For far too long Oakland has lived in San Francisco’s shadow—especially when it comes to dining out. Over the last several years however, more and more restaurateurs, young chefs and even seasoned culinary artists have flocked to Oakland, making this city a destination for food. Last year The New York Times named Oakland one of the 52 places to visit in the world. We were in the company of places like Barcelona, Spain, Kansai, Japan and Todos Santos, Mexico. The New York Times cheered Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda noting the nearly 300 restaurants and wineries that have opened in recent years. In celebration of our diverse and delicious food scene we’ve compiled a list of restaurants and specialty shops in some of our favorite neighborhoods. Enjoy!
Shakewell • 3407 Lakeshore Ave. • Top Chef alum Jen Biesty creates a diverse, Mediterranean inspired menu with a world-class cocktail program.
Michel Bistro • 3343 Lakeshore Ave. • Two-story bistro with rustic-chic decor serving classic French fare and a France-focused wine list.
Boot & Shoe Service • 3308 Grand Ave. • A local fave, Charlie Hallowell perfectly executes his menu of thin-crust pies and pastas using seasonal ingredients.
Aisle 5 • 3320 Grand Ave. *NEW • Gastropub with 20 rotating taps. Pair your brew with a wood fired pizza, smoked wings or the famed beef brisket.
Grand Lake Kitchen • 3300 Grand Ave. • “One of the best brunches in town,” is an understatement. Try the savory French toast with a frozen Salty Dog.
Penrose • 3311 Grand Ave. • New American in a spacious yet warm and welcoming dining area. Live music several nights a week.
Alchemy Bottle Shop • 3256 Grand Ave. • The beautifully curated interior features unique bottles from boutique spirit makers. Weekly free tastings.
Oaktown Spice Shop • 546 Grand Ave. • Unique and hard to find spices, salts, and hand-mixed blends. Named one of the world’s best spice shops.
Pizzaiolo • 5008 Telegraph Ave. • Charlie Hallowell’s inaugural restaurant has become a destination. Some of the best pizza this side of Italy.
Blackwater Station • 4901 Telegraph Ave. *NEW • Craft cocktail bar serving dazzling large and small plates with a posh saloon feel.
Burma Superstar • 4721 Telegraph Ave. • The wait is long at the Oakland version of everyone’s favorite Burmese resto. Tea leaf salad anyone?
The Hog’s Apothecary • 375 40th St. • John Stewart-Streit of Delfina and Foreign Cinema fame delivers farm-to-table fare and crafty beers.
Bakesale Betty • 5098 Telegraph Ave. • Probably one of Oakland’s most beloved sandwich spots, Betty’s fried chicken is worth the wait in line.
Aunt Mary’s Café • 4640 Telegraph Ave. • Oakland is very serious about brunch and at Aunt Mary’s brunch is the name of the game.
Doña Tomás • 5004 Telegraph Ave. • Regional Mexican cuisine with an update is the specialty here. The selection of Mezcal is impressive too.
Sacred Wheel • 4935 Shattuck Ave. • This family owned cheese shop’s selection is heaven for the cheese lover in your life.
Temescal Alley • 49th St. between Telegraph Ave. and Clarke St. • From an old timey barber shop to horticultural rarities. A must visit.
Wood Tavern • 6317 College Ave. • Contemporary, rustic neighborhood restaurant serving an American brasserie experience.
Southie • 6311 College Ave. • Delicious, hearty sandwiches by day and mouthwatering dinner by night on Rockridge’s bustling College Ave.
Noodle Theory • 6099 Claremont Ave. • Ramen is on everyone’s list these days and NT’s versions are some of the Bay’s best.
Cafe Colucci • 6427 Telegraph Ave. • Ethiopian food is abundant in the East Bay but nothing compares to the authentic menu at Cafe Colucci.
Oliveto Cafe & Restaurant • 5655 College Ave. • Located across from BART, Oliveto serves rustic Italian dishes. Great for both lunch and dinner.
Lois the Pie Queen • 851 60th St. • Another brunch favorite and long time Oakland staple, Lois’ no flare menu is all about the comfort food.
Rockridge Market Hall • 5655 College Ave. • A one stop shop. Pick up fresh pasta, a colorful bouquet and a bottle of wine in the heart of Rockridge.
La Farine • 6323 College Ave. • Since 1977, LF has been bringing a little slice of France to Oaklanders. They donate leftovers to area food banks!
Duende • 468 19th St. • Contemporary, casual Spanish inspired restaurant with a cutting-edge cocktail menu. Try the squid ink paella.
Hopscotch • 1915 San Pablo Ave. • American classics boasting Japanese flavors, this is one of the most unique and delicious menus in Oakland.
Flora • 1900 Telegraph Ave. • Located in one of Uptown’s most beautiful Art Deco buildings. Enjoy upscale American fare and classic cocktails.
Shiba Ramen • 1438 Broadway *NEW • Japanese comfort food at its finest. Choose from a dozen varieties of broth, toppings and local craft beer.
Drake’s Dealership • 2325 Broadway • Old school Dodge dealership turned brewpub. From duck confit to wood-fired pizza, the menu is eclectic and fun.
Belly • 1901 San Pablo Ave. • The Korean inspired tacos and burgers are perfect for a bite before a show at the Fox.
Downtown Wine Merchants • 102 Frank H Ogawa Plz • Stay for a flight and dinner, or take one of the small production, boutique bottles to go.
Off the Grid: Uptown Oakland • 22nd St. btwn Telegraph Ave. and Broadway • Everyone’s favorite food truck fair visits Uptown Oakland weekly.
Miss Ollie’s • 901 Washington St. • Award winning and acclaimed Caribbean restaurant serves some of the best friend chicken in the Bay Area.
Cosecha • 907 Washington St. • Cosecha’s simple yet rich and delicious menu features an excellent green pozole, traditional tacos and tortas.
Desco • 499 9th St. • One of the best happy hours in Oakland. Also top notch, seasonal Italian cuisine with a great atmosphere.
Umami Mart • 815 Broadway • Shop for unique Japanese culinary wares and bar tools, spices, sauces and sake at this chic Uptown boutique.
Taylor’s Sausage • 907 Washington St. • Since 1924 Taylor’s has been producing some of California’s tastiest sausages and other fine meats.
Jack London Square
Chop Bar • 247 4th St. • From a boozy brunch to late night dinner, Chop serves up hearty comfort food, including an unbeatable meatloaf.
Everett & Jones Barbecue • 126 Broadway • Classic Oakland BBQ joint famous for their sauce and many celebrity sightings.
Seawolf • 350 4th St *NEW • A love letter to Jack London, this brand new, cozy gastropub is just what the neighborhood ordered.
Baia Pasta • 431 Water St. • Artisan pasta and meal kits. Baia uses organic American flours, offers many gluten free pastas, grains and sauces.
Jack Of All Trades Market • Jack London Square • The Treasure Island Flea’s little sister, this bizarre offers handmade wares, food trucks and fun.
Chez Panisse • 1517 Shattuck Ave • Using local, sustainable ingredients, Alice Waters has offered a very special dining experience since 1971.
Gather • 2200 Oxford St. • Offering sustainable food in a casual, communal setting. Gather has relationships with local farmers and purveyors.
Grégoire • 2109 Cedar St • Charming French eatery well-known for their signature potato puffs & other gourmet French fast food.
The Cheese Board • 431 Water St. • Made fresh daily, this collective is bringing their all local, vegetarian pizzas to the masses.
Tokyo Fish Market • 1220 San Pablo Ave • Since 1963 this family owned shop carries over 100 varieties of fresh fish, shellfish, oysters and more.