“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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Alameda restaurant
5/3/23 The Bober Tea chain’s Alameda location celebrated its grand opening April 29, marking the international boba franchise’s fifth new California location so far in 2023. The group is known for its whimsical interiors, stir-fried boba, brown sugar milk tea drink series and co-franchise Mochi Dough doughnuts, operating in tandem inside the space. Bober Tea Alameda, 825 Marina Village Pkwy, Alameda
New Berkeley restaurants
5/3/23 The former Bonchon space on Berkeley Way near downtown Berkeley has been reopened as Vietnamese restaurant 84 Viet, with a cheerful indoor dining room and a fast-casual menu of banh mi, pho and small plates (skewers, vermicelli, spring and egg rolls). The beverage menu also caught our eye — Vietnamese coffee drinks, rich smoothies, and sparkling infused fruit sodas and lemonades. 84 Viet, 2050 Berkeley Way (near Shattuck Avenue), Berkeley
4/6/23 PSA: Pizza and salad lunch service returns to Berkeley’s famed gathering spot The Cheese Board after a three-year pandemic lull beginning Saturday, April 8. Expect lunch hours on Saturdays only for now. The Cheese Board Collective Pizzeria, 1512 Shattuck Ave. (at Vine Street), Berkeley
4/25/23 West Coast fast-casual salad franchise Mixt launches its newest location this week in downtown Berkeley, opening in the former Paris Baguette on Shattuck Ave. The fresh spot is sure to lure students and local professionals for its seasonal salads, grain bowls, sandwiches and other fare, served either vegan or vegetarian, or topped with a range of proteins from crispy chicken to grilled steak.
4/21/23 Halal, Canadian-inspired shawarma business My-O-My Shawarma has taken over the former D’Yar Mediterranean space in Berkeley’s Northside neighborhood, as was announced in a February report from WhatNowSF.
The good people at the Telegraph Business Improvement District let us know that though the new restaurant was meant to open earlier this month, delays led to a quiet opening only days ago — but it’s open! Let’s all visit to find out what they mean by Canadian-inspired shawarma: a cursory menu check promises poutine with that chicken souvlaki wrap. See you in line, eh? My-O-My Shawarma,1866 Euclid Ave. (near Hearst), Berkeley
New Concord restaurant
4/21/23 Fast-casual Mediterranean chain The Kebab Shop has opened its long-awaited outpost in Concord. The counter-service restaurant serves colorful, laden wraps, plates and to-go boxes starring grilled, marinated proteins and vegetables, and flavorful dips and sauces. Note: Kids eat free on weekends. The Kebab Shop Concord, 1110 Concord Ave., #30, Concord
New El Cerrito restaurants
4/25/23 Followers of the burgeoning East Bay wine scene often find themselves gathering in Oakland or West Berkeley, or heading north to hidden pockets of Richmond, with not a huge amount of choice in between — until now. El Cerrito’s stylish new wine bar Banter is focused on small-production, low-intervention wines, and was founded by young partners Claire Sullivan and Devin Hohler.
The couple is well-known among the industry — Sullivan’s parents founded local wine import company Beaune; she and Hohler met a decade ago while working at Chez Panisse. Their project is located on an otherwise sleepy stretch of San Pablo Ave., across from the El Cerrito Natural Grocery Company — neighborhood locals are long familiar with the charming 1950s-era storefront’s distinct curves and windows (the building has led many lives), now transformed into a warm, approachable wine bar for relaxed sipping. We love this roundup of pretty, retro details of the bar interior posted by El Cerrito Instagram account The Little Hill.
Banter provides a range of choices by the glass, with a selection of full bottles available for an additional corkage fee, and a light menu of charcuterie, olives, bread and cheeses. Wines are also available retail. For serious fans, monthly wine clubs here are the move — paid membership provides 2-3 bottles per month, a free glass of something special upon pick-up, no corkage fees at the bar and other benefits. Banter Wine Bar, 10368 San Pablo Ave. (between Stockton and Eureka avenues), El Cerrito
4/6/23 MOD Pizza’s former standalone restaurant space in the El Cerrito Plaza reopened this week as a new location for seafood-centric franchise California Fish Grill, with an opening menu you can check out online. The Plaza has been looking a little forlorn lately with high-profile closures such as The Junket outnumbering openings; this launch plus some newly rumored additions will surely liven up the area in the coming weeks. California Fish Grill El Cerrito, 5040 El Cerrito Plaza, Suite E004, El Cerrito
New El Sobrante restaurant
4/12/23 As promised, this former Richmond favorite has new digs in El Sobrante. The restaurant known for its Cajun-style fried fish and sides is now located inside Champions Sports Bar & Grill, as first featured by Hoodline, and celebrated its grand opening there April 8. Mississippi Catfish at Champions Sports Bar & Grill, 4203 Valley View Rd. (at Sobrante Avenue), El Sobrante
New Emeryville restaurant
4/25/23 After a few weeks of delays, the controversial, Southern-style fast-food chicken chain — notably owned in Emeryville by POC and member of the LGBTQ+ community Jon Hooper — will well and truly open on Thursday April 27 in the former Panera, according to a press release sent by the company. Chick-Fil-A, 1525 40th St., Emeryville
New Oakland restaurants
4/6/23 People have been excited for the return of this festive Latin American restaurant from executive chef Rick Hackett (Oliveto, MarketBar, Enrico’s) since Bocanova’s reopening plans were announced back in June 2017. Formerly based in Jack London Square, Hackett’s search for new digs landed him a luxe new space at 1111 Broadway, featuring a sleek, colorful design and gorgeous bar.
Warm, bright decor features nods to both traditional and modern Latin American culture. The playful menu showcases specialties and flavors from across South America, with a dedicated bar menu and, notably, weekday breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch as well as dinner nightly. It’s been quietly reopened with limited service over the last few days (this is the current menu), with an official grand opening and party on April 10. Welcome back, Bocanova. Bocanova, 1111 Broadway (between 11th and 12th streets), Oakland
4/12/23 As first reported by WhatNow SF, Korean-inspired Bay Area brewer Dokkaebier has acquired Oakland’s nine-year-old Federation Brewing Company, including its Jack London Square taproom, effective immediately.
“We thank Federation Brewing for giving us the opportunity to cement Dokkaebier’s roots in Oakland,” read a message from CEO and founder Youngwon Lee. “We are proud that our first flagship brewery and taproom will continue to be a space for the underrepresented in our industry.”
Meanwhile, Federation assures its many longtime fans not to fret, as the company “isn’t going anywhere.” Though changes are afoot, Federation craft beer will continue to be produced and poured, including alongside Dokkaebier at the still-open and soon-to-be rebranded taproom. Dokkaebier, 420 3rd St., Oakland
4/25/23 Opening Saturday is the first brick-and-mortar for beloved local pie business Edith’s Pie, as recently profiled by Eater. The former pop-up from founder Mike Raskin (the business is named for his mother) and co-owner Jeffrey Wright has been around since Raskin hustled some Thanksgiving pies in 2019, and realized he had more than a knack for the art.
Now a thriving business and team, Edith’s Pie launches its flagship this weekend within the former Taiwan Bento location in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood, and begins regular hours next Wednesday. Expect long lines, seriously good seasonal slices and full pies. Edith’s Pie, 412 22nd St. (near Broadway), Oakland
4/21/23 Temescal’s pandemic-era-opening Between The Bun seafood sandwich shop, which has been temporarily closed since 2022, appears to have been rebranded and reopened as Extra Butter. And it appears when they say extra butter on that hearty lobster, crab or shrimp roll, they sure mean it. Yum. The business also boasts a second location in Miami. Extra Butter, 4920 Telegraph Ave. (near 49th St.), Oakland
4/12/23 Korean gastropub franchise Hanshin Pocha has a fresh outpost in Temescal. (Fans might have visited the Los Angeles location in Koreatown.) Expect a sultry, fun, low-lit nightlife vibe with small, round cocktail tables, and a menu of rich, Korean-style comfort foods to pair with soju and beer — dakbal, rice balls, saucy pork with melted cheese. Hanshin Pocha, 4869 Telegraph Ave. (between 48th and 49th streets), Oakland
4/21/23 This location has been quietly open for a while, but Nosh wanted to point Argentinian empanada lovers towards the newest Javi’s, opened inside the former Wooden Table on Broadway in Uptown. The welcoming corner shop sells fast, savory empanadas, coffee drinks and other warming refreshments (oxymoron?), and joins the original Javi’s at 3446 Market St., also in Oakland. Javi’s Empanadas, 2300 Broadway (at 23rd), Oakland
4/6/23 Reopened this week is Oakland’s community-minded Korner Kitchen & Bar, a Fruitvale neighborhood incubator, collaborative kitchen and bar space featuring some of the East Bay’s most sought-after food and drink pop-ups (including permanent residents Noodle Belly and Tortillas de Harina MamaCuca).
The food hall was closed for several weeks to undergo a refresh; its outdoor event space is now fully ready for spring crowds. Korner Kitchen & Bar, 1014 Fruitvale Ave. (at San Leandro St.), Oakland
4/12/23 Sample modern Vietnamese cuisine at Piedmont Avenue’s newest restaurant, featuring a simple, warm dining room inside the former Xyclo. Reports are glowing so far for Monsoon’s pho, rice plates, salads, chicken wings, banh mi and other casual Vietnamese cafe dishes, which are available for lunch, dinner and takeout. Monsoon, 4218 Piedmont Ave. (at Entrada Avenue), Oakland
4/6/23 Oakland wholesalers Mother Tongue Coffee, from roaster and founder Jen Apodaca, has long been sought-after for its woman- and Latinx-owned notability, equitable business practices and rich, delicious, locally-roasted fresh coffee. The group now has its first brick-and-mortar cafe — and bar! — in the former Lede spot on 41st St. in Temescal, open as of April 5. Mother Tongue Coffee & Bar, 308 41st St. (between Emerald Street and Broadway), Oakland
4/21/23 The Kissel Uptown Oakland hotel has a new lobby restaurant called Otto’s Uptown Kitchen, complete with sidewalk patio. The all-day restaurant serves upscale comfort bites, burgers and mains like shepherd’s pie or scallops, espresso drinks and pastries, cocktails, beer and wine to hotel guests and visitors. (Note: Adjacent restaurant Occitania’s recently vacated dining room remains dormant for now.) Otto’s Uptown Kitchen in the Kissel Uptown Oakland, 2455 Broadway (at 24th Street), Oakland
4/12/23 Known for its Filipino fusion cuisine — meaty Filipino sisig layered in tacos, burritos and on top of nachos, as well as its more recent fully vegan menu of fusion flavors — Senor Sisig has fed the Bay Area from its popular food trucks for 13 years. There’s also a four-year-old brick-and-mortar location in San Francisco’s Mission District, a streetside take-out window in Oakland at 1628 Webster that opened in 2021 and a counter restaurant inside San Francisco’s Ferry Building that launched last year.
Now, around the corner from its Oakland window, Senor Sisig said it will serve customers from a fresh Oakland brick-and-mortar restaurant and cantina starting April 14. Eater SF first provided many helpful details on the opening. Senor Sisig Oakland, 330 17th St. (between Harrison and Webster streets), Oakland
4/25/23 North Oakland’s Adeline Food Hall has two newer, buzzy tenants we’d like to bring to your attention — Taco & Co., a family-owned Pittsburgh and former Berkeley Southside favorite neighborhood taqueria (try their burritos!), and The Sauce, known for its burgers and wings. As with all Adeline Food Hall tenants, food is available for take-out or delivery only. Taco & Co. and The Sauce, Adeline Food Hall, 5333 Adeline St. (at 53rd), Oakland
4/21/23 Fans of dearly departed Novel Brewing have been waiting for this one: Small-batch brewers Tenma Beer Project, announced as Novel’s replacement when that North Oakland hangout closed back in December, has opened its doors.
The craft brewery and neighborhood bar is from co-brewers Debbie Tenma, Dana Martindale and Brennan Perry, and so far has a flavorful opening menu of West Coast IPAs, Irish red, a Munich dunkel and other fresh treats from the taps. Visit Wed.-Sun. Tenma Beer Project, 6510 San Pablo Ave. (at 65th Street), Oakland
4/21/23 It’s finally happening! Art Deco bar Town Bar & Lounge opened this week in Uptown’s gorgeous, historic I. Magnin & Co. building. Expect bold color, sumptuous design, finery and fun writ large in an atmosphere the team describes as one of “sophistication, elegance, and most importantly, belonging.”
The family-owned bar comes from East Bay born-and-raised (and former Castro-district bartender) Joshua Huynh, with support from his brother and business partner, Sang, and the Huynh family patriarch, who also acted as Town’s general contractor. Welcome Town! Town Bar & Lounge, 2001 Broadway (between 21st Street and Thomas L. Berkley Way), Oakland
4/6/23 It’s nowhere near a new opening — the White Horse has been open since 1933, possibly longer as a speakeasy, and is one of the oldest, if not the single oldest, gay bars in the country — but there is big news coming from the historic business. Nosh caught word of an ownership change a little while ago, and now is pleased to help the White Horse officially announce that it has a new owner: industry veteran Patty Nishimura Dingle (Club Universe, Club Q, The End Up, Mezzanine).
According to a recent press release, Dingle plans to honor the White Horse’s history while “also recognizing that this is a moment in time where ‘new’ history is being created, including being a place for not just the LGBT community but the QIA+ folx, too, and their accomplices.” Dingle said that she plans to preserve the bar’s reputation as a safe haven for diversity, community and expression, and to step up events, including drag queen and drag king performances, live DJs and themed parties. She will also herald the bar’s 90th year with a celebration in May. White Horse Inn, 6551 Telegraph Ave. (near 66th Street), Oakland
New Richmond restaurants
4/25/23 Speaking of the Point San Pablo Marina, that restaurant location has also…relaunched. Lovers of chef Arnon Oren’s (Anaviv) global, seasonal cuisine can now find him and his team at his new waterfront restaurant Sailing Goat, opening Friday at the Point San Pablo harbor.
The magical, tucked-away marina patio has been streamlined and spruced up, and remains a gorgeous spot for rustic dining and Sailing Goat’s planned itinerary of live music. Cuisine ranges from wood-fired pizzas to seafood to slow-simmered potjie soups and stews for lunch and dinner Fri.-Sun.
New Walnut Creek restaurants
4/6/23 On a tear is Albany-based 5 Tacos & Beers, which is fresh from its opening in Berkeley last month. The growing restaurant group just launched another location in Walnut Creek on April 5, with its signature taco flights, craft beers and warm, approachable sophistication. 5 Tacos & Beers Walnut Creek, 1352 Locust St., Walnut Creek
4/21/23 Thanks to Beyond The Creek for news of Boba Studio’s recent opening in Walnut Creek. The fanciful, modern tea shop is notable for being independent and locally-owned and operated, rather than part of a larger or international franchise like many similar spots; the team is already getting lots of attention for its fresh, handmade tea drinks and desserts. Boba Studio, 1389 N. Main St., Unit A (near Cypress Street), Walnut Creek
4/25/23 The team behind SanDai, chef Nora Haron’s (Dripline, Local Kitchen) long, long-awaited upcoming restaurant in Walnut Creek, are inching closer with the April 26 opening of adjacent cafe project Kopi Bar. Expect rich, Indonesian coffee drinks and viennoiserie inflected with Southeast Asian flavors — passionfruit curd meringue cruffins, pineapple clove and macadamia escargot pastries — and flavorful baked goods such as orange saffron tea cake and maringa makrut lime shortbread. In short: get excited. Kopi Bar will be open Wednesday-Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Kopi Bar, 1522 N. Main St., Walnut Creek