Best of Oakland Dining: Grand Lake, Glenview, Dimond
The problem is, there are loads of amazing spots to nosh and drink in the 510. So many, in fact, that we split our top picks into four parts categorized by neighborhood. In our third installment, we continue with Grand Lake, Glenview, and Dimond.
Once known mainly for its nail salons and giant farmers’ market, this lakeside neighborhood has exploded with new restaurants and cafes in the last few years.
Best Chez Panisse Alum: Camino 3917 Grand Ave., 510.547.5035. The small menu changes weekly, but almost always features at least one meat dish, one fish dish, and one vegetarian option, always fresh, inventive and delicious. Call ahead to see when the chef is making his famed boudin blanc sausages; they’re worth the trouble. Brunch is a great bet here as well, and will save you some money.
Best New American: Sidebar 542 Grand Ave., 510.452.9500. On top of having the best variety of fries (including smoked paprika – yum!), Sidebar has one of the better burgers in Oakland. Fancier dishes like the pork chop and the braised chicken are reliably great as well, and the locavore drink menu is an added bonus.
Best Pizza: Boot and Shoe Service 3308 Grand Ave., 510.763.2668. From the folks behind Pizzaiolo, Boot and Shoe brings those same great, thin-crust pizzas to Grand Lake. The added bonus here is brunch, plus the café next door where the coffee (Sightglass) is sublime.
Best Pub Grub: Grand Tavern 3601 Grand Ave., 510.444.4644. Sort of like going to a friend’s house for dinner, if that friend knew how to cook kick-ass British pub food. The shepherd’s pie, while not exactly authentic, is delicious, as is the pate.
Fantastic Falafel: Holy Land Kosher Food 677 Rand Ave., 510.272.0535 Cheap, fast, and super fresh, this may be the best place in Oakland for Mediterranean food. The falafel is perfectly crisped, the hummus is delicious, and the staff is genuinely friendly.
Deviled eggs topped with Dungeness crab at Sidebar. Photo courtesy of East Bay Express.
Few people who don’t live within a 5-mile radius of this little stretch of restaurants and shops have ever heard of Glenview or Oakmore, located between Grand Lake and Montclair, along Park Blvd. That means there’s almost always a table open at one of these great neighborhood restaurants
Best Brunch: Bellanico The best fancy brunch in Oakland, Bellanico features unique offerings such as Florentine doughnuts filled with sage custard and served with chocolate dipping sauce. The potatos roasted in duck fat are the stuff food dreams are made of.
Best Biscuits and Grits: Blackberry Bistro 4240 Park Blvd, 510.336.1088. Blackberry does a great down-home breakfast, complete with grits and perfect homemade biscuits.
Best Italian Dinner: Marzano on Park 4214 Park Blvd, 510.531.4500. Delicious Italian fare prepared with subtle brilliance. The pork Milanese is perfect with a handful of wild arugula on top and the thin-crust pizzas are shareable and fantastic, whether topped with housemade sausage or just tomatoes and cheese.
Best Tapas: Rumbo Al Sur 4239 Park Blvd, 510.479.1208. This sister restaurant to Rockridge’s popular A Cote serves tapas from Mexico, Peru, Argentina and Brazil. Standouts are the slow-cooked lamb and the chorizo empanadas.
Shrimp and grits at Blackberry Bistro. Photo courtesy of Blackberry Bistro.
This up-and-coming neighborhood, popular with young couples and families, boasts a couple of great restaurants that have been serving locals for years.
Best Chinese Food: Flower Lounge 2033 Macarthur Blvd., 510.530.0681.When you have a cold, it’s worth a drive to the Dimond district for Flower Lounge’s hot-and-sour soup. Fortunately the rest of the menu is great as well, particularly the Mongolian beef.
Burrito Worth Driving Across Town For: Taqueria Los Comales 2105 MacArthur Blvd., 510.531.3660. English isn’t commonly heard at this super-authentic taqueria, but just smile and you’ll be fine. The chile verde and carnitas are phenomenal, whether in tacos or their giant burritos.