HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >

Good eats in Alameda?

MissVeg Oct 30, 2009 09:41 PM

My husband and I just moved to Alameda. We've both lived in the east bay before, and we have our favorite spots in Berkeley and Oakland, but Alameda is new territory. We ARE vegetarians, but aside from burger places, we love all kinds of food.

We'd love to hear from some folks in Alameda about the following:
Indian food/supermarkets
breakfast spots
bakeries
pho/vietnamese
dim sum/chinese
pizza
fresh veggies/farmer's markets
best coffee shops
thai
mexican
good supermarkets (health food store?) and kitchen stores

any other suggestions would be terrific. thanks so much!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Ruth Lafler RE: MissVeg Oct 31, 2009 12:08 AM

    As you probably know by now, Alameda has two main business districts: Park St. in "downtown" Alameda and Webster St. on the West End. You probably also know there's a Trader Joe's at the shopping center, as well as a Bed, Bath and Beyond with a pretty good selection of kitchenwares. I avoid supermarkets, but when I need one I choose the Nob Hill next to the Fruitvale Bridge over the mega-Safeway at Alameda Towne Centre (long-time residents still think of it as South Shore -- they upscaled the name when they renovated recently).

    First, hie thee to the Alameda Marketplace, which houses:
    Alameda Natural Grocery (full line of organic everything, bulk bins, local produce, health foods, etc., a kitchen wares store, a fabulous bakery and an equally fabulous wine and cheese shop.

    Indian -- I haven't been there, but I've heard good things about India Palace on Buena Vista near Webster; there's a brand new (open a couple of weeks) outpost of flavors of India on Park St. that I haven't tried yet either.

    Breakfast spots: Alameda is famous for it's old fashioned coffee shops (Ole's and Jim's on Park St., Albert's on Webster). Marti's (off the beaten path on Encinal) is also good, as is Hob Nob (southern-influenced). There are several Mexican places that serve breakfast, my favorite being Otaez on Webster. There are also two dim sum places on Webster: East Ocean and Chef's Wok.

    Bakeries: Feel Good Bakery in the Alameda Marketplace. Bread is wonderful; pastries are wonderful but expensive. Boniere Bakery is an old-fashioned American-style bakery. I love the doughnuts, the other stuff can be hit and miss.

    Pho/Vietnamese: I like Little Saigon on Park St.

    Dim Sum/Chinese: East Ocean on Webster. I had some good meals, both dim sum and dinner at Chef's Wok, but keep going back to East Ocean. The American-Chinese dishes are made with care, and the traditional dishes are very good. Dim sum every days (menus during the week, carts on the weekend). For Northern Chinese, Ark on Park Street. There's also a new Chinese/Vietnamese place called Khanh Huong Chinese BBQ off the beaten path on Lincoln that has a little bit of everything (pho, Chinese BBQ, an array of Chinese and Vietnamese dishes). There are a lot of bad Chinese-American restaurants in Alameda, but my favorite for old-fashioned Chinese-American is Gim's Kitchen (take out/delivery only) near Park St.

    pizza: I'm not aware of any good pizza in Alameda

    Fresh veggies: Alameda Natural Grocery and Dan's Produce in the Park St. area; on Webster St. there's a year-round farmers' market on Tuesday morning and a seasonal market (May-December) on Saturday morning

    Thai -- there's no outstanding Thai -- King of Thai Noodles is probably the best; there is a good Burmese, though: Burma Superstar

    Mexican -- I like Otaez on Webster

    Upscale dining options:
    Acquacotta -- rustic Italian
    Pappo -- Cal Cuisine
    Angela's -- Middle Eastern-influenced Cal Cuisine
    Asena -- Mediterranean
    Speisekammer -- German
    Havana -- Cuban (not particularly authentic, but tasty nonetheless)
    Zen -- pan-Asian

    -----
    Speisekammer
    2424 Lincoln Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

    Boniere Bakery
    3249 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA

    Feel Good Bakery
    1650 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

    Otaez
    1619 Webster St, Alameda, CA 94501

    Chef's Wok
    1821 Webster St, Alameda, CA 94501

    Gim's
    2322 Lincoln Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

    Pappo
    2320 Central Avenue, Alameda, CA 94501

    Asena Restaurant
    2508 Santa Clara Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

    Acquacotta
    1544 Webster St, Alameda, CA 94501

    Alameda Natural Grocery
    1650 Park St, Alameda, CA

    Little Saigon
    1717 University Ave Ste A, Berkeley, CA 94703

    Burma Superstar
    4721 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler
      s
      S U RE: Ruth Lafler Nov 2, 2009 04:03 PM

      You might also want to check out Kamakura for sushi, across from Asena on Santa Clara. Although with Faith (the owner) there less and less, I feel the quality has gone slightly down.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler
        n
        nerdigrrl RE: Ruth Lafler Nov 9, 2009 01:06 PM

        Don't forget within the Marketplace, Culina offers many vegetarian and vegan items in its deli case or off the hot line. The falafels and veggie burgers are both house made.
        I can't remember if they still have the vegan baked goods.

        -----
        Culina
        1650 Park St, Alameda, CA

      2. Ruth Lafler RE: MissVeg Oct 31, 2009 12:19 AM

        Arggh! I hate the new links feature!

        -----
        Albert's Cafe
        1541 Webster St, Alameda, CA 94501

        East Ocean Seafood
        1713 Webster St, Alameda, CA 94501

        Jim's Coffee Shop
        2333 Lincoln Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

        Burma Superstar
        1345 Park Street, Alameda, CA

        Pho Little Saigon
        1319 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

        Ark Chinese
        1405 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

        Habanas
        1518 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

        Ole's Waffle Shop
        1507 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

        King of Thai Noodle
        1635 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

        Angela's Bistro
        2301 Central Ave, Alameda, CA

        Marti's Place
        1905 1/2 Encinal Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

        1. nicedragonboy RE: MissVeg Oct 31, 2009 09:15 AM

          Excellent run down of Alameda Ruth! For my part, I think Tu Tai 2 on Webster is becoming my fav for Vietnamese in Alameda.

          -----
          Tu Tai 2
          1531 Webster St, Alameda, CA 94501

          1. d
            dimsumgirl RE: MissVeg Oct 31, 2009 10:16 AM

            I like Aroma restaurant on Blanding. Check the website for details: www.aroma-ca.com I had an amazingly delicious spinach and mushroom saffron risotto made by the chef recently. You might call and ask Chef Raymond if you have a particular veggie dish that you want. He is very flexible and if you don't see what you want on the menu, he could create something featuring your favorite veggies.

            -----
            Aroma Restaurant & Bar
            2337 Blanding Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

            1 Reply
            1. re: dimsumgirl
              RWCFoodie RE: dimsumgirl Oct 31, 2009 12:03 PM

              I agree - we've been to several special events at Aroma as well as events that Chef Raymond has catered for our group. He is very willing to work with you on special requirements. Restaurant has a nice location on the water.

            2. daveena RE: MissVeg Oct 31, 2009 10:21 AM

              My two favorite things to eat in Alameda are the hand-pulled noodles at Ark, and the fish and chips at The Hobnob. Neither are veggie, unfortunately...

              1. Robert Lauriston RE: MissVeg Oct 31, 2009 10:34 AM

                The places I've been to worth the drive from Berkeley to Alameda are Speisekammer, East Ocean, and Acquacotta. The eponymous soup at Acquacotta is a great vegetarian dish. Also Forbidden Island for tiki cocktails, though it's probably better to take the bus.

                Burma Superstar is good for vegetarians. Angelfish makes good sushi.

                Farmstead is one of the three or four best cheese shops in the Bay Area.

                -----
                Farmstead Cheeses & Wines
                1650 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

                Angelfish Japanese Restaurant
                883 Island Dr # C-2, Alameda, CA

                Burma Superstar
                1345 Park Street, Alameda, CA

                Acquacotta
                1544 Webster St, Alameda, CA 94501

                1. k
                  kmah RE: MissVeg Oct 31, 2009 08:53 PM

                  I like Chef's Wok!

                  I've known at least one vegetarian who liked Spiessekammer- they have 2 veggie dishes on the menu- a spaetzle and cheese, and a veggie strudel, plus nice salads (beet, carrot, cucumber)...

                  -----
                  Chef's Wok
                  1821 Webster St, Alameda, CA 94501

                  1. e
                    epiccellars RE: MissVeg Nov 1, 2009 08:02 AM

                    Hi,
                    We're new to Alameda as well and have been exploring the restaurant and food scene here as well. I think Dan's Produce is the way to go, really good produce and a fraction of the cost of veggies at Marketplace. I think Marketplace is massively overpriced and the qualitity is no better then Dan's.
                    I ike Hob Nob for brunch, good pancakes and bloody marys.
                    Pizza is hard, Alameda Pizza on Webster is the best we've tried on the Island, it's fine, nothing like Cheeseboard in Berkeley.
                    Coffe shops-you have to try Wescafe and Little House, we flip between then, both highly cute and with good coffee. Wescafe is on Webster (near Lincoln) and has a great outside area in the back, really nice people. Little House is on Blanding (near Park St. Bridge) and has good food, I really like the crepes. Food can sometimes take a while, but the coffee comes out right away.
                    Thai-there's Toomies and King of Thai both on Park, they are both fine, but not great. I would cheack out Chai Thai on International in Oakland, it's a close drive from Alameda and really good.

                    Good luck! Post back what you find!

                    -----
                    Little House Cafe
                    2300 Blanding Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

                    King of Thai
                    184 O Farrell St, San Francisco, CA

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: epiccellars
                      Ruth Lafler RE: epiccellars Nov 1, 2009 08:07 AM

                      Oh, right. I forgot Little House Cafe for breakfast. The french toast make from leftover croissants is awesome!

                      The produce at Alameda Natural Grocery is almost all organic and identified by producer, if that's important to you. Most of the produce at Dan's is not, thus the price differential. I also find Dan's to be dirty and the quality of some of the items to be questionable. That said, I'd rather shop there than the supermarket, and some of their stuff is quite good.

                      -----
                      Little House Cafe
                      2300 Blanding Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

                      Alameda Natural Grocery
                      1650 Park St, Alameda, CA

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler
                        wolfe RE: Ruth Lafler Nov 1, 2009 10:17 AM

                        How can you forget when you were the one to plant the flag?
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/513559

                        1. re: wolfe
                          Ruth Lafler RE: wolfe Nov 1, 2009 10:34 AM

                          I had to block it out -- if I didn't, I'd be down there for brunch every weekend, which would be hard on both my waistline and my wallet. But I knew I'd forgotten at least one breakfast place.

                    2. MissVeg RE: MissVeg Nov 1, 2009 08:11 AM

                      Thanks so much, everyone! I promise to update everyone on our finds.

                      1. Robert Lauriston RE: MissVeg Nov 1, 2009 09:12 AM

                        How is the farmers market?

                        -----
                        Alameda Farmers Market
                        Webster St and Haight St, Alameda, CA

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          Robert Lauriston RE: Robert Lauriston Nov 1, 2009 09:13 AM

                          Link:

                          http://www.chow.com/restaurants/53008...

                          -----
                          Alameda Farmers Market
                          Webster St and Haight St, Alameda, CA

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                            Ruth Lafler RE: Robert Lauriston Nov 1, 2009 09:55 AM

                            Since I work in SF I never get to the Tuesday market. They have had a seasonal Thursday evening market that is small but has some good vendors. I haven't checked out the Saturday market yet, I'll have to put that on my to-do list -- a lot more convenient than schlepping over to Grand Lake and fighting the crowds! If it's like the others, it's fairly small with mostly produce vendors and very little in the way of prepared foods.

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                              e
                              epiccellars RE: Ruth Lafler Nov 1, 2009 01:12 PM

                              The Saturday market is nice, small, but a good variety. I went near the end of Summer and got some great blueberries, still have some in the freezer. It seems like a lot of the farmers are there, or they've hired very knowledgable people to work the booth. There is a really good Indian food stand from Watsonville, excellent Tika Masala and Eggplant curry. They weren't there yesterday, hopefully they'll be back next weekend.

                              does anyone know if the market is year round?

                              1. re: epiccellars
                                Ruth Lafler RE: epiccellars Nov 1, 2009 01:43 PM

                                According to the website it's through December 26th. Interesting about the Indian food -- from the comments on yelp where everyone was raving about it I could tell that is wasn't just the ubiquitous Sukhi's, as there was mention of naan being made on the spot.

                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                  e
                                  epiccellars RE: Ruth Lafler Nov 1, 2009 02:09 PM

                                  I wish I could remember the name of it, it's escaping my mind now. In the past, they've been at the back of the parking lot, not on the street. Hopefully they will be there this week! I'll take better notes this time.

                                  1. re: epiccellars
                                    MissVeg RE: epiccellars Nov 1, 2009 09:15 PM

                                    We went to the farmer's market on Saturday. We got some beautiful rainbow chard and some delicious pears as well as a nice little bag of baby spinach. There was a LOVELY woman selling middle eastern food-- she said it was her first time at the farmer's market, and she was very sweet. We bought some hummus from her, which is quite tasty, and she gave us a sample of baklava (so yummy). There were only a couple organic vendors, but probably about 8 fruit/veggie vendors, the Indian food guy (very generous with the samples, and very tasty parathas), the olive oil guy, gourmet dog treats, two bakeries (la farine, and another...I can't remember which) and some soaps and lotions. Oh, and the fish taco guy. We went at 9:30 am which seemed a little early to me for tacos (not so much for my native Californian husband, who eats Mexican every chance he gets after his two year exile in New England!). We were a little sad that there was no coffee there. It's a nice little market-- small, but some good variety.

                                    We also had brunch today at Little House. We shared a spinach, potato and cheddar omelet, which was excellent (the wheat toast was nothing to get hopped up about, but the raspberry jam was great) and the cinnamon french toast with bananas, which was delicious and decadent. We sat outside, and the service seemed a little befuddled by our unusually large party (there were 5 adults and 1 child) but we'd go back in a heartbeat, probably just the two of us.

                                    -----
                                    Little House Cafe
                                    2300 Blanding Ave, Alameda, CA 94501

                                    1. re: MissVeg
                                      m
                                      Martin Strell RE: MissVeg Nov 11, 2009 07:33 PM

                                      We went this past weekend and also encountered the woman selling middle eastern food. We bought the hummas and the spinach pie. I enjoyed both a lot. The hummas was traditional; the woman had some disparaging words for newfangled flavored hummas. Hummas was obviously the food she grew up with. (I think she said she was from Lebanon, but I can't swear to that...) Soft and creamy. The spinach pie was nice and crisp on the outside and soft and flavorful on the inside.

                                      Other regular vendors worth mentioning are Scream sorbet and La Farine bakery. Sukhi's is there, but the Indian place everyone is talking about is not Sukhi's, though I don't remember their name either. The fish taco guy is good too.

                                      -----
                                      La Farine
                                      6323 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

                                      1. re: Martin Strell
                                        Ruth Lafler RE: Martin Strell Nov 11, 2009 10:19 PM

                                        The non-Sukhi's Indian vendor is either Gourmet India Clay Oven or Gourmet Clay India Oven. I bought a couple of samosas ($1) and I thought they were quite good -- I liked the spicing, and the potatoes were cut in a small dice and not cooked too soft. ScreamSorbet is now offering some of their most popular flavors in pre-packed cartons ($9). As usual, they had some interesting flavors that were reflective of the season, including one with persimmon and an apple cinnamon that proved to me it was possible to capture the essence of apple in a frozen form (and wasn't too cinnamony).

                                        1. re: Martin Strell
                                          m
                                          Martin Strell RE: Martin Strell Nov 14, 2009 07:27 AM

                                          If anyone is interested in more about the woman selling delicious middle-eastern food at the Alameda farmer's market, I found the card she gave me with her web site listed on it. The site is mostly about her catering service, which I cannot vouch for: www.aniscatering.net .

                                          1. re: Martin Strell
                                            myst RE: Martin Strell Dec 22, 2009 03:31 PM

                                            We'd love to hear from some folks in Alameda about the following:
                                            Indian food/supermarkets: India Palace is okay - not a destination restaurant but when you have a craving it hits the spot.
                                            breakfast spots: I like Hob Nob or La Pinata (mexican breakfast); if you want quantatiy Otaez has breakfast buffet that will kill you -- come on empty stomach. I love Fat Lady in Jack London but you have to leave Alameda to get there....
                                            bakeries: Julies has scones and devonshire cream. Boniere is better than Starbucks but Feel Good is probably best bet.
                                            pho/vietnamese: Mint Leaf on West Side. Or go to Oakland 0 Huynhs or Pho 84.
                                            dim sum/chinese: East Ocean
                                            pizza: Bowzers or Tomatina (again not Little Star quality but decent)
                                            fresh veggies/farmer's markets
                                            best coffee shops: Java Rama is comfortable to hang out. Little House has better coffee
                                            thai: King of Thai for cheap. But no great Thai in Alameda.
                                            mexican: Ramiros and Sons for Tacqueria, La Pinata for platters.
                                            good supermarkets (health food store?) and kitchen stores: Nob Hill or Trader Joes. Best kitchen store is in SF on Clement Street! Kamei 547 Clement Street.

                                            any other suggestions would be terrific. thanks so much!

                                            I like Barceluna or Hob Nob for drinks. Hob Nob also good for breakfast.

                                            1. re: myst
                                              Ruth Lafler RE: myst Dec 22, 2009 03:37 PM

                                              I've tried Ramiros and Sons a couple of times and never been happy with my food: watery and gloppy has been my experience. Something in particular that's good there?

                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                PorkButt RE: Ruth Lafler Dec 22, 2009 03:48 PM

                                                The chicharrones are fantastic at Ramiros. It's not puffy fried skin there but crunchy fried hunks of fatty pork that are chopped up to order.

                                                The only other meat that I've had there is chile verde which is just okay.

                                              2. re: myst
                                                n
                                                nerdigrrl RE: myst Jan 5, 2010 12:16 PM

                                                If you're going to leave the island for pho, my favorite is Ao Sen on 2nd and International. Delicious, rich, clean broth. Their Bun Bo Hue is also amazing. Plus this place has a few northern dishes (bun cha Hanoi) that aren't widely available.

                            Show Hidden Posts