New Alameda restaurant

Cafe Jolie Petit

10.03.23: Devotees of Alameda’s lovely breakfast and brunch cafe Cafe Jolie have been waiting for this “petite” version of the popular Euro-inspired spot. Now open, the Bay Farm annex features a more industrial, shipping-container-counter vibe than its flower-strewn French-style parent cafe, though a bright mural adds a floral touch, and there is comfortable, covered outdoor seating for sipping coffee drinks and mimosas and nibbling on pastries and cafe fare near the waterfront. Cafe Jolie Petit, 1501 Harbor Bay Pkwy., Alameda

New Albany restaurant

Kuriya Japanese Kitchen

10.17.23: Japanese restaurant Kuriya opened earlier this month in Albany, providing a new dining option on San Pablo Avenue near the base of Solano. Expect a stylish, eat-in menu of sushi and sashimi, ramen, curries, teriyaki dishes and a range of intriguing specialties such as potato tartare, slow-cooked oysters and baked sea bass. Take-out is also available. The new restaurant is located in the former budget-friendly Chinese mainstay Pearl House, which closed a couple of months ago after 14 years. The owners faced slowing business compounded by weeks of debilitating phone and internet issues, according to neighbors, and chose the moment to retire. We wish them well, and welcome Kuriya to the neighborhood. Kuriya Japanese Kitchen, 809 San Pablo Ave. (near Solano), Albany 

New Berkeley restaurants

Crepes A-Go-Go

10.24.23: Crepes A-Go-Go is back in Berkeley, catering to a new generation in a new downtown Berkeley location. Longtime Bay Area residents will certainly recognize the name—the Crepes A-Go-Go mini-chain, started locally decades ago by Slim Djili and his family, operated on University Avenue in Berkeley until 2019, as well as near UC Berkeley at 2334 Telegraph Ave. from 2003 to 2016. (Related creperies are also located in San Francisco, Walnut Creek and San Rafael; a family split led to ownership and name changes for some locations to Crepes Ooh La La.) Now Caden Djili, son of Slim, is behind the griddle at the newly opened Crepes A-Go-Go at 2055A Center St., where Tamon Tea used to be. His Parisian-style creperie counter (crepes are prepared to-go-go) boasts Djili’s family recipes, and features classic sweet choices such as Nutella, fresh fruit, maple syrup or butter and sugar, and lunch-worthy savory crepes layered with traditional vegetable fillings, cheeses, and proteins such as eggs, turkey or smoked salmon. Crepes A-Go-Go, 2055A Center St. (between Shattuck and Milvia), Berkeley  

Crumbl Cookies

10.13.23: Crumbl Cookie’s doors opened on Oct. 7 near UC Berkeley, offering another East Bay option for trying one of the country’s most rapidly expanding cookie chains (in April the Mercury News counted 17 Crumbl locations in the Bay Area alone). The franchise was launched by cousins in Utah, has a clean, corporate feel and features large, soft, fresh-baked cookies. Popular flavors available in one-, four-, six- and party-pack (12) pink bakery boxes include milk chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, confetti, chocolate, lemon, Butterfinger and a wide range of other flavors that change weekly. Crumbl Cookies, 2400 Bancroft Way (at Dana Street), Berkeley   

Dessert Cafe Berkeley

10.17.23: An eagle-eyed Nosh tipster filled us in on the new Dessert Cafe, which opened Oct. 14 in the former, short-lived eatery In The Kitchen (and before that, The Kebabery). The Korean-inflected tea, dessert and snack chain serves milk tea and coffee drinks, sweets such as croffles, mochi donuts and bingsu, and a short menu of savory snacks such as sandwiches and Korean hot dogs. (Berkeley’s Dessert Cafe operated inside Kimchi Garden before the recent move.) There is another East Bay location in Concord. Dessert Cafe, 2929 Shattuck Ave. (between Ashby Avenue and Russell Street), Berkeley

Dessert N Spice

10.03.23: The former Poki Poke on University at Bonita (adjacent to Kinda Izakaya) is now Dessert N Spice from baker Maham Dar. The pastry case includes freshly baked cakes, croissants, cupcakes, muffins, cookies, a coffee menu and, as promised, spice, including savory samosas. Anglophiles please note: sticky toffee pudding is also available. Dessert N Spice, 1941B University Ave. (at Bonita Avenue), Berkeley

Heyma Coffee & Tea

10.24.23: Local fans of richly spiced Yemeni food and coffee drinks are suddenly spoiled for choice, as Yemeni establishments are having a moment around the Bay Area. The most recent East Bay opening is Heyma Coffee on University Avenue in Berkeley, serving specialty pastries, desserts, smoothies and tea, along with a menu of deep, rich and spiced espresso-based coffee drinks and pour overs. Heyma Coffee & Tea, 1122 University Ave. (between Curtis and San Pablo), Berkeley

Insomnia Cookies

10.13.23: UC Berkeley students have not one but two new shops now open for cookie cravings within a block of each other on Bancroft. Insomnia Cookies, now open at the base of The Standard housing complex, is known for catering to both daytime and nighttime snackers with a warm, late-night cookie delivery model that explains the name. For frequent cookie consumers there is also a monthly membership service (fee-based, note the fine print) with perks, including a free daily cookie. Unleash the milk. Insomnia Cookies, 2580 Bancroft Way, Suite 2 (between Bowditch and Telegraph) Berkeley

Lavender Bakery & Cafe San Pablo Avenue

10.03.23: The space that once housed States Coffee in Berkeley has already become the second location for Lavender Bakery, joining the original location of the European-style patisserie on Solano Avenue that opened in 2018. Many similar fresh breads and toasts loved at States have been included on the new Lavender menu, and coffee drinks are getting favorable reviews. The stately space seems to have fallen into good hands. Lavender Bakery & Cafe, 2101 San Pablo Ave. (at Addison Street), Berkeley

Mr. Cupbob

10.24.23: Center Street in downtown Berkeley is seeing some good action this week both east and west of Shattuck. Near campus, Korean-style bistro Mr. Cupbob has finally opened its door after neon signage has enticed students for weeks. The fast-casual eatery specializes in one-bowl meals with a base of rice or greens, seasoned proteins (bulgogi, Korean fried chicken, spicy tofu), up to five vegetables, choice of four sauces and add-ons such as avocado and fried egg. Mr. Cupbob, 2126 Center St. (between Shattuck and Oxford), Berkeley 

Poindexter Coffee

10.03.23: Nosh tipsters alerted us to this newer Graduate Hotel chain coffee shop (with the fantastic name) now open near U.C. Berkeley. Poindexter cafe counters with coffee drinks and light pastries are present in most Graduate Hotel chain lobbies, but here in Berkeley the Poindexter makes use of the lovely former Tartine space, once a flower shop, a sunny standalone space attached to the hotel property. The coffee shop opened at the end of August. Poindexter Coffee at The Graduate Hotel, 2600 Durant Ave., Berkeley 


10.24.23: Nosh is happy to finally see this modern, upscale boba and dessert shop launched in downtown Berkeley after (as eager readers have reminded us) a year’s delay. Teaspoon is a growing national chain based in Los Altos, and offers fancy fruit and milk tea drinks as well as treats such as macarons, coffee cake and other desserts that are a notch more indulgent than the usual boba shop fare. Teaspoon, 2129 University Ave. (between Shattuck and Oxford), Berkeley   

Trumer Brewery Taproom

10.13.23: For the scoop on the new (and first ever in the United States) taproom for Trumer Brewery, look to Nosh’s thorough first look into the long-awaited Berkeley opening. The Berkeley brewery, opened in 2004, is the only producer of crisp Trumer Pils outside of Trumer’s Austrian headquarters. It has been comfortably revamped in its opening to the public, with roomy indoor and outdoor spaces, food (including warm Squabisch pretzels) and, of course, drink—but in exciting news, far more styles than the famous pilsner. Berkeley’s brauerei taproom will feature an expanded Trumer repertoire of up to 12 rotating styles, beginning with central European ales skewing German—a pale Munich helles, a darker schwarzbier. Prost. Trumer Brewery Taproom, 1404 Fourth St. (at Camelia Street), Berkeley

The Walnut Tavern Bar & Grill

10.17.23: Formerly several incarnations of Nico’s (Hideaway, 1508), the newly opened Walnut Tavern inside the bar and restaurant space in Walnut Square has new owners and a refreshed, spruced-up look and feel. Outdoor bistro tables are set along the restaurant exterior. Indoors, the inviting tavern is replete with glossy wood, fresh flowers and a full bar. The family-friendly bar and grill menu (with a few classic choices for kids) feels comfortable and familiar, but adventures here and there into all kinds of fun territory—Nepalese momos and meat dishes; whole lacquered chicken wings served with pickled onion; Texas-style barbecue; big salads and robust vegetarian fare; short rib burgers; fish and chips and fisherman’s stew. The vibe is one of a charming tavern, Berkeley style. The Walnut Tavern Bar & Grill, 1508 Walnut St. (near Vine Street), Berkeley

Wrap N Roll

10.31.23: Wrap N Roll has opened on Telegraph Avenue near UC Berkeley, featuring fast, affordable, Pakistani-inspired specialties such as grilled meats and veggie kabobs, stuffed conveniently into “wraps” (soft tortillas), “rolls” (buttery, flaky flatbreads) or plated with rice for sit-down dining. Salads are also on the menu, along with a range of breakfast dishes served all day. Wrap N Roll, 2493 Telegraph Ave. (at Dwight Way), Berkeley

New El Cerrito restaurant

Ike’s Sandwiches El Cerrito Plaza

10.03.23: The national empire of hefty sandwiches in an array of combinations (there are more than 400 on the menu) founded by Ike Shehadeh in San Francisco in 2007 has arrived in El Cerrito. The new shop is the 15th Ike’s Sandwiches shop in the East Bay alone, and adds to the quickly growing set of fast-casual dining options in the El Cerrito Plaza. Ike’s Sandwiches El Cerrito, 350 El Cerrito Plaza, El Cerrito 

New Emeryville restaurant

10.03.23: Expect “fat stacks” of thick, gooey, freshly baked cookies with names such as Snooperdoodle, Mac Daddy and Crunch Nugget from Cookie Plug, the cookie franchise with an old-school street vibe now open in Emeryville. The shop joins the frontlines of what appears to be an East Bay-wide cookieslam among growing franchise brands currently competing for sweet-tooth dollars at counters and on DoorDash. Thanks to the E’ville Eye for the opening bite. Cookie Plug, 6399 Christie Ave., Emeryville    

New Hercules restaurant

Dynamite Donuts

10.17.23: This new purveyor of deep-fried dough now open in Hercules took its name from the city’s old dynamite factory. As the Mercury News first reported, Dynamite Donuts comes from couple Lisa Ghilarducci and Alan Chow, who started working in his family’s Berkeley shop, Rainbow Donuts, as a teenager. In addition to both traditional (old fashioned, chocolate glazed) and unique donut flavors (pistachio, red velvet, ube, maple cronut), Dynamite also serves coffee drinks made with beans from Zolo Coffee Roasters. Dynamite Donuts3700 San Pablo Ave. Suite 4, Hercules — Tovin Lapan

New Oakland restaurants


10.03.23: San Francisco-based avocado toast and coffee bar Avotoasty, founded by Colombian-born entrepreneur Sofia Pinzon, now has a location softly open in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood. The fanciful counter offers an elaborate array of healthful smoothies, juices, coffee and other hot drinks (including a beetroot latte), acai bowls, salads and an especially colorful menu of toasts for breakfast and lunch. Avotoasty, 175 Bay Pl. (between Harrison and Grand), Oakland

Full Belly Bakery Designer Cakes

10.24.23: Full Belly celebrated its Montclair grand opening on Oct. 20, and longtime fans of skilled and ambitious pastry chef Eva Allen and her decadent baked goods lined up to support her first brick-and-mortar studio shop. Allen founded Full Belly Bakery as a cottage business in 2017, and quickly built a reputation for bringing an elegant touch to her creations, from cookies to (new to the shop) quick breads to her specialty, extravagant, special-occasion desserts. Full Belly Bakery Designer Cakes, 2087 Unit A. Mountain Blvd. (near Moraga Avenue), Oakland 

Pho Huyen & Banh Mi

10.31.23: East Oakland’s Rancho San Antonio neighborhood has a new Vietnamese outpost in Pho Huyen, offering noodle salads, plates and soups, as well as traditional banh mi sandwiches in a simple, clean, inviting dining room (also available for takeout). For the sweeter tooth, a range of boba drinks and desserts are also on the menu. Pho Huyen & Banh Mi, 1612 International Blvd. (between 16th and 17th avenues), Oakland

Willows and Pine

10.03.23: Chef Michauxnée Kennan, who was born in Berkeley and raised in Oakland, has now opened her first restaurant after launching the Busy Wife Personal Chef and Catering service in 2017. Located in the Dimond District, Willows and Pine features a menu of Creole soul food including braised oxtails served with collard greens, chicken etouffee, and an “Everything Gumbo” loaded with crab legs, shrimp, chicken and sausage. Willows and Pine, 3525 Fruitvale Ave., Oakland — Tovin Lapan

New Walnut Creek restaurants

The Cooperage Walnut Creek

10.17.23: In the space of a week in mid-October The Cooperage departed Lafayette and reopened to much fanfare in downtown Walnut Creek. (Note: The restaurant’s website has also relocated.) Expect a similarly appealing menu of upscale, beer- and cocktail-friendly American grill fare for dinner and brunch. The Cooperage Walnut Creek, 1342 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek

The Essence: Redefining Indian Food

10.03.23: Beyond The Creek first had word that The Essence opened in Walnut Creek. The gleaming, white-tablecloth Indian restaurant purports to “redefine” the cuisine while using traditional flavors and spice profiles, and has good reviews so far, especially for its upscale date-night ambience. The Essence: Redefining Indian Food, 1512 N Main St., Walnut Creek

Luna Sea Lounge

10.13.23: We’d like to shine a little lighthouse spotlight on Walnut Creek’s newest cocktail bar and lounge (with a nautical theme), now open in the Waymark Building on Pringle Avenue. Patrons seem taken so far with the small bites menu of charcuterie, oysters and ceviche, well-crafted drinks and approachable service, as well as the atmospheric beauty of the cozy, corner space. Luna Sea Lounge, 121 Pringle Ave. (at North Main Street), Walnut Creek