Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Dine Al Fresco at These Lounge-Worthy East Bay Spots

Dine by the bay at Bocanova. 

On the nights when you're getting blown away in San Francisco, or chilled to the bone by Karl the Fog, head to the East Bay for a warmer dining experience. 

Lake Chalet

You can't get a better view of the twinkling lights around Lake Merritt than Lake Chalet's back dock and dining area that extends out over the lake. It's a pretty romantic spot (with gondola rides and an oyster happy hour) so bring your A-game and someone special. 1520 Lakeside Dr., Oakland 

Comal 

With covered seatings for over 50 guests, as well as a full bar, fire pit, and lounge area, Comal's sexy al fresco space is to die for. If you think you can handle the heat, sip the Jack Satan cocktail (Tres Agaves reposado tequila, infierno tincture, hibiscus syrup, lime, and salt) near the fire for a truly hot experience. 2020 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

La Note

As previously noted, this is my favorite brunch spot in Berkeley, and what makes a weekend morning at this homey French spot extra special is a seat outside in the garden patio, open AprilOctober. Order the lemon gingerbread pancakes with poached pears and a cappucino and spend your morning basking in the sun. 2377 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley 

Portal

Portal's big outdoor patio and proximity to Lake Merritt make it perfect for a sunny day in the East Bay. They've got a wide variety of local and regional gourmet beers on tap or by the bottle, so stay all day and try them a few brews. 1611 2nd Ave., Oakland 

Jupiter 

Every floor of this Berkeley gem is worth checking out, but the lower deck is where you should be on a warm night in the East Bay. Featuring a beer garden, luxurious patio seating, and a pretty rad fire pit, order a wood-fired pizza and a gluten-free beer (this is Berkeley after all) to get the party started. 2181 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley

Trappist 

Trappist has one of the better beer selections in the Bay Areathere are two bars serving nearly 30 brewsand a sunny back space in the heart of Old Town Oakland. On Tuesdays, next door neighbor Tamarindo visits to sling carnitas and chicharrón tacos plus bean and cheese huaraches for $2 a pop for their own version of Taco Tuesday. 460468 8th St., Oakland 

Grand Lake Farmers Market 

You can't get fresher and sunnier than the Grand Lake Farmers Market. Grab a bottle of fresh juice, a rotisserie chicken, and an array of fruits, vegetables, and cheeses to enjoy in Splash Pad Park—across from the Grand Lake Theatre—every Saturday morning, then sit in the grass and people watch. Usually, there's also a live band to serenade you as you chew. On the corner of Grand Ave. and Lake Park Ave., Oakland 

Slow 

Almost as stellar as the gourmet sandos served at Slow is the rose garden seating—the view is so nice you might forget to eat. But just in case, opt for the Niman Ranch pulled pork with pineapple-chili sauce, pickled vegetables, cilantro, aioli, and arugula on an Acme batard. 1966 University Ave., Berkeley 

Lost & Found

If you're looking for the epitome of an urban oasis, you can find it at Uptown's Lost & Found. Plants galore offering pops of green in a mostly concrete setting, and the food is meant to be eaten without utensils, so you always have one hand ready for the ping pong table. 2040 Telegraph Ave., Oakland 

Bocanova 

With unparalleled views of the yacht harbor, you can unwind and admire the City skyline from Bocanova’s shaded outdoor area overlooking the bay. Just add tapas and sangria, and you're looking at the perfect afternoon. 55 Webster St., Oakland