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21 Soul-Nourishing Restaurants in Oakland Chinatown

Where to get the best egg tarts, jook, and barbecue rice plates

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The coronavirus crisis has taken a significant toll on America’s Chinatowns, where restaurants and bakeries suffered major financial losses weeks before the rest of the country started hunkering down. Still, in Oakland, many of the staples of the neighborhood — the jook shops, the Hong Kong-style cafes, and the handmade noodle specialists — have powered through the shutdown, staying open to feed the community, even in a limited takeout capacity.

If you’ve been craving Chinese takeout (or perhaps ramen or banh mi), these 21 spots have got you covered.

As of publication time, some of these restaurants offer seated, outdoor dining. However, their inclusion should not be taken as endorsement for sit-down dining, as there are still safety concerns. Studies indicate that COVID-19 infection rates are lower for outside activities, but the level of risk involved with outdoor dining is contingent on restaurants and their patrons following strict social distancing, face covering, and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Battambang

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850 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 839-8815
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One of just a handful of Cambodian food spots in the East Bay, Battambang offers proof that Chinatown isn’t just about the Chinese food — and hasn’t been since this family-run restaurant first arrived in the neighborhood in the early ‘90s. The menu has a number of Thai standards too, but you’ll serve yourself well if you stick to the Cambodian dishes: the smoky soft-cooked eggplant and the amok trei — catfish steamed inside a banana leaf with lemongrass curry.

2. Ruby King Bakery Cafe

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718 Franklin St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 835-2366

The East Bay’s king of egg tarts — with the flakiest crust and the most quivery custard — is open after an extended hiatus at the beginning of shelter in place. It’s open for takeout from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

3. New Gold Medal Restaurant

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389 8th St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 465-1940

The Chinatown standby is no longer a destination for 2 a.m. jook runs — its new hours during the shelter-in-place order are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. But New Gold Medal is still the go-to spot for classic Cantonese cooking: dry-fried beef chow fun, pork-and-century-egg jook, barbecue rice plates, and shrimp over scrambled egg.

4. Tian Jin Dumplings

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989 Franklin St B
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 459-6265

It’s been years since Tian Jin Dumplings sold actual dumplings (a shame because they were tops in the city, bar none), but this little takeout booth is still cranking out the Northern Chinese breakfast of champions known as jian bing — an enormous egg-wrapped crepe brushed with soybean paste and chili sauce, then stuffed with fried crullers and pickled mustard stems. They’re also selling wonton soup, tea eggs, and house-made soy milk, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every day but Tuesdays.

5. Eden Silk Road

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366 8th St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 817-4884
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This Chinatown newcomer is part of a small Bay Area chain specializing in the hand-pulled noodles, cumin-spiced kebabs, and stuffed meat pies that are characteristic of Uyghur cuisine. It’s a tiny, barebones spot, the kind of place where — at least pre-COVID — you could watch the aunties stretching out the noodles while you contemplated your order. Highlights include the dapanji, or Big Plate Chicken, a hearty Xinjiang dish that features big chunks of bone-in chicken, soft stewed potatoes, and chewy hand-pulled noodles.

Dapanji, or big plate chicken: a takeout container of bone-in chicken pieces over handmade noodles Luke Tsai

6. Imperial Soup

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723 Webster St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 893-2288

This somewhat inconspicuous storefront on Webster Street specializes in traditional Cantonese double-boiled soups, all chock full of Chinese medicinal herbs with a range of purported health benefits — and, more to the point, all delicious. The restaurant also sells flavorful rice dishes that are steamed inside of lotus leaves. Call in to order takeout, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. It’s also taking delivery orders via the Hungry Panda app.

7. Chuan Yu

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388 9th St STE 268
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 891-1781
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Chuan Yu opened during the pandemic and immediately built up a following for its traditional, and appropriately fiery, Sichuan and Hunan dishes — everything from classic water-boiled fish to harder-to-find specialties like a chile-laden plate of stir-fried chicken cartilage. This is the place to go to if you want Sichuan malatang or dry pot, both variants on a numbingly spicy hot pot meal.

8. Gum Kuo

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388 9th St STE 182
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 268-1288
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Tucked inside the Pacific Renaissance Plaza, Gum Kuo has three specialties: jook (or rice porridge), steamed rice rolls, and Cantonese-style roast meats, all at an exceedingly budget-friendly price. They’re currently open for takeout — call in from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

9. Sobo Ramen

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988 Franklin St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 832-7626
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Oakland Chinatown’s most prominent ramen destination is known for serving a wide range of styles — it’s one of the only spots in the East Bay where you can score a bowl of tsukemen, the trendy cold dipping noodle style. They’re currently open for takeout for dinner only, 5 to 9 p.m. daily. Call in or order online.

10. The Sweet Booth

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388 9th St STE 155
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 893-3633

Chinatown has no shortage of boba spots, but the Sweet Booth has been a mainstay since the ‘90s. The shop is known for using actual fruit (as opposed to powdered mixes), blended to order, in all of its fruit-based smoothies and tea drinks. The delicious “pearl taro” — with a scoop of vanilla ice cream blended in for good measure — is like a meal unto itself. During shelter in place, the shop is open for takeout from noon to 6 p.m. daily.

11. C & M Bistro

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388 9th St STE 181
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 338-3776

Prominently located on the ground level of the Pacific Renaissance Plaza, C & M is your all-purpose Cantonese lunch spot with a broad menu of rice plates, roasted meats, and noodle soups. It’s currently open for takeout from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.

12. Peony Seafood Restaurant

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388 9th St STE 288
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 286-8866
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One of a small handful of big banquet halls and dim sum parlors left in Oakland Chinatown, Peony made waves when it closed down very early on in the coronavirus crisis. It’s since reopened for takeout, from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily, with both dim sum and regular family-style dishes available.

13. Nature Vegetarian Restaurant

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1116 Franklin St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 238-9688
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One of the East Bay’s foremost practitioners of Buddhist Chinese vegetarian fare, Nature Vegetarian has been pleasing vegans and omnivores alike for the past decade. The restaurant makes all of the faux meats that form the base of the menu in-house — a process that yields a particularly delicious take on sesame chicken. Any dish with eggplant or tofu is likely to be a winner, including several clay pot dishes.

14. St. Anna Cafe Shop

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326 8th St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 893-1238

Perhaps the maker of the best Hong Kong-style milk tea in the neighborhood, St. Anna is your typical Hong Kong cha chaan teng cafe, with a mix of Chinese and Western dishes — rice noodle plates, but also egg sandwiches and pork chop spaghetti. Call in for takeout from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every day except Tuesdays.

15. Cam Anh

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920 Webster St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 451-4389

Cam Anh took over the space previously occupied by another popular, longstanding banh mi shop, Cam Huong, last year, and it’s still cranking out some of the neighborhood’s best sandwiches during the shelter in place, with a couple of tofu banh mi options for vegetarians to boot.

16. Ming's Tasty

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940 Webster St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 918-8988
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Open in the old Fortune space, this relative newcomer has been doing a particularly good job of serving dim sum — affordable, tasty dim sum — to the people during the pandemic. Ming’s has emerged as a reliable favorite for all the classics: The barbecue pork buns (both steamed and baked versions) and pan-fried turnip cakes are especially solid.

17. Baby Cafe

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358 11th St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 251-0888
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This fashionable Hong Kong style cafe has the kind of long, eclectic menu that’s typical of this restaurant genre, with traditional dishes like steamed rice rolls and Hainan chicken rice supplemented by unique offerings, like the crispy, stew-filled “rice cubes.” (The restaurant also has an Emeryville location, which is currently closed.)

18. Shooting Star Cafe

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1022 Webster St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 251-9882
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Oakland Chinatown’s most popular late-night hangout has scaled back its hours slightly, but the Hong Kong-style cafe is still open for takeout from 8 a.m. to midnight every day. The menu ranges freely from Macau-style pork chop sandwiches and baked red-sauce spaghetti to mix-and-match noodle soups. The desserts (and the waffle-like Hong Kong-style egg puffs in particular) are especially popular.

19. Shan Dong

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328 10th St #101
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 839-2299
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Shan Dong is known for two things: dumplings and handmade noodles — in particular the “hot and spicy chow mein,” which you should definitely request with those thick, toothsome handmade noodles. The restaurant is open for takeout and delivery (via third-party app). It’s also selling frozen dumplings, $28 for a bag of 50.

20. Tastee Steam Kitchen

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329 11th St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 628-0888
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Probably best known as the spot where you steam fresh seafood at the table, sometimes when it’s still alive, Tastee isn’t offering its signature family-style “steam pot” cooking during the shelter in place, but it is selling individual-portion hot pot and various grilled and fried appetizers to go. Call in to order.

21. Classic Guilin Rice Noodles

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261 10th St A
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 250-9333
Visit Website

This Chinatown spot was one of the first places on the West Coast to introduce U.S. diners to the pleasures of its namesake dish — a beguiling, texturally pleasing mix of slippery rice noodles, roasted peanuts, pickled vegetables, meat, and broth. The restaurant is currently open for takeout for lunch only, Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (though they open a half hour earlier on weekends). Call in or walk up to order.

Rice noodles after mixing at Classic Guilin Rice Noodles Luke Tsai

1. Battambang

850 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607

One of just a handful of Cambodian food spots in the East Bay, Battambang offers proof that Chinatown isn’t just about the Chinese food — and hasn’t been since this family-run restaurant first arrived in the neighborhood in the early ‘90s. The menu has a number of Thai standards too, but you’ll serve yourself well if you stick to the Cambodian dishes: the smoky soft-cooked eggplant and the amok trei — catfish steamed inside a banana leaf with lemongrass curry.

850 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94607

2. Ruby King Bakery Cafe

718 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607

The East Bay’s king of egg tarts — with the flakiest crust and the most quivery custard — is open after an extended hiatus at the beginning of shelter in place. It’s open for takeout from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

718 Franklin St
Oakland, CA 94607

3. New Gold Medal Restaurant

389 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607

The Chinatown standby is no longer a destination for 2 a.m. jook runs — its new hours during the shelter-in-place order are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. But New Gold Medal is still the go-to spot for classic Cantonese cooking: dry-fried beef chow fun, pork-and-century-egg jook, barbecue rice plates, and shrimp over scrambled egg.

389 8th St
Oakland, CA 94607

4. Tian Jin Dumplings

989 Franklin St B, Oakland, CA 94607

It’s been years since Tian Jin Dumplings sold actual dumplings (a shame because they were tops in the city, bar none), but this little takeout booth is still cranking out the Northern Chinese breakfast of champions known as jian bing — an enormous egg-wrapped crepe brushed with soybean paste and chili sauce, then stuffed with fried crullers and pickled mustard stems. They’re also selling wonton soup, tea eggs, and house-made soy milk, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every day but Tuesdays.

989 Franklin St B
Oakland, CA 94607

5. Eden Silk Road

366 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607
Dapanji, or big plate chicken: a takeout container of bone-in chicken pieces over handmade noodles Luke Tsai

This Chinatown newcomer is part of a small Bay Area chain specializing in the hand-pulled noodles, cumin-spiced kebabs, and stuffed meat pies that are characteristic of Uyghur cuisine. It’s a tiny, barebones spot, the kind of place where — at least pre-COVID — you could watch the aunties stretching out the noodles while you contemplated your order. Highlights include the dapanji, or Big Plate Chicken, a hearty Xinjiang dish that features big chunks of bone-in chicken, soft stewed potatoes, and chewy hand-pulled noodles.

366 8th St
Oakland, CA 94607

6. Imperial Soup

723 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607

This somewhat inconspicuous storefront on Webster Street specializes in traditional Cantonese double-boiled soups, all chock full of Chinese medicinal herbs with a range of purported health benefits — and, more to the point, all delicious. The restaurant also sells flavorful rice dishes that are steamed inside of lotus leaves. Call in to order takeout, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. It’s also taking delivery orders via the Hungry Panda app.

723 Webster St
Oakland, CA 94607

7. Chuan Yu

388 9th St STE 268, Oakland, CA 94607

Chuan Yu opened during the pandemic and immediately built up a following for its traditional, and appropriately fiery, Sichuan and Hunan dishes — everything from classic water-boiled fish to harder-to-find specialties like a chile-laden plate of stir-fried chicken cartilage. This is the place to go to if you want Sichuan malatang or dry pot, both variants on a numbingly spicy hot pot meal.

388 9th St STE 268
Oakland, CA 94607

8. Gum Kuo

388 9th St STE 182, Oakland, CA 94607

Tucked inside the Pacific Renaissance Plaza, Gum Kuo has three specialties: jook (or rice porridge), steamed rice rolls, and Cantonese-style roast meats, all at an exceedingly budget-friendly price. They’re currently open for takeout — call in from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

388 9th St STE 182
Oakland, CA 94607

9. Sobo Ramen

988 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607

Oakland Chinatown’s most prominent ramen destination is known for serving a wide range of styles — it’s one of the only spots in the East Bay where you can score a bowl of tsukemen, the trendy cold dipping noodle style. They’re currently open for takeout for dinner only, 5 to 9 p.m. daily. Call in or order online.

988 Franklin St
Oakland, CA 94607

10. The Sweet Booth

388 9th St STE 155, Oakland, CA 94607

Chinatown has no shortage of boba spots, but the Sweet Booth has been a mainstay since the ‘90s. The shop is known for using actual fruit (as opposed to powdered mixes), blended to order, in all of its fruit-based smoothies and tea drinks. The delicious “pearl taro” — with a scoop of vanilla ice cream blended in for good measure — is like a meal unto itself. During shelter in place, the shop is open for takeout from noon to 6 p.m. daily.

388 9th St STE 155
Oakland, CA 94607

11. C & M Bistro

388 9th St STE 181, Oakland, CA 94607

Prominently located on the ground level of the Pacific Renaissance Plaza, C & M is your all-purpose Cantonese lunch spot with a broad menu of rice plates, roasted meats, and noodle soups. It’s currently open for takeout from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.

388 9th St STE 181
Oakland, CA 94607

12. Peony Seafood Restaurant

388 9th St STE 288, Oakland, CA 94607

One of a small handful of big banquet halls and dim sum parlors left in Oakland Chinatown, Peony made waves when it closed down very early on in the coronavirus crisis. It’s since reopened for takeout, from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily, with both dim sum and regular family-style dishes available.

388 9th St STE 288
Oakland, CA 94607

13. Nature Vegetarian Restaurant

1116 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607

One of the East Bay’s foremost practitioners of Buddhist Chinese vegetarian fare, Nature Vegetarian has been pleasing vegans and omnivores alike for the past decade. The restaurant makes all of the faux meats that form the base of the menu in-house — a process that yields a particularly delicious take on sesame chicken. Any dish with eggplant or tofu is likely to be a winner, including several clay pot dishes.

1116 Franklin St
Oakland, CA 94607

14. St. Anna Cafe Shop

326 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607

Perhaps the maker of the best Hong Kong-style milk tea in the neighborhood, St. Anna is your typical Hong Kong cha chaan teng cafe, with a mix of Chinese and Western dishes — rice noodle plates, but also egg sandwiches and pork chop spaghetti. Call in for takeout from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every day except Tuesdays.

326 8th St
Oakland, CA 94607

15. Cam Anh

920 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607

Cam Anh took over the space previously occupied by another popular, longstanding banh mi shop, Cam Huong, last year, and it’s still cranking out some of the neighborhood’s best sandwiches during the shelter in place, with a couple of tofu banh mi options for vegetarians to boot.

920 Webster St
Oakland, CA 94607

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16. Ming's Tasty

940 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607

Open in the old Fortune space, this relative newcomer has been doing a particularly good job of serving dim sum — affordable, tasty dim sum — to the people during the pandemic. Ming’s has emerged as a reliable favorite for all the classics: The barbecue pork buns (both steamed and baked versions) and pan-fried turnip cakes are especially solid.

940 Webster St
Oakland, CA 94607

17. Baby Cafe

358 11th St, Oakland, CA 94607

This fashionable Hong Kong style cafe has the kind of long, eclectic menu that’s typical of this restaurant genre, with traditional dishes like steamed rice rolls and Hainan chicken rice supplemented by unique offerings, like the crispy, stew-filled “rice cubes.” (The restaurant also has an Emeryville location, which is currently closed.)

358 11th St
Oakland, CA 94607

18. Shooting Star Cafe

1022 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607

Oakland Chinatown’s most popular late-night hangout has scaled back its hours slightly, but the Hong Kong-style cafe is still open for takeout from 8 a.m. to midnight every day. The menu ranges freely from Macau-style pork chop sandwiches and baked red-sauce spaghetti to mix-and-match noodle soups. The desserts (and the waffle-like Hong Kong-style egg puffs in particular) are especially popular.

1022 Webster St
Oakland, CA 94607

19. Shan Dong

328 10th St #101, Oakland, CA 94607

Shan Dong is known for two things: dumplings and handmade noodles — in particular the “hot and spicy chow mein,” which you should definitely request with those thick, toothsome handmade noodles. The restaurant is open for takeout and delivery (via third-party app). It’s also selling frozen dumplings, $28 for a bag of 50.

328 10th St #101
Oakland, CA 94607

20. Tastee Steam Kitchen

329 11th St, Oakland, CA 94607

Probably best known as the spot where you steam fresh seafood at the table, sometimes when it’s still alive, Tastee isn’t offering its signature family-style “steam pot” cooking during the shelter in place, but it is selling individual-portion hot pot and various grilled and fried appetizers to go. Call in to order.

329 11th St
Oakland, CA 94607

21. Classic Guilin Rice Noodles

261 10th St A, Oakland, CA 94607
Rice noodles after mixing at Classic Guilin Rice Noodles Luke Tsai

This Chinatown spot was one of the first places on the West Coast to introduce U.S. diners to the pleasures of its namesake dish — a beguiling, texturally pleasing mix of slippery rice noodles, roasted peanuts, pickled vegetables, meat, and broth. The restaurant is currently open for takeout for lunch only, Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (though they open a half hour earlier on weekends). Call in or walk up to order.

261 10th St A
Oakland, CA 94607

Related Maps