Restaurants in Oakland
Proof that Oakland has NoCal’s buzziest restaurant scene? Its new nickname: Brooklyn West. Honoring Alice Waters’s ethos is Ramen Shop, owned by three Chez Panisse alums. Creative noodle soups spotlight homegrown produce such as Meyer lemons and chanterelles. BART stop: Rockridge
San Francisco’s hottest pizza joint has expanded with A16 Rockridge, which turns out chewy pies from a hand-built oven. We love the Montanara Rockridge—lightly fried dough, smoked tomato sauce, burrata, and basil. BART stop: Rockridge
Meat-centric small plates reign at Box and Bells, the latest from chef James Syhabout of Michelin-starred Commis. Try the country pork rillettes and blood pudding poutine. BART stop: Rockridge
The retro diner Hopscotch puts a Japanese spin on hearty American dishes. Take the soba ragù, with buckwheat noodles, braised pork, Manchego, and shiso. BART station: 19th Street/Uptown Oakland
At Duende, chef Paul Canales channels his Basque heritage into pintxos and paellas in a whimsical setting (colorful murals; fence posts as floorboards). BART stop: 19th Street/Uptown Oakland
Set in an 1896 building with original mosaic floors, Desco is known for its Italian standards, including house-made-pasta dishes such as lamb-cheek pappardelle. BART stop: 12th Street/Oakland City Center
Arrive early on Tuesday afternoons for the fried chicken stuffed with herbs at Miss Ollie’s. The day’s special at this airy, Cali-Caribbean spot goes fast. BART stop: 12th Street/Oakland City Center
With many of its Mediterranean, small-plate dishes cooked in a wood-fired oven, À Côté has become a fixture Rockridge restaurant.
Known for its handcrafted cocktails and New American cuisine, this lively restaurant is housed in the former Oakland Floral Depot, a blue-and-silver Art Deco building constructed in 1931.
Designed to resemble a traditional Italian trattoria, Marzano is housed in a white-stucco building with a terracotta-tile roof. Inside, glass demijohn light fixtures hang from exposed wooden beams, and an ebonized bar runs almost the entire length of the room.
A spare, albeit highly innovative, restaurant on a nondescript block of Piedmont Avenue (“across the street from Blockbuster,” notes the restaurant’s website).
Founded by Russell Moore, a former chef at Chez Panisse, this restaurant has an open kitchen that cooks using a fireplace hearth and a wood-burning oven.
The heritage hardware store sign still hangs beside this 83-seat pizzeria, where the chef is an alumni from the Chez Panisse kitchen. Worn wooden floors and exposed brick match the restaurant’s simple Italian food.