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Aug 4, 2012 01:08 PM

Actual Oakland Airport dinner options (within a few miles) needed for this week

Hello, sorry to start another Oakland Airport thread but the previous one did not have same criteria. I am coming up from South Bay to meet a friend for dinner who is flying in for the night. We want to be able to drink and not bother with cars... :)

There are a couple of airport motels (she wants to be as close as possible to airport) , Marina that seem decent and is on Monarch Bay drive and has Horatio's right nearby. Is this the best option? Horatio's gets so-so reviews, overpriced, average food but great ambiance?

Does anyone have suggestions for sleep options within 2-4 miles of the airport which have nice dining options within walking distance ?


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    1. re: wolfe

      I haven't eaten at Francesco's in several years, but I think it fits your needs well. It may not be cutting edge dining, but it's place where you can occupy the table for a long conversation and have old school Italian food, and as i recall a decent Caeser salad, seafood, etc.

      But it might be beer and wine -- I'm not sure they have a full bar.

    2. Your best bet would probably be the Coral Reef Inn in Alameda. A few blocks up Park St. there are scores of restaurants and bars. Five miles to the airport, probably a faster cab ride than from San Leandro.

      Horatio's is basically a branch of the Kincaid's chain. The food's OK if you stick to simple things like prime rib or grilled salmon.

      12 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Thanks Robert, I am looking at it now. I guess the distance in miles is less important than the traffic issues, especially around 6pm on a week day... good point.
        So do you have a particular place that is within a few blocks walk of Coral Reef Inn...?
        Or perhaps someone else?

        Alternatively, is there another restaurant nearby to the Marina Inn on Monarch that fits the bill? (like the idea of sitting on the water with a cocktail at sunset... :)

        1. re: laterible

          Lots of Park St. recommendations in the Alameda topic I linked to.

          Horatio's is in the middle of nowhere, the only other restaurant around there is an El Torito.

          1. re: laterible

            Six p.m. on a weekday I'd definitely use Doolittle Dr. into Alameda. It's a moderate walk to the restaurant corridor on Park St. from the Coral Reef -- half a mile, maybe. But it's flat and fairly pleasant. If drink is a high priority, then Hob Nob might be a good choice -- decent comfort food with a twist and a full bar. A few couple of blocks farther, maybe check out the new American Oak gastropub.

            I can't recommend the Coral Reef myself -- I don't know anyone who's stayed there. Seems pleasant enough, in a '60s California beach town motel sort of way. The neighborhood is perfectly safe, and you/your friend can stroll the beach after dinner or the next morning -- the views of the Bay are pretty spectacular, and there are quick-meal options in the shopping center across the street.

            Even closer to the airport is the Hampton Inn. It's not walking distance from anything, but it seems like the hotel's shuttle service would ferry you to Park St. and back (website: "Explore nearby local sights via the hotel’s complimentary shuttle service").

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Hob Nob during happy hour until 7 pm can be noisy although the 2 tables by the front door might be okay for conversation and catching up with a friend. Cera una Volta down the block might be a better choice noisewise.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                thanks for looking at this - i will consider Hampton since it is the closest hotel option as you noted. Is it also the best choice in terms of traffic avoidance?

              2. re: laterible

                Robert is almost certainly right, not knowing the nature of the meeting, but there are a large variety of chow-worthy restaurants, alcohol options, non alcohol options. If you include a little cab action, and you like tiki, a trip up to forbidden island might be worth it.

                1. re: bbulkow

                  Forbidden Island sounds alluring, but they don't serve food. I am trying to find the ideal selection for really easy transitioning- cab from airport to hotel close by/time or mile wise, nice dinner with room for long conversation, perhaps strolling (sounds romantic but its 2 long lost girl-friends reuniting), and then easy brainless maneuver back to sleep...
                  So the Marina still sounds like the best bet for that since Horatios has patio, water, cocktails, sunset and very close. Noisy is not good for talking... I looked at the hampton too but couldnt find any dining. I guess in a pinch a cab could be considered. I just wanted to feel completely hassle free,, like a getaway... and not to give the wrong impression about the alcohol- im not a drinker, quite the opposite, get tipsy too easily so i don't want to have to deal with any logistics :)

                    1. re: laterible

                      Horatio's is pretty quiet and the Marina Inn is two blocks away. It's the kind of place I'd take elderly relatives.

                      Alameda's waterfront is a nicer walk but the only restaurant similarly close to the Coral Reef Inn is Sushi House, which has a full bar. Mixed reviews here.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        Is Sushi house a good place to sit for a long long while do you think? (love sushi but it can put a good dent in your pocket...:)

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          Update for those who want to know: We did book the Marina Inn and Horatio's was steps away, a bit out of the way to be sure, but good during high traffic on Doolitle and I was pleased with the choice. Horatio's was decently good, not spectacularly, but adequate for the purpose especially since they were very accommodating in terms of sending wine back as well as letting us have a very long and leisurely meal. All in all it was a great choice (other than lack of sleep due to forced air and rock hard pillows at the Marina Inn). Service and hospitality at the Inn were lovely as was the ample continental breakfast. Both recommended.