As always, tips and recommendations are welcomed at

New Alameda restaurants

Tasty Point

5/30/2023 Alameda has a new Taiwanese-style hot pot eatery featuring shareable, specialty hot pot soups, rice and noodle plates, and snacky sides such as popcorn chicken, pig’s ears, stinky tofu and fried seafood. Tasty Point, 2412 Santa Clara Ave. (between Park Street and Park Avenue), Alameda 

Kowloon Station 1

5/16/2023 Alameda’s newest Chinese eatery is Kowloon Station 1, a simple, fast-casual spot focused on seared proteins dressed in flavorful sauces, paired with rice or French fries and vegetable sides. Kowloon Station 1, 1708 Webster St. (between Buena Vista and Pacific avenues), Alameda

5/16/2023 The long arm of Hummus Republic has reached Alameda, in the newest location for the rapidly expanding national chain. Look for build-your-own Mediterranean bowls, pitas and wraps; catering is also a specialty here. Hummus Republic Alameda, 2402 Central Ave. (near Park Street), Alameda

New Berkeley restaurants

Daruma Sushi

5/30/2023 Despite WhatNow SF’s misleading recent report, Berkeley’s former Temari restaurant has been closed for nearly six years. So when newcomer Daruma Sushi first posted signage and, last week, fully reanimated the long-dormant dining room, it notably brightened up that block and has been met with much curiosity and cautious anticipation. In good news, reviews are enthusiastic so far for Daruma’s appealing decor and approachable mix of sushi, specialty rolls, noodles, salads and okonomiyaki; neighborhood families should definitely check out the kid’s menu. Daruma Sushi, 2215 San Pablo Ave. (between Allston Way and Bancroft Way), Berkeley  

Papa John’s Telegraph

5/26/2023 Thanks to a favorite Nosh tipster for alerting us that Papa John’s, the chain pizzeria with a Berkeley location recently closed on Shattuck Avenue, can now be found nearby at 2556 Telegraph Ave., where it has reopened for all your fast-casual pizza-pie needs. Papa John’s, 2556 Telegraph Ave. (at Blake Street), Berkeley

Sandwiche(es) A GO-GO

5/26/2023 The wild intersection at Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way, near Sather Gate, can sometimes seem a little…cluttered, so Nosh is grateful to a reader for spotlighting new business Sandwich A Go Go, also called Sandwiches A Go-Go on alternate signage (no matter, the product is still the same), inside the long-closed Subway shop on that corner. The cute little sandwich eatery features a colorful menu of loaded sandwich options, as well as a range of tempting Espresso Roma coffee drinks. Sandwich(es) A Go-Go, 2490 Bancroft Way. (at Telegraph Ave.), Berkeley

Sesame, A Tiny Bakery

5/26/2023, Sesame. The sweet bakery from former Camino pastry chef Marykate McGoldrick, last seen adjacent to The Kebabery (RIP) on Shattuck Avenue (at Ashby), has relaunched in the former Pie Society space, as forecast by Eater back in April. On offer are first-come, first-serve assorted seasonal cakes, cookies and other treats made with organic ingredients, as well as Mother Tongue Coffee drinks, with a slow schedule at first. “Please patiently join us as we dip our toes into the space and get ourselves and you situated in our new bakery,” says the soft-opening announcement on Instagram. Grand opening is slated for June 1, after which the shop will be open from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sesame, A Tiny Bakery, 2533 7th St. (at Parker Street), Berkeley  

What The Cluck

5/26/2023 Local Thai minichain What The Cluck has quietly opened the door to its newest location, taking over the former Flying Falafel counter eatery space in downtown Berkeley. The restaurant is known for comforting Thai favorites featuring poached and crispy chicken paired with rice, noodles, vegetables and sauces, including khao mun gai, soups, fried wings, and a selection of vegan options. This is the chain’s fifth location. What The Cluck, 2114 Shattuck Ave. (between Addison and Center streets), Berkeley 

The Cheese Steak Shop

5/16/2023 Hearts broke all over Berkeley in late 2021 when The Cheese Steak Shop lost its lease on University Avenue and was forced to shutter. Consider those hearts healed (?) with the reopening this week of the Philly-inspired sandwich joint, now located on Kala Bagai Way in downtown Berkeley. On offer will be the same meaty, melty sandwiches on Amoroso rolls that have made the chain popular since it was opened in the Bay Area by two East Coast expats in 1982. The Cheese Steak Shop, 2025 Kala Bagai Wy. (between Addison Street and University Avenue), Berkeley

Cafenated Elmwood

5/9/2023 Last week, Nosh helped welcome Cafenated to the Elmwood neighborhood, opened May 6 in the former Espresso Roma, a corner cafe that was well-loved, well-worn and basically unchanged for four decades before closing in 2021. Now Cafenated has brought a more modern, progressive touch to the space, reviving it with, as Nosh contributor Brock Keeling described, a “to-the-studs overhaul” that has streamlined and updated the roomy gathering spot.

Cafenated’s flagship North Berkeley cafe opened in the spring of 2019, and quickly established itself there as a pretty, tony destination, known for its well-kept back patio, higher-end vibe and notable focus on coffee grown and harvested from woman-owned farms and co-ops. Cafenated Elmwood includes a sleek, similar intent and menu of coffee drinks as well as a broader food menu with its brand-new experience. Cafenated Elmwood, 2960 College Ave. (at Ashby), Berkeley  

New Oakland restaurants

Holders House at Joodooboo

5/30/2023 When chef Sarah Kirnon’s very personal Caribbean food project Holders House departed Forage Kitchen last October, they promised future pop-ups around the Bay Area and beyond going forward. After making good on that promise in San Francisco, Kirnon returns to Oakland this Sunday with a new pop-up at North Oakland tofu-focused favorite Joodooboo. Check the menu here and we’ll see you there. The pop-up runs this Sunday and next. Holders House pop-up at Joodooboo, 4201 Market St. (at 42nd Street), Oakland

Brunch at Donut Farm

5/26/2023 Community PSA: Organic, vegan brunch has returned to Pepples Donut Farm (known to most as Donut Farm) after a pandemic lull — it had been a minute since fans enjoyed plant-based chicken and waffles, garlicky greens or Pepples scrambles at Josh Levine’s progressive shop, and the community is thrilled with their spring 2023 return. Brunch dishes are available weekends — be sure to get a donut on the side. Donut Farm, 6037 San Pablo Ave. (near 61st Street), Oakland 

The Caffe by Mr. Espresso

5/26/2023 Forty-five-year-old Italian coffee company Mr. Espresso, founded by Carlo Di Ruocco in 1978 and still run by the same family, ranks among the more beloved companies — and coffee — in the Bay Area, if not the country. As of May 22, the company now has a beautiful new flagship coffee shop, a brick-and-mortar caffe (“caffe” is the Italian spelling for coffee, as well as the venue in which to sip it) at the base of Oakland’s new office building The Key at 12th, blocks from Mr. Espresso’s downtown Oakland roastery. The Caffe features a modern interior outfitted in reclaimed wood, representing the oak wood used to roast Mr. Espresso beans, and includes a lovely wooden installation that hangs above. The experience here touches on both the modern American relationship with coffee and the more Italian tradition of ordering and drinking coffee while standing at the bar: There is no line and no table service. Guests are meant to sip and savor while standing in communal company. Drinks skew rich, flavorful, sometimes extra special, as with the butterscotch or hazelnut lattes, horchata cold brew, or chilled and shaken Italian espressos. See you at the bar. The Caffe by Mr. Espresso, 1120 Broadway (at 11th Street), Oakland   


5/26/2023 This buzzy, welcoming new LGBTQ+ bar, lounge and venue space in Uptown is being heralded as much for its spacious, industrial-style comfort (it measures 5,000 square feet) as its community-minded events, all-inclusive hospitality, drinks, and food. Along with the venue’s wide variety of cocktails, look for addictive bar snacks such as truffle fries, meatballs and arancini, and more from the same team behind Oakland’s Port Bar. (For more, see this Eater profile.) Fluid510, 1544 Broadway (between 15th and 17th streets), Oakland


5/9/2023 Opening May 10 is Sfizio (“sfi-tzee-oh,” Italian for whim), Matt Solimano’s brand-new pasta restaurant in Rockridge’s former Noodle Theory space. As mentioned in Eater’s recent profile, pasta lovers flocked to Solimano’s pop-ups hosted by East Bay spots such as Way Station Brew and Ramen Shop, and will no doubt follow him — for the fresh pasta, but also for the friendly prices —  to this casual new restaurant with a classic Italian feel. (Nosh will definitely see you there.) Note: With the launch of the restaurant also comes Solimano’s decision to move away from social media for news; visit Sfizio’s new website and sign up for his monthly newsletter to stay in the loop. Sfizio, 6099 Claremont Ave. (at College Avenue), Oakland

Tik Dak

5/9/2023 The team behind Tik Dak Korean food, former affiliates of Oakland’s Blind Tiger, have launched an independent brick-and-mortar on Broadway with fast-casual counter service. Thumbs are way up so far for their Korean-style fried chicken wings, fried rice, dumplings, vegan and fish-based sushi rolls, and spicy and black bean noodle soups. (The group departed Blind Tiger in the fall of 2022.) Tik Dak, 4496 Broadway (at Whitmore Street), Oakland 

New (management) in Port Costa

Bull Valley Roadhouse

5/16/2023 Not every ownership transition makes it to this post, but to have visited this unique Port Costa destination is to know its special significance to East Bay dining. The handsome, timeless Bull Valley Roadhouse — in fact only open since 2012 — has been through some team changes since it reopened in 2021 post-pandemic. Chef Anthony Paone (Lalimes, Sea Salt) is now in the kitchen, and the BVR has just announced that new owner as of this spring is Tamir Ben-Shalom, the restaurant’s beverage director, who has been on staff since 2013. Cuisine and cocktails remain seasonal and flavorful; live music is a continued part of the remote restaurant’s allure. Bull Valley Roadhouse, 14 Canyon Lake Dr., Port Costa     

New San Leandro restaurants

Joe’s Pho

5/30/2023 Joe’s Pho now has a second location in the ‘Dro. The same fresh Vietnamese noodle soups, salads, meaty rice plates and bubble tea that have won fans at the original Joe’s Pho on Hesperian for five years are now also available to the north in Old San Leandro. The second Joe’s is spacious and modern, with plenty of indoor and some outdoor seating. Joe’s Pho, 1305 Washington Ave., San Leandro

Nick The Greek San Leandro

5/30/2023 San Leandro saw its first Nick The Greek open earlier this month. The eatery serves gyro bowls, pitas and plates, Greek salads, fries, and sweet snacks such as Greek frozen yogurt and beignets drizzled with honey. We’re sure we’re not the only ones to notice that Nick The Greek fast-casual franchise locations are quickly and quietly taking over not just California, but the whole Western United States. (The “coming soon” page on the group’s website features 24 new locations in Northern California alone, including a hotly anticipated one still under construction in downtown Berkeley.)  Nick The Greek, 1509 E 14th St. (at Juana Ave.), San Leandro

Rickey’s Sports Lounge

5/26/2023 As first reported by the Mercury News (and first hinted to Nosh by a tipster back in March, thank you!), a legendary sports bar in San Leandro has reopened. As explained by ABC7 News, formerly Ricky’s Sports Theatre & Grill for decades, so named for owner Ricky Ricardo who died in 2020, the bar is now respectfully named Rickey’s Sports Lounge — yes, there is a new “e” in the name. Also, notably, the nostalgic paraphernalia has been mostly removed, decor streamlined and screens have been updated — there are even new VIP areas. But the spirit remains at this local institution, still dedicated to all things sports, especially local (and formerly local) teams, including the Raiders. Rickey’s Sports Lounge, 15028 Hesperian Blvd., San Leandro

New Walnut Creek restaurant

Andaman Thai Walnut Creek

5/26/2023 Family-owned Andaman Thai, celebrating its fifth year in San Ramon, has opened its long-awaited sister location in Walnut Creek, in the former Saigon Vietnamese Bistro space. Reviews are enthusiastic so far for the cuisine (a selection of mild Thai dishes, spicier, southern Thai specialties, and a secret menu), refreshed dining room and gracious service. Andaman Thai Walnut Creek, 1560 Newell Ave. (between S Carolina Boulevard and S Main Street), Walnut Creek 


5/9/2023 Nora Haron (Drip Line, Local Kitchen, IndoMex) is a chef whose fans are willing to be patient, as her fresh, eclectic, and sumptuously flavorful Southeast Asian cuisine is quite the payoff. Now, after years of wait, the moment has come to flock to her new Nusantaran restaurant in Walnut Creek, SanDai, owned by Singapore-born restaurateur Amanda Toh Steckler with Haron as executive chef.

The Chronicle has a thorough profile on the story behind the restaurant and Haron’s intentions, including why her cuisine that ranges from Singapore to India to Indonesia can’t be pigeonholed. The restaurant opened May 3. (Kopi Bar, the restaurant’s adjacent cafe, opened in April.) SanDai, 1522 N. Main St., Walnut Creek