Where to Eat in Oakland
will be in oakland airport area overnight to catch a morning flight next day. not much around there i hear so where would you eat if you only had one night? have heard good things about Oliveto but have no idea where it is in relation to airport.
Other than hotel/motel fare, there isn't much near the Oakland Airport, except for a place near the entrance to the airport, called Francesco's...it serves old-school Italian food--red/tomatoe-y sauces on pasta, chicken cacciatore, huge portions, garlicky Caesar Salad prepared at your booth, etc...good burgers, too...for that style of food, it's actually quite good, and the experience of older waitresses in black aprons calling you "honey" is worth it...you'll see some basketball players and coaches eating there after games at the nearby Oakland Arena.
If that's not of interest, you should make your way to the Rockridge district...if you don't have a car, you can get there fairly easily on BART...get off at the Rockridge station...Oliveto is on the corner just outside the BART station [be advised, Oliveto is IMHO, over-rated]...you'll be within walking distance of Grasshopper [asian, small plates], A Cote [very good, French, small plates, the current "it" restaurant in the East Bay], Citron [French, next door to, and owned by A Cote]...Uzen, one of the better sushi/Japanese places in the East Bay], a pub called Barclay's with good pub-grub and multitudes of good beer, and many others that I'm less familiar with...other Chowhounds will no doubt have other suggestions in the area.
I think heading off to Rockridge is an excellent idea. Not only is there not much around the airport, but like most airports, by the time you've actually gotten out of the airport the hard part is done.
There is a shuttle from the airport to BART that runs frequently and costs $2.00/per each way.
However, if you want to take a taxi to someplace close and you like sushi, my sister and her husband highly recommend Angelfish in the part of Alameda that's actually adjacent to the airport (in the shopping center opposite the golf course).
There are several good restaurants within walking distance of the 12th Street City Center BART station in downtown Oakland. LMNO (9th Street at Washington) is a very Bay Area sort of place with live music on weekends. Nearby is Le Cheval, excellent Vietnamese, Toutatis, a lovely Breton crepe place which is extremely inexpensive, and Soizic, a stylish European restaurant (run by Koreans.) Oakland Chinatown is also an easy walk.
I used to like the Oaktown Cafe (also on Ninth and Washington) but was the victim of bizarrely bad service on the Friday before Christmas. We turned up at 12:35 (exactly) for a 12:30 restaurant and were left standing in the doorway for ten minutes until we cornered the host. He said - with no apology - that they had given away our table because we were late. If this was just seasonal stress and someone else will vouch for them, I'd be happy to go back. Otherwise...
Catching Bart to the Rockridge station is a great idea. The restaurant is right across the street. Go as early as you can to enjoy the Public Market in the same space, if you are a foodie. Then go upstairs to Oliveto for dinner. It is very good and has a nice wine list. If you are driving there is parking in the lot behind, especially for the Market and Oliveto's.
We just had lunch there on Christmas Eve Day, and it was perfect.