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.
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.
People watch and indulge in the fabulous dining at this San Francisco favorite. Known equally well for its affluent clientele and its oven-roasted chicken, this hot spot is worth the wait. Dinner entrees are nominally priced, though specials will cost you a bit more. If you are not enamored with the dinner scene, try visiting late mornings or early afternoons when you can sip on a latte (or scarf a Gorgonzola-topped burger) and watch the fog lift.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.