Brunch in Oakland
LA Hound looking for a brunch or damn good breakfast in the Oakland area for New Year's Day.
It could be anywhere from formal to neighborhood dive?
Regardless Bacon is a must (so most coffee shops will not work)
My favorite is the Pretty Lady at Peralta and 18th in Oakland. Superb hash browns and perfect crisp bacon. The Buttercup Kitchen at 2nd and Broadway is not so bad neither. Nor is the Merritt Bakery out on the east side of Lake Merritt. Nor is the Koffee Pot on Telegraph and 24th or so.
These are divey, the Pretty Lady most of all. The Merritt and Buttercup offer lots of choices. Overall, my breakfast experiences here in Oaktown have been way better than the ones in SF. These are all solid eggs-bacon-potatoes brekkies cooked well, eggs over easy just right, etc. Although this is frowned upon by some folks, I have carried coffee into each restaurant, key in my opinion because all have bad diner coffee.
I enjoyed Luka's earlier this year. Here's what I wrote:
The soul food weekend brunch at Luka's Tap Room in Oakland was a pleasant surprise. I'd heard it was good, and good was all I was expecting. Well, it was better than good. The first thing they brought for the table were some small squares of a delicious black pepper cornbread, accompanied by a mini-jar of honey. We ordered some beignets for the table (3 adults & two kids), and they were spectacular: hot, flaky, chewy, non-greasy, subtly luxurious, and served with a blueberry coulis and dark chocolate squares. I ordered the eggs with catfish filet and hash browns. The catfish was tasty, though the breading could have used more spice. I only made a dent in the massive hunk of hash browns, but they were quite good. I don't know who their bread supplier is, but the whole wheat toast was wonderful, and they served some excellent strawberry preserves to go with it. Luka's also has a large and interesting beer selection, and I hear that their dinners are good too. Good food is a good reason to head to this otherwise non-destination area of downtown Oakland.
Mama's Royal Cafe - This is a classic oakland joint. Food is fresh and just greasy enough to be comforting, and the ambiance is cozy cozy. Excellent hangover remedy.
Rockridge Cafe- Another classic Oakland spot. And it's on a great part of College Ave so you can walk around afterwards and enjoy the day.