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5 Emerging Restaurant Trends in San Francisco for 2016

There have been plenty of changes to the San Francisco restaurant scene that have created noteworthy trends for the Bay Area. Whether it is a new restaurant establishing itself in the area or a well-known restaurant vying to stay fresh and hip in a competitive industry, San Francisco is seeing a wave of new trends in its dining spots.

If you’re a sucker for a great meal and an exciting atmosphere, take a look at these 5 emerging trends in San Francisco:

#1: Small Plates or Big Plates

Chefs across the Bay Area have done away with the traditional three-course meal consisting of an appetizer, main course and dessert. Now we see “single bite” menus and “slightly larger” food options to choose from. One of the most unifying elements of these menus is emphasis on sharing food.

From family style meals serving 4-6 people to small snacks for those with a smaller appetite, this is a new trend that has broken the traditional mold of 3-course dining.

#2: Tipping

Tipping in restaurants has become a national debate and many restaurants in the Bay Area such as Homestead, Lazy Bear and Aster have started to include service in the menu prices or as an automatic percentage on the bill.

Other restaurants like Bar Agricole and Sous Beurre Kitchen have gone tip-less and then backtracked to supporting tipping again. The city’s high cost of living has made San Francisco a hotspot for the discussion of tipping in restaurants.

#3: Sequels

Many of San Francisco’s most notable recent restaurant openings have been sequels to some of the city’s most popular restaurants. For example, Aziza’s Moroccan décor and menu sparked the creation of the global New America cooking at Mourad.

This isn’t the only restaurant that has created a sequel restaurant to their first hit restaurant – this is a trend that will continue on for many years to come in San Francisco.

#4: Smoking, Fermentation and Pickling
Smoking, fermentation and pickling food aren’t only for the south – there are plenty of restaurants that use these cooking techniques. The Rare Barrel ferments the potatoes they use in fries. Del Popolo serves a smoked sweet potato appetizer and a smoky mescal cocktail. A few restaurants like Ninebark in Napa serve house-cured pickle plates and Old Bus Tavern even serves pickled quail eggs. This is a trend that is heating up in San Francisco’s restaurants.

#5: Cocktails & Craft Beers

Both craft beers and craft cocktails are becoming a trendy norm in San Francisco. Dive bars are making their own syrups and even upscale restaurants are putting tea and beer alongside wine options. Cider is also a new option that can be found in many restaurants in the bay area.

This is a trend that allows restaurant-goers more drink options to pair with their main course and dessert. Be sure to pay a visit to one of the city’s newest restaurants Old Bus Tavern in Bernal Heights, some of their beers are even brewed in house!

What are some of your favorite restaurant trends in the area? We’d love to hear from you!