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Restaurant recommendations, new openings, and highlights from the SF Chowhound community.

Nieves Cinco de Mayo Opens in San Francisco

Note to ice cream obsessives: Chowhound bigwheel042 sends word to head to Mission Market, where you'll find the newest outlet of Nieves Cinco de Mayo. This Fruitvale ice creamery features uncommon flavors with a subtle, building sweetness, such as rompope (eggnog), rose petal, and cherimoya.

Dinner and a Drink: Pair Front Porch with Rock Bar

Rock Bar, from the Front Porch folks, offers the full bag of mixology tricks, from tinctures to infusions, says Chowhound mariacarmen. To set down a foundation to soak up the booze, you can order food from neighboring Front Porch (including shrimp and grits with red-eye gravy) and they'll serve it to you at Rock Bar.

Cijjo Lights Up Mountain View Small-Plates Scene

It's too early for a final judgment on Mountain View newbie Cijjo, but one Chowhound member says that the "energetic" and "serious" approach of Chef Ira Siegel results in ambitious dishes that stick the landing. Chowhound member eatzalot marveled at the chef's across-the-board success at an array of international dishes like Alsatian onion-cheese tarts, spicy ahi cones, and roasted marrow.

To-Go Food for Flights from SFO?

Departing out of SFO and want to pick up something in downtown San Francisco to eat on your flight? One good option is a stop at the International Food Court on Bush Street and Kearny, where you can grab a to-go dish that's maybe cheaper and definitely tastier than airplane food, like Vietnamese spring rolls from Pho Express.

Sunday Dinners at St. Vincent

Though St. Vincent on Valencia Street normally closes on Sundays, it's worth noting that occasionally they open for special dinners advertised on their website and through their email list. A recent prix fixe Sunday dinner featured East Coast–style Italian-American cuisine, with bucatini with red sauce and crab, garlic bread, chicory salad, and tiramisu for $35.

Lao Restaurant Lovers: To the Excelsior!

A new combination Lao-Thai restaurant opened in the Excelsior on New Year's Day, and 'hounds are on it. Chowhound member soupçon drops the word that Maneelap Srimongkoun Restaurant serves a satisfying khao poon (spicy vermicelli soup) along with other Laotian standards like Lao sausage and the crispy rice ball dish called nam kao tod. No reports yet on the Thai side of the menu.

PizzaHacker Debuts in Old Inkas Space

PizzaHacker moves from pop-up to perma with a takeover of the old Inkas space on Mission Street. One early report crows that the new location is worth a visit for the chewy pizza crusts, enormous salads, and convivial atmosphere.

3 Dive Bar Veggie Burgers We Love

We all want to eat better in January and February, but kale smoothies lose their charm after about number 3. Our adjusted resolution for 2014: Keep living a normal existence, just make it healthier. That means still dropping in on our local dive bar for a double IPA, but instead of slamming a double-bacon cheeseburger with that, we’ll go meat-free. That’s easier here in the Bay Area, where it’s no biggie for even dives to sling veggie burgers made from scratch, not fished from a freezer. So as inspiration for eating better in real-life situations like hanging out on barstools, we give you a trio of tasty veggie burgers from chilled-out taverns in San Francisco and Oakland (thanks to Chowhounds for the suggestions). Can we get some facon on that? READ MORE

San Francisco’s Best Bites of 2013

The San Francisco board's annual "Best Bites" list is a quick way to see which dishes were at the top of the pile for locals and tourists alike. The 2013 compendium includes several repeat offenders, like the Russian honey cake at 20th Century Café, fried chicken at Oakland's Miss Ollie's, and several dishes from Rich Table and Cotogna.

AQ Spin-Off TBD Ablaze on Mission Street

The expansion trend continues with TBD, brought to you by the owners of AQ. With the "hipster hunting lodge" décor that's au courant in San Francisco, the restaurant excites admirers of the original with dishes like cured wild salmon on rye waffles, a hot-link-like andouille sausage with fenugreek sauce, and "damn good" s'mores with house-made marshmallows.