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Jun 13, 2012 11:07 AM

Inexpensive rehearsal dinner option--Oakland?

Hello all,

I am researching wedding rehearsal ideas on a budget and before I go the picnic in the park route, was wondering if anyone knew of some inexpensive restaurant options/ideas in Oakland. Fancy is certainly not necessary--just tasty. We are looking at 30 to 40 people.

Thanks for any tips!

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  1. If you are willing to go to Berkeley, Caffe Venezia on University Ave has a large dining room and a private room in the back corner. I was there recently with a group of 40. We sat in the main room at 3 large tables. We were given a $24 three course prix fixe menu, the food was tasty and service very good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Drollfs

      Not sure exactly what you mean by "inexpensive," but some good friends had a rehearsal dinner at Lake Chalet, which they reported was an excellent value (I personally have no idea what they paid). The food and setting are very nice.

    2. Is there a specific type of food you're looking for? "Tasty" is too subjective and too broad of a term amongst 35+ folks. I'd say hop across the Tube to Alameda's Pier 29. They used to be in Oakland, but re-located. Lot of my "goto" restaurants in the immediate Oakland area has closed in the past 2 years. If Pier 29 is still too costly (about average $20/person) do the Chinese food route and head to East Ocean also in Alameda.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jkcpanda168

        Thank you for the tips--these are good. I know tasty is a broad description, but really I'm open to anything that's inexpensive (dare i say downright cheap) and good for what it is. East Ocean is an excellent option.
        Do you recommend EA over Oakland Chinese spots?

      2. I went to a wedding rehearsal dinner at Le Cheval several years ago that I thought was pretty successful. The party probably included 40-60 people and they set us up at 8 or 10 big round tables in one end of the big dining room. We had a set menu served family-style, and the food was classic Le Cheval, which is to say decent but not astonishing.

        I also went to a dinner banquet once at Legendary Palace that was surprisingly (to me) good. We had 12 or so people and just had one big table in the downstairs dining room. Some people seemed to have reserved the upstairs for a larger, more serious event (a woman at the foot of the stairs was greeting guests in a beautiful evening gown).

        Finally, I also have been to a very nice wedding banquet at the Emeryville East Ocean.

        1. We're having ours at Cafe Zeste in Berkeley - it's a very small restaurant but they can accommodate up to 50 people and you get the whole place to yourself. They're very flexible on the menu, you can bring your own drinks (this seriously saves money!) and it borders a beautiful park.