[Photo: Turner Construction]
The obvious underdog of Bay Area International airports, OAK is coming into its own a little with regard to meal options. Here again is Eater's comprehensive list to its dining venues, just in time for summer travel season. To be noted are historic venues like Heinold's and ample veggie and gluten-free options. Consider this your back-pocket guide the next time you're terminal bound.
OAK's Five Standouts
1. Heinold's First and Last Chance: The original Heinold’s watering hole was built in 1880 from “the timbers of an old whaling ship.” OAK’s outpost of the historic bar may not claim the same architectural pizzazz, but like the original, it offers strong drinks and local flavor. No food is served here, but snackers can grab a pie from the next-door Pizza Hut.
2. Fenton’s Ice Cream: Like Heinold’s, Fenton’s has a long history in the Bay Area: the first creamery was opened in 1894, when milk was still being delivered by horse-drawn carriage. OAK’s scoop shop serves a rotating selection of flavors, among them Swedish milk chocolate and coffee cookie dream. Regular patrons advise against the savory dishes, but highly recommend the marshmallow sauce.
3. Pyramid Ale Taproom: Though not a restaurant per se, the Pyramid Ale Taproom is worthy of your pre-boarding time. Beer lovers can take comfort in the Taproom’s selection of Pyramid ales (including the signature Apricot Unfiltered Wheat). The Taproom also provides seasonal specialties and offerings from the local Anchor Brewing Company.
4. California Pizza Kitchen: Groups of travelers face the task of finding a restaurant that meets everyone’s needs. Enter CPK, which serves pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and small plates like the crispy mac & cheese. True, CPK may not meet gourmands' standards, but the chain provides gluten-free and vegetarian/vegan menus, making it a solid choice for those with dietary restrictions. Breakfast is served at this location.
5. Silver Dragon: The original Silver Dragon was established in 1956 in Oakland's Chinatown and to this day remains a hotspot for wedding banquets and other festivities. OAK's location features a smaller menu replete with Chinese and Korean delicacies. Frequent diners salute the beef chow fun and the ying yang rice.
For a Quick Meal:
· Chili’s Too: Grab-and-go American classics. [Near Gate 6] · Heinold’s First and Last Chance: This iconic bar doesn’t serve food, but their beers and cocktails will lessen the sting of a cross-country flight. [Terminal 1, pre-security] · Pizza Hut Express: The novelty of personal-pan pizzas, to-go. [Terminal 1, pre-security] · Starbucks: Coffee beverages, smoothies, pastries, and pre-packaged meal items. [Near Gates 4 and 9] · Training Grounds: Serving coffee beverages, pastries, sandwiches, and other small food items. [Terminal 1, pre-security]
For a Leisurely Meal
· 8 Bar: Visit 8 Bar for sushi, a full bar, and cocktails. [Near Gate 9]
· Silver Dragon: Well known in Oakland, Silver Dragon offers a range of Chinese dishes. [Near Gate 9]
For a Quick Meal:
· Andale Mexican Food: Andale offers fresh, made-to-order Mexican entrees – and cocktails. [Near Gate 28]
· Auntie Anne’s Pretzels: Soft pretzels in a variety of flavors. [Near Gate 26]
· Burger King: Home of the Whopper (and chicken fries). [Food Court near Gate 25]
· California Pizza Kitchen: This chain offers pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and small plates. The Kitchen also provides Gluten-Free and Vegetarian/Vegan menus, highlighting options for those with dietary restrictions. Breakfast available. [Food Court near Gate 28]
· Fenton’s Ice Cream: Rotating selection of handmade ice creams. [Food Court near Gate 28]
· Firewood Café: Thin-crust pizzas, sandwiches, gourmet salads, and more appear on the menu. [Near Gate 23]
· Jamba Juice: Smoothies of all types. [Food Court near Gate 25]
· Max’s Eatz: Max’s serves up sandwiches, salads, entrees, desserts, and barbeque items. [Food Court near Gate 28]
· Otaez Mexican: Burritos, tacos, taco salads, salsa bar, and more. [Food Court near Gate 25]
· Peet’s Coffee and Tea: The airport outposts of this coffee chain offer all the basics: coffee and tea, pastries, sandwiches, salads, and bottled beverages. [Near Gates 23 and 28]
· Peony Asian Café: Chinese dishes including fried rice, sweet and sour pork, dim sum, and more. [Food Court near Gate 25]
· Starbucks: Coffee beverages, smoothies, pastries, and pre-packaged meal items. [Near Gates 22 and 26]
· Subway: Traditional submarine sandwiches, chips, cookies, and soup. [Food Court Near Gate 25]
· Training Grounds: Serving coffee beverages, pastries, sandwiches, and other small food items. [Terminal 2, pre-security]
For a Leisurely Meal:
· Gordon Biersch: American pub grub (including garlic fries!) and microbrewed beers. Full bar and table service are available here. [Near Gate 29] · Pyramid Ale Taproom: Pyramid-brewed beers and pub food. [Near Gate 24]