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.
Modeled after traditional dim sum service, State Bird Provisions lets patrons use the sense of smell and sight to choose their dishes, with cuisine brought in on a trolly for viewing. Each item is creative and innovative, with dishes like sweet corn and chive pancakes, kimchi pork belly with tofu and duck liver mousse with almond biscuit. The space is rather small, yet cozy with an open concept kitchen, and friendly staff. Reservations are highly recommended as State Bird Provisions was named the 2012, "Best Restaurant in America" by Bon Appetit Magazine and "Best Chefs: West" from the James Beard Foundation in 2015.
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.
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.
Got a craving for some authentic deep dish pizza? This hip, fresh joint has food of tantalizing tastes to satisfy even the most jaded pizza enthusiast. Try the Mediterranean chicken pizza, or try the vegetarian pizza, which will have you converted in no time. Little Star also offers thin crusts, which are, honestly, just as good as the incredibly taste-infused deep dishes for which they are famous. With minimalist decor and a blaring jukebox to boot, Little Star will have you hooked.
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so then it is logical to do breakfast right. To experience this, the Pork Store Café is a place to be. Though small in dimension, the food here is huge. Every plate served is colossal, and, more importantly, delicious. It touts lots of meat on the menu (it's called the Pork Store, after all.) Ham, bacon, sausage, chops, all served with eggs, potatoes, toast and endless cups of strong coffee is served up by the friendly wait staff. If you are not feeling carnivorous, order a short stack of pancakes, omelet, French toast, or a veggie and tofu scramble. Sit at a window table or choose a stool at the counter, where you can watch all that fabulous food being prepared.