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Best tapas in the East Bay

I'm looking for good spanish tapas, not the fusion-y things a lot of restaurants are doing these days. I've been to Cesar and enjoyed it, but am sure that there are others out there. Please inform!

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  1. If there are others, I'd love to learn about them. Cesar's the only place I know that does halfway traditional tapas on this side of the bay.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Wow.... really? I thought you, of all people, would be able to point me in the right direction. How disappointing.

      1. re: chemchef

        I'm afraid the right direction is west, over the bridge.

    2. I recently went to ACote in Oakland and found it preferable to Cesar. Not as spanish-y but I found the plates to be better than Cesar. I would reccomend a reservation as it was crowded at 830 and we waited even with our reservation.

      4 Replies
      1. re: cali5189

        I love ACote although it has been four years since i have been there. However, the food is really more French small plates not Spanish.

        1. re: Lori SF

          Mix of French, Italian, California, and a few other random influences, including the occasional hint of Spanish. But no traditional Spanish tapas. One of the best wine-by-the-glass lists in the whole Bay Area.


          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            RL- I should of said more emphasis on French rather than Spanish.. but that is why you are the writer and I am not.

            I agree the wine by glass list is wonderful. When I lived in Oakland I use to go there 2-3 times a month and it was where I had my first date with my boyfriend.

            1. re: Lori SF

              A Cote is definitely more French than anything else. It started as a spinoff from the French restaurant next door (hence the name).

      2. Barceluna in Alameda on Park Street is good, but I like Cesar's on Piedmont better.

        1. Here's an article about one man's quest for authentic tapas in the East Bay:


          His conclusion? There aren't any, though Cesar and A Cote both do a good job at fusion.

          Have you tried the new Cesar on Piedmont? The menu is bigger and better than the Berkeley location.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Morton the Mousse

            No one's mentioned Cafe de la Paz on Shattuck (across from Elephant Pharm). They have great tapas. Not much for ambiance - but it's cozy upstairs and the people are charming.

            Latin small plates at Fonda are also good - more high end like Cesar.

            1. re: bekster

              Cafe de la Paz isn't Spanish tapas, it's pan-Latin / Latin fusion small plates.


          2. OK, be nice to me here ...

            A sign for a liquor license is on the window of Pri Pri cafe on Solano in Albany. Ya said you didn't want fusiony.

            A caveat is that is a tapas bar designed for people with small children. It has a play area in back.

            But the owners are from Spain and do your basic nothing fancy tapas that can be found in a no-name Spanish tapas bar that serves the neighborhood. I haven't been back since they opened a while back. I like it, but at that time the earlier hours didn't fit my schedule ... also nice for coffee, but I really did want a glass of wine with the tapas.

            I've been meaning to stop by since I saw the sign go up. The few yelp reports are positive.
            Here's the website ... anyone else but me tried it and been there recently? The home page seems to indicate changes are underway.

            My first post

            If anyone is up for South American tapas ... and it is fusiony ... The Patio in Lafayette ... haven't tried it yet.