San Francisco's Best New Dishes Of 2022 guide image

SFGuide

San Francisco's Best New Dishes Of 2022

Meet our eight favorite plates of the year.

We ate at lots of new restaurants in the city over the past year. And while we were at it, we stained many shirts, found crumbs hiding in odd places—and discovered eight new dishes we now plan our lives around. At this point, some might say we're codependent on these dishes, but we call it unconditional love. From spicy tteokbokki and stuffed chicken wings to cinnamon rolls we journal about daily, these are the best new dishes of 2022. If you haven't gotten to meet them yet, make a resolution to change that next year. 

THE DISHES

photo credit: Sarah Felker

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Pappardelle

If you’ve never had octopus sugo that made you want to pledge your allegiance to it, the pappardelle at Ancora in the Mission awaits. Tiny bits of octopus add depth to the sauce, which will forever alter your brain chemistry once it hits your tongue. We wouldn't be surprised if Adele ends up singing a ballad about this bowl of pasta someday—once you try it, you’ll understand.

Two Butter Poached King Shrimps

The first time we had Taksim’s two butter poached king shrimps, time stopped, clouds parted, and an anthropomorphic shrimp god appeared to hold up a sign of shrimp. The seafood appetizer has been messing with our heads ever since, and we’ve been ordering it every time we go to the Turkish spot in SoMa. Plump crustaceans are wrapped in shredded kadaif, and sit over muhammara and pomegranate molasses—and that’s it. We can’t remember the last time a dish so simple inspired us to move mountains, or, more realistically, tell our friends and hairdresser about it.

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Onion Pie

For anyone who falls asleep to roasted garlic ASMR videos on TikTok, we’re happy to introduce the onion and ricotta pizza from Pie Punks. You’ll get the urge to spread the garlic and onion confit on everything—and record whatever sound is made for good measure. Out of all the round, grandma, and Detroit-style pies at this SoMa spot, this is the one sent down from the pearly gates to exist on earth as our new go-to lunch.

Good Good Chicken Wing

Anyone who stuffs chicken wings with sticky rice and covers them in adobo glaze deserves a Genius Grant—consider this our official nomination. The work of brilliance is at the Mission’s Good Good Culture Club, a Southeast Asian-influenced spot from the Liholiho Yacht Club team. Like everything else on the menu, these wings will become the subject of any future love haiku you write. Cut into one and unleash the garlicky fragrance that’ll give you chills. You order by the piece, so get at least three for yourself—sharing isn’t an option.

Cinnamon Roll

We went to Automat so often in 2022 that we memorized the street sweeping schedule within five blocks of the place. Trips to this NoPa cafe and bakery were always in pursuit of a cinnamon roll. Massive, pillowy, stretchy brioche covered in vanilla cream cheese frosting—you’ll want to gatekeep so it doesn’t sell out daily, but also shout about it through a megaphone so everyone can experience pastry glory. The number of times we ate a roll in one sitting and returned hours later for another is too many to count (apologies to our concerned primary care physician). Take this as a sign to get yourself in front of one now.

Spicy Chicken Tteokbokki

The spicy chicken tteokbokki from San Ho Won made us want to take a bazillion photos of this rice cake dish, order another round for later, and rent a blimp for our sky banner proposal to it. Sure, every dish at this upscale Korean restaurant in the Mission is worthy of marriage, but we ride or die for the tteokbokki like it’s our first celebrity crush (all three Jonas brothers, duh). Loaded with chicken and onions that practically dissolve in your mouth, the whole thing arrives bubbling in a big stone pot. It’s a fiery stunner.

Stir-Fried Rice Cakes

Not one, but two rice cake dishes were core memories of 2022. We'll never forget the first time we ate the stir-fried one from Shanghai Dumpling King in the Castro. More comforting than a knit balaclava, this was the best thing we spent $13 on all year (even better than the set of bok choy-shaped chopstick holders we impulse-bought over the summer). Slightly crisp rice cakes are the ideal vehicle for saucy chunks of pork and cabbage. We’ve never seen anything fly off a plate faster.

Lunch Lady

Every time we eat the face-sized slices at Outta Sight, our Apple watch thinks we’re in the middle of a workout—we devour them so fast because they’re incredible. None of these pies get our hearts fluttering like the Lunch Lady, the thick vodka pie topped with globs of stretchy mozzarella. Every bite is a saucy dream over a snappy and light crust. This Tenderloin slice shop makes a limited number of them each day, so getting one feels like winning the Powerball and finding a parking spot (meter paid for) in the same day.

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