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Food Awards 2012

Dig in to this year's top food!


(page 5 of 5)

Dining Destinations

The East Bay restaurant scene is heating up. Here’s our guide to four of the hottest neighborhoods for dining.


Photo by Frank Sosa/Jamie DluzakOld Oakland

This beautifully renovated pocket of downtown Oakland is buzzing with foodie-casual delights.

Sip an obscure wine at the gorgeous District. With another location in San Francisco, the wine bar and lounge brings in a hip city vibe and carefully curated selection of small-batch wines, whiskeys, and small plates. districtoak.com.

Snack on a tasty taco at Chez Panisse alum Dominica Rice’s gourmet-street eatery, Cosecha (try the shrimp or pork belly), modeled after indoor Mexican farmers markets. cosechacafe.com.

Guzzle a serious brew at beer-geek oasis the Trappist, which has 25 Belgian and craft beers available on tap, and more than 100 in bottles. thetrappist.com.

Sup on wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas and house-made pasta at Borgo Italia, co-owned by A.G. Ferrari’s Paul Ferrari. borgoitaliaoakland.com.

Look for ex-Hibiscus chef Sarah Kirnon’s new Afro Caribbean–inspired Miss Ollie’s, plus the first East Bay outpost for popular Rosamunde Sausage Grill, both set to open by year’s end.


Photo by Sara RemingtonBlackhawk Plaza

With four new spots, Blackhawk Plaza is drawing crowds with its suddenly lively dining scene.

Share a thin-crust flat bread at Rodney Worth’s new casual Italian joint, Ferrari’s—or grab a carnitas taco at the Prickly Pear, or chicken salad sandwich at the Little Pear, his other two Blackhawk eateries. ferrariscucinaitaliana.com.

Splurge on a cocktail and bar bite at Blackhawk Grille’s all-day happy hour (2 p.m.–close). The hot new bar is part of the restaurant’s recent wall-to-wall makeover. blackhawkgrille.com.

Snack on ocean-fresh sushi on the hopping back patio at the new Blue Gingko, Sasa owner Philip Yang’s latest restaurant. bluegingkosushi.com.

Indulge in artisanal chocolates for your sweetheart (or yourself) at Chocolatier Blue. The PB&J is our fave. chocolatierblue.com.


Photo by Mitch TobiasDowntown Livermore

A cow town no longer, Livermore is hopping with cool new eateries that seem to pop up every week along First Street.  

Pair your food with your wine—not the other way around—at Winemaker’s Pour House. This Livermore wine-centric spot focuses on the vino first, crafting the menu around the featured wine of the moment. winemakerspourhouse.com.

Eat authentic Mexican mole or one of a half-dozen steak preparations at El Sacromonte. The 22 or so different margaritas aren’t bad, either. elsacromonte-usa.com.

Pick your saucy poison at Sauced BBQ & Spirits, and douse your brisket at this smokin’ hot new hangout. Or just grab a beer (or build your own cocktail at the DIY Bloody Mary bar). saucedbbqandspirits.com.

Listen to live music on Double Barrel Wine Bar’s popular back patio while sampling the international wine list and streamlined menu of small plates. Check ’em out for Sunday jazz brunch. doublebarrelwinebar.com.

Look for deep-dish heaven when Patxi’s Chicago Pizza opens next to the Bankhead Theater early next year. And keep an eye out for production brewery Altamont Beer Works (on tap at First Street Alehouse).


Courtesy of ComalDowntown Berkeley

Long a no-man’s-land catering to cash-strapped Cal kids, downtown Berkeley is in a culinary boom, giving the Gourmet Ghetto a run for its money.

Slurp soba for weekend brunch at Ippuku, which makes the silken noodles fresh from soba flour imported from Japan. ippukuberkeley.com.

Share a bone-in 22-ounce wood-fired rib eye or souped-up tacos at foodie–Mexican restaurant Comal. Or just grab some chips and guac and a tequila cocktail at the bar in the spectacular covered and heated back patio. comalberkeley.com.

Visit the Big Easy at Angeline’s Louisiana Kitchen, which expanded to accommodate the hoards of die-hard NOLA cuisine lovers seeking spot-on renditions of hush puppies, gumbo, jambalaya, and voodoo shrimp. angelineskitchen.com.

Knock back a Moscow Mule, Sazerac, or any of the just-right classic cocktails at Revival Bar & Kitchen’s retro-fabulous bar. Or sample chef-owner Amy Murray’s seriously local, sustainable, farm-to-table cuisine for dinner. revivalbarandkitchen.com.

Look for the new kids on the block, Pathos Restaurant (organic, full-service Greek) and Belli Osteria (made-from-scratch Italian, with an emphasis on house-made ravioli), due to open on Shattuck by the end of the year. Editorial note: Belli is now open!


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