One of the wonderful treats of living in the east bay is the number of fabulous restaurants and coffee houses. I want to share with you just a few of my favorites in the city of Oakland.
Piedmont Avenue, Oakland CA
Baywolf 3853 Piedmont Ave 510-655-6004 You can't miss Baywolf, the only restaurant situated in a restored Victorian on Piedmont Ave. The menu changes frequently and from appetizers to deserts, I have never had a meal I did not like. A great place to celebrate with family and friends.
Dopo 4293 Piedmont Ave 510-652-3676 I can't say enough about Dopo. I heard the owner Jon Smulewitz used to work at Oliveto's on College. Well, the fresh ingredients are translated from his kitchen to your plate. The menu is considered Italian and is always changing which makes it a great place to go if you are a local. They do not take reservations and as of November 2006 they have expanded the number of tables so the wait is not as long. A great spot for either lunch or dinner.
Adesso 4395 Piedmont Ave. 510-601-0305 Adesso serves a wonderful salumi, which I understand is made in-house, and is a great place to start the night before going to dinner at Dopo, their sister restaurant (see my review above). Adesso also has the best happy hour in town with complementary appetizers (!) and I love the corner location with the large windows to people watch.
College Avenue, Oakland CA
A'Cote 5478 College Ave 510-655-6469 If you are going to have to wait for a table, A'Cote is one place you don't mind waiting for tapa style French-Mediterranean cuisine in the east bay. There is a wonderful outdoor patio but regardless if you sit indoors or outside, the service is excellent.
Noodle Theory 6099 Claremont Ave 510-595-6988 www.noodletheory.com located at the corner of College and Claremont where the Double Rainbow Ice Cream store used to be, this restaurant is always busy. With fresh, well seasoned noodles so reasonably priced, it’s no wonder.
Oliveto 5655 College Ave 510-547-5356 Any article you read about Oliveto never forgets to mention Chef and co-owner Paul Bertolli and his wood-fired rotisserie. The place to splurge on a meal you will never forget. Call ahead of time for reservations. The menu is Italian cooking with a wide selection of delicious meats.
Zachary's 5801 College Ave 510-655-6385 Very casual and a great stop for pizza lovers of all ages. Zachary's serves deep dish Chicago style pizza and thin crust pizza where you can choose your toppings, or chose from the menu. During afternoon hours you can walk in and grab pizza by the slice; great if you are on the go since the lines tend to be long. Make sure to call ahead for a quick pick up of your favorite pizza and here is a tip-order a half-baked pizza and finish baking it at home.
Wood Tavern 6317 College Ave 510-654-6607 Regularly regarded as one of the best restaurants in the East Bay, Wood Tavern changes it menu daily. The steak is to die for, so if you are lucky enough to be there when it's on the menu, don't think twice! If steak doesn't suite your palette, don't worry, there are plenty of other delectable dishes on the menu, made with fine, fresh ingredients.
Temescal District, Oakland CA
Dona Tomas 5004 Telgraph Ave 510-450-0522 This restaurant has helped change this neighborhood into a dinner destination. Dona Tomas uses sesonal, sustainably grown and raised ingredients like Niman Ranch meat and Hoffman Farm poultry and they serve homemade corn tortillas and salsas that remind you of Mexico. Dona Tomas does take reservations and parking is plentiful but if you get their early I recommend ordering a Margarita at the bar. On a warm evening ask for a table outside in their rear courtyard. Another hot tip: Their sister restaurant Tacumbaya is at 1788 Fourth Street in Berkeley 510-525-5160.
Uptown District, Oakland CA
Luka's Taproom & Lounge 2221 Broadway 510-451-4677 A great place to go for lunch or dinner. If you are looking for something small while running errands downtown, this is a great place for a salad. If cocktails and dancing after dinner are on your list, stop by. Parking is available behind the building.
Tamarindo 468 Eighth St., Oakland 510-444-1944 You'll find nothing but delicious Mexican food here. Althought the dishes are small, they are very filling and the concepts is "antojito's" so prepare to share. This is a great place if you have an afternoon of business to attend to, or want to have a nice dinner with a small group of friends and family. Remember Sundays or Mondays are when the restaurant is typically closed.
Ozumo 2251 Broadway 510-286-9866 Ozumo has a regular happy hour following and how can you resist cheap bar bite prices for high quality food? Looking for a place you can actually hear your date? Eat at the restaurant, you won't be disappointed. Great for large parties too. I love the food and the overall vibe.
Pican 2295 Broadway 510-834-1000 Upscale comfort food and a hopping bar scene. Go with an appetite--the food is filling!
Flora 1900 Telegraph 510-286-0100 I can't get enough of the Art Deco interior, not to mention the finely crafted cocktails. Go early if you plan to sit at the bar because this place is hopping! Besides the delicious dishes, people watching ambiance is included.
Lake Merritt, Oakland CA
Lake Chalet 1520 Lakeside Dr. 510-208-5253 Yes, just like the S.F. location, you can enjoy Taco Tuesdays (on the dock in the warmer months): $2.50 tacos, $3 beers. Stop by after a day at Oakland Museum or a three mil walk around the lake. Fabulous views of Lake Merritt, if you're planning to dine, make sure to ask for a seat with a view.