The best of Oakland: Too delicious to be overlooked
“Forget San Francisco,” said Jessica Yadegaran, Linda Zavoral, and Jackie Burrell in the San Jose Mercury News. When we recently scoured the rest of the Bay Area for its best restaurants, we found “hundreds of incredible dining experiences,” topped by the region’s only kitchen that has earned a three-star rating from the Michelin Guide. But if you haven’t landed a reservation at David Kinch’s Manresa, in quaint Los Gatos, your first stop should be Oakland. San Francisco’s neighbor across the bay put three restaurants in our top six, led by a place that might be familiar.
Nyum Bai The authentic Cambodian fare that Nite Yun serves wowed critics so much last year that her simple Fruitvale eatery was on several lists of America’s best new restaurants. You don’t just stumble upon it. You go “because the craving for lemongrass-glazed pork chops, jasmine rice cooked in chicken fat, and fermented fish paste everything is just too fierce.” 3340 E. 12th St., (510) 500-3338
Commis There’s “something magical” about dining at James Syhabout’s flagship restaurant. The Oakland native made a stop at Manresa on his long journey to winning two Michelin stars of his own, and the dishes on his eight-course tasting menu “will enchant and cling to your memory.” Think slow-poached egg yolk with smoked dates, alliums, and malt, or carrot tartare with lime and shaved coconut. “You’ll have the food giggles all night.” 3859 Piedmont Ave., (510) 653-3902
Reem’s California At this “one of a kind” Middle Eastern bakery-café that sits below a BART platform in Fruitvale, Reem Assil has been warming customers’ hearts since 2015 with oven-baked flatbreads, wraps, salads, and sweets like orange-blossom sweetbread cookies and a cheese turnover with nigella seeds. “Prepare to become obsessed.” 3301 E. 12th St., (510) 852-9390 ■