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Late night or 24hr take-out in Berkley Area

I fly into Oakland and on my drive home to Calistoga, it never fails, I get hunger pains. It's usually after 10 pm. Are there any Mexican (I usually crave Mexican) or to-go "drive friendly" food places in the area. My usual stop is at In and Out Burger.

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  1. What is your route home and how close to the airport do you want to eat? Any particular days of the week? International Blvd right near the airport has tons of Mexican. How dive-friendly are you? What day of the week usually?

    I know a bunch of Mexican places but they are route-dependant and some are only open late on the weekends. I'm not that familiar with the Oakland Mexican, I'm sure others will chime in ... but I can answer the question elsewhere.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      The nights I arrive into Oakland vary, but usually Sunday and Monday nights. I'm very dive-friendly. My route starts at the 880 to the 580 to the 80, then 37 to Calistoga.

      1. re: sugarNspice

        OK, I'm kind of search-deprived at this point, but if you can take dive-friendly ... very dive freindly ... on 580 the 23rd Street Exit will get you to a number of places open 24-7 ... or close to that.

        Keep going until you hit McDonalds ... well really a block before McDonalds ... it is a hard place to miss, there's a Peruvian place ... Plaza Girabaldi. Know you don't want fish tacos, but just will say they make good fish tacos. They have Mexican and some Peruvian. It always looks deserted, but it is open till midnight and the food is pretty good.

        Then there is McDonald's. In back of McDonald's is Mr. Pizza Man which has pizza and Brazilian food. It is open until 3 am.

        A ways up is El Tapatio which is open 24/7. The late night stuff is kind of taco truck basic ... tacos, burritos, tortas ... but you can get $1 oysters any hour of the day.

        Should you want donuts one of my favorite donut places is Bob's, also on 23rd. They have some coffee shop type stuff, but I've never tried it.

        This is a really divy neighborhood though, but if you get off the plane really late at night and need a bite there's a lot of places open here. Once search gets working again I have a few other places along your route.

    2. Monte Cristo taqueria on University in Berkeley (shares the Andronico's lot) isn't too far from the freeway, and is open until midnight. It isn't bad, and it is a safe place to stop.

      1. Not Mexican but if you ever have a craving for anything Chinese - give Daimo a try. It's open until 3am.
        Daimo Chinese Restaurant
        3288 Pierce St
        Richmond, CA 94804-5951
        The quality of the food is quite good and there is all kinds of parking. Take the Central Ave exit off of 80 just past Albany Hill.

        2 Replies
        1. re: gordon wing

          Daimo is great, probably our late-night favorite. And it's right off the freeway.

          But I'm not sure they have "drive-friendly" dishes.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Oops! I completely missed the "drive friendly" dishes stipulation. Maybe mu-shu pork - roll em up in pancakes and eat 'em burrito style. Or the dried oyster dish in lettuce cups might qualify? It's a bit of a stretch :~ )

        2. Since the airport is so close to Alameda, you can always stop there. Both Juanita's and La PiƱata are open until 3 AM. Both are on Park Street.

          1. Get off 880 at High St. Head east to International. Turn left and head north until
            you find a taco truck that looks inviting. Lately I'm liking the Sinaloa at 22nd.
            With a pair of trucks, a restaurant, and a lighted parking lot it's a reasonable nighttime stop.
            International can seem a lot dicier than it really is, but if you're unfamiliar with the area
            stay on the main drag, pay attention to your spidey sense, and leave your luggage
            locked in the trunk. And get the carnitas.

            1. Nikko's Family Restaurant
              340 23rd Ave, Oakland, CA

              Open 24 hours. Off 23rd, Park St. Bridge.

              I've driven by this place 3-4 times in the past month or so but haven't stop yet since it's usually around 9-11 p.m. Looks Greek American and looks like a truck stop like place. Semi-sketchy part of town (I feel fine but not everyone would).

              If someone goes - please drop down some words. If I go, I'll write something up.

              4 Replies
              1. re: ML8000

                Basic diner stuff. Really good milkshakes. About 1000 times better
                than In-n-Out. I seem to recall it being asian, not greek, owned but
                I'm not sure. If there were a prize for Restaurant That Gets Hit By
                Cars Most Often, Nikko would probably win. Two or three times in
                the last three or four years.

                1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                  That is a weird street/location. Sounds like a lunch stop if I'm in the area. Thanks for the tip.

                  Also, in Oakland Chinatown there's New Gold Medal (use to be Sun Hong Kong) that's open until 3 a.m. At it's former location, 4 doors down, Gold Medal got a top 100 Bargain Eats in the SF Chron. The new place is about 85% of the old but still very, very good for the price and hours. I've never had a bad meal there.

                2. re: ML8000

                  I was there a few years ago and it was pretty rank. Denny's-minus-minus, and not fast. Never went back.

                  1. re: bbulkow

                    Thanks for the scoop and the saved trip.

                3. If you're in the mood for "fast food" a step above In N Out, there are a couple of Nation's Giant Hamburgers along your route. They have options other than burgers and their pies are pretty good (unless you scorn old fashioned diner-style pie in favor of yuppie "gourmet" pie).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    The one at Central in El Cerrito is open 24/7. Get off 80 at Central (the Daimo
                    exit) and head about 3 blocks east to San Pablo. Can't miss it on the right.
                    The little sweet potato mini-pies are great.

                  2. Someone is looking for chorizo?

                    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm flying home from a trip next Thursday night, my mouth is already watering. Now I need to decide where to start.

                      1. If you're ever craving fried chicken and waffles there's always Home of Chicken and Waffles at Jack London Square in Oakland http://www.hcwchickenandwaffles.com/ Open til midnight most days, til 4am on weekends and they do take-out.

                        Okay, my very large friend who's as round as a yoga ball and who's definitely *not* a Chowhounder, swears by Americana Pizza and Taqueria off the San Pablo Dam exit on I-80E. It's open 24 hours and serves pizza and Mexican food. So if you ever get your craving around Richmond or San Pablo and you trust the opinion of a big dude....

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Sophia C.

                          That's a few exits up. Its biggest advantage is being open 24 hours.

                        2. what about Top Dog?? they're open til 2am friday & saturday so not sure about the hours Sunday.. and what about Au Cocaulait on University?