Restaurant Week is one of the best times of the year in the East Bay. Not only do local chefs get the chance to show off what they got to the SF residents and tourists who flock to our shores for the special occasion, but also people on a budget (aka me) get the chance to dine at gourmet spots for an incredibly affordable price.
The 4th Annual Oakland Restaurant Week kicks off Friday, January 17 and runs through Sunday, January 26. Over 50 restaurants will be offering special prix fixe menus set at $20, $30, and $40, what a steal! In fact the only problem you might encounter will be trying to limit how many of the restaurants you can hit up in the course of 10 days, a feat that only gets tougher once you sneak a peek at the mouthwatering, multi-course menus. That's why I rounded up the crème de la crème of Restaurant Week - the seven best menu and price combinations you simply can’t miss. So start clearing out your calendar and buy some stretchy jeans, it’s going to be a great week.
The Trappist: Lunch, $20
The Trappist, Old Oakland’s premier watering hole for great brews, is getting in on the dining festivities. Opt for the lunch menu, which includes a tasting of beers (and with two different bar areas, they have so many to choose from), house pickles and a Reuben or Grilled Cheese. It’s the perfect American lunch. 460 8th Street, Old Oakland.
District: Dinner, $30
Even though it’s not part of the prix fixe menu, District’s optional whiskey pairing caught my eye (there’s also a wine option). But even if you choose not to go with the booze, District’s 3-course menu is tasty enough on its own. Start out with appetizers like Oxtail Bocaditos and follow up with Lobster Gnocchi, Hangar Steak or Duck Sausage. Yum! 827 Washington Street, Old Oakland.
Haven: Dinner, $40
Haven definitely didn't take the easy route when it comes to prix fixe menus. Dinner is comprised of a 3-course meal served family style including a starter, an entrée with two sides and dessert. Your entrée depends on what night of the week you show up. Monday is Duck Leg Confit, Saturday is Lamb and Beef Pot Pie and they even have a vegan menu on Sunday. 44 Webster Street, Jack London Square.
The Star on Grand: Lunch or Dinner, $20
Lunch or dinner for TWO for $20! That’s almost unheard of these days; so don’t miss your chance to hit up The Star on Grand. The 3-course menu includes your choice of salad, any thin crust or deep-dish pizza, and dessert. 3425 Grand Avenue.
Toast Kitchen and Bar: Dinner, $40
Toast’s tasty 3-course menu comes with a fresh green salad, either chicken or pasta for the entrée and decadent chocolate cake for dessert. The best part? Wine pairings are included in the menu price. 5900 College Avenue, Rockridge.
Sobo Ramen: Dinner, $30 or $40
Let’s face it, you’d probably be getting ramen at least once this week anyway. Sobo Ramen’s classic menu includes a choice of drink, karaage and scrumptious lobster ramen. And for the herbivores, there’s also a cheaper vegetarian option for $30, which includes drinks, vegetable gyoza and either soy coconut ramen or miso ramen. 988 Franklin Street, Downtown Oakland.
Blue Oak Café: Lunch, $20
Nestled inside the Oakland Museum of California, Blue Oak Café is worth visiting in and of itself. Head over for salad, Boudin Blanc Sausage and White and Dark Chocolate Torte with pomegranate sauce and don’t forget to check out OMCA’s latest exhibit: A Cinematic Study of Fog in San Francisco. 1000 Oak Street, Lake Merritt.
Other notable participants in Oakland Restaurant Week include: Juhu Beach Club, Lake Chalet, B-Side BBQ, Venga Paella, Lungomare, Tribune Tavern, Hopscotch, Pican, Miss Ollie's Dinner, Luka's Taproom, Nido, Desco and Chop Bar.
See all the participating restaurants and their menus here.