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Located in Oakland’s warehouse district near Jack London Square, Encuentro Cafe and Wine Bar is a destination for vegetarians and a pleasing default for local omnivores. Zen-friendly servers will guide you through the flights of lovely California wines, including several East Bay urban specials, and help you pair them with creative, seasonal vegetarian (or vegan) small plates, such as warm prunes stuffed with goat cheese (or macadamia nut pâté) or white bean bruschetta topped with sautéed chard, Kalamata olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. The spring greens salad with sweet walnuts and crisp apples comes dressed in a delectable apple cider vinaigrette while fluffy house-made gnocchi is tossed in a light marinara sauce. Don’t miss the daily socca—three squares of thin chickpea flatbread topped with mounds of seasonal veggies—or the not-too-sweet brown sugar cake. Dinner Tues.–Sat.
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