The Bay Area’s next great dining destination is just a BART ride away. Here, our station-by-station guide to Oakland restaurants.

By Travel + Leisure
January 13, 2014
Alanna Hale

Northern California’s bustling port city is also a foodie haven. Head to College Avenue for creative comfort food, whether you’d rather be slurping up hot noodles at Ramen Shop or noshing on burrata-laden pizza at A16 Rockridge. Meat-centric bites at Box and Bells include country pork rillettes, while the fried chicken at Miss Ollie’s is sure to brighten up any afternoon. Next stop is Broadway for pumpkin-ginger cupcakes at Sweet Bar Bakery—but don’t let this culinary crawl end on dessert. Hop back on BART and read on for more of Oakland’s top restaurants.

Ramen Shop

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

A16 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

Box and Bells

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

Sweet Bar Bakery

Mani Niall works the ovens at the light-filled Sweet Bar Bakery. Our pick: the pumpkin-ginger cupcakes with salted caramel. 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

Miss Ollie’s

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