“Can you recommend a new place to eat?” That’s the question Nosh contributors get the most, and it’s a good one — while we all have our beloved standbys, exploring a new restaurant is one of life’s great pleasures. Watch this space every week for the newest restaurants to try in Berkeley, Oakland and the rest of the East Bay. As always, tips and recommendations are welcomed at email@example.com.
As promised, downtown Berkeley has a new spot for smashburgers and that currently-trending East Coast snack, chopped cheese (similar to Philly favorite, the cheesesteak). Berserk Burger is from chef-owner Cal Kepner, who also owns the very popular nearby El Pollo (formerly Burro) Picante, and is now quietly testing meaty menu items daily during lunch hours. Berserk Burger will host a grand opening celebration on Feb. 11. Berserk Burger, 2026 University Ave. (between Milvia Street and Shattuck Avenue), Berkeley
It might have a “soft opening” sign in the window, but new Piedmont Avenue tea shop Dek Doi Cafe seems fully realized, and is doing a brisk business in its large, handsome new space on the same corner as Mille Fiori. The shop already has an intriguing menu of specialty drinks, both hot and cold, as well as snacks from roti to waffles to toasts and shaved ice; the team plans to bring Thai coffee and heartier food options to the space going forward. Dek Doi Cafe, 4125 Piedmont Ave. (between 41st Street and Ridgeway Avenue), Oakland
Sumptuous, spiced Yemeni coffee and other specialty drinks are served with care at newly opened Delah Coffee House in Oakland, sister location to the original Delah that opened last year in San Francisco. Delah’s mission of spreading the history and traditions of Yemeni coffee is nicely showcased in this Eater profile — the name “Delah” refers to the traditional Yemeni coffee serving vessel with a dramatic shape used to welcome guests and pour with flourish. Lattes at Delah are spiced with cardamom and cinnamon, specialty chai is served in a glass teapot, and all beverages are made that much more enticing when paired with the cafe’s pastries and desserts. Delah Coffee House Oakland, 420 W. Grand Ave. (between Valley Street and Broadway), Oakland
Emeryville’s treasured, rotating La Cocina kiosk inside the Public Market — former proving ground for owner-operated standouts Nyum Bai, Pinky’s and Mama Lamees, among others — is now home to chef Carmen Figueroa’s El Meson. Thanks to The E’ville Eye for first sharing the news.
Figueroa specializes in empanadas from her native Chile, where fillings might include chicken, pork, beef, olives, mushrooms, spinach, hard-boiled eggs, raisins and other flavorful ingredients, including vegetarian empanadas. U.C. Berkeley students and staff might remember Figueroa’s former kiosk on campus, where it was called El Meson de Violeta. El Meson inside the Public Market Emeryville, 5959 Shellmound St., Emeryville
It’s true — the line to get into Poppy’s opening day in Temescal stretched for blocks and blocks, revealing the East Bay’s ceaseless interest in that rare, relative newcomer on the West Coast: a really good bagel.
Chef-owner, New York City native and first-time restaurateur Reesa Kashuk, who began Poppy Bagels as a farmers’-market pop-up during the pandemic, told the Chronicle that her bagels are somewhat of an amalgam, featuring combined favorite aspects of the best of her hometown — the golden crust, the inner give and chew — hand-rolled and, in a touch of her own for flavored bagels, heavily seeded on both sides.
Innovative, well-sourced toppings add to the experience here; watch for future bagel sandwiches and other menu items, and check ahead before getting in that line as soft-opening hours will be limited to start. Poppy Bagels, 5004 Telegraph Ave. (between 49th and 51st streets), Oakland
San Francisco-based United Dumplings has crossed the bay and opened a location in Rockridge, and folks are justifiably intrigued. The popular dumpling restaurant, first opened in 2020 and already boasting two locations in the city, is co-owned and -cheffed by friends Julia Zhu and Sandy Zheng (take a look at this fun profile from SF Gate).
Their menu of potstickers, XLB, steamed dumplings, salads and hand-pulled noodles, includes traditional and more innovative creations that fuse northern Chinese and modern California cooking. It’s a “united” approach, and one sure to draw lunch and dinner crowds on College Ave. United Dumplings Rockridge, 6247 College Ave. (between 62nd and 63rd streets), Oakland