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coming back to my old hometown, any suggestions?

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I left the East Bay a couple years ago to move to NY and I finally have a chance to go visit my old haunts and hopefully a couple new ones. I used to love Cheese Board's pizza, Soi 4 (when it first opened, I don't even know if it's there still), taquerias in Fruitvale, drinks at Albatross, so I guess on the more casual side. Is there anything, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks, coffee, dessert that I should check out? Suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. Bakesale Betty, Luka's, Sea Salt are all new-ish and good.

    1. Wood Tavern is new, and excellent. There's a new branch of Cesar in Rockridge with more seats and a bigger menu - I've had excellent food (with occasionally spotty service) there. Champa Garden (good but inconsistent Lao-Thai) may not have been around when you were last here. Declancey's Open Table for outstanding fried chicken and molasses-slow service. Was Pizzaiolo around when you were last here?

      Also... Ici ice cream, Gelato Firenze... I like both Sea Salt and Luka's, but have to say I have yet to be impressed by Bakesale Betty, except for the lemon squares (I appear to be in the very small minority here).

      1. All great suggestions so far. A Cote is still one of my favorite places in Oakland on College, small plates, cocktails fun dining.

        This crazy beautiful post - http://www.chowhound.com/topics/450404
        Bake Sale Betty for fried chicken sandwich and desserts.

        Another fun post of all the strange hidden places in the East Bay-
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/397029

        Crixa's in Berkeley for desserts