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The Hottest New Restaurants in the East Bay, November 2022

The most exciting new restaurants in Oakland, Berkeley, and beyond

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The East Bay is in the thrust of a food renaissance as a new crop of restaurants continues to widen the electrifying mix of dining experiences and cuisine, which includes the opening of a new hand roll spot from a veteran chef, a takeout spot featuring beautifully packaged sushi, and a new restaurant from a food truck favorite. Read on for 16 of the East Bay’s most exciting new restaurants.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Delirama

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Pastrami has its cult of fans, but not enough places that make it right. However, Delirama is one of the good ones. Slices of pastrami are the star, and you can get your fix early with the breakfast menu featuring pastrami stacked onto house-made bagels or bialys. Or stick around for a more classic lunch option at about 11 a.m. when the rye bread comes out of the oven and makes a perfect vessel for Delirama’s pastrami goodness. If you’re allergic to lunch lines, head in early and pick up a breakfast sandwich to start your day.

Masa Ramen Bistro

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Masa Ramen Bistro is a new ramen spot taking cues from Hawaii. Order one of five types of ramen — there’s an oxtail ramen version if you’re a fan of that cut — or dive into a Loco Loco Moco served with a Japanese-style potato salad. And if you’re too full after your meal, take a spam musubi to-go and enjoy it at home later.

Babette

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Babette was long known as the cafe within the Berkeley Art Museum, residing there for 10 years, but now owners Joan Ellis and Patrick Hooker have moved into a cozy new spot on San Pablo Avenue with a beautiful back patio to boot. Expect an expanded menu from Babette’s days at the museum, with a selection of pizzas and dinner entrees, coffee and house-made pastries on the weekdays, and brunch on the weekend.

Cafe Ohlone

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The world’s first Ohlone restaurant has re-opened in our own backyard of Berkeley, serving highly seasonal dishes that reflect the Ohlone culture and the local wonders of Indigenous Bay Area ingredients in a beautiful outdoor patio setting. The menu will rotate as the seasons change but expect both a meal of East Bay Ohlone favorites, as well as history and cultural lessons to boot. For now, the restaurant hosts reservation-only tea hour and lunches, with the expectation of expanding to dinner and brunch in the months to come.

State Flour Pizza Company

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East Bay PizzaHacker fans will be pleased to know that an alum has opened a Berkeley pizza shop of his own: State Flour Pizza Company on College Avenue is the newest addition to the Berkeley pizza scene. The roster of options will rotate, but already the pizzas have gotten some good buzz from other pizzamakers. Stop in for the BLTCEA while it’s around; it’s a white-sauced pizza topped with bacon, arugula (which is standing in for the lettuce), cherry tomatoes, corn, a farm egg, garlic, avocado dressing, mozzarella and grano padano cheese.

KAOKAO Grill

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KaoKao Grill is a new addition to the East Bay barbecue scene, proclaiming its food is “reinventing American-style BBQ with Asian-influenced flavors.” The KaoKao chicken and char siu meats are smoked in-house, and as far as we know, no one else in the area is offering a bacon, egg, and cheese that swaps char siu for bacon, in what has to be the best reboot of the classic BEC in recent history.

The Calypso Rose

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Verna McGowan has had many careers in her lifetime — including seven years as author Alice Walker’s personal chef — but now she is showcasing her cooking talents to the public at her new Emeryville spot, Calypso Rose. McGowan serves a mix of Caribbean, Guayanese, and Puerto Rican dishes at the Emeryville Public Market; if you’re hungry, try the oxtail-laden pepperpot dish.

Calypso Rose

The Rendez-Vous

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If you are in need of a Paris-like outing for the night, the Rendez-Vous has French vibes to spare. Lose yourself in the interiors — designed by co-owner Johnelle Mancha who operates the spot with her husband Brian Hill, as well as running her business Mignonne Decor, Berkeleyside writes — but don’t forget about the equally compelling food and drink menu. Slurp Miyagi oysters or try beet-cured halibut with pickled watermelon from chef Nate Berrigan-Dunlop, while sipping on a glass of French wine or dipping into a stronger cocktail, such as the ginger julep.

The Sunday

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However you feel about the word “fusion” in reference to food, what the Sunday is doing with its selection of breakfast and Korean dishes is really just playful and tasty. Go feast on bulgogi benedicts, carbonara ddokbokki, or kimchi soft tofu au gratin outside of brunch hours at this all-day Emeryville spot.

Ok's Deli

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The long-awaited storefront from pandemic pop-up favorite Ok’s Deli opened September 1 to much fanfare and long lines. Still, don’t let the (potentially long) wait deter you — the sandwiches are still in fine form, including the Taiwanese-style fried chicken sandwich and the egg salad option. Don’t skip the potato chip selection while you’re at it, the Ok’s group specifically picked American and Asian favorites to round out your meal.

Hoang Le

Owner David Liu is continuing his family’s sushi legacy — his mother has run Kyoto Sushi in Berkeley for 25 years, and now Liu has opened a new takeout sushi spot with Ebiko on Piedmont Avenue. Inside the shop you’ll find a beautiful array of to-go sushi, including sushi rolls, omakase nigiri and changing daily specials that are worth a glance. Pick up some snacks and drinks while you’re there, such as the Calbee shrimp chips and Hojicha iced tea, and you’re all set for a sushi picnic or lunch at home.

Ebiko

Occitania

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Chef Paul Canales is looking to deeply explore southern French cuisine with his new restaurant, Occitania. Located inside the Kissel Uptown Oakland hotel, expect an artfully designed restaurant that plays against Canales’s menu of French standards and not-so-standards. Explore the charcuterie menu, with its selection of terrine, pate, and rillettes of pork made in-house; there’s also a number of appetizers, from escargot to an omelette crepe to pigeon cooked three ways. If you’re looking for heftier dishes, there’s slow-cooked lamb shank or seafood stew made with petrale sole.

Occitania

Yonsei Handrolls

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The hand roll craze continues on, and now Oakland has a brand-new hand roll spot thanks to veteran chef Kyle Itani. Yonsei Handrolls opens next door to Itani’s other restaurant, Itani Ramen, and features tasty, nontraditional hand rolls such as a seared albacore hand roll with a torched, black garlic compound butter. Don’t skip out on the drinks, if you imbibe: much like Itani Ramen, this new spot will also feature a number of strong cocktails Roku Negroni, or a sake flight to sip alongside your meal.

Ed Anderson

Slug is the sister bar to Oakland’s popular Snail Bar, but it’s not an entire repeat of the original. Yes, there’s the same commitment to natural wine and an array of just-as-impressive dishes, but this location boasts the addition of music via Oakland’s Lower Grand Radio. Don’t sleep on the food, while you’re dancing the night away — sample the boudins if you’ve never been to Snail Bar, and look to the other dishes, such as the scallop crudo, cucumber salad, and the miso sticky toffee pudding on the opening menu.

Patricia Chang

Noka Ramen

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Noka Ramen’s photo-worthy Oakland space will get plenty of acclaim from those who enjoyed the similar aesthetics at chef-owner Kasem Saengsawang’s other restaurants, Son & Garden and Farmhouse Kitchen Thai. But there’s also a serious (and fun) food element going for the restaurant. Luxuriate in the rich tonkotsu broth of the ramen, including a classic ramen, a spicy miso version, or a black garlic option — all loaded with soft-boiled eggs, bamboo shoots, beansprouts, and more. There’s a veggie-based broth for those who prefer it, as well as more audacious styles incorporating lobster or short ribs with dry-style Japanese noodles. And if you partake, don’t miss the colorful and playful drink menu while you’re at it.

Tacos El Ultimo Baile

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Much of Oakland, nay the East Bay, might already know chef Dominic Prado’s food at Tacos El Último Baile from its time as a popular food truck, but now Prado is serving up his street-style tacos at his new, permanent restaurant in Fruitvale. Go for anything rotating on the trompo, but also make sure to check out the specials while you’re at it — they’re usually limited and in high demand (not to mention, delicious). And now that the food isn’t served out of a truck, kick back and enjoy the cantina vibes while you sip on a beer alongside your tacos.

Tacos El Último Baile

Delirama

Pastrami has its cult of fans, but not enough places that make it right. However, Delirama is one of the good ones. Slices of pastrami are the star, and you can get your fix early with the breakfast menu featuring pastrami stacked onto house-made bagels or bialys. Or stick around for a more classic lunch option at about 11 a.m. when the rye bread comes out of the oven and makes a perfect vessel for Delirama’s pastrami goodness. If you’re allergic to lunch lines, head in early and pick up a breakfast sandwich to start your day.

Masa Ramen Bistro

Masa Ramen Bistro is a new ramen spot taking cues from Hawaii. Order one of five types of ramen — there’s an oxtail ramen version if you’re a fan of that cut — or dive into a Loco Loco Moco served with a Japanese-style potato salad. And if you’re too full after your meal, take a spam musubi to-go and enjoy it at home later.

Babette

Babette was long known as the cafe within the Berkeley Art Museum, residing there for 10 years, but now owners Joan Ellis and Patrick Hooker have moved into a cozy new spot on San Pablo Avenue with a beautiful back patio to boot. Expect an expanded menu from Babette’s days at the museum, with a selection of pizzas and dinner entrees, coffee and house-made pastries on the weekdays, and brunch on the weekend.

Cafe Ohlone

The world’s first Ohlone restaurant has re-opened in our own backyard of Berkeley, serving highly seasonal dishes that reflect the Ohlone culture and the local wonders of Indigenous Bay Area ingredients in a beautiful outdoor patio setting. The menu will rotate as the seasons change but expect both a meal of East Bay Ohlone favorites, as well as history and cultural lessons to boot. For now, the restaurant hosts reservation-only tea hour and lunches, with the expectation of expanding to dinner and brunch in the months to come.

State Flour Pizza Company

East Bay PizzaHacker fans will be pleased to know that an alum has opened a Berkeley pizza shop of his own: State Flour Pizza Company on College Avenue is the newest addition to the Berkeley pizza scene. The roster of options will rotate, but already the pizzas have gotten some good buzz from other pizzamakers. Stop in for the BLTCEA while it’s around; it’s a white-sauced pizza topped with bacon, arugula (which is standing in for the lettuce), cherry tomatoes, corn, a farm egg, garlic, avocado dressing, mozzarella and grano padano cheese.

KAOKAO Grill

KaoKao Grill is a new addition to the East Bay barbecue scene, proclaiming its food is “reinventing American-style BBQ with Asian-influenced flavors.” The KaoKao chicken and char siu meats are smoked in-house, and as far as we know, no one else in the area is offering a bacon, egg, and cheese that swaps char siu for bacon, in what has to be the best reboot of the classic BEC in recent history.

The Calypso Rose

Verna McGowan has had many careers in her lifetime — including seven years as author Alice Walker’s personal chef — but now she is showcasing her cooking talents to the public at her new Emeryville spot, Calypso Rose. McGowan serves a mix of Caribbean, Guayanese, and Puerto Rican dishes at the Emeryville Public Market; if you’re hungry, try the oxtail-laden pepperpot dish.

Calypso Rose

The Rendez-Vous

If you are in need of a Paris-like outing for the night, the Rendez-Vous has French vibes to spare. Lose yourself in the interiors — designed by co-owner Johnelle Mancha who operates the spot with her husband Brian Hill, as well as running her business Mignonne Decor, Berkeleyside writes — but don’t forget about the equally compelling food and drink menu. Slurp Miyagi oysters or try beet-cured halibut with pickled watermelon from chef Nate Berrigan-Dunlop, while sipping on a glass of French wine or dipping into a stronger cocktail, such as the ginger julep.

The Sunday

However you feel about the word “fusion” in reference to food, what the Sunday is doing with its selection of breakfast and Korean dishes is really just playful and tasty. Go feast on bulgogi benedicts, carbonara ddokbokki, or kimchi soft tofu au gratin outside of brunch hours at this all-day Emeryville spot.

Ok's Deli

The long-awaited storefront from pandemic pop-up favorite Ok’s Deli opened September 1 to much fanfare and long lines. Still, don’t let the (potentially long) wait deter you — the sandwiches are still in fine form, including the Taiwanese-style fried chicken sandwich and the egg salad option. Don’t skip the potato chip selection while you’re at it, the Ok’s group specifically picked American and Asian favorites to round out your meal.

Hoang Le

Ebiko

Owner David Liu is continuing his family’s sushi legacy — his mother has run Kyoto Sushi in Berkeley for 25 years, and now Liu has opened a new takeout sushi spot with Ebiko on Piedmont Avenue. Inside the shop you’ll find a beautiful array of to-go sushi, including sushi rolls, omakase nigiri and changing daily specials that are worth a glance. Pick up some snacks and drinks while you’re there, such as the Calbee shrimp chips and Hojicha iced tea, and you’re all set for a sushi picnic or lunch at home.

Ebiko

Occitania

Chef Paul Canales is looking to deeply explore southern French cuisine with his new restaurant, Occitania. Located inside the Kissel Uptown Oakland hotel, expect an artfully designed restaurant that plays against Canales’s menu of French standards and not-so-standards. Explore the charcuterie menu, with its selection of terrine, pate, and rillettes of pork made in-house; there’s also a number of appetizers, from escargot to an omelette crepe to pigeon cooked three ways. If you’re looking for heftier dishes, there’s slow-cooked lamb shank or seafood stew made with petrale sole.

Occitania

Yonsei Handrolls

The hand roll craze continues on, and now Oakland has a brand-new hand roll spot thanks to veteran chef Kyle Itani. Yonsei Handrolls opens next door to Itani’s other restaurant, Itani Ramen, and features tasty, nontraditional hand rolls such as a seared albacore hand roll with a torched, black garlic compound butter. Don’t skip out on the drinks, if you imbibe: much like Itani Ramen, this new spot will also feature a number of strong cocktails Roku Negroni, or a sake flight to sip alongside your meal.

Ed Anderson

Slug

Slug is the sister bar to Oakland’s popular Snail Bar, but it’s not an entire repeat of the original. Yes, there’s the same commitment to natural wine and an array of just-as-impressive dishes, but this location boasts the addition of music via Oakland’s Lower Grand Radio. Don’t sleep on the food, while you’re dancing the night away — sample the boudins if you’ve never been to Snail Bar, and look to the other dishes, such as the scallop crudo, cucumber salad, and the miso sticky toffee pudding on the opening menu.

Patricia Chang

Noka Ramen

Noka Ramen’s photo-worthy Oakland space will get plenty of acclaim from those who enjoyed the similar aesthetics at chef-owner Kasem Saengsawang’s other restaurants, Son & Garden and Farmhouse Kitchen Thai. But there’s also a serious (and fun) food element going for the restaurant. Luxuriate in the rich tonkotsu broth of the ramen, including a classic ramen, a spicy miso version, or a black garlic option — all loaded with soft-boiled eggs, bamboo shoots, beansprouts, and more. There’s a veggie-based broth for those who prefer it, as well as more audacious styles incorporating lobster or short ribs with dry-style Japanese noodles. And if you partake, don’t miss the colorful and playful drink menu while you’re at it.

Related Maps

Tacos El Ultimo Baile

Much of Oakland, nay the East Bay, might already know chef Dominic Prado’s food at Tacos El Último Baile from its time as a popular food truck, but now Prado is serving up his street-style tacos at his new, permanent restaurant in Fruitvale. Go for anything rotating on the trompo, but also make sure to check out the specials while you’re at it — they’re usually limited and in high demand (not to mention, delicious). And now that the food isn’t served out of a truck, kick back and enjoy the cantina vibes while you sip on a beer alongside your tacos.

Tacos El Último Baile

Related Maps