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.
Located in the heart of the chic Rockridge area, Wood Tavern is arguably one of Oakland's favorite restaurants. Saying that they have pretty good dishes is a vast understatement. The menu changes frequently but might include dishes like seared duck breast, steaks and freshly made pastas. While the restaurant tends to crowd up, especially during peak hours, an airy breeze (when weather permits) and a friendly staff help to cultivate a casual atmosphere. Equipped with a full cocktail menu and over 70 wines, you can even stop in just for an after-work drink and leave satisfied.
Blue Bottle Coffee takes its name from the first coffee house ever opened in Central Europe: The Blue Bottle. Like its name, the company practices old world coffee-making; you won't find any grande soy pumpkin spice lattes at this establishment, which prides itself on brewing coffee for people who actually want to taste their freshly roasted coffee. The establishment has now been operating for over ten years and has several cafes on the west coast. This Oakland shop on Webster Street was opened in 2009 in a beautiful brick warehouse that was build in 1923. Coffee-lovers can stop into the bright and cheerful space to indulge in some freshly pulled espressi or brewed coffee and snack on the gourmet pastries also on offer.
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.
Yoshi's is not just a place where you can catch mind-blowing jazz, but also a sushi bar with an excellent food. Eager music lovers pack the restaurant and the Jazz House on performance nights. It showcases the best talent and boasts of high tech acoustics in the Bay area. A full cocktail menu is available with items like sushi, appetizers, salads and desserts. The attire is causal and the atmosphere jazzed up. It has a top-notch restaurant that serves Japanese food, and is open for lunch and dinner.
A world renowned name in the culinary industry, Chez Panisse is known for their innovations in tastes and flavors.Started by Alice Walkers in 1971, it was named after the movie character Honore Panisse. Prepared with fresh, local produce, the restaurant is a spectacular specimen of fine dining. The menu changes daily and is curated keeping the seasonality of ingredients. Through the week, delicacies like Striped bass carpaccio with cardoons and Titone olio nuovo and Huckleberry and Meyer lemon ice creams meringata are served, to name a few. The wine list is extensive, featuring dozens of wines from across the world. With contributions like California style pizza to the ever changing culinary world, the Chez Panisse is no less than a legend.
Awaken Cafe dons multiple hats as a performing arts venue, coffeehouse, beer and wine bar, gourmet snack joint and art gallery. There is always something going on here, whether it is a music and dance show or a fun karaoke session. Grab a fruit juice and listen to symphony orchestra, enjoy gourmet coffee with banana bread, marvel at contemporary art, watch live sports on television, listen to indie and pop beats at the concerts or participate in poetry slam. Mood lighting, WiFi access and happy hours only serve to accentuate the overall experience. Gastronomes will delight in the award-winning ice creams and espressos, organic food selection and Californian craft beer.
The East Bay is abuzz with talk of Modern Coffee. At this beloved flagship location in downtown Oakland, you'll find an assortment of roasts that could satisfy any connoisseur. Pair drinks like burnt cinnamon and lavender almond milk lattes with fresh-out-of-the-oven pastries. The friendly staff is happy to help you find your preferred flavors, even if you haven't discovered them yet. Stick around for the ambiance or take your treats to nearby Lake Merritt for a delicious break.
In a world filled with carnivores, Golden Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant stands out. Featuring vegetarian versions of chicken, beef, fish, shrimp and more, Golden Lotus is one vegetarian Vietnamese (and Chinese) restaurant that local veggies and carnivores alike swear by. Especially amazing are the "chicken" drumsticks, and the vegetarian pho. Golden Lotus aside from not using meat, also does not use eggs in any of their dishes, however not all dishes are Vegan. There is, however, a fair amount of vegan selections also.
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.
Biryani Kabab Halal Indian & Pakistani Cuisine, the name of this spectacular restaurant is self-explanatory and gives you an idea what to expect when you stop-by for a leisurely meal. Situated in the bustling Downtown Oakland, lovers of Indian and Pakistani cuisine fill this restaurant to the last seat at all times of the day. Chicken Tikka Masala, Garlic Naan, Basmati Rice and Tandoori Chicken are few of their most popular dishes that are capable of tantalizing your taste buds. The menu also includes many dishes like Chana Masala, Daal, Aloo Palak and Malai Kofta that are suitable to the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle. Trying the exemplary food of Biryani Kabab Halal Indian & Pakistani Cuisine is a must while in the neighborhood.
Abura-Ya is a Japanese style restaurant that located in downtown Oakland. (In Japanese, Abura-Ya means "oil shop".) It serves authentic Japanese dishes such as teriyaki, onigiri and Japanese BBQ. Boneless, skinless and non-greasy fried chicken is Abura - ya's signature dish, and is highly recommended.