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.
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.
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.
All Star Cafe is a lively and friendly little cafe, located at the intersection of Market Street and Van Ness Street. Apart from fresh coffee and a host of other beverages, the cafe also offers diners a selection of donuts, pastries, hot sandwiches, salads and teriyaki dishes. Although their most poplar dishes are the BLT and Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches, all their food is fresh, delicious and generously proportioned. Perfect for a quick donut on your way to work, or a hearty meal to satisfy raging apatites, All Star Cafe is popular amongst tourists and locals alike.
Cala brings a breezy Mexico taqueria to the neighborhood of Hayes Valley, with its upscale rustic-chic interiors, tall French windows and skylights. The menu curated by Chef Gabriela Camara focuses on seafood with Mexican highlights. With the menu offering changing constantly, no two visits will be the same - in the past, Cala has served delicacies such as Chilaquiles and Sopes Playeros Con Pescado, served with fish, black beans and ricotta salad. Sample some Mexican wines or native mezcals and tonics for effect.
Named after the owner's mother whose recipes have inspired the menu, Hazel serves a fusion of traditional Southern food with inspirations taken from Texas, Georgia, and Louisiana. The interiors are also inspired by the owner's childhood home. Golden accents dominate the 70s-themed space featuring a lot of TVs, pool tables, a mural of Hazel and beautiful artwork. The menu is dotted with comfort food such as Tater Tot Nachos and Hazel's Fried Chicken, with the bar serving over 200 different whiskey options, craft cocktails, and beers.
Set in a cozy place, Kaya is a perfect stop for those looking to indulge themselves in some hearty Caribbean delicacies. The modern decor of the place boasts of hanging lights, Caribbean artwork on the walls, wooden floors and light colored walls. Specializing in serving sumptuous Jamaican delicacies, one can opt for dishes like Salt Fish Fritters, Piri Piri Chicken or Oxtail Stew here. All the dishes served here are made to order and are cooked using the finest of fresh, local ingredients. After you have feasted on the tasty delicacies, don’t forget to complement your meal with a glass of Montego Slang, a cocktail made using blended rum, mango, cilantro and cheery heerings. You can also watch old Caribbean movies that are projected on the walls of the restaurant as you enjoy your meal. If you are willing to treat yourself to some authentic Caribbean flavors, head to no place other than Kaya.
Kagawa-Ya Udon is a sleek Japanese bistro dishing out Japanese and Hawaiian specialties. Fans of Japanese cuisines can relish Udon, Onigiri, Tempura, a variety of curries and much more. They are popular for their Udon dish, which is prepared by aging it for 19 hours, it is then pressed, rolled and sliced to perfection. Foodies can come in and enjoy a bowl of delicious Udon. Besides regular drinks they also serve Hawaiian beverages like Hawaiian sodas, coffee and tea.
Stop by Corridor Restaurant on Van Ness Avenue for a casual dinner or quick drink before catching a show at the nearby Bill Graham Auditorium. Its hip and spacious interiors make for a relaxed and cozy dining experience. With well-balanced flavors merging the best from different cuisines, the eatery has a diverse and expansive menu. Start with creamy onion soup and the delicious monkey bread. The meat lasagna and the garganelli bolognese are exceptional. Enjoy your meal with a glass of wine or tap beer. With a private dining option, Corridor is a good place for a small get together or a party as well.