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Jul 25, 2009 04:46 PM

Oakland/ Lake Merritt area on student budget

Looking for some places that my college student daughter can enjoy within 15 mins drive of Lake Merritt area. Think cheap eats. Best bets: Chinese, Vietnamese, Lao, Japanese, Mexican but open to other ideas as well!

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  1. Cam Huong, Bahn Mi and seaafood soup, 7th and International.
    Pho Ahn Dao. Pho Tai.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wolfe

      Found it, wolfe! 280 E. 18th Street. Thanks for the rec! I don't know how to post a link but that's the address if anyone else is looking for it.

    2. I think all my favorite cheap Oakland places are in that zone.

      Shanghai Restaurant
      930 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607

      Champa Garden
      2102 8th Ave, Oakland, CA 94606

      Green Papaya Deli
      207 International Blvd (at 2nd ave, Oakland, CA

      Dan Sung Sa
      2775 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

      Geta Japanese Restaurant
      165 41st St, Oakland, CA 94611

      Jalisco Cafe
      1721 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

      Chef Yu's
      3919 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

      Chai Thai Noodles
      545 B International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

      10 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        I love Champa Garden. The rest of the places that wolfe, Robert, Allfrog and Stephanie mentioned are ones that I have never heard of but then I am not familiar with the area. Thanks for all the recs and particularly the links which will help us find them.

        1. re: dimsumgirl

          The east side of the lake may not be as inexpensive. I like Spettro. There is also ZZa's, The Cheesesteak Shop, The Burrito Shop and Holy Land. Additional places, to which I've never been, including a new BBQ joint are also there. There are always quick, cheap lunch options at Trader Joe's.

          Holy Land Restaurant
          677 Rand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

          Cheese Steak Shop
          3308 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

          3355 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

          Zza's Trattoria
          552 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

          1. re: wolfe

            Also in that neighborhood:
            The new Lanesplitter branch has been consistently excellent - I think it's better than the one on San Pablo.

            A little further west on Grand, Jong Ga House isn't super cheap, but they give you so much panchan you don't really don't need to order much to have a satisfying meal.

            I've heard good things about Enssaro, the Ethiopian place neear Jong Ga - haven't been there yet for some reason, but plan to soon.

            Other Chinatown faves:
            Ba Le for their banh canh soup with pig trotter and shrimp paste
            BC Deli for banh mi, as well as the big rice noodles with coconut milk and shredded pigskin, and the Chiu Chao-style rice cakes with scrambled egg and preserved vegetables
            Shan Dong for steamed buns with pork and vegetables, and knife-cut noodles (I like it with shredded pork and zha cai)
            Gum Wah for duck noodle soup.
            Pho Hoa Lao for spicy beef stew with noodles (pho bo kho - #26 for skinny rice noodles, #27 for skinny egg noodles).
            Delicious Food Company for egg puffs, jook
            Napolean Super bakery for egg tarts and steamed sponge "cupcakes"
            Chef Lau for pumpkin and salted egg yolk fritter, salt and pepper fish, pot stickers
            New Gold Medal for jook, bitter melon with scrambled egg
            Gum Kuo for roast pork
            Sun Sing for baked char siu bao, rice rolls with Chinese cruller

            Shanghai restaurant is probably my favorite restaurant in Oakland Chinatown:

              1. re: wolfe

                The Berkeley one... forgot there were two San Pablo branches, ha.

            1. re: wolfe

              The food's better at the Berkeley branch of Holy Land.

              Lanesplitter's the best cheap pizza in the area. There's a new branch by the lake but it's takeout and delivery only.

              Holy Land Restaurant
              2965 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

              Lanesplitter Temescal
              4799 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                The Lanesplitter on LakePark has stand-up table tops so one could eat in & then get a scoop of gelato from Firenze -- good for a very quick bite or two before a movie at the Grand Lake.

          2. re: Robert Lauriston


            I'm curious, what are some of your favorite items at the Jalisco Cafe? I'm a big fan of their generous bowls of green salsa, the pickled jalapenos on the tables, and the mixed pork/tripe platters (I'm hesitant to call it "Carnitas" cause some may flame them verbally because their not the crispy ones) available on the weekends.

          3. Couple places that are good and cheap. Pho at vietnamese spot. Also, Mexican in Fruitvale area. Check out other posts about the Mexican spot. I went there about a week ago and was really pleased. My husband and I got a pretty big dinner w/ beans and rice for $13 total, including one drink. The next door ice cream was good as well.

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

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

            Pho Ao Sen
            1139 E 12th St, Oakland, CA

            1. To add to Robert's list

              Banh Mi Ba Le
              1909 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

              Pho Oakland
              807 E 12th St, Oakland, CA 94606