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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Located in Oakland's Chinatown, Spices 3 is a great neighborhood Chinese restaurant that serves delicious moderately priced food. Try a wide variety of amazing dishes, including seafood hot pot, Taiwanese pork chop over rice, and stinky fired tofu. Stop by or order take out today!
Howden Restaurant and Bar is nestled in the heart of Oakland and is a great place to grab a meal and some excellent entertainment. The lower level of the restaurant has bar seating while the loft has tables and features regular live music gigs, stand-up comedy acts, and other local events. The restaurant serves some delicious American fare and exceptional cocktails, a variety of beers both bottled and on tap, and other spirits. The decor is elegant yet minimalistic and the ambiance is always lively and is the perfect setting for a great experience.
Soulful Ramen as Chef Itani, owner of Itani Ramen likes to call it, this place is a delight for your taste buds. The main focus of the cuisine here is on the traditional Japanese flavors and on the Ramen culture. The menu offers authentic dishes such as Miso Pork and Shoyu being the specialties. The drinks menu includes beer and sake along with Shochu which is a traditional Japanese drink but served here with a modern mix. The ambiance here is relaxing with decor inspired from the Japanese culture and sketched canvases on the walls which add to the beauty and authenticity of the place.