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.
Sometimes you want a Louisiana link that sends your tongue on a one-way trip to New Orleans, or a decent kosher frank. That is what the owner wanted when he opened up this small stand: a taste of New York's famous ethnic sausages from its German, Italian and Polish neighborhoods. And they ship bulk orders around the world, too! Not surprisingly, this joint is a hit with local students grabbing a quick bite between classes or a satisfying break during a late-night study session. Place your order at the front and hang out while waiting for your link. Lemon Chicken, Kielbasa and the turkey "Bird Dog" are among the several appetizing selections.
Rustic and romantic, Freehouse is a haunt for the beer lover in you. The interior of this beer garden is made to look like a cozy living room; it is furnished with intimate seating spaces and the fireplace keeps patrons warm on colder evenings. Yellow lights and timber-clad walls give this place an old-school look. The outdoor seating in the spacious courtyard lets larger groups dine under the bright California sun. At Freehouse, the menu is ever changing but classics like Beer Poached Mussels, the house salad and Chicken Pot Pie never go out of style. Limited but potent cocktails are on offer along with beers sourced from eminent breweries.
El Farolito is one of the Mission's most beloved dive taquerias. The lighting is alright, the decor is bargain-basement, but the burritos are huge and the filling is a delicious, slow-cooked Carne Asada, tender chicken, spicy pork, or veggies and guacamole. You will also find tacos and enchiladas. It is a popular place with locals and people looking for a quick meal, especially late at night when most other spots have closed down. The service is quick and efficient. Only cash accepted.
Shan Dong Restaurant located in Oakland's Chinatown specializes in Mandarin cuisine. Especially popular are the fresh, homemade dumplings, pancakes and rolls, as well as their tasty hand-made noodle dishes. The decor, however, is minimal and showcases the traditional Chinese culture. Try the special Shan Dong dumplings or the always delicious sesame noodles. Shan Dong also offers an extremely affordable lunch special, all lunch entrees served with rice. If you live nearby, they offer free delivery for dinner within one and a half miles.
Already an institution in the East Bay, Bakesale Betty has local families, hipsters, and sweet teeth forming a line out the door for delicious baked goods. Everything tastes great, but the words you'll hear coming from the lips of everybody waiting are "fried chicken sandwich." The unbelievably filling sandwich is piled high with delicious fried chicken covered with a faintly spicy, not at all soggy jalapeno coleslaw. Other favorites are the carrot cake cupcakes, the strawberry shortcake, and the bake-at-home chicken pot pies. The staff, including Betty, the eponymous owner (you can spot her by the blue wig), are all friendly and more than willing to make recommendations to newcomers. Don't let a long line put you off- they usually move fast, and people waiting to order get free cookies and lemonade. No seating inside can be a problem, but outside are stools and ironing boards serving as makeshift tables. Stop by and see what all the fuss is about.
If you are fond of flavorful meats, than Sarah's Latin Taste commands your attention. They serve appetizing meat options in a food truck. The meats are freshly prepared with unique blend of spices and seasonings. When visiting here you can expect a decent service and a great selection of meals. When rushing late for your work, you can also opt for takeaway service or get your favorite meals delivered to your doorstep.
This storefront ranks among the great cheesemongers in the United States. It is a fairly large space, but not a square inch of it is wasted in piling up the copious selection of sage derbys, gruyeres, gjetosts, cambozolas, manchegos and more. The latest arrivals are noted up on a big blackboard, and the staff is knowledgeable to the point of didacticism. It offers many other specialty foods, too, and has its own bakery. The Cheese Board Pizzeria is a Bay Area favorite for its daily changing artisan pizza specials.
The first of these gourmet bakeries in the Bay Area (they now have stores in San Francisco and Emeryville), Arizmendi bakes up amazing fresh breads and gourmet pizzas daily. Some baked goods are regulars, while others change daily, like Irish Soda Bread and fig-Fennel Sourdough. The huge draw here, besides the urge to overstuff your breadbox are the fresh, specialty pizzas which change daily. Whether its a more basic version like Tomato Sauce, Olives and Rosemary, or slightly more daring and unusual, like Pasilla Peppers, Red Onions, Zucchini and Cilantro Pesto, the pizza will please any palate. Pizzas can be bought by the slice, half-pizza, or a whole and can be heated up there for immediate consumption, or half baked for you to finish yourself when you get home.
If you wish to take a break from regular burgers and sandwiches, head to Wally’s Cafe for complete Mediterranean fare. The place is known for their generous portions of Shwarmas, Falafels, Gryo Plate, kebabs served with sides of salads, hummus and Baba Ganouj. The place is a bit small and good for a quick meal. They also cater for parties and other occasions, so if you like their food consider them for your next gathering. Do not leave the spot without trying their delicious Baklava for dessert.
Ju Ni which means 12 in Japanese is the spot for the lovers of sushi and Omasake themed restaurants. Omasake restaurants are those where the chefs decide the cuisine to be served to their customers. Headed by Chef Geoffrey Lee, this restaurant can accommodate only 12 people at a time and serves traditional Japanese cuisine with a modern twist. A variety of fish delicacies are available which are cooked and served in style. This place offers authenticity along with a great taste for those who have a penchant for Japanese Cuisine.
Tickling taste buds with contemporary American cuisine, the Morris on Mariposa Street is good for a date night or dinner with friends. The dimly lit eatery has simple yet modern interiors with a busy open kitchen. Even the simplest of dishes are cooked and seasoned well, with a perfect blend of flavors and aromas. The smoked duck, crab porridge, and the shrimp toast seem to be the house hits. The wine list is expansive and impressive while the staff is efficient and courteous. The beautiful presentation entices you further and elevates the dining experience.