Culinary Delights of the East Bay

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Culinary Delights of the East Bay

Pastries display from the Cheeseboard on Shattuck Ave in Berkeley, CA.

So many choices!

In the East Bay you can savor cuisines from around the world, from Ethiopian to Mexican and everything in-between. Stay up to date on the local restaurant scene by reading the Nosh column of Berkeleyside

That said, at Winkler Real Estate Group we do have a few favorite restaurants to share with you.


Zaytoon Mediterranean Restaurant & Bar.
Amazing food & drinks with a great atmosphere.

This family-owned and operated business serves fresh delicious authentic flavors from the Mediterranean Coast in a casual atmosphere. Our take: The Falafel here are the best outside of Israel–– simply amazing. The hummus and baba ganoush are outstanding as well. We love the kefta kebabs, too.  Our tip: there’s often no wait at lunchtime. 

Bua Luang Thai Cuisine

WinklerRealEstateGroup SolanoStreet 92

You’ll find this family-owned eatery on Solano Avenue in Albany. Since 1990 they’ve been serving up vibrant flavors that will have you returning again and again. Our tip: don’t miss the duck curry. You can also order online for home delivery or take-out.

Burma Superstar

Another not-to-miss East Bay culinary destination: Burma Superstar on Telegraph Avenue. We only have three words for you: Tea. Leaf. Salad. Trust us. They’re open for lunch Mon – Fri, and open for dinner every day of the week. Okay, okay, here’s the menu.


Comal on Shattuck offers innovative takes on classic Mexican dishes. Enjoy the wonderful al fresco patio (think beer garden with fire pit) and killer cocktails of all kinds. Our agents tout the fish tacos and, if you are into sharing, tackle the bone-in 22 oz wood-fired cooked rib-eye split between two. Menu here.

Juanita and Maude’s

As quoted on NOSH when awarding their 2023 best restaurant award, Juanita & Maude’s is a “romantic neighborhood gem that has grown into a destination dinner spot”. Everything, from drinks to dessert, is crazy tasty. Leave plenty of time to enjoy your meal with friends. Our tip: snag a seat at the bar if on your own, or call ahead (510-526-2233) to book a table on the outside deck.

Little Star Pizza

Little Star Pizza on Solano Ave, Albany, CA.
Little Star Pizza on Solano Ave has some of the best pizza around!

OMG, take a look on their site to see a photo of this food! It’s rich, cheesy, warm deliciousness, and we’d say their pizza has the best deep dish crust in the world––the cornmeal in it is great. The delicious meatballs and grilled broccolini are out of this world. How lucky we are to have a Little Star Pizza in our neighborhood on Solano Ave.

Revival Bar and Kitchen

Ideally located in downtown Berkeley, Revival sits on the corner of Addison and Shattuck, just down the street from the Freight and Salvage music venue and the Berkeley Rep, a local mecca for live theater. This sustainably sourced organic brasserie and cocktail lounge consistently serves up comfort food with flair. Great burgers, incredible salads, and are served in a casual setting with a wonderful bar. The vibe is relaxed and welcoming, in large part due to the talent of owner/cheffin Amy Louise Murray.


Chef Geoff Davis has created something special. Burdell is a Soul Food restaurant at 4640 Telegraph Ave in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland. It’s named for his maternal grandmother, Burdell and “reflects her love for well-set tables, shared meals and laughter”. The restaurant highlights the impact of Black farming, ranching, fishing, and foraging  on American cuisine and hospitality. Must-taste: Roasted chicken with spinach dumplings, yellowfoot mushrooms, lemon, and chicken drippings. The skin is crispy, the flavors are blended, yet bright. Seriously, just go. Chef Davis was recently nominated (2024) as being one of five finalists for the coveted James Beard Award for best chef in California. Wow!

Chez Panisse

Chez Panisse entrance in Berkeley, CA.
The one and only!

No list of culinary destinations in the East Bay would be complete without a mention of Chez Panisse, Alice Water’s landmark eatery featuring locally-sourced organic produce, meats, and fish. The restaurant is now offering meals to-go only, and you can order lunch or dinner, Wednesday through Saturday. Sunday is a special marketplace, where you can pick up curated boxes.

Horn Barbeque  

If you like ribs and other grilled meats, you’ll love that Matt Horn is reopening Horn’s Barbeque,  the restaurant that catapulted him to national fame. Trot down to 494 8th St. in Old Oakland to enjoy beef ribs, pork ribs, smoked turkey, mac ‘n cheese, collard greens, and more. (Did we mention the shakes?) Matt’s whole menu is here, or order in on UberEats and DoorDash. 

Boichick Bagels

Even the New York Times says Boichik Bagels are the best in California! It all began on College Avenue in Berkeley (3170 College Ave to be exact), but now Emily and her crew ship nationwide. These bagels are so popular you can now get them hot out of the oven in Palo Alto, Larkspur, San Francisco and Santa Clara as well, but we think there’s no place like home. Look here for details and delivery. 

Beauty’s Bagels

These are Montreal-style bagels, boiled first –– then baked with real oak wood. More crunchy than chewy, these bagels can be found on 3838 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, between 7 and 3, or order online.

Oaktown Spice Shop

Oaktown Spiceshop on Solano Ave.

Whatever it is that you seek in the world of spices and seasonings, Oaktown has it, and then some. Named one of the world’s best spice shops by Food & Wine Magazine, Oaktown Spice Shop offers the freshest, most delicious, high-quality spices and hand-mixed blends in the Bay Area. From applewood smoked sea salt to Ras el Hanout (a blend of cinnamon, cardamom, coriander and anise – actually more than 20 spices! – to season chicken or lamb tagine, their selection is breathtaking. You can find herbs, botanicals, seeds, chiles, rubs, and more. You can order online, too. And their gift boxes are fabulous (yes, we often send them to clients). Hot tip: check out the recipes on their site for inspiration.

Cafe Ohlone

Cafe Ohlone is remarkable. It was started by Vincent Medina and Louis Trevino, two members of the Ohlone tribe whose ancestors hunted and gathered in this area centuries ago. Featuring local Native American cuisine, Cafe Ohlone, situated near UC Berkeley, begins each meal with a traditional prayer and a short explanation of the history of East Bay native peoples. All dishes are based on wild ingredients gathered locally by native people. The menu is seasonal, but a typical spring specialty includes a salad of watercress with sorrel leaves, blackberries, gooseberries, and popped amaranth seeds. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy tasty, unique food where you can meet the people who brought it back to life.

Berkeley Bowl

Yup, the store was founded in 1977 and, as the name implies, it began in a former bowling alley. The sheer variety of fruits and veggies here is mind-boggling, not to mention fish, meats, wines and sauces for many types of cuisines. Open from 9 am till 8 pm (10-7 on Sunday); it’s best to go in the morning to avoid crowds and assure a parking place. There are two locations, one on 2020 Oregon Ave just off of Shattuck, and the other closer toward the freeway at 920 Heinz Ave. Both amazing!

Farmers’ Markets

Kensington Farmers' Market vegetable array.
Kensington Farmers’ Market has a wide range of vendors with all sorts of goodies.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention where to find local fresh produce of all kinds and artisanal treats to be savored. We are especially lucky in the East Bay that so much deliciousness can be found at outdoor markets like the Berkeley Farmers’ Market and the Kensington Farmers’ Market. From flaky fruit  pastries to mounds of fresh berries to homemade jams and heaps of fresh greens, our Farmers’ Markets overflow with an abundance of the best life has to offer.

Local Breweries      

The East Bay’s craft beverage scene is thriving, with standout places like Faction Brewing in Alameda and Donkey & Goat Winery in Berkeley. Also on our list:

Drake’s Dealership

Uptown Oakland is home to Drake’s Dealership, a bustling beer garden and restaurant in a historic Dodge dealership. Open-air, with plenty of  heat lamps and fire pits to handle our changeable weather, Drake’s has a friendly vibe, and 32 beers on tap.

Two Pitchers Brewing

Also in Uptown Oakland, Two Pitchers found its home in a converted brake repair shop (which operated for more than a century). Our hot tip:  fruit-infused beers. The Weekender is a lager with passion fruit, guava, and citrus, or check out Pop Top, a pomegranate-lemonade wheat ale. Family-friendly, serving excellent food, Two Pitchers also hosts a weekly trivia night.