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Mar 20, 2013 09:33 AM

Friday Lunch in East Bay

Coming up for Pigs and Pinot this weekend in SOnoma. My parents and I will be landing in Oakland around noon on Friday and looking for suggestions for a good spot to grab lunch on our way up from Oakland airport to Sonoma.

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  1. The downtown Oakland Farmer's Market is on Friday til 2 pm--a lively scene--and you can do a delicious, quick sit-down lunch @ Cosecha, Rosamunde Sausage, or Miss Ollie's, all three in the Swan's-Old Housewives' Marketplace, at the heart of the Farmer's Market.

    It's an easy on-off, driving-wise. From SFO, get off 880 @ the Downtown/Broadway exit, follow 6th St. to Broadway, turn onto Broadway--Cosecha et. al. are at 9th and Broadway. .

    1 Reply
    1. re: sundeck sue

      Correction for Sue: Swan's (which is a historical building that covers the entire block) is not on Broadway; but rather, one block down. It is located between 9th and 10th Sts., bordered by Washington and Clay Sts.

      Entrances to the bldg are on 9th St. and on Washington (Rosamunde's); I believe Miss Ollie's and Cosecha have their own storefront entrances in the Swan's.

    2. Several easy stops around Berkeley are convenient quick off and back ons for either the eastern or western approaches to Sonoma.
      Daimo, Nizza la Bella, Bette's Ocean View, Vik's
      Brennan's Hofbrau, 900 Grayson.

      3 Replies
      1. re: wolfe

        Nizza la Bella is NOT open for lunch on Fridays any longer :((

        Sat/Sun only for NLB's lunch.

        And I would not really recommend Rosamunde Sausage. It's okay, but Yanni's in Penngrove off Hwy 101, between Santa Rosa and Petaluma, is soooooooooooo much better - no comparison. Rosamunde uses a decent roll, however. But the Friday farmers market in Old Oakland has a Dibrova sausage stall, and we like their sausages better even though the roll is a fluffy Kilpatrick's type.

        The best food we've found at the farmers market is the big bakery - some of their bread and roll items are very good; the rotisserie chicken, and the Mexican taco stall (small portions but very tasty indeed). The last two see big lines form up at peak lunchtimes.

        The District restaurant across from Borgo Italia now has a breakfast/lunch take-out place open, although I have not tried it (brand new): 827 Washington St. @9th St., offerings include Boston clam chowder ($4/$7), spiced lamb meatballs ($10) with charmoula sauce and Manchego on an Acme baguette; and buttermilk fried chicken ($9).

        I do agree with Lauriston, however. This Friday starts Easter vacation week for UC students; half the locals are heading for Tahoe to ski and the other half are driving north or south for wine getaways over the weekend. Friday afternoon traffic can be heavy; even non-holidays by 3p the roads and bridges start to clog up.

        If your parents are arriving early, you might want to think about getting past Hwy 80 to have lunch in Petaluma (about 1 hr from OAK if traffic cooperates). Healdsburg is about 40 min north from Petaluma but when one is hungry, 40 mins can be a long time (says the woman who snarls when her blood sugar level is dropping)! Petaluma has Rosso's, which is a good pizzeria with a great mozzarella bar. Avoid Central Market, which is pretty but sloppy.

        If you can wait until Healdsburg for a late lunch, Barndiva is the usual choice.

        1. re: jaiko

          Oh, Pigs & Pinot is in Healdsburg?

          Della Fattoria in Petaluma is great, but you might want to get past Santa Rosa before rush hour.

          Banh Mi Ba Le in El Cerrito's a good fast choice.

          1. re: jaiko

            District's Carriage House doesn't do breakfast (11-1:30), and I wouldn't recommend for out-of-towners looking for one lunch between Oakland and Healdsburg. I hear they've been experiencing long lines,long waits for food once through the line, and order mix-ups.

            Personally I'd aim to be at least as far as Petaluma before making a leisurely stop for a meal. On weekends at least the recently-widened stretch of 101 between Petaluma and Santa Rosa has alleviated traffic a great deal.

        2. Similar question from last year. Friday, best not to dally, evening rush hour often starts early.

          1. Sue's suggestions are good; farmer's market is fun, right downtown, and all of those places are great. How much time do you have?

            If you have a little bit of extra time you could get off of 880 an exit earlier at Oak St./Lakeside Drive and head to the Lake Merritt area. Sidebar is my favorite lunch spot and they have a nice wine list ( Thought of this as an option based on the event you are coming into town for, but peeked at your profile and drink of choice--know that the bartenders here are top-notch and will make you an awesome rye Manhattan or any other cocktail. While it is definitely a detour, after lunch you can just jump on 580 to 80 to continue north to Sonoma.

            The Berkeley suggestions are also solid--my favorite from wolfe's list would be 900 Grayson. They make a great burger (as does Sidebar).

            Enjoy your Pigs and Pinot (what a great event!) and remember that if all else fails, there is an In-N-Out Burger right next to the airport.

            (Yes, I did read the other thread.)

            1. wood tavern college ave,oakland.

              around 1-2 is perfect.