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Best tapas in the East Bay

chemchef Jan 23, 2007 01:49 PM

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!

  1. rworange Jan 24, 2007 05:52 PM

    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.



    1. Morton the Mousse Jan 23, 2007 03:05 PM

      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
        bekster Jan 24, 2007 07:27 AM

        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
          Robert Lauriston Jan 24, 2007 07:33 AM

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


      2. Lori SF Jan 23, 2007 02:06 PM

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

        1. c
          cali5189 Jan 23, 2007 02:00 PM

          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
            Lori SF Jan 23, 2007 02:10 PM

            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
              Robert Lauriston Jan 23, 2007 02:47 PM

              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
                Lori SF Jan 23, 2007 02:56 PM

                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
                  Robert Lauriston Jan 23, 2007 02:58 PM

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

          2. Robert Lauriston Jan 23, 2007 01:51 PM

            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
              chemchef Jan 23, 2007 01:57 PM

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

              1. re: chemchef
                Robert Lauriston Jan 23, 2007 02:03 PM

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

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