Michelin-starred chef closes acclaimed SF restaurant

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Photo of Madeline Wells

Hawker Fare, at 680 Valencia St., San Francisco, has closed.

Steven B. via Yelp

Nearly nine years since it opened, colorful Mission District Thai and Laotian restaurant Hawker Fare closed on Sunday.

“It is with the gravest of sad news for me to announce. Hawker Fares Last Day of Service will be today,” read the restaurant’s closure announcement on Instagram. “Despite the love of our fans, the growing food, labor, and operating cost was insurmountable.” 

Chef James Syhabout opened the first iteration of Hawker Fare in Oakland in 2011, followed by the San Francisco location on Valencia Street in 2015. Hawker Fare was a personal project for Syhabout that celebrated street food from Laos and Isan (Northeast Thailand) and acted as a more casual counterpart to his 2-Michelin-star Oakland restaurant Commis. 

“With a heavy heart and lack of sleep for the past few days I am sad to announce that Hawker Fare San Francisco has to come to an end, today we celebrate our final day of operations,” shared Syhabout on his personal Instagram. “Hawker Fare will exist forever in spirit and in print.”

The restaurant’s upstairs cocktail bar, Holy Mountain, has also closed, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. (The Chronicle and SFGATE are both owned by Hearst but have separate newsrooms.) 

Oakland’s Hawker Fare closed back in 2017, but fast-casual spinoff Hawking Bird in Temescal remains open, as does Commis. Hawker Fare did not respond to SFGATE’s request for comment in time for publication. 

Syhabout told the San Francisco Chronicle that he has “no ambition” to open another Hawker Fare and has decided “less is more.”

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