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Favorite Holes in the Wall (East Bay)

Just for fun, I'm looking for some ideas for small (but nice) restaurants in the East Bay. The smaller the better.

So far I've come up with:

Diggs Bistro
Wood Tavern

Where else can people come up with?

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  1. Um, that's kind of the entire topic of this entire website. Can you be more specific
    about what you like?

    1. Hmm, I wouldn't qualify either Dopo or Wood Tavern as a hole in the wall. What kind of food are you looking for?

        1. I'm not sure there are any other nice restaurants as small as Digs Bistro.

          Dopo's pretty average-sized now that they expanded into the storefront next door.

          1. Jojo...
            Riva Cucina...

            1. Like everyone else I'm a little confused as to what you have in mind, but I'll put in a plug for Musashi (2126 Dwight, just above Shattuck, in Berkeley. Ph. 510-843-2017) This small, austere-but-not-funky place has gone through many incarnations, but it is now open again for lunch M-F. There are a few reviews on Chowhound, more on Yelp. In the recent past I usually got the teriyaki steak complete dinner which was a bargain at $15 but alas it's no longer offered.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MargotB

                I've had very good sushi at Musashi, but it's not what I'd call "nice" in the way that Digs, Dopo, and Wood Tavern are. It's clean and tidy but pretty generic.

                Norikonoko's tiny and charming in a slightly funky way, sort of like Digs.

                Norikonoko Japanese Rstrnt
                2556 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

              2. Count me as another dubious about the characterization of these places as "holes in the wall" -- but one of the smallest cool little places I know is Little House Cafe in Alameda. Breakfast and lunch only.

                Little House Cafe
                2300 Blanding Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

                1. I've been living here for ages and have never heard of Diggs Bistro? Where is it stashed away?

                  1 Reply
                  1. Little tiny places I love in Oakland (not neccessarily hole in the wall places)
                    These places have good food and service and are always easy choices for me.
                    Drunken Fish (on auto row in Oakland)
                    Asmara or Red Sea (Ethiopian)
                    Pearl (Rockridge and is tiny but not a hole in the wall at all)
                    Lynn and Lous (great Breakfast place in Oakland)
                    Outside Oakland
                    Hidden City (great breakfast place in Point Richmond)
                    There is an absolutely sick bakery in Emeryville (whose name alludes me) on 68th between San Pablo and Hollis.

                    This question made me miss the Red Tractor. Sometimes you just need a little pot roast and/or a waffle.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: red_red_radish

                      >> There is an absolutely sick bakery in Emeryville (whose name alludes me)
                      >> on 68th between San Pablo and Hollis.

                      Assuming this is good sick rather than sick sick, I'm intrigued. And not least because there isn't a 68th St.

                      1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                        Sick as in good.

                        There is a 66th and a 67th...and then ? Whatever that next street is between Hollis and San Pablo. North side of the street without good signeage. Owned by two darling men, and filled with tiny tarts, eclairs, mouses and awsome coffee. I'll go by later today and see if I can get the name and address.

                        1. re: red_red_radish

                          If you're talking about Cafe Aquarius, that's on 65th. Looks great, but seems to be more of a lunch place than a bakery. Table service. $10 burger, $9 sandwiches. At 1pm there were only a couple of pastry things left but the eclairs looked particularly awesome.

                          I didn't eat anything because I was just passing by after lunch somewheres else, but I'll likely be back soon. Pretty sizable lunch crowd in there. No mention on CH I can find but the yelpers are all over it.

                          1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                            Attempting to add a place link, but that seems to be failing. Sigh.

                            1298 65th St Emeryville CA

                            Cafe Aquarius
                            1298 65th St, Emeryville, CA 94608

                      2. re: red_red_radish

                        Pearl Oyster Bar closed. The owners are supposedly going to open a place called Water Lounge in the same location.

                        That space seemed pretty average-sized to me.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          I hold that a full service place with fewer than 18 tables is small. Especailly if I can't squeeze between the neighboring chairs.

                          I'm shocked it closed. Thier spicy poke was some of the best around and the place was always packed.

                          1. re: red_red_radish

                            If "under 18 tables" is your criterion, then how about Acquacotta in Alameda (also meets the criterion Mission listed as "out of the way).

                      3. Main Entry:
                        Inflected Form(s):
                        plural holes–in–the–wall

                        : a small and often unpretentious out-of-the-way place (as a restaurant)

                        Dopo: Piedmont Ave.??
                        Wood Tavern: College Ave.??

                        1. Based on a current thread and the fact that the barbequed pork chow fun I had was spicy as I ordered it.

                          Mac's Wok
                          10558 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito, CA 94530

                          1. There is a good Chinese restauant in Newark, CA called Cousin Cafe. They have plenty of dishes to try. The must get is their baked rice plates. The rod cod and porkchop are the best ones. We discovered it awhile back. Great value. Check out their cheap but good breakfast specials.