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This neighborhood coffee shop is actually the Oakland branch of San Francisco's popular Farley's, which was opened in the 1980s. The two story coffee shop serves, of course, all kinds of coffee and tea drinks, but also features a menu light foods like soups, salads and hot and cold sandwiches. Farley's also offers a selection of beer and wine, and even has mimosas on the weekends! The upstairs area features all kinds of toys and kids books, and Farley's weekly hosts a storytime for them, along with other live music and performance events for grown-ups during many evenings.
Drake's Dealership is a cozy neighborhood restaurant and bar located in Uptown, Oakland. Set in a large and spacious former warehouse that is reminiscent of a green-house, this eatery is child-friendly until 9pm. Exposed brick-walls, lantern-lit trees, small tables and fire pits under an open sky give this bar the perfect ambiance for an intimate date night. Enjoy a wide range of cold local craft-beers on tap along with tasty food dishes like wood-fired New Haven-style pizzas, fish & chips, Roy's rib basket or BBQ pork sandwich. The perfect trendy, relaxed and laid-back ambiance here will make you want to visit and again!
Trueburger's focus is simple: classic burgers done right using quality ingredients and made with real care. Quality beef burgers, cheeseburgers, doubles, bacon cheeseburgers, and even a vegetarian "'Shroom Burger", which uses a Portobello mushroom as a patty are all delicious. But burgers aren't all they do; you can also get hot dogs, chili dogs, fries with various topping options and even several salads. And a visit to Trueburger isn't complete without sampling one of their hand-spun milkshakes with your favorite mix-ins.
The first of its kind to be opened in the United States, Oakland's Cat Town Cafe is a truly heartwarming experience. Part cafe and part cat shelter, this cafe is run by the non-profit Cat Town Oakland, which is dedicated to finding foster and forever homes for homeless cats in and around the Oakland area. The cafe consists of two different areas separated by a dividing wall: the cafe proper, where patrons can order coffee, espresso drinks, tea, and pastries, and the cat zone where all of the adoptable cats are free-roaming. Visitors to the cafe can take their drinks into the cat zone and spend up to an hour petting, playing with, and getting to know all of the cafe's feline residents. Reservations are highly recommended, as Cat Town Cafe is extremely popular, and can be made online. A $10 donation, which goes towards providing food, shelter, and care for the cats, is required for all patrons who make a reservation. Free-of-charge walk-ins are also available at the cafe, but are only available as time and space permits.
Top Dog has been an East Bay, and indeed Bay Area wide favorite since the 1960s. With several branches throughout Oakland and Berkeley, this one is located on bustling Lakeshore Avenue. Top Dog does just one thing, and it does it well. All kinds of encased meats are thrown on the grill here, with the all beef Kosher Top Dog and the Lemon Chicken dog being especially favored by Oakland's dog-eating masses.
If you're in the mood for some ultimate comfort food, look no further than Homeroom. This cute, airy restaurant decorated with all things school paraphernalia specializes in one thing: Mac & Cheese. And this isn't your grandma's blue box of "Mac N Cheese" as the different varieties range from your classic cheddar mac to more adventurous versions like goat cheese mac, trailer mac with hot dog and crushed potato chips, Mexican mac with chorizo, chipotle, jack cheese and cilantro, and even vegan or gluten free mac so noone is left out. Some of the varieties are constant staples while others change from time to time. All dishes can have various different ingredients and crunchy toppings added to them. In addition to the cheesy goodness, Homeroom also features various breakfast and lunch special sandwiches, homemade desserts and a delicious selection of local beers and wines.
Fenton's has been an Oakland institution for over 100 years, serving up homemade ice cream and deluxe toppings, along with all your classic American diner favorites. You can always get a juicy burger with fries, or cranberry turkey sandwich, but the real draw are the sweets. Fenton's serves up everything from your basic flavored ice cream cone to a super-deluxe sundae or an incredible milkshake. Besides high quality ice cream, the toppings are a huge favorite here, especially the marshmallow sauce.
Lo Coco's has been a restaurant staple on Piedmont Avenue for over 20 years. This cozy restaurant specializes in authentic Sicilian cuisine. Loyal customers delight in dishes like Tortellini con Pesto Creme, Linguini with Clams, Cannelloni and their delicious pizzas. The warm atmosphere, attentive service and flavorful food will turn anyone into a Lo Coco's faithful.
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.
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. For those with a slightly lesser appetite, they also serve thin crust pizzas that are just as delectable.