In case you haven't heard, Oakland is the new San Francisco—especially when it comes to restaurants.
That means that this year's Oakland Restaurant Week (Jan. 11-21) is guaranteed to draw foodies from The City to The Town, looking to get a taste of what all the buzz is about. The annual events brings more than 80 restaurants to the table, each serving special prix-fixe menus at killer prices ($10-$50) for brunch, lunch and dinner.
Want to dig in deeper? Head online to Visit Oakland for menus, a list of parties, neighborhood food tours, cooking classes and more. For now, here's a little bite of what's to come, compliments of seven 7x7 Big Eat Oakland restaurants. Bon appetit! // visitoakland.com
If this wet and chilly weather holds, then chef Kyle Itani may have a crowd on his hands. Itani's restaurant week menus will warm any soul with your choiceof ramen, plus potstickers and salad, at lunch ($20) and dinner ($30). The evening meal comes with your a beer, sake, or a day-erasing whiskey highball cocktail.
// Itani Ramen, 1736 Telegraph Ave. (Oakland), itaniramen.com/oakland-restaurant-week
Go for the flavors of Mexico in a three-course prix fixe dinner that includes three choices of appetizer—including a Gulf prawn salad with avocado, fennel and blood orange; or a black bean soup with chorizo verde and queso Oaxaca—and entree (pozole verde; grilled chayote squash with confit potatoes, olives and capers)—as well as two choices of sweets. The plantain empanadas with guava puree are a must.
// $30 for three courses (dinner only); Calavera, 2337 Broadway (Oakland), calaveraoakland.com
AlaMar Kitchen + Bar
In addition to serving unbeatable deals at lunch ($10 includes an agua fresca and a Caribbean fried chicken sando), brunch ($20 includes a mimosa) and dinner ($30; hello, spicy udon with snow crab!), AlaMar will host a special event on Tuesday, Jan.16th with Foodie Chap Liam Mayclem and wine world maven Leslie Sbrocco in the house from 6 to 9pm. You can see the complete menus on the restaurant's website.
Grand Lake Kitchen
We'll take just about any excuse to sink our teeth into this season's foraged bounty. At Grand Lake Kitchen, the $40 prix-fixe dinner includes an entree option of seared king trumpet mushroom with black garlic, kale and cheese potato puff. Each meal is also served with a complimentary glass of sparkling rosé or a strawberry shrub spritzer. Don't miss the blood orange tart with hazelnuts, huckleberries and candied Meyer lemon for dessert.
When the urge for buttermilk fried chicken takes hold, head to Uptown Oakland favorite Hopscotch, which is serving its signature dish both at lunch ($20-$30) and dinner ($40). The chefs here have really gotten into the restaurant week spirit, creating four different menus and even a to-go option (all available on the restaurant's website). Also look out for the popular First Base burger and an ample list of specialty cocktails ($11 each).
// Hopscotch, 1915 San Pablo Ave. (Oakland), hopscotchoakland.com/events.
Reportedly a favorite of the Oakland A's, the larger than life dining room at Mua is bringing back its restaurant week menu from last year. In case you missed it, go for a dinner ($40) of quinoa salad with goat cheese; no-cheese Mac with butternut squash and cream; chicken Milanese; and bread pudding with raspberry sauce.
// Mua, 2442a Webster St. (Oakland), muaoakland.com
The Cook and Her Farmer
This briny-sweet little oyster and wine bar is ideal for a laid-back seafood lover's lunch. For just $20, you can chow down on an oyster po'boy with housemade chips and a beer. For something heartier, dinner ($30) brings mussels and fries, salad and a glass of vino.
// The Cook and Her Farmer, 907 Washington St. (Oakland), thecookandherfarmer.com