HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >


Moved from SF to Pleasanton...Please help.

We just moved from SF to Pleasanton and the lack of food options are killing us. Balazo can provide a decent burrito fix. Red smoke grill and Back forty in San Ramon allow me to get my BBQ on. Gimanelli's deli makes solid sandwiches. Blue Agave club has an awesome patio and pretty good, although expensive, mexican food.

Where can we get:

-A good burger (best so far is at Val's in Hayward but it's a trek to Hayward)

-pizza and/or calzone (the best so far is Amici's, and I have no interest in dealing with the crowds at Zachary's in San Ramon)

-dim sum (the one by stoneridge mall is decent but I'm sure there's better out here)

-chinese (non dim-sum)


-Mediteranean (gyro, shwarma, falafel, fresh hummos)

I'm also up for other options in the BBQ, Burrito/Mexican and Deli categories or any category not mentioned.

I'm really looking for places that are within 5-7 miles of pleasanton (castro valley, livermore, san ramon). Places open later than 9:00pm on weekdays would be a bonus, although that may be asking too much for Pleasanton.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If Dublin is close enough, there is an Armadillo Willys, some Asian places that have gotten good mentions on the board and a Tomatina all between Tassajara and the Hacienda Crossing center. The Willys has a couple of promos (all you can eat ribs, kids eat free, tri tip night etc.) and I know Tomatina is open until 10 pm.

    1. For a burger, Athens on Dublin blvd is good. Tri Valley Seafood (probably the Chinese restaurant you're referring to near the mall) is the best Hong Kong style restaurant in the area. A branch of Koi Palace called Koi Gardens is slated to open this summer in Ulferts Center in Dublin. This should make Tri Valley a ghost town. For sushi, I think the best is Senro's in downtown Pleasanton. I wish there was Mediterranean here, but I don't know of any.

      I completely agree with your sentiment on Blue Agave. During the nice evenings of summer, the place is packed.

      1. Three Brothers from China -Chinese food, pretty good
        2211 San Ramon Vly Blvd
        San Ramon, CA 94583
        (925) 838-9600

        For Italian I would try, though I haven't been. Call to see if they are still around.
        Sazio's Ristorante Italiano
        20400 Lake Chabot Rd
        Castro Valley CA 94546

        Singapore Old Town Cafe -Singaporean, many reports recently
        4288 Dublin Blvd #109
        Dublin, CA 94568
        (925) 833-8300

        6 Replies
        1. re: hhc

          oh i like your list!

          haven't tried the sazio's yet...

          some folks like pyzano's in castro valley... i think the chef/owner was on emeril before... i think it's ok.. not great...

          dublin has so places these days since it's growing a lot

          there's a royal afghan place that i see ads for all the time, but i haven't gone there yet.

          there is sozu sushi off of valley, which is pretty popular. i like this other one.. but i'm sorry, the name escapes me...

          oddly enough i haven't found a burger place yet, but then again, i haven't really looked... there's always in and out by hopyard! oh and a fatburger in pleasant hill (a bit of a trek). for weekends, i would make the trek to walnut creek areas =)

          steak at forbes mill.. but pricey... try danville area too =)

          1. re: hhc

            Singaporean in Dublin! This excites me. I'll be there this weekend.

            1. re: Fussy Foodie

              here's my latest review.. i think you can search and get other recent reviews =)


              fyi, i ordered take out there this past weekend... i ordered noodle soup, they forgot my noodles.. hahahah oh well =) i ate the soup with rice and it was still yummy =


              OH OH OH

              and in that same ulferts plaza, they JUST opened a really nice vietnamese restaurant... i went in last week thinking they were open, and it was really very very decor inside.. unfortunately, they were not opened, but they told me that they were scheduled to open what would have been yesterday (6/7/2007).

              there's also japanese, ramen, a grill in that area....

              i'm in the tri-valley often, and so i'm constantly in search of good food =) got sick of main street...

              OH and aura nightclub serves a full menu until about 10 pm. i usually go for appetizers and desserts. they have a really good molten lava cake.... and it's a full bar so it has great drinks =)

              1. re: kinipela

                I went to ramen restuarant in that complex a few days after they're open. I was disappointed with the ramen quality, not as good as Maruichi, which is my standard. I haven't been back there yet to see if it has improved or not.

                A new Korean restaurant has open in Santa Rita, near Stanley, it's called Spring Rain. I haven't been there yet, so no review yet.

                If you like Korean's noodle soup, Jambong, a spicy beef and seafood noodle soup, try Chinese Schezuan near Hopyard and Valley. They make their own noodle fresh, it's quite good. I don't know if many folks know that they offer this on the menu.

                1. re: Mul

                  when did they open? actually the only place i've gone to was SOTC....

                  1. re: kinipela

                    Anybody with experience at the new T-Valley Korean BBQ at the Shamrock Shopping Center next to Big Lots in Dublin on Amador?

                    And a new China Wall Buffet is to be open today (June 11) at that same center, next to Dollar Tree.

          2. You've pretty much got the high points so far. Singapore Cafe is my favorite lunch spot of late. The dim sum place by the mall is hit or miss. Usually it's decent but I was there this week and it was just O.K. Love Athens Burgers for gyros and I bet their burgers are good. I don't care for the Hopyard Brewery. I think their burgers are dry. I would add Little Home off Santa Rita near the Trader Joes for excellent Thai. Tabla in the same strip mall is good for refined Indian fare. Don't know about other pizza joints or Chinese spots.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Cheesy Oysters

              We've been to little home and it's great for the Thai fix. We also tried Sri Thai at Hacienda Crossings and hated it. Everything is ridiculously sweet.

              The curries and naan at Tabla aren't great. I loved the curries at Pakwan, and my all time favorite is Kabana in Berkeley, I find it highly unlikely to find a place comparable to those in the tri-valley. I did like the kabobs at Tabla, chicken tikka and boti were nice and tender and full of that tandoori flavor.

            2. I live in Oakland, work in Pleasanton ... and I think this place is kinda like a place in the Mission or like an Oakland Fruitvale/taco truck experience.... (or as close as you can get in the suburbs).

              Tacqueria El Gallo ... in the shopping center behind Trader Joe's on Santa Rita Rd. (near to the little coffee drive-thru kiosk). .....

              Go for the coctel de camarones. Burritos are pretty good ... unlimited chips .. nice salsa bar in the middle ... but the coctels are the winners ... I get one almost everytime I go.... kind of dumpy little place ... with a small TV up top the counter always turned to Ch. 14 and some Espanol game show or a futbol match... If you're missin' the Mission, great spot.

              But if you want a suburb experience, well, to hell with you. Enjoy Pleasanton ...

              1. For gyros/shawarma/falafel, Mykonos Mediterranean Grill just opened in San Ramon. I don't have the address, but it's in the Market Place shopping center next door to Fitness 19 and three doors away from Nob Hill Foods. I've only tried it once--it's decent and will satisfy cravings for this kind of food, but I don't consider it a go-out-of-your-way kinda of place.

                1. Hey Fussy,

                  For falafels, you have to support the new restaurant..

                  House of Falafel
                  6654 Koll Center Pkwy, Pleasanton, CA 94566
                  (925) 846-2511

                  .. they have a killer house falafel wrap (which includes eggplant). that with a side of baba ghanoush can't be beat (except on cost, like almost all falafel places).

                  For Thai:
                  Little Home Thai Cuisine
                  4000 Pimlico Dr # 106, Pleasanton, CA 94588
                  (925) 251-9877

                  If you're up for a trip, I still love China Chili's in Fremont for Chinese, but I haven't found the hands down best chinese place in pleasanton..

                  For sandwiches, cookies, and decent mexican, you should check out..
                  6058 Dougherty Rd, Dublin, CA 94568
                  (925) 829-6200

                  ..in particular, the snickerdoodles and winter white chocolate chip cookies are a great top off to a lunch (that hopefully involved their guacamole or artichoke soup).

                  For sushi, we have been quite happy with:
                  Sozo Sushi
                  2835 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton, CA 94588
                  (925) 484-5588

                  An alternative sushi place that we haven't been to, but that my brother in law really likes is:
                  Senro Japanese Bar & Grill
                  30 W Neal St Ste 110, Pleasanton, CA 94566
                  (925) 600-8040

                  For mexican, I really like the following hole in the wall..
                  Rancho Grande Taqueria 2 Inc
                  2707 Hopyard Rd, Pleasanton, CA 94588
                  (925) 600-8620

                  Finally, another tasty place (but pricey as well) is:
                  Sweet & Savory
                  5694 Stoneridge Dr, Pleasanton, CA 94588
                  (925) 847-2911

                  ..drawback of this place, in addition to price, is that they are really only open during weekday business hours (since they cater to the office crowd).

                  Welcome to Pleasanton

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: mualexander

                    Thanks for those recs. I've been wondering about house of falafel, that shopping center is so run down... but I'll have to give it a try.

                    1. re: mualexander

                      okay.. where is there good japanese BESIDES sozo sushi? i went there and my stomach didn't like it. i want sushi (or even ahi tuna poke) when i'm in the area... where should i go???? =)

                      1. re: mualexander

                        I dragged a couple co-workers to the falafel joint and we were all dissapointed. OK I didn't get the falafel wrap but I opted for the vegi combo plate. The hummus didn't have much flavor and the falafels weren't all that speical. Actually nothing was that great. If I worked really close, I go back and try the wrap. Service was friendly by pretty slow. It was busy and they have a good business going.

                      2. For great steaks, try McNamara's in Dublin. Great atmosphere, wine list, food and service. I also second the rec for Forbes Mill in Danville. Pricier than McNamara's but fantastic. Another great spot is Cafe Esin in San Ramon. Make sure you save room for dessert. They are made in house and well worth the extra calories.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: baseballfan

                          We've been to Mcnamara's and loved it. We also thought Haps on Main Street was good, pretty pricey.

                          1. re: Fussy Foodie

                            Haps! I forgot to mention, yes consistently good, but I find the valet parking and great bar area make up for the prices. Love the filet. yum.

                            Also you might want to subscribe to really good East Bay/Tri Valley Magazine, Diablo
                            they give tons of information and reviews on existing and new restaurants in the area.

                            Just to show how one night can make a mind up for someone, I don't happen to share the same exhuberance for Prima in Walnut Creek. I will give it another try, but after speaking with the Chef, I am willing to try it again. Just might of been an off night..

                            Sorry to keep adding, I forgot Barone's-Pleasanton - good food and cute bar. Check out the bar in the Rose Hotel -Pleasanton, also a fun little place...

                            1. re: chef chicklet

                              have you done those mystery dinners at the pleasanton hotel that they advertise?

                              1. re: kinipela

                                No I haven't. I saw the fliers for it, looked kind of fun, just haven't done it. The one time I did participate in one it was toooooo long!!

                        2. Miraku for Japanese/Sushi in San Ramon - Really good!
                          Also a really good buffet and sushi place off of Alcosta headed South from Norris Canyon, and left up the hill. Great place for sushi and special dishes -just ask the owner. I'll think of it.
                          Big Horn Grill- Steaks and Seafood try the Scoozi! - San Ramon
                          Max's Diner- For American, Good Salads, and Deli Sandwiches - San Ramon
                          Hunan Village- Chinese- Garlic Chicknen - Dublin
                          Pizza- Garlex - Dublin
                          Frankie, Johnnie and Luigi's - Italian, Pizza and Calzones Good place to eat during the week for dinner - Dublin
                          Eric's Deli - Plesaanton - Rose Pavillion Shopping Center - caters to the weekday workers, good sandwiches for fair price
                          Pleasanton seems to have lost the best Chinese food I ever had, Blessings was so wonderful, but gone now...
                          Blue Agave- Pleasanton is ok, way overpriced, piortions are small for Mexican rest.
                          and I forget the name of the Mexican Restaurant downtown on Main, it's ok, salsa is too mild
                          Love Balazzio's -prefer the one in San Ramon off of Alcosta in the shopping center.
                          I've eaten at Little Home in Pleasanton twice and it was pretty good, the others I've been to many times over.

                          1. Mexican: We like Casa Orozco in Dublin. Unfortunately, they just expanded it, and along with it, expanded their prices. But try one of their shrimp dishes. (We do everything we can to avoid Blue Agave.)

                            Italian: We like Girasole in Pleasanton, off Santa Rita Road (near Nob Hill). Decent ambience and our meals have always been good.

                            Splurge meals: Cafe Esin in San Ramon, although I think it's moving to Danville? And Mudd's in San Ramon.

                            Thai: Little Home Thai in Pleasanton (Trader Joe's shopping center).

                            Brunch: Pleasanton Hotel.

                            1. Lived in Pleasanton for ten years, so many of my ideas will be family-based restaurants, but I'm pretty sure we've eaten just about everywhere...

                              Burgers - For BIG, greasy, go-to-sleep-after-eating-one burgers, try Nation's on Hopyard behind Burger King. For GOOD burgers, I realize that many shun chains, but Chili's has very good burgers. For eclectic burgers, go to Athens in Dublin (the pastrami burger is a five-napkin job, but delicious). For good sides, go to the Hopyard. No matter what, a micro-brewery ALWAYS has good burgers (Hopyard, Tied House, Gordon Biersch, etc.)

                              Sushi - Sozo is reliable and good and always crowded. Call for take-out. Senro (hidden in the downtown) is good for the more imaginative rolls, but has crummy parking.

                              Gyros - Athens in Dublin. If you want to kill your burger AND your gyro jones in one sitting, this is your place.

                              Chinese - I'm more of a Chinese take-out kinda guy, rather than the fancy schmancy, leave-the-head-on-the-duck kinda guy. Noodles and meat are what I like. Chinese Szechuan (strip mall behind the Hopyard) has good, solid chinese food. Not greasy or over-seasoned. There's usually a few customers (mostly men) sitting in the front area waiting for their take-out.

                              BBQ - Waaaah! Roderick's is gone! Armadillo Willy's is a desperation choice here. Hell, you might as well go to Chili's.

                              Mexican - Blue Agave is fine if you have money to spare and are status-conscious. The food was good, but not $15-20 good. Fernando's and Casa Orozco are more for the families. For lunch, El Balazo (by Border's) makes a nice football-sized burrito that will feed you for the next couple of days.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: ToddCommish

                                (Is anyone else having trouble with the edit function? Eek.)

                                I have a friend who lives in Pleasanton (I'm in SF), and I've gone a few places while visiting her. There is a good ice cream place called Loard's. I think it's a local chain.

                                I second the recommendation for Nation's. They had good pie too.

                                For Mexican, there's a place down the street from Blue Agave (I think someone mentioned it above, and I can't remember the name of it either). I liked it because it was like the old-school Mexican food I grew up with--cheese enchiladas, refried beans, etc. Very inexpensive too.

                                Nation's Giant Hamburgers
                                5321 Hopyard Rd, Pleasanton, CA 94588

                                Cafe Delatti
                                42 Elm St., Los Gatos, CA, CA

                                1. re: ToddCommish

                                  I used to enjoy Fernandos but during my last 2 visits, they served some kind of (American???) cheese on my avocado dish and on top of my beans. Not a big fan of American cheese with my Mexican food...

                                  1. re: Foodrat

                                    Yeah, in our one and only visit to Frenando's we got American cheese in a couple of dishes. The American cheese is the main reason it's been our only visit.

                                2. Welcome! Pretty new to San Ramon area too so I have similar problem like u. I love to eat too and found limited choices as far as great food - maybe I just don't know where to look! So far Uncle Yu's in San Ramon is top of my list on chinese food but it can get pricey. Orient Express in Safeway Plaza San Ramon is great if you want fast, fresh and lots of food for little money. There's a chinese place near Albertson's Plaza in San Ramon that advertises DIM SUM on weekends that have had good reviews but I have not tried it. Madras also in San Ramon have good Eastern Indian food but they only provide take out. I have not ventured into Japanese around the area in fear of disappointment. I've gone to Shri Thai and Chada--- both so,so, but I haven't found any Thai place that makes Pad Thai the way I'm accustomed to. Well happy hunting and good chow! I'll keep you posted if I find more treasures.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: luvgudfud

                                    Orient Express in Safeway Plaza San Ramon is more like a Panda Express type of steam table service. They will cook to order, but most of the time the cook to order food will take 20 min. The food is more American Chinese (s&s pork, lemon chicken, broccoli beef)than traditional Chinese. However, they do not skimp on portions. One two item to-go box ($6) can easily feed two hungry people. It's my favorite stop on Friday nights when I want to gorge on food.

                                    Another place I like to eat at is Tomatina in Dublin. I really like their Piadini (salad over a large flat bread).

                                  2. Best sushi – Tomo (on Main street). Also like Baronne's for continental cuisine.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: FireEscape

                                      + 1 for Tomo - really authentic food and nice people
                                      Also, I have always likes Seto sushi on near Hopyard Brewery
                                      Chinese Garden Restaurant in the Koll center is unassuming, but always good
                                      Girasole is awesome Italian without the $$ of Baci
                                      Got to through a plug in for the oldest restaurant in Downtown: El Portal. They moved next to Main st brewing co, but they're still solid

                                      + 1 for House of Falafel. Have a chat with the owner. He's nice guy!

                                    2. Norm's in Danville is not that far for a good burger and a nice place to sit outside.

                                      1. Try:

                                        Chef India
                                        5100 Hopyard Rd.
                                        Stick with ordering off the menu; heard not so good things about their buffet.

                                        Royal Tofu House
                                        2025 Santa Rita Rd.
                                        Delish clay pot meals!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. I just went to Ulferts and tried the new Korean BBQ place today. The banchan was almost uniformly terrible (canned cabbage kimchi, watery cucumber pickles) but the soft tofu was not as bad as I thought it would be, based on the banchan. Grilled shortribs (galbi) were overly sweet but probably the best grilled dish we got. The spicy grilled pork (daegi bulgogi) was very strange tasting but not terrible once I got used to it. The bulgogi looked weird and tasted kind of bland. The chapchae was underseasoned.

                                          This place is operated by Chinese so some of the interpretations tasted weird to me, like the daegi bulgogi. I guess it's geared more to Chinese tastes which makes sense for this area. All in all, it's not bad for the area I think, but I heard there was another Korean place on Santa Rita that is better. I'll check that place out too.

                                          1. We live in Oakland and go to Pleasanton just to eat the amazing Afghani food at Oasis grille. It's on Main Street. We have three children and find it to be very child friendly and yet at the same time it's a place I'd go to for a date...This is a very special restaurant...and the prices are AMAZING. They really could charge alot more than they do and we'd still eat there and be happy. Huda