CHOW Tour Handmade
2/14 - 2/27
2/28 - 3/13
3/14 - 3/25
See Where We've Eaten!

Why We’re Glad Oakland Is Nearby

The range of food you can get in Oakland is sort of mind-boggling, even just looking back on the fraction we were able to cover on CHOW Tour. Telegraph Avenue is full of Korean and Ethiopian restaurants (we still need to make it to the places on Robert Lauriston’s soju bang list for some Korean drinking snacks). There’s Laotian cuisine (served with Raiders-themed décor, no less). High-end cocktails at Sidebar. Mexican street food in Fruitvale. Fancy late-night burgers at Plum. It goes on and on. So it’s not surprising that the fabulous diversity of the city was brought up over and over again by all the locals we spoke to. It really makes Oakland a great place to be. READ MORE

CHOW Tour Oakland: Frozen Desserts

CHOW Tour Handmade Oakland Frozen Desserts Oakland is home to some amazing frozen desserts. We visit the new Scream Sorbet shop, where Nathan Kurz shows us the secret of the company's insanely creamy dairy-free desserts, and John Birdsall from SFoodie introduces us to Luis Abundis, who makes hand-cranked ice cream in a traditional Mexican style at his shop Nieves Cinco de Mayo. WATCH THE VIDEO

CHOW Tour Oakland: From Laos to Ethiopia

CHOW Tour Handmade Oakland Ethnic Eats Every time we asked someone in Oakland what makes the city a great place to live and eat in, the number one response was the diversity. It's a place with nearly every cuisine you can think of, from soju bangs serving Korean drinking food to street-side champurrado vendors. WATCH THE VIDEO

Posole and Chicharrones from Taqueria Campos

On the day we were out roaming the streets with SFoodie’s John Birdsall, Taqueria Campos was on the agenda, but we never made it, getting waylaid by Jesus’s chicken at Taqueria Durango just down the street. But John’s description of receiving a plate of chicharrones with warm bean dip while you wait for your order at this tiny restaurant stuck with us. We went back to check it out. READ MORE

A Friendly Pub for British Food and Drink

When we were chatting with Aaron Porter, co-owner of the Trappist, he said we should check out a relative newcomer to Oakland’s beer scene called Commonwealth Cafe & Public House. We immediately wished this neo-British pub was in our respective ’hoods. It’s clean, it’s bright, and the staff is really friendly. READ MORE

Betty’s Famous Fried Chicken Sandwich

Oakland’s Bakesale Betty is known for its iconic blue-haired owner, Alison Barakat; funky sidewalk tables made out of ironing boards; and the long lines for its mighty large fried chicken sandwich. READ MORE

CHOW Tour Oakland: The Beer Revival

CHOW Tour Handmade Oakland The Beer Revival Many people don't realize that Oakland was a big brewing town all the way up until the late ’50s. Now, it's turning right back into one. At the heart of this revival is Adam Lamoreaux's Linden Street Brewery. While it may be tiny, it's the first production brewery to open in Oakland in about 50 years. We check out Linden Street, taste Adam's old-timey lagers, and also go to a couple of Oakland's coolest beer bars (where Adam delivers kegs by bicycle!): Beer Revolution and the Trappist. WATCH THE VIDEO

CHOW Tour Oakland: West Oakland

CHOW Tour Handmade Oakland West Oakland Industrial West Oakland seems an unlikely spot to find a homey restaurant thriving, but on the Mandela Parkway Tanya Holland's Brown Sugar Kitchen is doing just that—and it's serving the most amazing waffles. Next we met up with Nikki Henderson. She runs the food-justice nonprofit People's Grocery, which is helping residents of the neighborhood build a better food system with equal access to fresh, healthy food. WATCH THE VIDEO

Oakland’s Pizza Philosopher

Pizzaiolo’s Charlie Hallowell is a markedly philosophical pizza-maker. His casual, wood-fired pizza restaurant in the Temescal neighborhood serves pies topped with seasonal ingredients like wild nettles or Monterey Bay squid, crisp well-made salads, and great drinks. He chatted with us about how an ideal restaurant vibe transcends commerce and just feels like a party, how pizza-making is a metaphor for life, and how young’uns who want to open a restaurant better sit down and have a clear vision for every aspect of it if they want to be successful. READ MORE

CHOW Tour Oakland: Down-to-Earth Upscale

In the last few years, Oakland has seen a boom in casual upscale places to eat, but even at these fancier restaurants the down-to-earth vibe of the city comes through. We talk to Russell Moore of Camino and Daniel Patterson of Plum for their take on why their restaurants fit so well into the Oakland scene. WATCH THE VIDEO

A Nice Little Tart in Rockridge

We went looking for pastries in Oakland, and after a stop by the old-school-to-the-core Taste of Denmark, we went over to Katrina Rozelle in Rockridge for a look at the fancier side of Oakland bakeries. Walking in, it seemed like more of a place to pick up a birthday cake or special-order a fancy dessert for a party, but they did have a few grab-and-eat items. Notably: a lemon tart with creamy homemade lemon curd and a precisely formed crust that was rolled out just thin enough to hold the curd without falling apart.

Katrina Rozelle
5931 College Avenue, Oakland

Fancy Cocktails at Down-to-Earth Sidebar

There are a lot of things to like about grabbing a cocktail at Sidebar, a restaurant on Grand Avenue, near Lake Merritt:

• There are only eight drinks on the menu, no ridiculously long lists with paragraph descriptions of the cocktails. READ MORE

What Jan Newberry Loves About Oakland

Before we went wandering around Oakland, California, we called longtime Oakland resident and San Francisco magazine food and wine editor Jan Newberry. She gave us an overview of the vibe and talked about some of her favorite spots. READ MORE

CHOW Tour Oakland: Unpretentious Street Food

chow tour handmade oakland california unpretentious street food Way before people sold crème brûlée on the sidewalk, there was great street food thriving in Oakland that didn't involve tweeting or "liking" on Facebook. Here's a look at two of the highlights of our tour of the Fruitvale neighborhood. WATCH THE VIDEO

Oakland, CHOW Tour Is Heading Your Way!

We’ve been really loving checking out the lively and diverse food scene in Oakland, California. In the coming weeks, we’ll show you a peek at everything from Plum’s high-end late-night drunk-food salad topped with slabs of pork belly and foraged greens, to a torta served out of a trailer dipped French dip-style in superhot chile salsa.

We’ll cover the unpretentious street food of the Fruitvale area (not served by anyone with an ironic mustache) and unconventional sorbets in flavors like squash.

Plus: the best waffle ever, a behind-the-scenes look at handmade teff injera (Ethiopian flatbread), and a lot more. Oakland coverage on CHOW Tour: Handmade starts February 28!