A Berkeley Local’s Guide to the Best Restaurants in the East Bay
I was born and raised in Berkeley, CA, and I can say with confidence that the East Bay has a TON of amazing restaurants. But I am not going to give you the generic Chez Panisse recommendations in this post. What I will share are local secrets that will leave you coming back time and time again!
Top 5 Best Restaurants in the East Bay
- Beauty’s Bagels, 3838 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609: BEST BAGEL EVER. Somehow, even though we have a huge jewish population in the bay area, there is a serious lack of good Jewish deli’s. When I was growing up, Noah’s Bagels was decent, now it is inedible. Saul’s on Shattuck Ave used to be a staple but it’s really expensive and they cut their lox too thick. Look no further for the perfect Lox Bagel. Not only is the actual bagel and cream cheese amazingly delicious, but the lox (smoked salmon) is the best I have ever had. I believe it is all made in house. The vibe is super hipster and there is ALWAYS a line, but thats the way it goes when you are making the best bagel in town. I will mention that they also make fried chicken sandwich and breakfast bagels which my husband says are amazing too.
- Lo Coco’s, 1400 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709: If you want to taste Italy, but live in Berkeley, go to Lo Coco’s. Run by an Italian family, this place has been around for over 20 years. Located near the infamous Chez Panisse in the Gourmet Ghetto, this Sicilian masterpiece is not to miss. The flatbread that they bring as appetizer is out of this world. I think it is fried :/ The pasta, the pizza, it’s all melt in your mouth delicious.
- Wood Tavern, 6317 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618: Save up for this one, because it will be expensive but worth it. This upscale restaurant brings “seductively polished hearty fare” to the Oakland restaurant scene. They don’t change the menu often, but the dishes they serve will never go out of style. Steak with mashed potatoes, Lingcod with a polenta puree from heaven. This is your birthday splurge for when someone else is paying!
- Mama’s Royal Cafe, 4012 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611: My father has been taking me here since I can remember! They have the best homefries that are perfectly crispy. The huevos rancheros is one of my all time favorite meals in life. They use to be cash only, but they recently started taking cards, which is convenient. The vibe has become extremely hipster, but the food has not changed in 30 years and I am thankful for that 🙂
- Cancun Sabor Mexicano, 2134 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704: We love Mexican food in my family. There are plenty of Mexican places in the bay area and we have tried most of them, but the one that stands out as consistently being the best is Cancun. An old standby from when I went to Berkeley High School, which is down the street, we used to eat there regularly. I just rediscovered it and now my husband and I will order burrito’s on Caviar at least once a week from Cancun.
As I was writing this, there are so many more I can think of! I will continue to add when things come to me.