“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 Oakland, Berkeley 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 editors@eastbaynosh.org.

New Alameda restaurant openings

Lazybird Coffee

10/6/2022 Loving this new Alameda coffee shop’s name and logo: Lazybird offers coffee drinks made with beans from Oakland’s Bicycle Coffee Company, as well as a menu of all-day breakfast treats, toasts, pressed sandwiches and salads. Try the ube or honey lavender lattes. Lazybird Coffee, 930 Central Ave. (between Weber and 9th streets), Alameda

A Chicago-style hot dog from left Field Dogs. Credit: Left Field Dogs/Instagram

Left Field Dogs

10/26/2022 Alameda has yet another fun, family-friendly option in Left Field Dogs, softly opened as of Oct. 21 on Webster St., and first heralded over the summer by WhatNowSF. The gourmet sausage and dog shop features beef franks, brats, chorizo, chicken dogs, hot links, vegan franks — just picture loaded, Chicago-style dogs on French rolls, slushies and beer on tap and house-made pickles. Now picture yourself and all your friends in line. Left Field Dogs, 1606 Webster St. (between Lincoln and Haight avenues), Alameda

New Berkeley restaurant opening

Starbird

10/12/2022 Popular fried chicken franchise Starbird has opened inside UC Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium, offering crispy chicken salads, sandwiches and boxed meals from their kiosk on game and event days. Customers can also self-serve from a flight-cart of house-made pairing sauces, from Greek yogurt ranch to honey chipotle barbecue. Starbird at California Memorial Stadium, UC Berkeley, 2227 Piedmont Ave., Berkeley

New Danville restaurant opening

Falafel Boy (Danville)

10/6/2022 Falafel Boy’s third location has quietly opened in Danville, joining Falafel Boy Uptown in Oakland, and a San Francisco branch that is temporarily closed. The mini-chain serves Mediterranean-style wraps, salads, rice bowls and kebab plates made with halal meats and fresh ingredients. Falafel Boy, 327 Hartz Ave. (between E Linda Mesa and E Prospect avenues), Danville  

New Emeryville restaurant opening

Lupe Rivera, Nelson Ortiz and Doug Smith, the new owners of Rudy’s Can’t Fail. Credit: Rudy’s Can’t Fail/GoFundMe

Rudy’s Can’t Fail

10/20/2022 Yes, it’s true, the Barbie dolls are back on display, and edgy comfort diner Rudy’s has risen again, thanks to long-time employees chef Lupe Rivera, former sous chef Nelson Ortiz and general manager Doug Smith, who hated to see it fail and have taken it over. Rudy’s fans: To further ensure the diner’s successful return, please visit and consider donating to the reopening fund here. That way we all are Rudy. (Its new menu is online, if you’d like to take a peek.) Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe, 4081 Hollis St. (at Park Street), Emeryville

New El Cerrito bar opening

A mai-tai from the recently reopened Little Hill Lounge. Credit: Little Hill Lounge/Instagram

Little Hill Lounge

10/12/2022 Folks are literally running to visit the newly reopened Little Hill Lounge, a favorite old-school bar in El Cerrito. The bar was previously owned and operated by Ted Helmick (he also ran the dearly departed Hemlock in San Francisco for years), who kept the bar alive through the better part of the pandemic.

Helmick moved on in 2021, but promised eventual new owners who would honor the venue’s divey character. The team behind Oakland’s beloved Kon-Tiki bar and Palmetto restaurant made good on that promise. They reopened the bar Oct. 6., preserving the atmosphere and good cocktails, and adding intriguing pop-up food, such as Jason LaBue’s wood-fired pizza. Little Hill Lounge, 10753 San Pablo Ave. (between Tehama and Burlingame avenues), El Cerrito    

New Livermore restaurant opening

Bubbs’ Bagels & Coffee

10/20/2022 Davis Gunderson (nicknamed Bubbs as a kid) and his partner and wife Rae are both from Colorado, but have a fondness for New York-style bagels. The pair just opened their first restaurant in Livermore, as first noted by the East Bay Times, with fresh bagels, flavored cream cheese (maple!), espresso drinks featuring Santa Cruz-based Cat & Cloud coffee, sweet treats and kindly service. As it says on Bubbs’ website, “there’s always room for a little more joy in the world.” Sign us up, Bubbs. Bubbs’ Bagels & Coffee, 1606 Holmes St., Livermore  

New Moraga restaurant opening

Casa Turing

10/6/2022 We missed this opening in September: Moraga’s got a new Cal-Mexican spot in Casa Turing, serving tacos, enchiladas, fajitas and other share-friendly Cal-Mex plates. Casa Turing, 484 Center St., Moraga   

New Oakland bar and restaurant openings

5 Spiced Kitchen

10/20/2022 Montclair Village’s new 5 Spiced Kitchen is calling itself the “second generation of The Silver Palace,” that long-loved, family-owned Chinese restaurant that closed in 2014, after 28 years in the same location. Thanks to the East Bay Times for getting to the heart of that story — owner of 5 Spiced is Shirleen Auyoung, daughter of the married Auyoungs who owned and operated The Silver Palace. 5 Spiced serves “Asian tapas” (salt-and-pepper wings, crispy salmon seaweed rolls, soy-glazed pork belly sliders), dumplings, seafood, noodles and wok specialties made with a range of proteins and vegetables. The restaurant opened Oct. 17. 5 Spiced Kitchen, 6516 Moraga Ave. (between Mountain Boulevard and La Salle Avenue), Oakland

BECs from Egg Pals. Credit: Mariya Nazarova

Egg Pals

10/26/2022 Contributor Brock Keeling cracked this story wide open — a new East Coast-style egg sandwich pop-up from a couple of industry vets, now running at cool local haunts such as Ramen Shop. With nods to Cracked and Binney Park (RIP), we are always fans of attempts at the perfect BEC. Egg Pals, various East Bay locations  

Fairyland’s got a new operator for its classic cafe. Credit: Children’s Fairyland/Instagram

Johnny Appleseed’s Good Eats Cafe

10/12/2022 This one’s for the littlest diners and their entourages: Children’s Fairyland, that Oakland wonder for kids eight and under, has new talent behind its popular on-site cafe. Award-winning, woman-owned company Bean Sprouts, based in southern California and with locations nationally at family destinations, has created a menu of kid-friendly food that embraces the picky and those with special diets, and meets both nutritiously but with an eye on fun. Actually, two eyes on fun. The cafe, a lifesaver for caregivers at snack and lunchtime, also has plenty of great options for grown-ups, including, crucially, a coffee bar. Johnny Appleseed’s Good Eats Cafe at Children’s Fairyland, 699 Bellevue Ave. (at Grand Avenue), Oakland

My Goodness

10/6/2022 Those seeking a little sweetness in Oakland should head over to My Goodness, a new soft-serve ice cream counter inside Lake Merritt’s charming Cafe Lakeview. Along with chocolate and vanilla cones, Straus Family Creamery soft-serve sundaes here feature decadent chocolate-y toppings, or seasonal fruit, evoking baked treats such as apple pie or peach cobbler. There are also “secret flavors”…my goodness. My Goodness, 2834 Lakeshore Ave. (between Beacon Street and Boden Way), Oakland

The special kadhai paneer at Noor. Credit: Noor/Instagram

Noor Indian Fusion Kitchen

10/12/2022 Women-owned restaurant Noor (meaning “light”) opened inside the Longfellow Food Hall ghost kitchen Oct. 7, serving Indian, Pakistani and Nepali specialties (curries, momos, stews, wraps, samosas) that are available for delivery or take-out only. Meats are halal, and an extensive menu of vegan and veg options is available. Noor Indian Fusion Kitchen at Longfellow Food Hall, 5333 Adeline St. (near 53rd. Street), Oakland  

Oko At Tribune

10/12/2022 The Bay Area food scene has been buzzing with this news (thanks to Eater SF and Forbes for thorough write-ups), and Oct. 11 marked the first foray into Tribune restaurant’s new collaboration with chefs Solomon Johnson and Mike Woods. The hot young chefs behind Oakland’s The Bussdown and OKO Supper Club are known for flavorful cuisine with pan-African, Afro-Latino, Southern and Creole inflections; the plan is to incorporate their dishes and cocktails a few at a time into the pre-existing Tribune menu over the ensuing weeks. Go check them out. OKO at Tribune, 401 13th St. (at Franklin Street), Oakland

Rayman’s Nudough

10/26/2022 Banh mi, rice plates, pho and vermicelli bowls with grilled proteins and tofu comprise some of the Vietnamese specialties at this new Oakland take-out restaurant. The Dimond District spot is getting good early reviews, but stop by early if you’re seeking dinner, as Rayman’s closes at 7 p.m. Rayman’s Nudough, 2141 MacArthur Blvd. (between Fruitvale and Dimond avenues), Oakland

The carnitas tacos at Tacos El Último Baile. Credit: Tacos El Último Baile/Instagram

Tacos El Ultimo Baile

10/20/2022 Crowds descended to support last weekend’s opening of Dominic Prado’s first brick-and-mortar taqueria El Ultimo Baile in Fruitvale (in the old Nyum Bai space), after years of cult-like success as an Oakland food truck. Prado’s tacos feature locally made tortillas and meats grilled al carbone, or over coal, details that have landed his tacos on just about every Bay Area superlative list. Fair warning: Hours will be sketchy as Prado attempts to fill demand and get his restaurant legs. Watch Instagram for updates. Tacos El Ultimo Baile, 3340 E. 12th St., #11 (at 33rd Avenue), Oakland 

Thee Stork Club

10/12/2022 Look to Nosh editor Eve Batey’s excellent description of this revived Oakland institution, a punk-glam-macabre, John Waters-blessed sanctum for stiff drinks and live music. The club finally, officially reopened Oct. 7, just in time for last weekend’s Halloween Meltdown. Thee Stork Club, 2330 Telegraph Ave. (between 23rd and 24th streets), Oakland 

Dinner fare from Todos, now open in Oakland. Credit: Todos

Todos Cantina + Cocina

10/20/2022 Stylish, spacious, newly opened Todos is fulfilling Oakland expectations in this long-awaited space (the lease was signed in 2019), part of the burgeoning Broadway Valdez corridor. Todos serves “modern Mexican” in a sleek new dining room and bar accented in tile and hand-painted Oaxacan street art, and playing a soundtrack of Spanish rock-and-roll.

The restaurant has two sides — Toditos, for lunch, take-out and delivery, and then Todos proper, a welcoming, sit-down restaurant and bar with full service until midnight on weekends. Fans might recognize the seasoned, crowd-pleasing touch of copartners Jimmy Ryan, Doug Marschke and Chris Cheeseman, veterans of a list of popular San Francisco properties including Tacko and Underdogs. On Tuesdays expect three tacos for $7 and $3 Tecates; a website membership also offers free dishes for a limited time. Todos Cantina + Cocina, 2315 Valdez St. (at 23rd Street), Oakland

Yonsei Handrolls

10/12/2022 Wednesday is opening night for Yonsei Handrolls, and it looks to be yet another irresistible winner from chef Kyle Itani, the restaurateur behind Hopscotch, Nikkei Sushi and Itani Ramen. Plump, nori-cradled handrolls at Yonsei (meaning “fourth”) come laden with fresh fish, sushi rice and other ingredients, from seasonal to luxe, and are ordered a la carte or in omakase sets of five.

A short menu of small plates, as well as Japanese cocktails, whiskies, sakes and desserts, add to the experience. Expect traditional dining room seating, and though walk-ins will eventually be welcome, reservations are the move for now. Fun fact: Though Japanese influenced, handrolls are an American-born food, and a fairly new one at that. Yonsei Handrolls, 1738 Telegraph Ave. (near 19th Street), Oakland

New Richmond restaurant opening

Waffles & Cream

10/20/2022 Richmond locals making the critical commute between Factory Bar and El Tucan (and across San Pablo Avenue to Catahoula Coffee) have eyed this appealing, coming-soon sign for two whole years; this week, Waffles & Cream finally opened its doors. The dessert shop offers fresh-made Belgian waffles (in classic liege and “bubble” styles) topped with scoops of ice cream, sprinkles, whipped cream, fruit and other toppings, as well as rich dessert shakes and floats. For this already festive little strip of Richmond this new spot is the icing on the…waffle. Waffles & Cream, 12513 San Pablo Ave. (between Clinton and Solano avenues), Richmond

The lamb and beef shawarma bowl at Falafel Boy. Credit: Falafel Boy

New San Leandro restaurant openings

Koolfi Creamery

10/26/2022 The East Bay is excited about this very special, small-batch, artisanal ice cream shop that opened Oct. 20, just in time for Diwali. Married owners Priti Narayanan and Madhuri “Mads” Anji are unafraid to explore a wide variety of international and seasonal ice cream flavor combinations, especially the fragrant, complex flavors of India. 

The creamery already has a following for its dairy-based and coconut-milk-based vegan churns via delivery and at local pop-ups and events. (The Chronicle wrote a great feature on Koolfi in 2019.) Expect lines of sweet-toothed customers, including a chef or food writer or two, at this cool new San Leandro destination, the team’s first brick-and-mortar.  Koolfi Creamery & Cafe, 599 MacArthur Blvd. (at Lewis Avenue), San Leandro

Some of Mochinut’s snackable offerings. Credit: Mochinut

Mochinut

10/6/2022 Mochi doughnuts, Korean-style hot dogs, boba and soft serve ice cream are on the menu at Mochinut, now open in San Leandro. The widespread chain is rapidly expanding in California and the U.S., and also has locations in South Korea and Thailand. Mochinut, 185 Pelton Center Way, San Leandro

Special Hainan Chicken

10/26/2022 Hainanese poached chicken and rice is the signature specialty, and just one of many comforting, affordable and nourishing dishes on the menu of this new Chinese restaurant in San Leandro. Special Hainan Chicken, 699 Lewelling Blvd., #104 (at Washington Avenue), San Leandro

Tio’s Mediterranean Grill

10/12/2022 San Leandro locals are showing big enthusiasm for the Mediterranean fare at Tio’s, including shawarma plates and wraps, falafel, hummus and kebabs. A note on the name: First-time restaurateur Jonathan Sandoval-Nicholas is of Guatamalan and Mexican heritage, and his chefs are longtime family friends (“tios”) with 30-plus years of local cooking experience, specializing in Mediterranean cuisine. Backyard cookouts always raised the question, “which tio will cook today?” and the name has stuck. Tio’s Mediterranean Grill, 794 E 14th St. (between Durant Avenue and Bristol Boulevard), San Leandro

New Walnut Creek restaurant openings

Buon Vino

10/26/2022 Eight-year-old Walnut Creek wine bar Buon Vino has relaunched in a new location — the wine shop, bar and tasting room, dormant since May, has taken over the former Impulse Room jazz club that closed pre-pandemic in 2019. Cheers to Beyond The Creek for the news. (Look for the entrance on Lincoln Avenue.) Buon Vino, 1501 N. Broadway, Suite 138, (at Lincoln Avenue) Walnut Creek

City Bachi

10/26/2022 Fast-casual hibachi eatery City Bachi fired up the grill last week in Walnut Creek. The West Coast-style, Japanese-Mexican fusion restaurant also serves Sinaloan sushi rolls, along with hearty combos of grilled meats, steamed vegetables and rice. City Bachi, 1387 S. California Blvd. (near Newell Avenue), Walnut Creek


Featured image: A spread at Yonsei Handrolls. Credit: Yonsei Handrolls/Resy