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Burger at Telegraph Beer Garden
Burger at Telegraph Beer Garden
Elisa L/Yelp

Where to Eat Late in Oakland and Berkeley

An East Bay guide to dining out past 10 p.m.

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Burger at Telegraph Beer Garden
| Elisa L/Yelp

Unlike the compact grid that is San Francisco, the East Bay's late night dining scene is more than a little spread out, which makes wandering around aimlessly after last call in search of sustenance all too common. Don’t fall victim to the subpar fast food drive-through trap, and instead follow this guide with 22 spots for late night burger, burrito, and ramen success in Berkeley and Oakland. (And if you're in SF, we've got you covered there too: check out this late-night map of dining deals in the city.)

Remember, though: This is still the Bay Area, so late night may mean 11 p.m.; while hours have been diligently investigated, closing early can happen, so call ahead to ensure that your favorite spot is still open.

Note: the map is organized geographically.

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Home of Chicken and Waffles

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What: Nothing quite defines the end of a long drawn-out Oakland night quite like fried chicken and waffles at this family-run local hang out spot where you’ll find classic Southern sides like red beans and rice, braised collard greens, and candied yams. And if you want to keep the party going, this classic late night spot doubles as a bar with weekly $3 drink specials Mondays and Tuesdays until 11 p.m. and $7 drinks every Friday until 12 a.m.When: Sunday through Wednesday until 12 a.m.; Thursday until 1 a.m.; Friday through Saturday until 4 a.m.

Dragon Gate Bar and Grille

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What: Walking into the neon lit bar filled with Chinese trinkets, private karaoke rooms (where there’s bottle service), and hostesses greeting you in red and gold colored Chinese dresses, you'd think you stumbled onto the latest Rush Hour movie set, rather than this Oakland classic just a few blocks away from Jack London Square. While the experience seems over the top from the first moments, the real surprise comes when the authentic Taiwanese food arrives at the table, ranging from the popular beef noodle soup (Chinese wheat noodles and slow braised beef in a spicy broth) to the fried quail eggs with fried basil or the ever-polarizing stinky tofu (pictured).When: The kitchen is open daily until 1 a.m., and the bar until 2 a.m.

Analog (Suds & Grub)

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What: Recognizing the need for vegan-friendly restaurants in Oakland, chef/owner Sean Asmar opened this cozy retro spot next door to music venues and bars as a testament to offering quality food for the community around him. Try the Hail Seitan sandwich with barbecued seitan and fresh citrus slaw on Acme bread, or the Rick Rubin sandwich with hot pastrami served with chipotle lime aioli and swiss cheese. When: Tuesday through Thursday until 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday until 2 a.m.

Five 10 Pizza

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What: This divey hang out spot with an array of local beers on tap, classic arcade games throughout the space, and personalized slices of pizza heated to order has become Oakland’s answer to the late night NY slice of pie.When: Sunday through Wednesday until 12 a.m.; Thursday through Saturday until 2 a.m.

Itani Ramen

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What: Adding to the growing amount of ramen spots in the bay, chef/owner Kyle Itani (Hopscotch) brings forth his take on the Japanese comfort food. With the need for late night food in Oakland in higher and higher demand, the contemporary, hip, and well-lit space is offering ramen, gyozas, rice bowls, and the must-try crispy pig’s ears. Bonus: there's a dessert vending machine.When: Sunday through Thursday until 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday until 1 a.m.

Tacos Mi Rancho

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What: In a world where late night food is scarce even at midnight, Oakland will always have this little taco truck, that serves the hungry East Bay population when most places have long been closed for the night. Try Tacos Mi Rancho's infamous (and dangerous) 15-inch burrito. While the truck is cash only, you can avoid waiting a long time during peak hours by calling ahead. When: Sunday through Thursday until 2:30 a.m.; Friday and Saturday until 3 a.m.

Telegraph Bar and Beer Garden

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What: Picnic tables, over a dozen beers on tap, a recently opened full bar, and graffiti-covered walls all feel so very Oakland. As for the food, there’s an array of burgers and sandwiches to choose from. When: Sunday through Thursday until 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday until 2 a.m.

Gogi Time

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What: Oakland’s premier hot pot and Korean barbecue spot is always filled with hungry East Bay locals getting their fix of Korean food in this bustling dinner spot that’s both lively and aromatic. And if barbecue or hot pot isn’t your thing, you can choose from the full list of a la carte classics like bibimbap, bulgogi beef, or soju (it’s almost required).When: Sunday through Thursday until 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday until 12 a.m.

Blind Tiger

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What: Blind Tiger’s underground (literally) space is what late night eating and drinking in Oakland is all about. Located down a flight of stairs under Korean favorite Gogi Time, the hip and modern decor and pan-Asian theme is executed in not only the warm and quirky space, but also in the inventive food. Enjoy the crowd pleasing massaman curry fries topped with braised beef, or step out of your comfort zone and try the fried Szechuan pepper frog legs.When: Daily until 1 a.m.

Dan Sung Sa

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What: Dubbed the “Porno Palace” and named after a Korean theater, this late night spot honors the drinking and eating culture that even Seoul natives would be proud of. Entering the warmly lit space you’ll find wooden “rooms” offering the “soju bang” (translates to “soju rooms”) experience that becomes a lively destination for not only late night cravings, but also for a unique spectacle at any time of the day. The food ranges from Korean street food to traditional dishes like the unconventional “porno fries” topped with spicy pork or classic seafood Korean pancakes (Pajeon). Step inside, enjoy some soju and Korean beer, and let the parade of food fill your table into oblivion, as you experience the raucous and uninhibited ambiance of this little slice of Korea. When: Daily until 2 a.m.

Koryo Sushi

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What: With over 10 years in operation, this cozy and reliable sushi spot offers an array of rolls, sashimi, yakitori, specialty apps, and even ramen. Where else are you going to get a hot plate of baked mussels at 1 a.m. on any given weekday? When: Sunday through Thursday until 1:30 a.m.; Friday and Saturday until 2:30 a.m.

Ramen Shop

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What: Located a quick block away from the Rockridge Bart Station, this Chez Panisse alum-owned restaurant showcases a contemporary dining and drinking experience with a thoughtful Japanese decor. The open kitchen creates a lively interaction between cooks and diners, allowing for a relaxed environment and a casual vibe. While the menu changes daily, look out for the shio-tonkatsu pork broth, or the lighter meyer-lemon vegetarian broths to accompany the daily house-made noodles and seasonal market driven ingredients.When: Sunday through Thursday until 10:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday until 12 a.m.

Smokehouse

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What: Pretty close to that invisible line where Berkeley becomes Oakland (or Oakland becomes Berkeley) is a burger stop that has devoted itself to late night food since 1951. This old-school pit stop along Telegraph Avenue specializes in hearty charbroiled burgers and hot dogs. When: Monday through Saturday until 1:30 a.m.; Sunday until 9:30 p.m.

Saturn Cafe Berkeley

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What: The first Saturn Cafe opened in Santa Cruz in 1979 with the mission of presenting a quirky diner with a retro feel (sparkly decor and hot pink walls) that offered vegetarian and vegan food all the while operating in an environmentally-, socially-, and ecologically-responsible way. It only made sense to bring those business ideals to Berkeley. Choose from a wide selection of options for vegetarians, vegans, and celiacs alike, such as the portobello burger or vegan chocolate shake. When: Daily until 12 a.m.

Gypsy's Trattoria Italiana

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What: A long time Cal favorite at any time of day, the generous pasta, pizza, and calzone portions, endless choices, and affordable prices make this busy restaurant a must-try for all your late night pasta cravings.When: Daily until 12 a.m.

East Bay Spice Company

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What: Its proximity to the Cal campus would lead you to believe that this romantically-lit contemporary Indian-themed space would be teeming with students looking to take advantage of the killer deals and the late night food options. Instead when late night rolls around this modern spot becomes a haven for industry hangouts and the occasional grad student. The drink program itself is inventive and refreshing, offering spice-forward cocktails, while the food skews Northern Indian with veggie pakoras, chicken samosa, and tandoori tacos. When: The bar is open daily until 1 a.m., and the kitchen is open Monday through Saturday until 1 a.m. (Sundays until 10 p.m.)

Top Dog #1

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What: After opening in 1966, this homely hot dog joint in a little brick building won over students and locals alike with locally-sourced sausages and a friendly, quick staff. Apart from the classic all-beef frankfurter, try the German bratwurst (pork and marjoram) or the mango habanero (chicken mango, habanero, cilantro), and — if you need it — there's even a veggie dog.When: Sunday through Thursday until 2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday until 3 a.m.

Smoke's Poutinerie

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What: This gut bomb of fries, meat gravy, and cheese curds with generous portions and affordable prices is perfect for soaking up whatever you were drinking minutes before. There's always the traditional version, or you can go for plays on the Quebecian classic like the chicken fajita poutine, chili cheesesteak poutine, or even a perogi poutine (poutine topped with pierogis). When: Daily until 4 a.m.

Au Coquelet Cafe

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What: Boasting over 40 years of business, this calm cafe has become a mecca for students wanting late night food, coffee, and free wi-fi while studying for exams or just finding a quiet spot away from the often louder and more crowded late night spots around. The menu ranges from specialty burgers and sandwiches to all-day breakfast and dinner specials like meat or veggie lasagna and fish & chips. When: Sunday through Thursday until 1 a.m.; Friday and Saturday until 1:30 a.m.

La Marcha

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What: Everything about La Marcha screams España, from its bare brick walls to the Spanish tiles inlaid in wooden floors. Staying true to the Spanish tradition of offering complimentary food with drinks, La Marcha serves one free tapas with any beverage during its two happy hours, when there is $4 cañas (small pour of beer), $5 chatos (small pour of wine), and $5 sangrias. If you want more than one, happy hour tapas range between $2 and $3, from albondigas (wild boar meatballs with manchego), to pulpo (slow cooked octopus with garbanzo puree and garlic toast).When: Late night happy hour Tuesday through Sunday from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.

La Mission

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What: In an old Taco Bell building lies this Berkeley staple that is the East Bay’s answer to SF’s Taqueria Cancun. La Mission specializes in braised meats like chile verde, mole guajillo, mole poblano, and chile colorado.When: Monday through Saturday until 12 a.m.; Sunday until 11 p.m.

Missouri Lounge

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What: This divey little lounge along San Pablo Avenue is a Berkeley classic hang out spot with themed dance nights, an eclectic crowd, and a beer garden with a grill that slings burgers and hot dogs with various toppings and sides late into the night. Check out their board for weekly specials, ever-changing dance nights and guest DJs, and if you still aren't convinced, bring your pooch because this spot is dog friendly.When: The bar is open daily until 2 a.m., and the kitchen is open Sunday through Thursday until 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday until 12 a.m.

Home of Chicken and Waffles

What: Nothing quite defines the end of a long drawn-out Oakland night quite like fried chicken and waffles at this family-run local hang out spot where you’ll find classic Southern sides like red beans and rice, braised collard greens, and candied yams. And if you want to keep the party going, this classic late night spot doubles as a bar with weekly $3 drink specials Mondays and Tuesdays until 11 p.m. and $7 drinks every Friday until 12 a.m.When: Sunday through Wednesday until 12 a.m.; Thursday until 1 a.m.; Friday through Saturday until 4 a.m.

Dragon Gate Bar and Grille

What: Walking into the neon lit bar filled with Chinese trinkets, private karaoke rooms (where there’s bottle service), and hostesses greeting you in red and gold colored Chinese dresses, you'd think you stumbled onto the latest Rush Hour movie set, rather than this Oakland classic just a few blocks away from Jack London Square. While the experience seems over the top from the first moments, the real surprise comes when the authentic Taiwanese food arrives at the table, ranging from the popular beef noodle soup (Chinese wheat noodles and slow braised beef in a spicy broth) to the fried quail eggs with fried basil or the ever-polarizing stinky tofu (pictured).When: The kitchen is open daily until 1 a.m., and the bar until 2 a.m.

Analog (Suds & Grub)

What: Recognizing the need for vegan-friendly restaurants in Oakland, chef/owner Sean Asmar opened this cozy retro spot next door to music venues and bars as a testament to offering quality food for the community around him. Try the Hail Seitan sandwich with barbecued seitan and fresh citrus slaw on Acme bread, or the Rick Rubin sandwich with hot pastrami served with chipotle lime aioli and swiss cheese. When: Tuesday through Thursday until 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday until 2 a.m.

Five 10 Pizza

What: This divey hang out spot with an array of local beers on tap, classic arcade games throughout the space, and personalized slices of pizza heated to order has become Oakland’s answer to the late night NY slice of pie.When: Sunday through Wednesday until 12 a.m.; Thursday through Saturday until 2 a.m.

Itani Ramen

What: Adding to the growing amount of ramen spots in the bay, chef/owner Kyle Itani (Hopscotch) brings forth his take on the Japanese comfort food. With the need for late night food in Oakland in higher and higher demand, the contemporary, hip, and well-lit space is offering ramen, gyozas, rice bowls, and the must-try crispy pig’s ears. Bonus: there's a dessert vending machine.When: Sunday through Thursday until 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday until 1 a.m.

Tacos Mi Rancho

What: In a world where late night food is scarce even at midnight, Oakland will always have this little taco truck, that serves the hungry East Bay population when most places have long been closed for the night. Try Tacos Mi Rancho's infamous (and dangerous) 15-inch burrito. While the truck is cash only, you can avoid waiting a long time during peak hours by calling ahead. When: Sunday through Thursday until 2:30 a.m.; Friday and Saturday until 3 a.m.

Telegraph Bar and Beer Garden

What: Picnic tables, over a dozen beers on tap, a recently opened full bar, and graffiti-covered walls all feel so very Oakland. As for the food, there’s an array of burgers and sandwiches to choose from. When: Sunday through Thursday until 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday until 2 a.m.

Gogi Time

What: Oakland’s premier hot pot and Korean barbecue spot is always filled with hungry East Bay locals getting their fix of Korean food in this bustling dinner spot that’s both lively and aromatic. And if barbecue or hot pot isn’t your thing, you can choose from the full list of a la carte classics like bibimbap, bulgogi beef, or soju (it’s almost required).When: Sunday through Thursday until 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday until 12 a.m.

Blind Tiger

What: Blind Tiger’s underground (literally) space is what late night eating and drinking in Oakland is all about. Located down a flight of stairs under Korean favorite Gogi Time, the hip and modern decor and pan-Asian theme is executed in not only the warm and quirky space, but also in the inventive food. Enjoy the crowd pleasing massaman curry fries topped with braised beef, or step out of your comfort zone and try the fried Szechuan pepper frog legs.When: Daily until 1 a.m.

Dan Sung Sa

What: Dubbed the “Porno Palace” and named after a Korean theater, this late night spot honors the drinking and eating culture that even Seoul natives would be proud of. Entering the warmly lit space you’ll find wooden “rooms” offering the “soju bang” (translates to “soju rooms”) experience that becomes a lively destination for not only late night cravings, but also for a unique spectacle at any time of the day. The food ranges from Korean street food to traditional dishes like the unconventional “porno fries” topped with spicy pork or classic seafood Korean pancakes (Pajeon). Step inside, enjoy some soju and Korean beer, and let the parade of food fill your table into oblivion, as you experience the raucous and uninhibited ambiance of this little slice of Korea. When: Daily until 2 a.m.

Koryo Sushi

What: With over 10 years in operation, this cozy and reliable sushi spot offers an array of rolls, sashimi, yakitori, specialty apps, and even ramen. Where else are you going to get a hot plate of baked mussels at 1 a.m. on any given weekday? When: Sunday through Thursday until 1:30 a.m.; Friday and Saturday until 2:30 a.m.

Ramen Shop

What: Located a quick block away from the Rockridge Bart Station, this Chez Panisse alum-owned restaurant showcases a contemporary dining and drinking experience with a thoughtful Japanese decor. The open kitchen creates a lively interaction between cooks and diners, allowing for a relaxed environment and a casual vibe. While the menu changes daily, look out for the shio-tonkatsu pork broth, or the lighter meyer-lemon vegetarian broths to accompany the daily house-made noodles and seasonal market driven ingredients.When: Sunday through Thursday until 10:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday until 12 a.m.

Smokehouse

What: Pretty close to that invisible line where Berkeley becomes Oakland (or Oakland becomes Berkeley) is a burger stop that has devoted itself to late night food since 1951. This old-school pit stop along Telegraph Avenue specializes in hearty charbroiled burgers and hot dogs. When: Monday through Saturday until 1:30 a.m.; Sunday until 9:30 p.m.

Saturn Cafe Berkeley

What: The first Saturn Cafe opened in Santa Cruz in 1979 with the mission of presenting a quirky diner with a retro feel (sparkly decor and hot pink walls) that offered vegetarian and vegan food all the while operating in an environmentally-, socially-, and ecologically-responsible way. It only made sense to bring those business ideals to Berkeley. Choose from a wide selection of options for vegetarians, vegans, and celiacs alike, such as the portobello burger or vegan chocolate shake. When: Daily until 12 a.m.

Gypsy's Trattoria Italiana

What: A long time Cal favorite at any time of day, the generous pasta, pizza, and calzone portions, endless choices, and affordable prices make this busy restaurant a must-try for all your late night pasta cravings.When: Daily until 12 a.m.

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East Bay Spice Company

What: Its proximity to the Cal campus would lead you to believe that this romantically-lit contemporary Indian-themed space would be teeming with students looking to take advantage of the killer deals and the late night food options. Instead when late night rolls around this modern spot becomes a haven for industry hangouts and the occasional grad student. The drink program itself is inventive and refreshing, offering spice-forward cocktails, while the food skews Northern Indian with veggie pakoras, chicken samosa, and tandoori tacos. When: The bar is open daily until 1 a.m., and the kitchen is open Monday through Saturday until 1 a.m. (Sundays until 10 p.m.)

Top Dog #1

What: After opening in 1966, this homely hot dog joint in a little brick building won over students and locals alike with locally-sourced sausages and a friendly, quick staff. Apart from the classic all-beef frankfurter, try the German bratwurst (pork and marjoram) or the mango habanero (chicken mango, habanero, cilantro), and — if you need it — there's even a veggie dog.When: Sunday through Thursday until 2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday until 3 a.m.

Smoke's Poutinerie

What: This gut bomb of fries, meat gravy, and cheese curds with generous portions and affordable prices is perfect for soaking up whatever you were drinking minutes before. There's always the traditional version, or you can go for plays on the Quebecian classic like the chicken fajita poutine, chili cheesesteak poutine, or even a perogi poutine (poutine topped with pierogis). When: Daily until 4 a.m.

Au Coquelet Cafe

What: Boasting over 40 years of business, this calm cafe has become a mecca for students wanting late night food, coffee, and free wi-fi while studying for exams or just finding a quiet spot away from the often louder and more crowded late night spots around. The menu ranges from specialty burgers and sandwiches to all-day breakfast and dinner specials like meat or veggie lasagna and fish & chips. When: Sunday through Thursday until 1 a.m.; Friday and Saturday until 1:30 a.m.

La Marcha

What: Everything about La Marcha screams España, from its bare brick walls to the Spanish tiles inlaid in wooden floors. Staying true to the Spanish tradition of offering complimentary food with drinks, La Marcha serves one free tapas with any beverage during its two happy hours, when there is $4 cañas (small pour of beer), $5 chatos (small pour of wine), and $5 sangrias. If you want more than one, happy hour tapas range between $2 and $3, from albondigas (wild boar meatballs with manchego), to pulpo (slow cooked octopus with garbanzo puree and garlic toast).When: Late night happy hour Tuesday through Sunday from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.