Spring restaurant updates

May 27, 2009

Yeah, it’s not like I’ve actually made much progress on my growing list of new places to try—though we did finally make it to Picán last week!—but there are so many to add that I figured another post on this was in order. (Luckily, we have several waves of family coming into town this summer, so there should be some good opportunities to finally work down this list!)

Now open in my ‘hood and the surrounds:

  • Bacheeso’s, the second location of the West Berkeley Mediterranean spot, is now open on Lower Grand. Not sure how the menu compares to the original, but I’m guessing there are cheap brunch/lunch/dinner buffets at the new location as well—probably worth checking out for the respective $9 and $12 price tags. They also have a little patio overlooking Grand that looks cute, and seem to sell gelato.
  • Café Gratitude opened an outpost in, of all places, the Oakland Whole Foods. There’s a counter for dining in, and you can buy (and often sample) their raw vegan goodness to go, as well. It’s pricey, but, well, it is Café Gratitude.
  • Burma Superstar is now open on Telegraph in Temescal.
  • Café Noir is finally open next to Mua on Webster Street along Broadway Auto Row—woohoo! I haven’t been yet but it’s high on my list to try. This place has been under construction for almost as long as I’ve lived in the Bay Area (and way longer than we’ve lived in our house). They’re serving Ritual Coffee, crepes, and wood-fired pizza….could only be better if they add Blue Bottle to the mix! Currently open 7 to 3, but they apparently plan to open for dinner once a wine and beer license is in place. (Looks like the sign is already up.)
  • Bar Andalucia, which is a project of La Taza de Café, is now open on Upper Grand for dinner and weekend brunch. Same location as the original restaurant (which is still open), but a new chef and a much-appreciated “affordable” theme—tapas range from $3 to $8, and on Fridays there’s a five-course prix fixe dinner for $40. They also have an awesome discount program for OUSD employees, and on Sunday nights OUSD students can eat for free (one student per table, and the rest of the fam must eat too!) if they bring a report card or school ID. High on our list to try.

Coming soon(ish):

  • Dubai Food Market is about to open on Telegraph on Pill Hill, right across from Summit. I’ve been watching the renovations because it’s right across the street from the 1R bus stop, and they’ve rehabbed the building with a gorgeous tile exterior. The inside is set up with tables and will, I think, be a combination market and restaurant. Looks quite nice, so hopefully the food will be up there as well—a much needed addition to this forlorn stretch of Telegraph.
  • Farley’s, a San Francisco-based independent coffee shop, is opening an Oakland location on Grand in Uptown in the heart of Art Murmur country. I’ve never been to their San Francisco location, but hear good things from my city friends.
  • A new Pizzaiolo venture is going in on Grand where DiBartolo’s (which closed a few weeks back, sadly) used to be. (Coffee shop is still open; just the restaurant closed.) [UPDATE: Apparently this new spot is in addition to, not instead of, the Uptown location!] (I’m also way impressed with their Craigslist ad for cooks—sounds like a fab place to work!) I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the new spot will also do the coffee-and-pastries morning gig that Pizzaiolo has going on in Temescal, because I’m mildly addicted to the buttermilk doughnuts rolled in sugar. By “mildly,” I mean “have given up Bakesale Betty’s sticky buns for.” (Okay, actually maybe I should be hoping that they won’t have these….)
  • The Splashpad newsletter also reports that Lanesplitter is getting ready to open up shop on Lake Park (the little street by the farmer’s market that connects Lakeshore and Grand), though just for delivery and takeout. Apparently Grand Lake is the new pizza district, with longtime champ Arizmendi already well established… (There is also now a Lanesplitter sign up on San Pablo in Emeryville near the West Oakland line, which is equally exciting for that area!)
  • The Grand Tavern is opening up on Upper Grand where Señor Nero’s used to be. No info on that except that they’re apparently looking for a good bartender….hope they find one!
  • Bakesale Betty‘s second location at Grand and Broadway in Uptown has also been coming soon forever (okay, not as long as Café Noir!), but word on the street is that they finally have all their permits and are gearing up for a September opening. Hooray!
  • Mimosa Champagne Lounge is taking shape in the old Saturn dealer (now the Packard Lofts) on the corner of 24th and Broadway. Not sure what the ETA is, but it looks close to complete.

That’s all for now, though I imagine the summer may bring some progress on places like the Lake Chalet and Commis, too.



  1. Blue Bottle should be opening this summer or fall at 3rd & Webster Streets in the Jack London District. I noticed you mentioned them in regards to Cafe Noir. I’m no coffee connoisseur, but my boyfriend prefers Ritual over Blue Bottle (scandal!).

    Blue Bottle will also be offering pastries…

    Also rumored to be coming soon to the Jack London District is a replacement for what used to be Mono. No word on a name, but what I did hear was that they’d be looking at considerably lower price points as well as being open more hours for all three meals.

    Encuentro (I hope I have the spelling right!) – the new wine bar coming to 2nd & Jackson Streets – will also open this summer.

  2. Ooh, that’s great news—we love the Blue Bottle Cafe in the city! I’ve often wondered why they didn’t jump into the Oakland scene given that they roast here—glad to hear that’s in the offing. (And I have to admit that I’ve only had Ritual once or twice—we’re diehard Blue Bottle people for daily beans, but maybe it’s time to branch out….)

  3. The new cafe (the one w/the question mark in the window) is set to open in the next month on Telegraph at 44th. I forget their name (something with an R) but they are serving Ritual coffee. The even better news is they have a coffee cart open now! out front in the mornings. I highly recommend it, Todd (barista and the owner?) is very sweet and makes a darn good cup of coffee.

  4. Thanks Miriam—yes, the new place is called Remedy (the timing of your comment is perfect since I actually just posted something on them in the street food post! 🙂 I still haven’t been, but the boy gives them a thumbs up (and he’s extremely picky about his coffee, so that bodes well).

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