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Dinner and a Movie

Ideally, when I go out to see a movie and have dinner, I want to be able to park my car once, see a good movie and enjoy a decent meal that I can walk to afterwards. My movie selections are definitely influenced by the nearby restaurant selections. Some of my East Bay favorites are:

Piedmont Theater/ Dopo, Cesar or Xyclo
Elmwood Theater/ Wood Tavern (though too hard to get into most of the time)
Albany Twin/ Vanessa's
Grand Lake/ Sidebar

What are others' favorite dinner and movie combos? I have a preference for independent movie theaters, but recognize that there are times when the overwhelming AMC in Emeryville is unavoidable. I refuse to eat at California Pizza Kitchen, so I violate my one parking space rule and eat at Rudy's Can't Fail before or after AMC. Any other ideas?

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  1. California/ Great China
    Albany Twin/ Nizza la Bella, Rendez Vouz
    The Oaks is .2 miles from Vanessa's, the Twin is about a mile.

    3 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      Embarcadero Theatre and Kokkari Estiatorio. Edgy Independent films, and super tasty Greek food in a fun, rockin' venue.

      1. re: Paul H

        I like Kokkari, but it has always seemed on the staid side to me.

        1. re: Paul H

          The Embarcadero theater is also walking distance from Chinatown, parts of North Beach (Tomasso's), and Zinnia, not to mention Tadich and Perbacco.

      2. In the city, the Sundance Kabuki gives you Japantown, Dosa, lower Fillmore.

        Or the Balboa and Shanghai House or the Vietnamese place next door. And the Castro plus Thai House Express.

        1. Balboa / Shanghai Dumpling King
          Kabuki / Suzu
          Van Ness / Tommy's Joynt (I wonder if people are going to discredit me for that. Ah well!)

          Those are the only ones I ever found myself doing habitually, although there are decent cheap eats near pretty much all the SF movie theatres, with the possible exception of the Metreon.

          2 Replies
          1. re: dunstable

            Metreon now has the Island Earth "farmer's market" food court, along with Tropisueño and Papa Beard. Also you could get to pretty much all of these places without driving at all, although the Balboa would take a while.

            dunstable, do yourself a favor and check out Shanghai House (directly across from the movies). I like the XLBs much better than Shanghai Dumpling King.

            1. re: Windy

              Ah yes? To be honest, I don't go to the Balboa much since they stopped being a rep house. That was a great tragedy; I considered it the best theatre in the city, and then it was forced to show popular fare. But, I do like me some dumplings, so I may check it out.

          2. Kabuki + O Izakaya Lounge is a good combo, depending on what you order. Of course there's many picks in Japantown.

            A 2nd on Shanghai Dumpling King and the Balboa, with the side option of coffee at Simple Pleasure Cafe between, waiting, after.

            1. The Alameda Theater has several restaurants very close to it. My husband and I tried Pappo across the street a while ago and it was good. They had a special movie menu.

              5 Replies
                1. re: sydthekyd

                  Hmm, don't see it on their web site. As I remember, it was selections from the regular menu that they could get to the table pretty quickly. So you could go there before a movie and get in and out if that was what you wanted.

                  1. re: meemster

                    the movie menu was more a small plates menu for little items before your flick. they've since discontinued it, but there are still delish apps to choose from.

                2. re: meemster

                  I want to eat there when the theater shows "Babbette's Feast"

                  1. re: meemster

                    Yeah, in addition to Pappo there's Angela's Bistro, Asena, C'Era una Volta, Hob Nob, Havana, Barceluna and Zen Asian Fusion Tapas + Lounge. A couple of blocks farther is Speisekammer. For less expensive, there's a Burgermeister right next to the theater and a wine bar that serves food on the other side. There's Ark Northern Chinese and a number of other Asian (Thai, Vietnamese, Burmese, Japanese) and Mexican places, a Greek place, a couple of pizza places, and several ice cream/gelato/yogurt shops.

                  2. Downtown Pleasant Hill: Century Theater/The Left Bank

                    1 Reply
                    1. I'm planning to check out Five one of these days after a movie at the Shattuck. Great China's often closed by the time we get out of the theater.

                      Wood Tavern takes reservations.

                      FIVE American Bistro & Bar
                      2086 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

                      1. SPQR would be convenient after a movie at the Clay.

                        Dopo after a movie downstairs at the Piedmont is my favorite. It's almost like they named the restaurant to promote that ("dopo" is Italian for "after").

                        1. Grand Lake/Camino
                          and additional votes for California/Great China
                          and Shattuck/Five

                          1. Thanks, everyone. Some great ideas here. I agree that the Piedmont Theater/Dopo combo is the best -- especially if you go on Saturday night, the guy does the raffle with the ticket stubs, and then you are greeted by the warm and gracious Graham at Dopo. It's a peak neighborhood experience.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: redchair

                              You asked about dinner, not just dessert, but (even though I love Dopo's desserts) Piedmont Theatre followed by Dopo and/or Lush would also be a fine evening. And Lush is literally across the street from the theatre.

                              1. re: neu

                                And Piedmont followed by Adesso would be fabulous, especially if you get there late enough for the free snacks.

                            2. Places I like in downtown Berkeley in rough order of how far they are from the Shattuck:

                              Angeline's, Creole/Cajun http://www.angelineskitchen.com

                              Great China, Korean-Chinese: "double skin," fried oysters, steamed surf clams, tea-smoked duck, wok-braised lamb http://www.greatchinaberkeley.com/men...

                              Jupiter, pizza and beer, live music http://www.jupiterbeer.com/jupiter

                              Anh Hong, Vietnamese http://www.anhhong.com

                              Jayakarta, Indonesian http://www.jayakartarestaurant.braveh...

                              Turkish Kitchen http://turkishkitchenberkeley.com

                              Liaison, French http://www.liaisonbistro.com

                              Udupi Palace, south Indian (vegetarian) http://www.udupipalaceca.com/3.html

                              Cha-Ya, vegetarian Japanese http://www.menuism.com/links/show/bzd...

                              Corso, Italian http://www.trattoriacorso.com/food.html

                              1. If SF proper is an option... I just park in the Marina, have dinner at... A16, Mamacita's, Laiola, Barney's, Three Seasons, then head off to the new Marina Theatre. (The big theatre is very very nice). The Presidio Theatre is also serviceable, though not as nice.

                                I've also been known to park near the Metreon, walk to Fringale for dinner, then walk back to the Metreon for a movie.