“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. Every week we tell you the newest restaurants to try in Berkeley, Oakland and the rest of the East Bay, then organize them by region for this, our monthly roundup. We hope it helps you find somewhere new to try.
As always, tips and recommendations are welcomed at email@example.com.
New Alameda restaurant openings
2/2/23 Nosh loves a good pairing, like Faction Brewing’s new First Sundays breakfast at the brewery featuring Egg Pals (which we profiled last fall) and Molly’s Refresher. Check it out the first Sunday morning of every month. Egg Pals and Molly’s Refresher pop-up at Faction Brewing, 2501 Monarch St., Alameda
1/16/23 Alameda’s upscale dining scene has a new contender in Saltbreaker, now open in the Warehouse District. The soothing, cozy dining room features smooth lines, sea-moss-colored booths, lots of light wood and greenery and a convivial cocktail bar — a great tucked-away spot for a date or special night.
Dishes skew Cal-Med, seasonal, familiar and approachable — steak tartare, salmon, steak frites, grilled chicken with marsala and cranberry compote. House-made breads include focaccia served toasted with burrata and roasted garlic. Per the business, construction and rain are making the restaurant a bit tricky to find; once reservations are secured, map and follow all detour signs to the Saratoga Street address provided. Saltbreaker is on the opposite side of the building from the Storehouse Lofts leasing office. Saltbreaker, 2350 Saratoga St. (at West Ranger Avenue), Alameda
New Berkeley restaurant openings
1/16/23 Reopened Jan. 12, after a series of the usual inspection delays is Bagel Street Cafe, in its fresh new location on Berkeley’s Telegraph Ave. The move from Center Street, where the bagel shop was a quick, budget-friendly staple for 12 years, is a win-win for the business and its customers, allowing for even faster and more accessible bagels for hungry students in the Southside neighborhood.
The familiar, friendly shop hopes to offer a seamless customer transition to the new space — same satisfying bagels, spreads and sandwiches with a wide variety of flavors, toppings and options, same kind and efficient service. Bagel Street Cafe, 2375 Telegraph Ave. (between Durant Avenue and Channing Way), Berkeley
Bao Dim To Go/Long Jiang Pork Knuckle
Sharing the space is Bao Dim To Go, a fast casual dim sum take out counter with a concise menu of offerings, including pork and shrimp dumplings. Bao Dim To Go/Long Jiang Pork Knuckle, 125 Berkeley Sq. (between Center and Addison streets), Berkeley
1/25/23 We love reader tips. Thanks to those who spotted that Nana Thai Bistro, once slated to open in May of 2022 (and delayed a bit), is now open at Dwight and Sacramento in Berkeley. The sweet, cozy space dressed in purple hues features a handful of tables and bar seating inside, and some outdoor bistro tables for sunny neighborhood dining. The menu features approachable favorites such as Thai curries, soups, salads, barbecued meats, noodles and chef specialties such as crab fried rice for lunch and dinner. Nana Thai Bistro, 1453 Dwight Way (between Sacramento and Edwards streets), Berkeley
1/25/23 Nosh was glad to learn that Organic Greens on Solano, closed since last fall, has had its plumbing issues fixed and has reopened to help with local resolutions for greener, leafier dining. The location is one of three for the popular salad-focused mini-chain. Organic Greens, 1615 Solano Ave. (at Tacoma Avenue), Berkeley
New Crockett restaurant opening
1/25/23 Crockett locals have a casual new restaurant in Crockett Cocina, serving hearty American breakfasts, as well as lunch and early dinner plates of pasta, bowls of chowder and cioppino, burgers and wings. True to its name, there are also a few Mexican-themed dishes such as carne asada fries and quesadillas. Crockett Cocina, 1207 Pomona St. (between Crockett Boulevard and 2nd Avenue), Crockett
New Emeryville restaurant openings
1/16/23 February 2020 saw local co-op Arizmendi Emeryville’s proud reopening after more than a year’s reconstruction after a car crashed into its electrical closet; three weeks later the world hunkered into the pandemic. Undaunted, the pizzeria and bakery closed its new interior to customers, and pivoted to a take-out window only, where locals stood in long lines outside, grateful for the fresh-baked nourishment and hot coffee to go.
Now the Emeryville location’s preserved interior space and new bakery counter is back open to customers, to include self-serve pastries. (Note: No indoor dining just yet, but at least folks can pick up their pizza and treats in out of the rain.) Open Wednesday – Sunday. Arizmendi Emeryville, 4301 San Pablo Ave. (between Park Avenue and 45th Street), Emeryville
2/2/23 Tipsy Putt swung its doors open on Bay Street this week, revealing 14,000-square-feet of mini-putt fun. The new indoor mini putt, local craft-beer bar and casual restaurant designed with adults in mind (but is family friendly until 5 p.m. each day!) might be just the ticket to help anchor the ongoing refresh of Bay Street. Dedicated to grown-ups having old-school, analog fun, Tipsy Putt is based out of Sacramento, with another location in Tahoe, and others coming soon to Sunnyvale and The Cannery in Monterey. Look for weekly and monthly events, including trivia, date nights, and drag bingo. The ticketed Grand Opening on Jan. 31 sold out quickly; to book a tee time, plan a party or check upcoming events check its website. Tipsy Putt, 5690 Bay St., Emeryville
1/16/23 Bay Street’s dining terrace (the second-floor mezzanine) continues its major update with the opening of Uchiwa Ramen, a second location for the long-loved ramen shop based out of San Rafael.
Uchiwa Ramen Bay Street opened on cold, rainy, Friday the 13th — in hindsight a perfect day for folks to check out the warming, savory soups inside this cozy but elegant new ramen restaurant, with tables and a curved ramen bar. Along with bowls of rich, balanced noodle soups and pan-fried ramen, there are also appetizers, rice plates, options for many diets and ramen for kids. Uchiwa Ramen, 5606 Bay Street, Unit 233 (Upper Level), Emeryville
New Lafayette food business opening
1/16/23 Not a restaurant, but a new grocery store providing Lafayette with a wide array of kosher goods, groceries and brands, some hard to find. A list of some of their stock, described by the business, says it best: “Bissli’s Kariot, herring, smoked whitefish, whole chicken, asado, rib eye steaks, pargiot, schnitzel, bourekasim, Doritos…sweetbreads, veal, lamb, pastrami, tongue! Spread the word!” With pleasure. Bay Kosher, 3477 Golden Gate Way (between First and Second streets), Lafayette
New Oakland restaurant openings
2/2/23 As promised, the former Damel in Oakland is now BigE Burgers, from the same family of owners behind 1960s-founded Beep’s Burgers in San Francisco. BigE burgers are retro-hearty, loaded with all the fixings and served with big soft-serve cones and milkshakes. There are also turkey and Impossible burgers on the menu, as well as chicken sandwiches and baskets of chicken nuggets and fries. There is a second BigE Burgers in Danville. BigE Burgers, 1312 Broadway (between 13th and 14th streets), Oakland
1/10/23 Thanks to a savvy commenter for the tip that San Lorenzo-based Brewja (“brew-ha”) Coffee has opened a cafe in downtown Oakland. Drinks and bites are Mexican-inflected, from the chorizo toast and jalapeno-cheddar scones to the horchata coffee, mazapan lattes and Mexican mochas. Brewja Coffee, 409 14th St. (between Franklin Street and Broadway), Oakland
1/10/23 Combining two of the Bay’s favorites — vegan and Puerto Rican cuisines — into one luscious plate of plant-based pasteles, Casa Borinquena is now open in North Oakland. The pop-up’s brick-and-mortar has been long awaited — delays abounded, as they so often do — but chef Lulu’s rotating menu of savory, vegan specialties such as bori fries, rellenos de papa, tostones and maduros is now available for delivery or pick-up from her very own Oakland restaurant. Hours are dinner Wed.-Sat. for now as the restaurant gets up to speed. Casa Borinquena, 6211 Shattuck Ave. (between 62nd and 63rd streets), Oakland
1/25/23 Bold signage has been tantalizing locals for weeks at the corner of Broadway and West Grand Ave., and now Dave’s Hot Chicken is finally open, filling Oakland bellies and watering eyes with crispy, spicy fried chicken sandwiches. Much has been made in local media about the Los Angeles-based franchise’s A-list celeb endorsements, but really you can just ask anyone from San Leandro, where Dave’s Hot Chicken opened back in November: These sandwiches are worth a detour. (And the new Oakland space is a beaut). Hotbird chicken-off, anyone? Dave’s Hot Chicken, 2228 Broadway (at West Grand Ave.), Oakland
2/2/23 Oakland has a new location for The Habit burger chain, now open in the Fruitvale neighborhood. The serviceable, family-friendly grill franchise serves up burgers, chicken sandwiches, sides and big salads, and notably provides budget-friendly bundled meals for bigger groups and families. The Habit Burger Grill, 3060 E. 9th St., Suite E (between Fruitvale and 29th avenues), Oakland
1/16/23 Also in the “reopening” category is Ethiopian coffee shop Jebena Cafe, back in action (and serving breakfast and lunch) after a car crashed into the building soon after its opening in September. Jebena Cafe, 2930 Telegraph Ave. (between 29th and 30th streets), Oakland
1/16/23 Note to banchan and tofu fans: After a little pause and refresh that was announced back in October, Oakland Korean deli Joodooboo’s shop is once again open to walk-in and dine-in customers. Joodooboo, 4201 Market St. (at 42nd Street), Oakland
1/10/23 San Francisco-based Kitava has opened its second location in the former Hog’s Apothecary/Magpie space in North Oakland, giving Temescal a new option for flavorful, modern California cuisine. The approachable, light-filled dining room on 40th has been refreshed, with welcoming, crisp, clean lines to match the “clean-casual” dining on the plate.
Kitava’s dishes — snacks, small plates, bowls and desserts made with fresh, reportedly sustainable ingredients — are built by founders Jeff Nobbs and Bryan Tublin to accommodate many diets, and notably contain no gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, refined sugars or seed oils. A grand opening is set for this weekend. (Note to fans: The Kitava pop-up partnership with Buck Wild Brewing in Jack London Square came to a friendly end in December to accommodate the big move; look for Canasta Kitchen nibbles at the gluten-free brewery going forward.) Kitava Kitchen, 375 40th St. (at Opal Street), Oakland
1/16/23 Johnny Chang’s (Dragon Gate) new bar, restaurant and lounge Lounge Chinatown has opened in Oakland, serving customizable Chinese and Taiwanese dishes and snacks with a side of karaoke in a sleek, sultry, night-market-style atmosphere. Open for lunch and dinner daily, with notably late hours (until 2:30 a.m.). Lounge Chinatown, 366 8th St. (between Webster and Franklin streets), Oakland
1/16/23 Oakland has a new modern Colombian restaurant, now open inside Brown Sugar Kitchen’s former Uptown dining room. Parche in Spanish means “patch” and colloquially references a group of friends. The restaurant is an upscale, lively hangout, featuring cocktails infused with Latin flavors, including a list of inventive “tonicas,” Latin-style drinks made with tonic.
On the food side, look for small and large plates and ceviches showcasing the various cultures and flavors involved in regional Colombian cuisine. Chef-owner is Paul Iglesias (Canela), as noted in Eater SF’s profile. Parche, 2295 Broadway (at 23rd Street), Oakland