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Old 02-09-2013, 09:25 PM
 
1,015 posts, read 624,232 times
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Default Oakland Food (and drink) Experiences

I'm interested in hearing from people about their Oakland food (and drink) experiences, good or bad. Is someplace overlooked or over-rated.

I'm not interested in hearing the 25 zillionth rehashing of Oakland's crime problems. I'm not interested in stuff you read in the newspaper or on a blog, but in an experience you had.

Yesterday, quite without planning it, I had "silly lunch" wherein an upgraded donut from Donut Savant was followed by a pulled pork sandwich at Luka's and fat french fries. Sadly, though, no beer, because I had to go back to work. When I started working in Downtown Oakland in late 2000, none of this was there.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:58 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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The short list of my faves:
Chop Bar: really good food, great drinks and super friendly service
Boot and Shoe Service: great pastries, pizza and brunch
Hawker Fare: love the food and atmosphere. And the decor
Monkey Forest Roadretty good coffee, awesome atmosphere, pastry chef was on the next Iron Chef
Asmara: the old standby for tasty ethiopian
Cafe Romanat: new kid on the block for great ethiopian
Xyclo: garlic noodles are yummy here, and the spring rolls
Plum Bar: get the happy meal, super high quality bar food
Tamarindo: the best margarita ever, and everything I have tried here has been among the best in breed
Cosecha: great tacos, very good pastries. These are fancy tacos, it is an ex-chez panisse chef
Bittersweet: I like the spicy best. ANd this place has the best chocolate chip cookies. Well...2nd to the fancier Boot and Shoe one that is almost savory.
Scream Sorbet: 100% best summer treat ever. I don't know how they make the nut sorbets have such perfect texture.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:02 AM
 
Location: East Bay Area
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1. Eating two southern fried chicken wings with a waffle and egg on a late cold night at Chicken & Waffles, after catching a NON 3D movie at Jack London Theater.

2. Going with a group of people to Bakesale Bettys on a sunny day. Waiting in a estimated 75 ft long line is part of the experience. Chatting about life. OMG the sandwiches!
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:28 AM
 
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A couple that have not been mentioned:

Commis - perhaps the best fine dining experience in the East Bay. Expect $100 per person
Wood Tavern - upscale casual
Bellanico - upscale casual
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:42 PM
 
Location: South Korea
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Battambang in downtown Oakland on Broadway by 8th Street. REALLY good Cambodian food for very reasonable prices.

The Trappist, right around the corner: best bar in the Bay Area, especially if you like Belgians. But their beer list in general is great and very eclectic, and changes very frequently. If you go there once and like one of their beers, expect it to not be available the next time you go. You'll feel bummed out for about 30 seconds, then try one of the other 30 new beers they have and have your mind blown.

Spices 3 in downtown Oakland, on 12th by Franklin. Really good Chinese food, not the usual tasteless mush that most Bay Area Chinese places serve.

Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe. I've only been to the Emeryville location but if the Oakland one is as good, it's a great casual diner.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Rudy's was okay like 5 years ago when nobody knew what it was. The food/service have gone steadily downhill and the one in Uptown is pretty bad.

With that said, just a few of my favorite places that nobody has mentioned:

The Fat Lady- one of my favorite Sunday brunch spots
Dopo- the BEST Italian food in Oakland
Flora- great concept, amazing food
Ba Le- $2.75-$3 bahn mi FTW!
Tara's Organic- my favorite ice cream shop in Oakland
Gaylord's- my favorite coffee shop in Oakland
La Farine- my favorite bakery in Oakland
True Burger- best burger in Oakland
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:00 PM
 
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Interesting to hear that Xyclo is good, last time I went (years ago) it seemed sort of bland and boring. I'll have to give it another shot.

Tell me about Fat Lady, I drive by there every now and then, but have never been.

I'll restrict myself to three:

Jade, if I understand your coordinates right, you should be very close to the new Sweet Bar Bakery, at 24th & Broadway in the old Packard Lofts building. Terrific cupcakes, muffins, along with sandwiches and some beer choices, and a nice place to hang out.

Beauty Bagels is on Telegraph between 38th & 40th, around the corner from Macarthur BART, next to the CME church (Oakland's diversity at work again). They've got great dense, chewy Montreal style bagels, they'll put lox or other stuff on them. It's a fairly small place with a few outdoor seats, they were very crowded today (Sunday) around 11:30, but we managed to find seats by hovering. The coffee is Flying Goat, I think.

Hopscotch, a kind of upscaled diner, is a really tiny jewel box of a place across San Pablo Ave. (yes San Pablo Ave.) from the Uptown apartment complex (1915 San Pablo, a couple of long blocks from 19th St. BART). Sweet potato gnocchi, a burger with tongue, duck fat fried potato chips, what's not to like? Brunch, lunch, and dinner.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:25 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlite View Post
Jade, if I understand your coordinates right, you should be very close to the new Sweet Bar Bakery, at 24th & Broadway in the old Packard Lofts building. Terrific cupcakes, muffins, along with sandwiches and some beer choices, and a nice place to hang out.
I do like Sweet Bar. I hear the flatbread, a special First Friday item, is great too. I actually live on the other side of 580, closer to the Rose Garden, but Sweet Bar is still super close. A little more than a mile.

Quote:
Beauty Bagels is on Telegraph between 38th & 40th, around the corner from Macarthur BART, next to the CME church (Oakland's diversity at work again). They've got great dense, chewy Montreal style bagels, they'll put lox or other stuff on them. It's a fairly small place with a few outdoor seats, they were very crowded today (Sunday) around 11:30, but we managed to find seats by hovering. The coffee is Flying Goat, I think.
This is absolutely on my list, I really need to get there! Hmmm....maybe this week!

Quote:
Hopscotch, a kind of upscaled diner, is a really tiny jewel box of a place across San Pablo Ave. (yes San Pablo Ave.) from the Uptown apartment complex (1915 San Pablo, a couple of long blocks from 19th St. BART). Sweet potato gnocchi, a burger with tongue, duck fat fried potato chips, what's not to like? Brunch, lunch, and dinner.
I need to get here too! It is so hard to keep up!
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
2,687 posts, read 2,017,686 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlite View Post

Tell me about Fat Lady, I drive by there every now and then, but have never been.
They serve a nice little basket of muffins on the table for brunch, and the service is always great. Egg dishes are good and the other lunch options are nice too. Plus, I really like the atmosphere. I won't spoil the surprise, but go inside and see for yourself. Dinner is great too, but a bit on the pricey side.
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