With winter solstice merely a blurb on our Instagram stories, the cold, festive season is officially here. Wintertime means different things to different people; some like it hygge, some love the good ol’ snowboarding adventure, some plan a warm weather escape, and some live it up in the city, enjoying its various warming cocktails. Everyone agrees, however, that winter is all about indulging in comfort food. What does comfort food mean to us? Let these 5 new cozy, ultra-comforting dishes around town demonstrate.

So I'll be honest, I thought Duna was Mediterranean until about halfway through the meal. (I think the 8% beer I had during Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and general ignorance had something to do with it.) The spätzle/spaetzle gave it away though. I’m not sure if I’m a huge fan of Central European cuisine, but I‘m definitely going to make liptauer, which is a Hungarian cheese dip… because I love dips… We shared: smoked potato flatbread, liptauer paprika cheese dip, creamed herring, chicken paprikas spätzle with mushrooms & sour cream, and stuffed cabbage rolls with pork belly, whipped potatoes & sour cream. #🥘#foodie#foodstagram#sffoodie#bayareafoodie#sanfrancisco#sfrestaurants#sfbesteats#sfgoodeats#eatersf#eatingsf#restaurant#restaurants#eat#EEEEEATS#european#centraleuropean#spatzle#spaetzle#sourcream#herring#porkbelly#chorizo#cheesedip#flatbread#mission#themission

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Duna’s Spätzle

Here’s the deal—spatzle is nothing but a soft egg noodle, cooked in boiling water to resemble soft, pillowy flakes. Its flavor and soft comfort factor greatly compensate for its simplicity, and Duna is one of the only places in San Francisco serving it right. Get it as a main dish, drowning in farmer’s cheese and caramelized onions (so much better than it sounds) or in its newer reincarnation as a side, accompanying the spicy chicken paprikas stew. Either way, you’ll make a new carb friend for the season and, perhaps, for eternity.

983 Valencia St

Foxsister’s Fried Dumplings

Tucked away in outer Mission, the new Foxsister might not be the most Instagram-friendly place in town (it’s very dark) but the spicy, joyful and bold food it serves might just be the best Korean cuisine of the moment. For ultimate comfort, order the deep-fried, juicy pork and beef dumplings, second to none and best eaten with your hands.

 3161 24th St

Contrada’s Honey Nut Squash Gnocchi

Everyone knows gnocchi is the ultimate comfort food with its buttery finish, complimented best by rich sauces and toppings. The new Tuscan-inspired spot in the Marina is well aware; and for winter, Contrada just added a gnocchi dish to its menu, and it’s straight up irresistible. Think sweet parsnip, smoked bacon, pumpkin seed, brown butter crumble, and salty pecorino cheese, partying together with velvety squash-based nuggets of goodness. Hygge on a plate.

2136 Union St

Onsen’s Charred Brussels Sprouts

As you enter Onsen, the eatery-meets-Japanese-bath-house in the heart of the Tenderloin, relaxation automatically sets in. Of all the heartwarming, comforting dishes on its menu, a new addition worthy of attention is the Brussels sprouts. Standing out among the many sprouts of San Francisco, this small-yet-poignant dish includes silky tofu skin, miso paste and preserved tomato dressing. The recipe is a balance of savory flavors, serving up a balanced, cozy-meets-healthy option. 

466 Eddy St

Al’s Place’s Noodle Bowl

Al’s Place is still one of the most lucrative (and busy) spots in town for good reason. And recently, chef Aaron London has also decided to include a new fast-casual dish to his offerings. Enter the $30 noodle bowl, available on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday nights, from 9:00 p.m to close. Inside the huge bowl, fresh rice noodles mingle with Fuyu persimmons, herbs, crunchy onions and a choice of protein, from tender rib eye cubes to charred shrimp and pork belly. Served at room temperature with a side of sauce, this bowl is as comforting as winter gets.

1499 Valencia St