You might think that this place with its faux adobe paint job and bright red tables was moved lock, stock and barrel from Mexico itself. The food tastes authentic, too, but the great news here is that it's made without lard and the cooks use cooking techniques that keep the cholesterol down at every stop in the cooking process. The results are delicious and virtually indistinguishable from its more calorie-rich counterparts. Agua fresca and both Mexican and local microbrewery beers are also available from the friendly and quick wait staff.
What started life as a burger joint has refashioned itself as a cozy little café that pours its efforts into cuisine, not décor. Not that it's unattractive, but the generic tables, chairs and counter seating doesn't leave much of an impression. The food, on the other hand, is imaginative in conception and preparation. It's also delicious and served up to locals and shoppers at nearby Rockridge Mall with genuine warmth and welcome speed. The Apache Lamb Stew is hearty and flavorful, as is Acadian Cassoulet, swimming in smoked bacon and gourmet sausage. Breakfasts here are the specialty with dishes like Pumpkin Waffles and Ricotta Pancakes. Save room for the pie, baked in-house and featuring seasonal fruits as well as year-round favorites such as Coconut Custard and Lemon Meringue.
5655 College Avenue Rockridge Market Hall Oakland, CA 94618
This is one of the most celebrated restaurants in the Bay Area. It's so good that in 1998 it received the "Insegna del Ristorante Italiano" award, an annual honor bestowed by the president of Italy to one "true Italian restaurant" outside of Italy. The dining room is charming, the staff is courteous and the atmosphere is casual, yet romantic. The menu changes every day and is always kept short and sweet. The menu could include Hearts of Lettuce with Blue Cheese and Walnuts; Gnocchi with Leeks and Prosciutto; Green Garlic and Potato Ravioli; Grilled Quail al Mattone and Red Chili Rock Cod Stew with Aioli. The wine list is filled with an array of Italian reds and whites. A bottle of the house favorite runs around $20. In the cafe downstairs, things are more casual, with a bistro style and more casual fare, such as bruschetta, soups and a dazzling assortment of dolci.
This famous Chicago-style pizza company is always packed with UC students, families and out-of-towners. No one seems to mind the 20-minute (or more!) wait for the stuffed masterpiece. The pizza is made as thick as a pumpkin pie (yes, you do need a knife and fork), and the ingredients are put on upside down with tomatoes on top, meat on the bottom. So filling and so delicious, count on bringing home leftovers.
A neighborhood jewel, Ozumo relentlessly prepares Japanese delights like the Edamame and Spicy Miso Ramen and sushi varieties like Maguro Hamachi, Igura and Uni. The upscale venue serves small sharing plates that can be sampled along with the sake list. Some mentionable sake labels are the Ginjo and the Daiginjo, sourced from across Japan. However, go slow on the beverages due to the exceptionally high alcohol content in sake. The venue is chirpy and upbeat, with the cheer rubbing off on the diners. Book ahead for a table in order to miss the crowd.
Cock-a-Doodle Cafe is a popular brunch spot in Old Oakland. They don't take reservations, so write your name on the clipboard when you arrive. Menu highlights include the Graham Cracker-Coated French Toast and Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. They also feature a large Eggs Benedict menu on the weekends, as well as some Latin-inspired breakfast dishes. On warm days, be sure to grab a seat on their charming outdoor patio.
Fresh fish at low prices seems to be the motto at Ichiro. Unlike most Japanese restaurants, the portions here are very generous. Try the massive Titanic Roll - you definitely won't leave hungry. It comes stuffed with shrimp tempura and topped with tuna, salmon, spicy crab masafo and green onion. Don't forget to order a glass of sake to pair with your meal; the restaurant has a large selection to choose from. Ichiro is a popular spot for takeout as well, especially since the restaurant is so small.
The East Bay's beloved Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe opened this Uptown Oakland location in 2011. Rudy's is a kitschy and casual cafe serving up a huge variety of diner classics like entree salads, burgers, sandwiches, and daily comfort food specials like meatloaf and spaghetti and meatballs. In addition to their ample provisions, Rudy's also features a full bar, and has $1 beer specials after 9p every night. Their location right next door to the Fox Theater makes it one of Oakland's best late night dining options.
Spice Monkey started out just as a small cafe, and today has blossomed into a full-fledged restaurant. Spice Monkey's kitchen produces whimsical dishes with equally playful names, like their take on Shepherd's Pie, Sherpa D'Pie, or the Pow Pow Spare Ribs. The menu takes influence from all different parts of the globe, so no matter what you're in the mood for, Spice Monkey probably has something to fit your tastes. The restaurant also features a delightful wine list and several craft beers on draught, a few of which rotate.
Ratto's Market & Deli is a longstanding institution on the Oakland culinary scene. This family-owned delicatessen was established in 1897 by Italian immigrant Giovanni Battista Ratto. It has stood witness to several historical events over the decades and maintains its commitment to international standards. On offer are specialty cheese, charcuterie, herbs, preserves, sandwiches and salads, among an array of gourmet imports.
A venue that has been a part of the city's
night scene since the 1970s, Eli's Mile High Club is an institution in Oakland. A combination of a restaurant, dive bar, music venue, and art gallery, Eli's is a ...
The Oakland Marriott City Center is a good place to
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This full service hotel is very close to Oakland International
Airport and many of the East Bay city's most popular attractions like the Oakland Coliseum and Jack London Square. Three stories and filled with modern amenities, this hotel is ...