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.
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.
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.
The name's a bit misleading. Not only is there no ocean view, but this is not your ordinary diner. Though it has streamlined aluminum and black-and-white tile, and the fare is inspired by diner cuisine, the ingredients are the freshest available and the dishes are prepared with care and imagination. At breakfast, the cooks do wonderful things with the humble buttermilk pancake, and the scrambled eggs and tortilla chips are memorable, as well. At lunch, it is sandwiches and plate specials, which often feature a fresh fish filet. The to-go counter next door offers sandwiches and pizza slices.
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.
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.
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.