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For an elegant yet casual lunch in downtown Oakland, head to City Hall neighbor Café 15. The cozy-sandwich-stop-meets-French-bistro offers omelets and breakfast sandwiches in the morning, and burgers, salads, and grilled sandwiches in the afternoon. The chef’s friendly wife, stationed at the counter register, will help you decide between the fried chicken sandwich, lamb burger, and closed-faced croque monsieur complete with finely shaved ham, melted Gruyère, and béchamel pressed between fresh sourdough. In the beer-battered fish and chips plate, the thick-cut house-made french fries with sea salt and rosemary are the main attraction. The Café 15 salad starts with a slice of fresh bread topped with chunks of goat cheese, cherry tomatoes and pine nuts, with the mixed greens piled in a mountain on top. Fresh, tart lemonade is a nice touch. Be sure to grab a double chocolate espresso cookie before heading back to the office. Breakfast and lunch Mon.–Fri.
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