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    Oakland Restaurant Week 2024

    By Liam P. Mayclem–

    Oakland, California, has a richly diverse community that spans countless ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. With its residents speaking over 125 languages, rest assured that The Town offers a dynamic and thriving culinary scene, one that encompasses a melting pot of cooking styles, flavors, and offerings.

    Oakland is known for its vibrancy and liveliness, and the food that comes from its chefs is no exception. From world-class restaurants, hole-in-the-walls, and mom and pops, to food trucks, new and upcoming eateries and bars, what’s served on a plate is more than just what you’re tasting. It’s a celebration of the diversity, inclusion, and culture that make Oakland most special.

    The Town offers 20 Michelin-rated restaurants including Horn Barbecue, Commis, and Taqueria El Paisa. It’s also home to James Beard-nominated restaurants that include Wahpepah’s Kitchen and Understory. Whatever your culinary desires, chances are you’ll be satisfied in Oakland.

    Here is my list of favorite spots to dine and some of my fave dishes too. All are participating in Oakland Restaurant Week.

    Casual Dining

    Roasted & Raw
    Chef Imani Greer creates bowls of plant-based delights.

    Cocobreeze Caribbean Restaurant and Bakery
    Chef Anna Goodridge takes you on an instant vacation to Trinidad where love & soul steer the menu.

    Farm to Table

    ACRE Kitchen and Bar
    Chef Dirk Tolsma has created an inviting space where local and sustainable are the order of the day. The wood-fired chicken is worth making the trip for from anywhere in the Bay Area. The convivial bar has a killer cocktail list.

    Where Wines Shine

    CoCo Noir Wine Shop & Bar
    Alicia Kidd showcases distinctive wines by African American & female producers.

    An LGBTQ+ Hot Spot

    Near the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center, Shakewell was co-founded by chefs Jen Biesty and Ted Nugent—two former Top Chef contestants. This popular restaurant serves a taste of the Mediterranean and also boasts a bar of diverse offerings.

    Liam’s Favorite Dishes in Oakland

    Escargot at Left Bank Brasserie – The delicious escargot at Left Bank Brasserie in Jack London Square is served in a Pernod and garlic butter sauce.

    Cheesecakes at Crumble & Whisk – These are simply the best sweet & fruity cheesecakes on Earth. Chef Charles Farriér finally opened his own brick & mortar after years at Bay Area farmers’ markets.

    Albondigas de Res at Duende – Duende’s modern Spanish take on meatballs includes Piemontese beef meatballs served with grilled escarole, salsa verde, and a Yukon Gold purée.

    Matty’s Burger at Matty’s BBQ – It’s a double-patty smashburger with a sweet honey BBQ aioli and caramelized onions in a black sesame bun—the creation of James Beard-nominated pitmaster & restauranteur Matt Horn. Don’t leave without one of Matty’s massive milkshakes.

    Trucha a la Plancha at Parche – A whole McFarland trout is wrapped in plantain leaf with achiote & citrus and is served with patacones (hand-smashed crispy potatoes) & accompaniments.

    Tostones at Sobre Mesa – The dish includes fried green plantains, pork salchichon, ‘nduja, two-year-aged cheddar, and anchovy. Sobre Mesa’s cocktails are a knockout too.

    I could keep going on here, as I am getting hungry just thinking of these and many other dishes enjoyed in Oakland. Hopefully you will head over to Oakland soon too, including for Oakland Restaurant Week from March 14–24. All Oakland Restaurant Week participating restaurants will feature lunch and/or dinner menus at six different price points: lunch at $15, $25, $35 and/or dinner: $35, $45, $65.

    I’ll see you around The Town! For a list of participating ORW restaurants:

    Emmy Award-winning radio and television personality Liam Mayclem is regularly featured on KPIX as well as KCBS, where he is the popular Foodie Chap. Born in London, Mayclem is now at home in the Bay Area. For more information:

    Liam’s LGBTQI List
    Published on March 7, 2024