Moving back to Oakland. What are the latest and greatest?
So I just moved back to Oakland after about 4 years of living on the peninsula and was pleasantly surprised to see how much things have changed! Only problem is now I don't know what the really cool spots are for great food. Wondering if anyone has any insight as to where we should familiarizing ourselves with now that we're back.
Bonus points if the spots are in the adams point/uptown/grand lake area! but all great spots would be appreciated.
I think everyone's thrown out many of the new places, so I'm just adding some context on what are my favorites (and arranged by neighborhoods):
Wood Tavern: Comfy but stylish, always a winner, but always crowded. For quick sandwich, try their Southie sandwich shop next door.
Enoteca Molinari: Really small but friendly neighborhood wine bar. Great wine selection, limited menu but always fresh. Great desserts from the owner's cousin.
Hudson's: This was formerly Garibaldi's, then a Garibaldi's/Marzano hybrid, and now Hudson, while the approach is still a bit of the Garibaldi's/Marzano hybrid, meaning thin crust pizza with full entree meals. Bar is always bustling.
Remedy Coffee: Probably the most popular cafe in the hood, hard to find a spot. Funky styling.
Bar Lata: Great Spanish cuisine with fresh ingredients, always lively.
Caserole House: One of my favorite Korean spots, but really depends on what you order. It's right next door to Sahn Maru that others like, but I prefer this smaller spot next door.
Adesso: Fantastic wine bar with house-made charcuterie. The charcuterie can be pricey, but worth it if you want to try unique stuff. Limited menu of panini's and other small plates.
Lush Gelato: Opened a couple of years ago and is one of my favorite gelato places, all seasonal flavors. (Second location in Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto area)
Commis: Why this place gets a Michelin star is the sophisticated presentation of the dishes, but the staff and chef aren't pretentious at all. And while environment seems sterile, it goes for the homey neighborhood fine dining restaurant niche.
Boot & Shoe: Same owners of Pizzaiolo, but I prefer this spot to the Temescal restaurant. There's always a wait if you don't go early, but great bar in the back if you don't mind that. Pizzas are done great with seasonal toppings.
Ikaros Greek Restaurant: Opened a couple of years ago but feels like a family restaurant that's been there for years. Good value and well executed dishes. Definitely try the appetizer sampler and the lamb shank.
Camino: This is one of the many Chez Panisse alums restaurants and has that same feel with the open kitchen, wood-fire oven, etc. Great quality and fresh flavors but I have to say sometimes it can seem overhyped. Great bit wood dining room.
Sidebar: Little more casual and the food is good but not consistently great. Bar in the center is a nice gathering place. Friendly staff. California Americana grill feel.
Trueburger: Nice, simple, quailty burgers. No big fancy menu, just straight-forward and friendly. Good for a quick bite, but keep in mind it's not open on Sundays.
Hawker Fare: Same owner as Commis, but way different approach. This emphasizes the Asian bowl lunch experience. Limited menu, with maybe 6 bowls.
Ozumo: Even though this came over from San Francisco and feels like a chain restaurant, it still has some good dishes and can be an option when other nearby restaurants are filled. Has a fun robata grill station where you can sit.
Plum: Daniel Patterson's first Oakland restaurant is more casual than COI. Beautiful space and seasonal locavore type dishes. Some people complain you don't get filled, so keep that in mind when deciding what to order.
Jack London Square:
Haven: Daniel Patterson's more ambitious Oakland restaurant just recently opened. I haven't tried yet.
Bocanova: Pan American cuisine in a stylish restaurant. Food can be sometimes inconsistent but you can't beat the view from the outdoor patio. Seems like a popular place for celebrations.
The Chop House: Not necessarily in the heart of Jack London Square, but still worthy of checking out (not really a safe area at night so might try driving instead of walking from BART). Friendly staff, hearty California dishes, and a pig roast on Sundays during the summer.
re: Robert Lauriston
Chop Bar is not to be missed. It's safe --- don't worry about the area. All those buildings have been converted to live/work lofts. People walk their dogs and can be seen with baby strollers all day and in the evening. We used to live across the street from Chop Bar and there was never any crime. The Oakland is dangerous myth is... a myth! :).
Lots of changes... I'm mixing in shopping places too.
Oakland: Wood Tavern, Bellanico, Camino, Brown Sugar Kitchen, Adesso, Bocanova, Chop Bar, Pican, Scream Sorbet, Commonwealth Cafe & Public House, Burma Superstar, Oasis Food Market, Ozumo, Guest Chef (pop-up place, so variable quality), B Restaurant & Bar, Souley Vegan
Berkeley: Gather, Ippuku, Revival Bar & Kitchen, Berkeley Bowl West, Turkish Kitchen, Berkeley Local Butcher, La Bedaine, Riva Cucina, Uncle Dougies, Emilia's Pizzeria, Smoke, Smokey J's, Nordic House (moved)
The Parkway and Cerrito theaters closed. Parkway is slated to reopen in uptown by different owners.
Burma Superstar Restaurant
309 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118
161 Steuart Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618
800 Heinz Ave, Berkeley, CA 94710
1345 Park Street, Alameda, CA
1984 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704
Brown Sugar Kitchen
2534 Mandela Pkwy, Oakland, CA 94607
4238 Park Blvd, Oakland, CA 94602
2709 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702
5030 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA
2251 Broadway Avenue, Oakland, CA 94612
4395 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA
Berkeley Bowl West
920 Heinz Ave, Berkeley, CA
2295 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612
4721 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA
2995 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705
1585 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94706
55 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94607
24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94101
Revival Bar & Kitchen
2102 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704
2130 Center St, Berkeley, CA 94704
2328 Bowditch St, Berkeley, CA 94704
The Local Butcher Shop
1600 Shattuck Ave #120, Berkeley, CA 94709
You'd do well to search Oakland on this board for the new and interesting.
Walk around the Temescal [Telegraph btwn about 40th and 51st] which has developed a lot in the past few years for Pizzaiolo, Aunt Mary's, Bar Lata, as well as Dona Tomas which you may remember.
Grand/Lakeshore: Sidebar, Boot & Shoe Service, Lakeshore Farmer's Market.
Uptown/Downtown, you're probably already heard about Plum and PlumBar, and Flora. Other CH'ers may have more rec's there.
I'd also mention Encuentro (off Jack London Square), and especially Commis (Piedmont Ave.), my new fave rave place.