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

Bartavelle (1621 San Pablo Ave.)

Berkeley favorite Bartavelle reopened in a beautiful new location on June 14, as first described by Nosh contributor Paulina Barrack. The popular cafe opened in 2012 as a morning destination in the former Cafe Fanny space, evolved to include evening wine bar concept Bar Sardine in 2018, and was finally streamlined in 2020, because of COVID and lease issues, into a “scrappy takeout window” with a fan-base all its own at the team’s kitchen annex at 1609 San Pablo Ave. Now, mother-son owners Suzanne Drexhage and Sam Sobelewski, together with pastry chef Nellie Stark, are excited to once again treat their customers to pristine sit-down cafe fare (and Heart Coffee drinks), and, starting hopefully next week, wine and upscale nibbles in the evenings among the cheerful brick and turquoise hues of their new, fully realized cafe, built out inside the former Berkeley Stereo. Check Instagram for updated hours and details as things progress. Bartavelle Coffee & Wine Bar, 1621 San Pablo Ave. (between Cedar and Virginia streets), Berkeley

Firebrand Artisan Breads Alameda

It has only been open for a few days, but the scene at Firebrand’s new dedicated bakery counter and cafe in Alameda appears to be, well, fire, with purported lines around the block (and those old Alameda Point blocks are long). The cafe fronts the bakery’s newer production facility, and is stocked with the fresh, wood-fired breads and pastries that have made the brand famous since 2008, through wholesale partnerships across the Bay, as well as from the Oakland flagship that opened in 2015 — treats such as Firebrand’s notable croissants, challah, pretzels, morning buns, muffins, scones and loaves of rich, toasty wholegrain breads. Brunch fare, salads, sandwiches, soups and pizza round out the menu. As noted in the Alameda Sun, Firebrand is a famously mission-driven local business — led by founder Matt Kreutz, the team proudly provides good jobs to otherwise disenfranchised folks. Also note to night owls: Firebrand Alameda boasts late hours, until 10pm Wed.-Sun. Firebrand Artisan Breads Alameda, 707 W Tower (between Saratoga Street and Pan Am Way), Alameda   

Mujiri Nigiri Hayward

Many Oakland and Emeryville locals are wild about Mujiri, opened in 2020, whose attentive service and curated nigiri served in handsome wooden boxes classed up many a pandemic take-out evening that first year. In December 2021, the small team moved beyond the to-go menu, opening up their wee, handsome space and sushi bar for indoor dining. Now, as announced on Instagram, Mujiri has a second location in Hayward, featuring the same array of upscale, fresh sushi for budget-minded customers available for take-out only for now. Mujiri Hayward, 22530 Main St. (between A and B streets), Hayward

Red Boy Cafe at Red Boy Pizza Leimert

Under new ownership since the new year, Red Boy Pizza on Leimert Ave. in Oakland’s Oakmore neighborhood recently started a new daytime cafe service called Red Boy Cafe. On offer are breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes, a kid’s menu, milkshakes and even mimosas. Red Boy’s cafe fare is available until 2:00 p.m., Thursday through Sunday; the restaurant transitions back to pizza in the evenings. Thanks to a local fan for sharing the tip! Red Boy Cafe at Red Boy Pizza,  1500 Leimert Blvd. (at Arden Place), Oakland