In a city as diverse as Oakland, it’s easy to find exactly what you’re craving. This is true whether you’re eating out or ordering catering for work. Bangkok-style street food? Check. Turkish kababs? Check. Get ready to explore Oakland‘s restaurant scene with our guide to the hottest restaurants for dining out and catering.
The Oakland Restaurant Scene by Neighborhood
If you want to eat well in Oakland’s restaurant scene, try the food stalls at Rockridge Market Hall. They’re “an iconic part of Oakland,” says Melissa Davis, author of This Is Oakland: A Guide to the City’s Most Interesting Places. Other hot spots include Oliveto, where innovative California-Italian cuisine is on display, and the vegan restaurant Millennium.
Oakland has an incredible catering scene too. When the weather gets cold and gray, treat the office to warming noodle soups from Itani Ramen. Or spice things up with Daughter Thai Kitchen’s Bangkok-style street food. The restaurant has adapted classic stir-fries and bright curries into a plentiful buffet the entire office can enjoy. For grab-and-go box lunches, try Soma Eats for sandwiches and greens that will keep your colleagues feeling energized.
“Temescal is a great neighborhood to get a feel of what is going on in Oakland,” says Dona Savitsky, owner and chef at Doña Tomás, a modern Mexican restaurant in the vibrant Temescal District. On the weekend, you can eat your way from breakfast to dinner at Pizzaiolo. Its menu offers avocado toast on homemade bread that’s worth the hype and a range of rustic, handmade pizzas. For lots and lots of comfort, there’s always Bakesale Betty, an Oakland institution for everything from blueberry pie to fried chicken sandwiches.
If you want tasty food for the workplace, the Peruvian-Mexican tacos and empanadas at Tambo will shake up your office on Taco Tuesday. Or try Tun Myanmar Burmese Food Catering for rich curries and comforting dishes like chicken coconut noodle soup. If you’d rather have lighter meals at your next staff meeting, the healthful salads at Tender Greens will fill you up. Even if someone in the office abstains from meat, the menu offers vibrant vegetarian and vegan lunch options.
After a decade in West Oakland, chef Tanya Holland, from season 15 of Top Chef, has moved her flagship Brown Sugar Kitchen to Uptown. Don’t miss Holland’s fabulous buttermilk fried chicken and waffles. If you want something different from Oakland’s restaurant scene, Flora hits all the right notes with its seasonal, organic, sustainable, and local fare. Hopscotch, a diner with an American take on Japanese food, is perfect for a funky lunch date. And Drake’s Dealership, a former Chrysler Dodge factory turned brewery and barrelhouse, is the best pick if you like atmosphere with your beer.
For those mornings when you need breakfast catering for business, try the Swedish crepes from Oakland Catering Company. The delicate crepes, topped with blueberries or cinnamon apple, will jump-start your colleagues’ morning. Otherwise, power up with chia pudding from Core Kitchen, which has enough gluten-free and organic options to delight the most careful eaters in your office. When lunchtime rolls around, Togo’s Catering makes ordering easy with sandwich platters and box lunches filled with deli favorites. For something different, Tuba Authentic Turkish Restaurant caters platters of juicy meat kebabs and creamy eggplant salad.
The Old Oakland neighborhood is a popular attraction for catering options too. Little Kite makes it easy to order sushi party trays to feed hungry VIPs. If you go this route, make sure to set up an appetizer station with foods like Korean chicken wings and pork dumplings, which will really impress. For authentic Mediterranean, try North Beach Gyros. Its chicken-gyro-sandwich bar allows groups to build their own pitas. For a buffet to satisfy everyone’s comfort-food cravings, local favorite Café Colucci dishes up Ethiopian stews and vegetarian dishes packed with robust spices.
Jack London Square
Jack London Square is where restaurants can make a name for themselves in Oakland’s restaurant scene. Dyafa recently opened with a menu that dives deep into the flavors of the Middle East. Farmhouse Kitchen is another neighborhood draw, featuring hearty Thai dishes with local ingredients. Nearby is Belcampo, whose sustainable beef patties make for one of the best burgers in Oakland’s restaurant scene.
If you want surprising flavors for your next company lunch, try Thai Rice Spoon for curries with liberal helpings of sweet basil and chili peppers. Or spring for the burger or taco bar from Chop Bar. If you want portable food, you can’t go wrong with Morty’s Delicatessen‘s classic sandwich platters.
Led by powerhouse restaurant Camino, where the live-fire cooking is some of the best, Grand Lake makes the case for Oakland dining. Stop in for an epic night of sushi at Mijori or try the artisanal pizza and craft cocktails at Boot and Shoe Service.
If you need delicious catering delivered to you at work, local favorite Pizza Amigos attracts a loyal following with its chicken, feta, and sun-dried tomato pizza. And Sushi Go Go makes Japanese easy with shareable platters of eclectic sushi rolls. For a company lunch, order vibrant curries and vegetarian pad thai noodles from Neecha Thai.
Ready to order delicious catering for the office?