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Lunch ideas between Oakland Airport and Yosemite?

We arrive @ 11:25 a.m. and are driving straight to Yosemite. I'm guessing we'll need lunch before too long on the drive (we have dinner reservations at Awanahee @ 6:15, I think). So, I'm looking for a recommendation for a light lunch (and maybe a place showing the college football games, since Ohio State will be kicking off about then, although that isn't a necessity). Thanks hounds!

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  1. which route will you be taking to Yosemite?

    Rickey's (Home of Raider Nation) in San Leandro will have most games on since CAL-Oregon is not until the evening

    1. I think we take 80 East to 580 east to 205 to 120 to Yosemite, but I left my husband in charge of navigation. Does this work for Rickey's?

      1 Reply
      1. re: ohstate

        not really, but in any case by the time you get luggage, rental car, and all of that, you really won't have all that much time for watching football anyway if you have a 6:15 reservation at the Awahnee, depending on traffic. It can take over four hours to get to Yosemite (120 is fairly curvy in spots, and then there is the traffic getting out of town, and you will probably want to dress for dinner, or at least freshen up depending on the type of clothes you travel in....). and no matter what day of the week, you WILL run into traffic on the 580 Eastboud portion.

        Will you be travelling on a weekday or a weekend? There are lots of options in downtown Oakland, although parking and traffic could slow you down. One very good weekday option that will have probably the game on is Luka's on Broadway, not far off of 580, but it will be crowded (seats at the bar would be best since that is where the TV's are). Still, count on lunch taking an hour or so (get on and off the freeway, park and eat), which cuts your timing pretty close if the plane is at all late...

        Personally, I'd consider Banh Mi to go for a light lunch under thse circumstances. Here is a thread:

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        You can follow Ruth's directions in the post to Ba Le, but going north towards downtown on 80 (which is confusing because it is 80 East but it heads North before it goes East)..

      2. their travel day would probably be Saturday b/c of the college football mention.

        very true... bay area traffic can be horrible on weekends, will probably have to settle for a light snack.

        or there's an in-n-out in pleasanton/dublin on 580.

        if you're at oakland airport, you might consider just going south on 880 to 238 east to get to 580.

        5 Replies
        1. re: kc72

          Duh....you can tell I am not a football fan! :-)

          yes, you might, but there is always traffic on 238, sometimes very heavy! either way, if it were me, I'd get lunch to go or change my Awahnee reservation (if I could).

          1. re: susancinsf

            The Awahnee had tables at 6:15 or 8:30. Since we're coming in from the east coast, 6:15 will seem late enough, I think.

            Thanks for all the advice. My husband had planned 3-4 hours for the drive, but now I know with traffic it will be closer to 4.

            The vietnamese sandwich idea is interesting. Can't say I've experienced one of those yet. Although I've never had In-n-Out yet either.

            Is there anything in the Oakland airport we can grab to eat on the way? That might be the easiest thing to do. Some airports have passable grub.

            1. re: ohstate

              Pretty grim pickings, unless you want to make a lunch of See's candy.

              1. re: ohstate

                I would count on at LEAST four hours to get to Yosemite. It COULD take more. Susan may not know football (how can she be my sister?) but she's right on about the drive. On a Saturday afternoon there may be traffic on 120 as you near the park, not to mention that at times there can be a delay of 15 minutes or so when you enter the park (not so bad since it isn't summer, but it is a weekend...). Not to mention the fact that you might want to stop for "photo ops"......the viewpoint as you enter the park is darn near irresitable.

                I hate to say it, but I think In and Out is your best bet. It'll be quick; It'll be cheap (to offset the expense of the Awahnee), and it won't taste bad. If you stop to watch the game you'll never make it.

                1. re: janetofreno

                  This is why I have TIVO! I wish Sirius was carrying the game, that way I could bring my radio and listen as we creep along in traffic.

          2. There are some good places in Alameda, which is right next to the airport. Dim sum at East Ocean, German at Speisekammer ...

            1. Well you could stop in Pleasanton at the Hop Yard after leaving Oakland--it's a couple minutes from the freeway and about 35 minutes from the airport. It's a brewery with typical pub food like burgers, fries, sandwiches, and salads. Here is a link to directions: http://verio1.shabazian.com/hopyard/t... They have plenty of TVs. Pleasanton is on the way to Yosemite.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Cheesy Oysters

                Thanks - This seems like an doable idea. If we are on schedule, it looks like we could swing by here for a quick bite.

                1. re: Cheesy Oysters

                  35 minutes from Oakland airport to Pleasanton is very optimistic: mapquest says it is 24 miles, so it will only take you 35 minutes if there is basically *no* traffic (getting the one or two miles or so from the airport rental car spot to the freeway can easily take 10 minutes or more)...but then, if/when you get out there and realize that you really don't have time if you want to be sure of making those Awahnee reservations, then you can try In n Out....

                  Of course, the other option is to move your Awahnee reservations to Sunday brunch, take your time, and stop at one of the great restaurants in the east bay area for a really good lunch (I'd pick Oakland's Chinatown in that case, or follow up on Robert's good suggestion for dim sum at East Ocean in Alameda). Reports on the Awahnee are mixed at best on this board, brunch is often listed as a best bet, and I think the room is as nice or nicer during daylight hours then at night.....