Restaurants in 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adds a twist to classic soul-food, like buttermilk fried chicken—ask for a side of truffled honey to drizzle on top.

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.

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.

On Oakland’s restaurant row, in the Temescal neighborhood, this tapas bar serves authentic small plates from Catalonia—pa amb tomàquet; patatas bravas—accompanied by an all-Spanish wine list.

Serving Italian-style breakfasts and lunches, Caffè 817 sits on a tree-lined street in Old Oakland and is decorated with the work of select Bay Area artists, such as painters Julie Cohn and Jennifer Perlmutter.


Late-night revelers push aside the tables after dinner to dance.

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.