Berkeley's Cafe Rouge is a classic Californian restaurant, complete with organic vegetables and sustainably raised meats, a wood-fired oven, and smooth and efficient service. Chef Marsha McBride creates deceptively simple food, but imbues even her hamburgers with juicy, meaty love. Some say her roast chicken with savory bread pudding is one of the best dishes in the region.
With its savory Vietnamese pork sandwiches and occasional pig roasts, the Chop Bar is a favorite neighborhood eatery in the warehouse district. The owners are adamant about locally sourcing their food, and they also offer drafts from several Bay Area breweries, including the beloved Linden Street.
The latest addition to Oakland's blossoming nightlife scene has set up shop in a turquoise-tiled Art Deco building at 14th and Webster streets. Disco Volante, set to open in late October, is a bar, music venue, and restaurant run by a trio of Oakland arts and entertainment vets, with chef Douglas Bernstein of Bacar, Eccolo, and Farallon fame serving up local and seasonal California cuisine. Musical offerings will range from bluegrass to Afrobeat, with shows at least three nights a week.
A nine-table, twelve-tap family-friendly brewpub offering updated takes on American standards, as well as a full slate of beers, both brewed in-house and elsewhere.
Turns out, the Hotel at Shattuck Plaza has not only a rock-solid restaurant, but a bang-up — if slightly mannered — bar space as well. Drinks are well-made and undeniably thought-out — you'll be hard-pressed to find a cocktail here with fewer than five ingredients — but it's a pleasant place for an after-work or post-theater cocktail.
The latest outpost of Daniel Patterson’s burgeoning empire fails to match the hype, despite the star power of “it” chef Kim Alter (Ubuntu, Manresa). The Jack London Square post-warehouse design has some cool touches, and much of the menu is plated beautifully. Yet service often falters, many dishes are served with basic errors, and other items are overwrought and fussy. It’s possible that Haven may streamline its service and menu issues, but at price points this high, no one wants to play the guinea pig.
Henry's is an old-school hotel bar that's been newly remodeled and reinvented. While you can still sit at the bar and enjoy a reasonably stiff drink, you might be better off sitting down for a full meal, as Henry's now offers a full size and well-executed take on classic pub fare.