It’s no secret that the Bay Area hosts some of the best restaurants in America. However, as nice as it is to dine in one of the many critically acclaimed San Francisco trend setting eateries, you need to leave the city to enjoy the full diversity of Bay Area cuisine.
There are plenty of iconic restaurants on the other side of the bay, as well as a few hidden gems.
A family run Ethiopian/Eritrean restaurant, Asmara is simply the best I’ve had state side. Even better than Ethiopian restaurants in Europe. Try out several dishes by ordering one of their combination platters. However, top of my order list, still remain the veggie combo & ziggni.
Rockridge: 5020 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
Uptown Oakland has seen the greatest change with an influx of new restaurants in it’s newly revamped arts district. Alamar’s Executive chef/owner, Chef Nelson German, created a bold menu that fuses flavors & cooking styles of American & Dominican cuisine. Oxtails? Check! But it’s the red quinoa stuffed sweet plantain (featured image) that will have even non-vegetarians wanting more.
Uptown: 100 Grand Ave #111, Oakland, CA 94612
This family owned bagel shop has locations all over the Bay Area. Though they offer a wide spread menu of sandwiches, the true value is in the bagel. Order it (chocolate chip bagel) toasted with light cream cheese, save the mega bagel-wiches for the NYC deli’s.
Downtown: 501 14th St, Oakland, CA 94612
This family run BBQ joint has been serving the East Bay since the 70s. You can cruise by their Jack London Square location and get a whiff of the good white smoke coming off the grill staged in front of the restaurant.
Jack London Square: 126 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607
This historical ice cream shop’s history starts in the late 1800s with it’s product being delivered on horse drawn carriage. From cow to sundae with in a week, there is a reason that people trek across the Bay/country/world to visit this Oakland treasure.
Piedmont: 4226 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611
What is a good pizza without a solid foundation? At Forge it is ALL about the crust. These are best enjoyed seated on the patio with views of The Bay.
Jack London Square: 66 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607
Ok, well this suburban smoothie shop is about a 30 minute drive from Oakland, but it deserves an honorable mention. I still haven’t discovered the secret to what makes their smoothies so damn good, Juice Zone has nailed the recipe to making delicious protein smoothies that don’t taste like chalk. Their oat based cookies are great as well for when you feel like indulging!
Blackhawk: 11000 Crow Canyon Rd # D, Danville, CA 94506
Made to order ice cream that is not only fun to watch, but has incredible depth to the flavor. Their vanilla can go toe-to-toe with any slow churn.
Rockridge: 5800 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618
Not sure if there is a single kid who grew up in the East Bay who DIDN’T fawn over Zachary’s Pizza. Serving up huge Chicago style pizza, the chunky tomato sauce is the definite winner here. Fork and knife recommended.
Rockridge: 5801 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618