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Sep 19, 2007 04:07 AM

5 hour layover at OAK looking for affordable breakfast

My family of 5 will be laying over in Oakland for 5 hours. During this time I was hoping this site could help us to find an affordable breakfast place. We are 2 adults and 3 kids on our way to Orlando via 24 hour travel time aghhhh!! Anyway if anyone knows of a good pancake house or even a breakfast buffet at an airport hotel( that provides free shuttle) would be great.


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  1. There's Ole's Wafflehouse and Albert's Cafe in Alameda - about 10 minutes away in non-commute traffic down 880 (the freeway closest to OAK). Also Chinatown is about a mile further from Alameda and there's dim sum.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ML8000

      Another vote for Ole's!

      Also, I sometimes like South Shore Cafe for breakfast...

    2. The hotels near OAK are not so great. There's a Hilton w/ a shuttle. I imagine it's okay. No idea if they have a buffet. Here's their dining info:

      There's also an OAK Courtyard by Marriott, which would have the standard Courtyard breakfast. Website says breakfast buffet for $11.95. No idea if it's any good.

      The Oakland Chinatown recommendation is a good one. You can take the AirBART bus to BART (Coliseum Station). Then take BART to 12th Street Station. If you're there on a weekday, Legendary Palace has a nice cheap anniversary special going (S, M, and L dim sum is just $1.99).

      You could also spare yourself the trouble of leaving the airport and hit the 360 Degree Burrito place in Terminal 1. It's not good, but the breakfast burritos there will not kill you (they're certainly better than tose at most fast food places).

      If you're there late enough in the morning, the In-N-Out Burger near the airport opens at 10:30 AM. No breakfast food, but it won't kill you (and many really like it). Best of all, they pay their employees a decent wage.

      1. Stay away from the hotels near the airport, not much worth going to there. Alameda is a much better bet, though I can't agree with ML8000 on Ole's. The quality has gone downhill considerably over the years, it's very crowded and the staff was kinda rude the last time I went.

        Jim's Coffeehouse down the street on Park & Lincoln is a better bet, or Araujo's a block down from there.

        3 Replies
        1. re: nicedragonboy

          And if you're doing public transit, you can catch the AC Transit #50 to Alameda right in front of the airport terminal (be sure to ask if it's going towards Alameda, as it's a one-way loop and the busses stop at the same stop going both directions). It's a little slow, but it's a bit more scenic than taking the shuttle to BART and then taking BART somewhere (not to mention less expensive). Get off at Park St. and Santa Clara, and there are lots of options (Ole's right there, Jim's a block down at Lincoln just off Park, Araujo's another block down on Park at Buena Vista, plus coffee places, a couple of bakeries, a bagel place, etc.) within a couple of blocks. If you want to kill more time, the new main library is just a block away, has nice areas for kids and, to keep this chowish, a little cafe area. Also on Park St. at Buena Vista is the Alameda Marketplace, which has a great bakery, cheeseshop, deli, grocery store, etc., if you want to pick up some munchies for the remainder of your journey.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Here are some locators:

            Jim's Coffee Shop
            2333 Lincoln Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

            1635 Park St, Alameda, CA

            Alameda Natural Grocery
            1650 Park St, Alameda, CA

          2. Didn't think about it before, but I assume you're on foot?

            Given that, yeah hotels might be the way to go. You can catch a free shuttle to the Hilton or Courtyard by Marriott. If you tip the driver they rarely care if you're even staying there, or just pretend you are. .

            You could do Chinatown thing and it would be more interesting/fun...but I'm guessing you're asking for a hotel to hang in the lobby and get a little rest too.

            If you're looking for 24 hours...there's a Carrow (like a Denny's) near the airport. Take the free hotel shuttle and walk over.

            5 Replies
            1. re: ML8000

              The reason I thought of a hotel was the free shuttle, I don't care for china town locations, I say you seen one you seen 'em all. So which hotel shuttle do I use to get to Carrow?

              1. re: kpapakolea

                That's funny, "seen one you seen 'em all" is what I say about Carrow's. ;-) Guess it's just a personal preference...I'd rather have solid cheap dim sum than low end chain waffles. If you're really not going to get anything nicer than Carrow's, I'd stick with the 360 Degree Burrito in Terminal One.

                  1. re: WCchopper

                    OMG. I had one of the worst meals of my life several years ago at a now defunct Shoney's in Lexington, KY. I wouldn't wish that on anyone!

                1. re: kpapakolea

                  Carrow's is at 405 Hegenberger Rd (the main drag to and from the airport). Courtyard by Marriott is at 350 Hegenberger Rd...about a block away. Frankly neither Carrow's or Courtyard's buffet breakfast will be that great. Given a choice however, I'd go to Carrow's since it's not steam table.

                  Re: Chinatowns looking alike...perhaps...but the food isn't all the same. If you're coming from Hawai'i, the quality, price and variety in Oakland is hard to beat. Basically 50% the price - but 100% better. There are places that you can feed a family of 4 with 4 dishes for $23 bucks + soup but not tip...and the quality would be way beyond HNL. Chinatown would be a hassle to get however, and no where to hang and rest.

              2. Take aTaxi to El Taco Zamorano Restaurant .

                On Foothill Blvd.

                Tell the taxi to come back in 45 minutes.
                I have lived in Oakland all my life and this is still one of my favorite Mexican restaurants.

                Great Gringo and Mexican Breakfasts and cheap.

                Hells Angels HDQ across the street for the kids. (local Security,very safe hood in the day)

                Then for lunch go up International Blvd to CAm Houng for Vietnamese sandwhiches for $2.25 each.If you never had them ,you will like them.

                Take them another few blocks to scenic Lake Merrit .
                Eat lunch ...then get yourself back to the Airport

                Easily done in 3 hours

                5 Replies
                1. re: Mission

                  The new Terminal 2 (Southwest Airlines) actually has some good choices for breakfast. Andale (which I take it has a location in SFO and also restaurant locations), a Mexican eatery next to Peet's Coffee, seems to be more like a restaurant kitchen than most airport operations. Everything I saw looked fresh and good. There are quite a few breakfast choices like huevos rancheros and a breakfast burrito. I had a freshly made bacon and egg croissant. Prices are pretty reasonable for large portions at an airport location. Might be some of the best airport food in the country right now. I think they may have to speed up the operation a little, though. It didn't seem as efficient as it might need to be if it really gets busy.

                  Also, I saw at the Max's that they were grilling pretty real looking hash browns for breakfast.

                  For the record, there are Starbuck's, Peet's, Max's, Andale, Gordon Biersch (emanating the aroma of garlic fries), CPK and, most bizarre of all, Fenton's in the Southwest terminal now. I can't see Fenton's lasting long. You can't safely take giant ice cream cones and overflowing sundaes on the plane and out of towners who don't know Fenton's probably blanch at the idea of $4.50 for a single cone and almost $10 for a sundae, even at an airport.

                  1. re: cwujd1

                    thanks for the reminder about the new spots in Terminal 2. However, I could see Fenton's doing just fine, a whole lot of baby boomer locals fly SW for business out of Oakland....not to mention all the kids...indeed, might be a good spot for OP to distract those three kids for a while, if the adults can stand the sugar rush :-)

                    (For the OP, Fenton's is a local creamery that has been in business since I was a kid, and I am past 50. The size of the concoctions and the nostalgia value may have more to do with its longevity than the actual quality of the ice cream. But kids invariably seem to love it).

                    1. re: cwujd1

                      With all due respect to everyone posting, I think your list will probably best serve Out-of -Towners schlepping 3 (young?) kids around an airport.
                      If they're taking 24 hrs to fly to "MickeyDom " they'll need to conserve energy.
                      b/c by the time they get there they'll be physically and emotionally drained. :-}.
                      Of course, 20 min after they leave the restaurant, the kids will need to use the restroom, so being in the terminal which is a place already designed to provide restrooms, seating, etc will provide them with the easiest way to deal.

                      1. re: Tay

                        I dunno. I always think the best way to recharge your energy is to get away from the airport and walk down real streets and breathe real air.

                      2. re: cwujd1

                        I think Fenton's will do just fine, for reasons Susan stated very well already....but garlic fries just before you get on a SW flight?? I hope I'm not sitting next to you!