With a new year comes a slew of new restaurant openings. And for 2017, it looks like it’ll be a year filled with plenty of restaurant expansions, as well as highly anticipated concepts and new joints to check out in suburban San Diego. Excited to see what 2017 has in store? Read below for the 25 most anticipated restaurant openings this year.
Officine Buona Forchetta
ETA: Early January
No need to travel to South Park for Buona Forchetta; you can find its Neapolitan-style pizzas at Liberty Station starting early in 2017. For this second locale, the emphasis is on alfresco dining. There’ll be three patios, two custom-gilded pizza ovens, plus a third one dedicated to gluten-free pies. Partner and executive chef Mario Cassineri, currently of BICE, also has pasta dishes planned.
Chef Alberto Morreale of Farmer’s Bottega in Mission Hills is expanding his cooking influence to La Mesa with Farmer’s Table. He’s also acting as co-owner for this venture, so Morreale will be continuing the celebration of fresh produce and local flavors served up in time-tested family recipes.
Lionfish/Oxford Social Club/Provisional Kitchen/Nason’s Beer Hall/Fifth & Rose
There are several high-end concepts opening in January at the new Pendry Hotel in Downtown San Diego this year. For Lionfish, expect modern coastal cuisine featuring fresh-catch produce and prime meats prepped by executive chef Jose Ruiz. The two-floor dining room will be open for dinner only. The Oxford Social Club will cater to the nightlife side of things with a curated cocktail program plus intimate banquette seating and plush furniture. Provisional Kitchen aims to work as a casual restaurant selling gourmet food and will be headed by chef Chris Osborne, while Nason’s Beer Hall will focus on the local craft scene. Lastly, Fifth & Rose will open up as a sophisticated watering hole serving upscale bar fare.
Voltaire Beach House
If there weren’t enough reasons to visit the coastline, look for this new concept in Ocean Beach by owner David Schiffman. He and consulting chef Abe Botello will be bringing casual dining and local beers on tap to this new restaurant featuring a Nantucket Beach–inspired design to the area. The 3,000-square-foot space includes a wraparound bar inside and out, as well as a patio fireplace highlighted with antique copper design elements, rustic paint design and a spiral staircase to complete the beach haven feel.
The owners of Chorus Karaoke are expanding their options beyond patron performances by opening up Hive in the Convoy District. For this venue, guests can enjoy 50 local beers on tap and a twist on craft cocktails using ingredients sourced locally.
Courtesy of Grater Grilled Cheese Del Mar
Grater Grilled Cheese Del Mar
San Diego’s premier gourmet grilled cheese spot is opening its third location at the Del Mar Highlands Towne Center. Like at the spots in Mission Valley and La Jolla and its catered food truck, the menu focuses on classic grilled sammies made with a special blend of five cheeses by chef Gaston Corbala.
Breakfast Republic East Village
This breakfast chain continues to dominate the local landscape, and in 2017 it will spread its appeal to the East Village. It'll offer an innovative and interesting menu filled with pancake flights plus regional specialties like Southern shrimp and grits, similar to the North Park, Liberty Station and Encinitas locations.
Courtesy of The Crack Shack Encinitas
The Crack Shack Encinitas
Owned by Mike Rosen with chefs Richard Blais and Jon Sloan, this fried chicken joint expands into Encinitas for its second restaurant. Expect more of the same as the original Little Italy spot, items such as chicken- and egg-centric sammies like The Royal and Firebird filled out with a bevy of salads and slaw, all served in the space’s open-air 6,000-square-foot dining area.
Courtesy of Park 101 Carlsbad
Park 101 Carlsbad Village
The community around Carlsbad Village will have a new option for food and places to lounge with Park 101. Located in a 8,000-square-foot multilevel plaza-style restaurant, this family-friendly spot focuses on fresh dining that’s grab-and-go ready. Features include a streetside walk-up window serving hot sandwiches and fresh juices, coffee, ice cream and pastries. Those looking to grab a beer will find the space also includes an indoor/outdoor garden pub with local brews on tap. The venue will also serve up BBQ and other grilled options.
Courtesy of STK San Diego
STK San Diego
ETA: Early 2017
The Andaz San Diego hotel in the Gaslamp District will be home to STK San Diego in early 2017. The project by ONE Group is combining a sleek, modern steakhouse with a chic lounge complete with an in-house DJ. As for menu items, there will be reimagined American classics like bite-sized Lil’ BRGs made with Wagyu beef in addition to entrees such as lobster mac 'n’ cheese and, of course, steaks.
Hopes were high that this Mexican fusion restaurant with celeb chef Rick Bayless, acting as chief consultant, would open before the end of 2016, but instead, look for doors to swing open in March in the UTC area. Existing locations for the Mexican-based mini-chain include Los Angeles, Newport Beach and Santa Monica.
Courtesy of Born & Raised
Born & Raised
Little Italy will be hopping with Born & Raised taking over the former Nelson Photo Supplies building. The concept by CH Projects aims for a classic steakhouse feel for the 8,000-square-foot two-story venue. Plans include two oversized bars, three dedicated dining spaces, plus a main dining room. There’s also a downstairs patio seating and rooftop terrace complete with urban garden for the restaurant’s own use.
North Park Breakfast Company
Breakfast is taking a healthier spin with this new concept by Johan Engman, founder and owner of Rise & Shine Restaurant Group, but you’ll know him mostly for Breakfast Republic and Fig Tree Cafe. For North Park Breakfast Company, he’s focusing on new items such as quinoa blueberry pancakes, guava-infused pancakes, stuffed sweet potato breakfast bakes and egg yolk–filled breakfast ravioli served with pork belly just to name a few.
Courtesy of Urge Gastropub & Common House
Urge Gastropub & Common House
Suburbanites in San Marcos not looking to travel to Oceanside or Rancho Bernardo for craft beer and burgers can now opt to stay in their own neck of the woods with this third location of Urge Gastropub. Along with pub fare, guests can also find amusement in a bowling alley, bocce ball court and giant Jenga.
Breakfast Republic Carmel Valley
This is the second Breakfast Republic scheduled to open for 2017. Aside from the local chain's usual breakfast specialties, the Carmel Valley spot will have a mezzanine.
Normal Heights wasn’t big enough to contain all the deliciousness of Nomad Donuts, and this spring, it will be expanding with a second location in North Park. Located on University Avenue, the 3,000-square-foot space will serve popular pastries like ube taro donuts. And for the second act, also look for housemade Montreal-style bagels, a separate sandwich station plus craft beer and wine. The space will also have indoor and outdoor seating and be open all day.
Courtesy of Hundred Proof
Trust Restaurant in University Heights couldn’t get any hotter, and this spring, look for the minds behind the restaurant to venture into bar food with Hundred Proof. Located only a few steps away from its sibling restaurant, the concept will highlight handcrafted cocktails, boozy shakes as well as boilermakers, beer served with a shot. Despite focusing heavily on the bar scene, it will be open daily for lunch, dinner, drinks and weekend brunch.
This LA-based gourmet sandwich shop opened its first location in La Jolla late last year and follows up with a second regional shop in Del Mar. You can find it open this spring at the Del Mar Highlands Town Center where the 4,000-square-foot space will be outfitted with a fireplace and living wall with seats for 110 guests.
North Park’s Breakfast Republic will have a new sibling restaurant, and this summer guests can find it next door. As the name suggests, the focus will be on pizza made Neapolitan-style, but they’re also working on creating housemade pasta and cured meats.
Punch Bowl Social
ETA: Late summer/early fall
The redevelopment of East Village continues and this time, a landmark building will be reopened as a new “eatertainment” concept. As at other Punchbowl locations around the U.S., patrons can wind down with vintage video games, Ping-Pong, Skee-Ball and pinball, and feast on made-from-scratch food with a Southern influence plus handcrafted cocktails.
Those who haven’t tasted Shake Shack’s cheeseburgers, fries and frozen custards will have an opportunity this fall when this New York brand opens its first San Diego spot at Westfield UTC. The official opening date will be dependent on the completion of the mall’s $585 million expansion. Once open, you’ll find Shake Shack on the second floor with rumors that recycled and sustainable material will be used in the construction and design. And there’ll be a local spin to the concept: Frozen concretes will feature local food purveyors, according to its website.