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Good food outdoors in Berkeley-Oakland area?

Warmer weather coming, let's hope. Where's the best food outdoors?

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  1. A Cote's patio is so enclosed you aren't really outdoors, and they aren't open at lunch.

    Bay Wolf has a sort of porch.

    Bucci's has a patio off the parking lot.

    Cafe Colucci has somewhat funky sidewalk seating.

    Cafe Rouge has a sort of fenced-off portion of the wide elevated walkway.

    Cesar on Piedmont has a patio a step up from the sidewalk. Cesar on Shattuck opens the front doors on nice days so the front tables feel semi-outdoors.

    Dona Tomas has a nice back patio.

    Eccolo has a small walled-off front patio.

    Jupiter has a huge outdoor area with a pit fireplace, but the food's not great.

    La Note has a back patio.

    Lanesplitter on San Pablo has picnic tables in the back yard.

    O Chame has a walled-off front patio.

    Oliveto has a few tables on the sidewalk. I don't think they ever get sun.

    Triple Rock has a deck upstairs and decent burgers.

    Wat Mongkolratnaram's Sunday lunch is outside.

    Quinn's Lighthouse has a wonderful deck and a great list of eclectic rosés, but the food pretty much sucks.

    Sea Salt's back patio is now semi-enclosed.

    T-Rex has a few tables on the upstairs deck.

    Taqueria San Jose has a side patio.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      I am in a quandary whether to reply to the original poster or the first responder. There is outside dining, although limited, in front of the original Gregoire's.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Cock-a-doodle Cafe has a nice back patio.

        Doesn't Pacific Brewing Company have a back patio?

        Cafe Verbena has some outdoor tables.

        Postino has some lovely tables under the porch around its front courtyard/garden.

        Tucker's Ice Cream has both a back patio and seating in the front where they can open up the big windows to the street.

        Otaez on Webster has some tables on a front patio.

        Speisekammer has some tables in their front patio, too.

        Tropix has a back patio.

        As far as I know, all East Bay Barney's locations have back patios, although the food isn't great.

        There's a new brunch place in Alameda that I haven't fully checked out yet that has outdoor seating (stay tuned, I hope to get there and report this weekend).

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          The "Beer Garden" at Pacific Coast Brewing is a little disappointing. It's a covered patio with lattice screening a parking lot with a northern exposure. It is outside however.

          A little bit down the street there's, B restaurant, Ratto's, Caffe 817 and Lavende East that all have table out front.

          1. re: ML8000

            In this immediate area there is also Tamarindo on 8th Street, which has tables on the sidewalk.

          2. re: Ruth Lafler

            Little House Cafe, Alameda (breakfast and lunch daily), Alameda. See report: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/513559

          3. re: Robert Lauriston

            Had lunch at La Note yesterday. Their patio might be the nicest place for dining outside in the area. I think everything I've ordered there has been good.

          4. In addition to your list, Pizzaiolo has a back patio for a handful of tables. 900 Grayson has a great back patio, but they're only open for breakfast and lunch (Monday through Saturday). Dopo has tables in the front and along the side of the building, I think the front tables get sun at lunch, the side tables don't.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JasmineG

              Oh, and Somerset on College has a back patio, and it's okay for brunch (the food is fine, it's just overpriced for what it is). I haven't been for dinner, but there have been some bad reports.

            2. Cafe Leila has nice patio in back with a little fountain and umbrellaed tables. It can get breezy, but if warm and calm, it's really nice. I had the best BLT there ever a couple of weeks ago.

              1. Townhouse in Emeryville has a nice deck; perfect for burgers and beer when its not too foggy.

                1. Ethiopia on Telegraph near Ashby has a back patio. The food is adequate.

                  Ethiopia Restaurant
                  2955 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Joel

                    Duh! I was thinking when I wrote my reply that I still -- after many years -- miss Augusta's, but even thinking that that didn't trigger me remembering that Ethiopia, which took over that location, still has the patio. The food is somewhat better than adequate (although not as refined as Cafe Colucci) -- we had a nice chowdown there about a year ago.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      Vanessa's Bistro has a semi-open patio in the front. Fonda also has a few outside tables, no?

                  2. Perhaps ten years ago I had a nice outdoor lunch at Il Pescatore at Jack London Square.

                    Il Pescatore Restaurant
                    57 Jack London Sq, Oakland, CA 94601

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Joel

                      Can you tell us more about Il Pescatore? I've read virtually everything that's ever been posted on this board, and I don't remember a single substantive report on that place.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        Unfortunately the only thread seems to have misspelled the name as "EL" rather than "IL", fortunately Robert L tracked it down.
                        I was there only once.

                    2. Crepevine on College has tables outside.

                      Pho Ao Sen on International has tables in the back patio.

                      Both Arizmendis have tables outside.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: DezzerSF

                        Cheeseboard has benches,I believe, tables and the grassy plaza in the middle of Shattuck.

                        1. re: wolfe

                          The "grassy plaza" is a roadway median and, last time I was there, there was a "thou shalt not" sign. Didn't stop me - it's a great spot to sit and eat!

                          1. re: bbulkow

                            It's simply a matter of semantics.

                            1. re: bbulkow

                              Just made 2 passes past the Cheeseboard on this beautiful day and 30 to 50 people on the grassy plaza sharing today's pizza Saturday 3/12 roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, mozzarella and gruyere cheese, garlic oil, fresh herbs beneath the keep off signs.

                          2. re: DezzerSF

                            I wouldn't want to sit outside the Arizmendi on Lakeshore in Oakland, though -- the tables infringe on the sidewalk, so you get not only a lot of traffic noise but a lot of people walking inches from your table trying to pass other people.

                            The original Sabuy Sabuy has a nice patio out back with trees for shade, and their soups are quite tasty.

                            There is also, of course, the option of going to a farmer's market, picking up fruits and prepared food, then walking a bit and sitting in a nice area to eat. The Grand Lake farmer's market is excellent for this -- a three block walk and you can be sitting next to the lake watching the fountain and the birds.

                            1. re: Marc Wallace

                              I agree that the Sabuy Sabuy patio is very nice. I also think that (though I haven't eaten there in over a year) that their food can be underrated, or perhaps it is just that I used to go with a Thai colleague who knew the owners, and somehow we always got stuff that wasn't on the menu....I do know that if you ask for something very spicy, they will oblige....

                              Another nearby place with a very nice patio is Tropix on Piedmont. Not a huge fan of their food, however.

                              Sabuy Sabuy Thai Cuisine
                              5231 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

                              Tropix Caribbean Restaurant
                              3814 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

                          3. Riva Cucina on Hearst below 6th has a lovely outdoor area with a fountain and a great garden.

                            Zeste Cafe on Addison at the Strawberry Creek Design Center is a hidden gem with
                            an outdoor area that is a perfect setting on a warm day.

                            And they're both open for lunch.

                            1. Adagia on Bancroft in Berkeley has an attractive courtyard.

                              1. For any that have might have been missed ... Berkeley

                                1. For any that have might have been missed ... Oakland

                                    1. Maybe not the BEST food but pretty good food and GREAT outdoor area:

                                      Jupiter Pizza in Berkeley

                                      2181 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

                                      1. Husband, 15month old baby and I ate outside at Taco Grill in Oakland and of course had dessert at Cinqo de Mayo afterwards. It's a fairly urban setting but very pleasant facing a semi enclosed courtyard. Lots of kids (including our own) running around.

                                        Weather was too warm for Pozole but perfect for Ice cream.

                                        I don't know how to link addresses- both places are at the newish Fruitvale Public Market.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: suebe

                                          At the bottom of your message box there's a tab that says "Link to a place" -- click on that and a box pops up that you can type the name and city of the place in. The search results come up at the right side of the box and you can click on the correct one to add it. Then you'll get a prompt for "Add Another Link" -- caveat: you can't do this by editing after the reply has been posted, and more than once I've not paid attention and hit "post my reply" instead of on of the "Add a Link" boxes.

                                          Nieves Cinco de Mayo
                                          3340 E 12th St, Oakland, CA 94601

                                          Taco Grill
                                          3340 E 12th St, Oakland, CA 94601

                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                            Thanks, Ruth! I've been meaning to figure out how to do that for awhile now, but haven't gotten around to it. Never even noticed the "link to a place" link.

                                          2. re: suebe

                                            Did the bakery open in that building yet?

                                            1. re: rworange

                                              Wasn't open when we were there but not sure if it was just closed for the day or not open yet at all.
                                              Silly (actually distracted) me, shouldve asked!

                                          3. Chez Simone, hidden up the steps on Piedmont near 41st.
                                            An interestingly swiss-family-robinson-esque arrangement up there
                                            on a sunny afternoon.

                                            I don't have a grand-mère who lives in a second-storey apartment in a
                                            pleasant Lyon suburb. But if I did I imagine Chez Simone would be
                                            exactly like having a nice lunch out on her back porch.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                              That's above the antique shop? I had no idea there was a restaurant upstairs.

                                              Chez Simone
                                              4125 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                  There's a yoga studio above the antique store. Chez Simone is to the back up the stairs to the right. There's a sign over the steps that's faded a bit.

                                              1. Driving by Nan Yang Rockridge today, I saw they had tables in the front patio area... never had the food though.

                                                1. Franklin Square Wine Bar has some outdoor seating.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: daveena

                                                    And they're open for lunch and all afternoon now, Monday through Friday.

                                                    Often kind of a wind tunnel right there in the evenings.

                                                    Franklin Square Wine Bar
                                                    2212 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

                                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                      What isn't these days? I know spring is the windy season, but this spring the wind has been especially strong and biting in the afternoon/early evening.

                                                    2. re: daveena

                                                      Had lunch there the other day. Nice warm calm day, but the big buildings nearby definitely create a wind-tunnel effect. Not the greatest location for sitting outside, some bum wandered into the dining area and muttered at us while smoking a cigarette.

                                                    3. The Barney's on Solano does not have an outdoor area in back, just tables on the sidewalk. Don't bother.

                                                      Talevera has tables outside next to a small park.

                                                      1. My little grandson and I really enjoy the back patio with fountain at Picante in West Berkeley. The people who work there are soooo nice! They have a new item on the menu: "Sopa Verde" (green soup). I was told it's totally vegetarian and to come by for a sample.

                                                          1. Dareye (Ethiopian) has a very nice patio in the back.
                                                            Good food, too.
                                                            Across the street from Cafe Colucci, on Telegraph in North Oakland (almost in Berkeley).

                                                            Cafe Colucci
                                                            6427 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

                                                            Dareye Hide-A-Way Cafe
                                                            6430 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

                                                            1. Filippo's and Pasta Pomodoro on College in Oakland have outdoor seating.

                                                              Fillippo's better food with small but very popular sidewalk dining.

                                                              Pasta Pomodoro ok food with large sunny front patio dining.