The Best Restaurants in Oakland

It’s almost impossible to choose, but these 10 restaurants must be on your reservation list

July 2, 2024 6:55 am
The interior decor of Parche, Oakland's premier Colombian restaurant
The interior decor of Parche, Oakland's premier Colombian restaurant

By now, everyone in the U.S must be aware of the fact Oakland has one of the best, fastest-moving and most diverse dining scenes in the country. From Michelin-acknowledged trendy spots to talented chefs’ regional passion projects, here are the places we love the most. 


Pretty, hip and award-winning Daytrip is ideal for spoiling yourself with a glass of natural wine and a bowl of its now-famous miso butter pasta. Other dishes are equally inventive – could you ever imagine you’ll be craving a celery salad? The menu changes frequently, making this a fun place to revisit. 

4316 Telegraph Ave, Oakland


Defining itself as Latin-American fine dining, Piedmont-located Mago offers a nightly tasting menu of elevated Colombian dishes by chef Mark Liberman. Despite the highly technical cooking, the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming, heightened by an open kitchen. 

3762 Piedmont Ave, Oakland

The Rendez Vous

The perfect shabby-chic French bistro does exist, and it’s in Oakland. With its deliberately peeling walls, vintage plates, candlelit bar and friendly staff, The Rendez-Vous is the move for date night or a friendly hang. The daily hand-written menu recreates French classics in a California manner, offering fresh salads, elegant cheese plates and changing hearty specials.

5526 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Oakland

Located on Piedmont Ave, Pomella serves family-style Israeli cuisine
Located on Piedmont Ave, Pomella serves family-style Israeli cuisine
Douglas Despres


On the local food scene, Pomella is a sunshine of freshness, specializing in Israeli cuisine. A great option for a casual, family-style lunch or dinner, the restaurant offers vibrant mezze or hummus plates, fluffy pitas and delicious shawarma and wraps. The composed salads are especially good, and so is the majadra — a comforting mix of rice and lentils with yogurt-tahini sauce. 

3770 Piedmont Ave Unit B, Oakland

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The recently-opened Temescal restaurant had been quick to acquire critical acclaim and fans, thanks to its innovative-yet-authentic take on soul food. Hide from the crowds behind the tinted screen, and feast on chicken liver and waffles, smoked swordfish, BBQ whole shrimp and rich desserts. Don’t neglect the creative cocktails, too. 

4640 Telegraph Ave, Oakland

Parche offers extensive lunch, brunch and dinner menus, all rife with an array of ceviche options
Parche offers extensive lunch, brunch and dinner menus, all rife with an array of ceviche options


Colorful and festive Parche is all about good times and Colombian flavors. Lunch, brunch and dinner are equally enticing, with dishes like hand-smashed crispy plantains, braised short rib in Mexican Coke and yuca buñuelos, as well as a whole array of ceviche. On weekends, expect live music and invigorating coffee cocktails. 

2295 Broadway, Oakland

Mama Oakland's fresh pasta menu changes frequently but never disappoints
Mama Oakland’s fresh pasta menu changes frequently but never disappoints
Emma Morris

Mama Oakland

Good Italian fare is hard to say no to — especially when it’s served in a friendly atmosphere and airy decor. Upon opening its doors, Mama became famous — and still is — for its affordable and satisfying prix-fixe menu, offering three courses for $39.95 a person. The fresh pasta dishes frequently change, and always thrill. 

388 Grand Ave, Oakland

Snail Bar

One of the spots to lead Oakland’s natural wine revolution also happens to have excellent people-watching and one of the best food menus in the city. Nothing is too out-there, but anything that comes out of the kitchen is guaranteed to be beautiful and fresh, be it a seafood plate, a fruity dessert or a fancy grilled cheese sandwich. 

4935 Shattuck Ave., Oakland

Cafe Colucci

Oakland has no shortage of excellent Ethiopian food, but Cafe Colucci, which moved to the city from Berkeley a couple of years ago, takes the cake — or, rather, the injera. Spacious, warm and always busy, the restaurant serves fiery traditional stews and combo meals, as well as some harder-to-find dishes like Asa Tibs, an Ethiopian take on fish and chips. 

5849 San Pablo Ave, Oakland


Chef Dominica Rice Cisneros is a local superstar, and for a good reason — her Mexican food is deeply personal, authentic and joyful, and the spacious restaurant always feels like a celebration. The telelas — blue corn empanadas — are a must, as well as all the moles. Plenty of vegan possibilities make the menu especially inclusive. 

3459 Champion St, Oakland


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