East Bay Favorites

I grew up in the East Bay, so it holds a special place in my heart. It drives me a bit nuts when I hear the East Bay described as a suburb of San Francisco, because it’s much more than that. Oakland is a city in its own right, and the East Bay has its own character and its own great restaurants. Here are a few of my favorite places to eat on the other side of the bay bridge:

  • Chez Panisse (for the restaurant that changed the way America eats — seasonal, organic, and locally sourced)
  • Vik’s Chaat House (for authentic Indian food served in a Berkeley warehouse— get the pani puri)
  • Ramen Shop (for freshly made ramen with a California twist — sit at the bar to watch the chefs work)
  • Bake Sale Betty (for my favorite fried chicken sandwich with just the right amount of spice)
  • Cheese Board Pizza (for another Berkeley institution serving only one kind of veggie pizza each day)
  • Ippuku (for bacon wrapped mochi, endless skewers, and the cutest booths)
  • Camino (for weekend brunch prepared in a wood oven — always order the roasted crab with chili rub if it’s on the menu)
  • Ici (for freshly made ice cream sandwiches, bombs, and cones made with interesting flavors by the nicest woman)
  • Market Hall (for food to-go including kale salad, frittatas, and roast veggies that combine for a great dinner)
  • Saturday Berkeley farmers’ market or Sunday Temescal farmers’ market (for the best produce you’ll find anywhere)
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