com

Hitachino (639 Post St.)

International chef Noriyuki Sugie has been collaborating with Japan's Kiuchi Brewery—who brews Hitachino Nest—the past eight years, and is going to be opening a craft beer bar with them. Hitachino beers will be served on tap from kegs, so it will be extremely fresh, and there will be some exclusive San Francisco brews. Whether guests want snacks or a full meal, an izakaya-like menu will offer a range of options. http://www.hitachinosf.com

Arnasel (715 Brannan St.) and The Hunted (445 Harriet St.)

Los Angeles-based food personality and forager Erik Sun has a few projects lined up in San Francisco's SOMA: Arsenal, Arsenal Noodle Bar, and The Hunted. Details are forthcoming, but it looks like Arsenal will be opening first, and will feature fresh-caught seafood and noodles (one preview pic shows a bowl of spicy beef noodle soup with aged sirloin, braised back ribs, and prime rib-eye), while The Hunted will focus on wild game. Sun is a hunter, sport fisher, and forager, as well as a partner and sometime chef at Bestia in Los Angeles.

Editor’s Note: Author Marcia Gagliardi writes the popular insider weekly e-column http://www.tablehopper.com, about the San Francisco dining and drinking scene. If you’re planning on visiting San Francisco and the Bay Area, first check out the Taste California Travel’s Resource Directory where you’ll find links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options.

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