Tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater usually all have the same question: Where should I eat right now? Restaurant obsessives want to know what’s new, what’s hot, which favorite chef just launched a sophomore effort, where to sip the cocktail of the moment. And while the Eater 38 is a crucial resource covering old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the ‘it’ places of the moment. Thus, we offer the Eater Heatmap, which will change continually to highlight where the foodie crowds are flocking at the moment — even if that might be an older spot.

August’s additions include AL’s Deli, a Jewish deli mashup with Middle Eastern flavors, Elda, a cocktail bar with destination-worthy Latin and pan-Caribbean food, and Square Pie Guys, a Detroit-style pizza spot (that also has a great burger).

Map points are ranked West to East, not ranked.

1. Che Fico Alimentari

834 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 416-6980

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Just a few months after shuttering Theorita, the Che Fico team flipped the space into Che Fico Alimentari, a warm and inviting casual Italian restaurant with retail space for wine, salumi, bread, and pasta. Dine on a dinner menu that’s different, but very closely related, to its upstairs sibling, with fresh pasta and plates like braised short rib with polenta.

Albert Law

2. AL’s Deli

598 Guerrero St
San Francisco, CA 94110

Chef Aaron London’s follow-up to AL’s Place is a fast-casual mashup of Jewish deli culture and Middle Eastern flavors. It’s Dolores Park-adjacent in a bright space filled with pops of color. Stop by for pitas filled with smoky brisket and fluffy falafel, accompanied by a treasure trove of sauces like stone fruit amba, schug, and green tahini. Do not miss the potato hot pocket, which is most easily described as a hashbown stuffed with things like smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onions, and capers. Beer and wine are available.

3. Elda

3198 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 829-8468

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Elda is a cocktail bar, but it’s a cocktail bar with food that’s worthy of its own recognition. The menu is short but packed with bold pan-Caribbean and Latin bar food that is more than just a snack. The fried chicken sandwich on milk bread, dripping with chamoy, is a great example; chicken tostadas with black sesame mole and Jamaican beef patties with plantain dip are excellent accompaniments to a glass of natural wine, local beer, or cocktail.

A sandwich of fried chicken on white milk bread, dripping with chamoy sauce
Milk bread fried chicken sandwich with chamoy ($14)
 Patricia Chang

4. Fiorella Polk

2238 Polk St, San Francisco
CA 94109, United States
(415) 829-7097

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Non-Outer Richmond residents who are fans of Fiorella’s Neapolitan pizzas, pastas, and plates like wood-grilled pork chops are now in luck. The Polk Street restaurant is serving all the favorites, plus more pasta and charcuterie (including a pie topped with housemade mortadella), beer, wine, and low ABV cocktails like spritzes. It’s open for dinner in the former Gioia space, which has received a dark-hued, hip makeover.

Mortadella-topped pizza
 Patricia Chang
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