The Most Noteworthy California Restaurants Openings of the Year

California welcomed several amazing new restaurants to its already renowned portfolio this year.

Saltie Girl. Saltie Girl

California might be known for its endless sunshine, temperate weather and sandy beaches, but the Golden State is also home to some of the most dynamic food scenes in the country. From San Francisco to San Diego, the entire state welcomed several amazing restaurants to its already renowned portfolio this year. Whether you’re a loyal local or a first-time visitor, these are the best California restaurant openings of 2023. 

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Sushi by Scratch. Suzi Pratt Photography

Sushi by Scratch – Healdsburg, CA 

Inside The Matheson, 106 Matheson St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

At the end of 2023, Sushi by Scratch set up shop at the back of The Matheson in the foodie-forward town of Healdsburg. This iconic sushi experience has taken the country by storm, and the Healdsburg location features the same charm and exclusivity that all other locations are known for. The 17-course omakase dinner is unlike anything else, but for the ultimate experience, splurge on the special drink pairing that features cocktails, beer and wine. 

Ciccio. kelly puleio photo

Ciccio – Napa Valley, CA

6770 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599

In 2023, Ciccio reopened under new management and with a new menu. Despite being an Italian staple in wine country, Ciccio closed in 2022, but they have managed to come back stronger and more popular than ever. There’s nothing like kicking back in Napa Valley with a glass of wine and one of Ciccio’s famous pizzas on your table. The vodka pizza with smoked mozzarella is full of flavor, but be sure to save room for the cacio e pepe gnudi as well. 

Movida. Movida

Movida – San Francisco, CA 

555 2nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107

Mexican and Persian cuisine blend beautifully at San Francisco’s Movida. Despite having a full restaurant menu, Movida is designed to feel more like a lounge with sleek booths, dim lighting and red tones. Since opening in October 2023, Movida has become a go-to spot for groups looking to dine and drink in style. Don’t skip the sweet corn ribs or pomegranate adobo chicken taquitos. 

The Black Sheep. The Black Sheep

The Black Sheep “SB Brasserie” – Santa Barbara, CA

18 E Cota St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

After facing a disappointing closure in 2022, The Black Sheep came back better than ever as The Black Sheep “SB Brasserie.” The new location in Old Town Santa Barbara puts it at the center of the action, which is exactly where this beloved California-French pub deserves to be.  The diverse tasting menu relies on fresh and seasonal ingredients, and guests can build their own ideal four-course menu with a variety of options ranging from hamachi “poppers” to coq au vin. 

Image: Interior of Bar Monette.
Bar Monette. Bar Monette

Bar Monette – Santa Monica, CA

109 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Since opening in Santa Monica in the spring, Bar Monette has become a favorite among Westside locals. The unique menu features beautiful Neapolitan-style pizzas, Italian tapas and a renowned selection of wines. The details and dedication to timeless luxury are what set this eatery apart from others, and even classic dishes like the Margherita pizza can be enhanced with freshly shaved truffles or caviar. 

Uchi. Uchi

Uchi – Los Angeles, CA

9001 Santa Monica Blvd Ste 101, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Uchi L.A. just opened in December of 2023, bringing the expertise and charm that made it so famous in Austin, Texas. The modern and Japanese-inspired interior features neutral tones, warm lighting and of course, a premium sushi bar. If you want a true taste of what Uchi has to offer, opt for one of the omakase tasting menus while you sip on sake or the famous Nikko Martini. 

Saltie Girl. Saltie Girl

Saltie Girl – Los Angeles, CA

8615 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Originally from Boston, Saltie specializes in all things seafood. From lobster rolls to tinned fish boards, this chic eatery sits right in the heart of Sunset Boulevard. Enjoy a zesty glass of sauvignon blanc alongside fresh oysters before digging into heartier dishes like the iconic lobster frites. Though Saltie Girl technically opened at the very end of 2022, it was without a doubt one of the most exciting restaurants to dine at all through 2023. 

Bar Chelou – Los Angeles, CA

37 S El Molino Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

Located in Pasadena, Bar Chelou quickly became a local staple upon opening at the beginning of 2023. This French bistro has a quaint, neighborhood feel that invites locals and visitors to kick back and relax over a crisp glass of white wine. Though you’ll find plenty of classic French flavors, the menu is pretty unique and boasts one-of-a-kind favorites like the scallop tartare, soft shell crab with Japanese curry aioli and morcilla cigars. 

Izakaya Maíze. Izakaya Maíze

Izakaya Maíze – La Mesa, CA

6062 Lake Murray Blvd Unit 201, La Mesa, CA 91942

Izakaya Maíze fuses Japanese and Mexican cuisine in a beautiful and influential manner in La Mesa. This innovative menu changes with the seasons, but you can always expect to find Japanese A5 Wagyu at the front and center. Izakaya Maíze also boasts an extremely creative cocktail program, but their impressive collection of Japanese whisky is also sure to catch your attention. 

7 Adams. 7 Adams

7 Adams – San Francisco, CA

1963 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94115 

Created by chef power couple David Fisher and Serena Chow Fisher, 7 Adams was one of San Francisco’s most anticipated restaurant openings. Each night, guests embark on a culinary adventure with a specially curated five-course tasting menu for $87. The ingredients are always fresh and locally sourced, so you can always expect changes and surprises at each visit. 

The Most Noteworthy California Restaurants Openings of the Year