Readers’ choice winner
The votes have been cast, and our staff has weighed in. All this week, Nosh is celebrating the best and most notable drinking and dining in the East Bay, with editorial picks and our first annual readers’ choice awards. Check back daily from Dec. 26-30 to see our picks.
What a world we live in! Cesar, also mourned as the saddest restaurant closure of the year by our readers, is also their most anticipated opening. Cesar’s management has vowed a return, and I know they’ve been hard at work seeking out a new space to reopen. But though Nosh’s inbox has received loads of messages passing on rumors and tips on the beloved tapas bar’s new home, its owners have declined to confirm any details. When we can get them on the record, you’ll be the first to know Cesar’s fate.
Cityside’s editorial picks
I’m excited about the opening of Poppy Bagels. It’s amazing to me that for the longest time, that you couldn’t get a decent bagel in the Bay Area was such a common refrain among New York transplants, Jews, just about anyone who knew what real bagels are supposed to taste like. Now we’re in the midst of such an amazing bagel renaissance. Despite the trend toward gluten-free everything, people still want a good bagel. And now when our New Yorker friends and family visit, if we want to feed them a bagel brunch, we have plenty of spots to choose from. — Nosh contributor Alix Wall
The list is long. For me, super curious about SanDai; for my family, the upcoming (hopefully?) relaunch of Cookiebar in Alameda. — Nosh openings and closings columnist Joanna Della Penna
I’ve been waiting for months (years now) for Farmhouse Kitchen to open in Berkeley. The building they were supposed to move into is fully under construction, so I hope this means that there is a 2023 opening date happening. The restaurant will bring a much needed vibrancy to the North Shattuck neighborhood. — Cityside platforms director Doug Ng
I’m curious about Acre, to see how well it fits the neighborhood after Oliveto closed. — Nosh contgributor Risa Nye
I guess it’s just opened so doesn’t qualify, but I love the look of Calabash and am excited to try its Afro-Caribbean and Persian dishes. — Cityside editorial director Tracey Taylor
I grew up in Berkeley so I’m loyal to Acme and the Cheese Board (also the cranberry morning buns at Hopkins Street Bakery), but sometimes I’ll stray for a delicious sesame loaf from Starter Bakery. I’m looking forward to their forthcoming location in Rockridge, and just hope the lines won’t be as long as those at their Temescal farmers market stand. — Oaklandside housing and homelessness reporter Natalie Orenstein
When I was writing about the closure of Oakland institution Aunt Mary’s Cafe, owner Ngan-Ha “Nu” Ho told me with great excitement that the business to take over the space would be Burdell, chef Geoff Davis’s vaunted pop-up known for farm-focused soul food with an eye to the evolution of Black cooking in America. (She told me this off the record and Davis asked that we not publish the news at the time, which is why you didn’t see that information in the story.) It was thrilling to see Davis make the news public a month later, and I’m told the work to open at 4640 Telegraph Ave. is already underway. Here’s hoping for a fast renovation and opening for Davis, so we can take a permanent seat at his table. — Nosh editor Eve Batey
I’m hyped for Poppy Bagels to pop in Temescal. I don’t mean to start another long and stupid argument about the many, many very good bagels currently available in the Bay. So may I just quietly state a personal opinion — Poppy Bagels is my favorite. Reesa Kashuk is a 90s kid from New York City, and she’s into truly chewy bagels, with a thick and shiny skin, and seeds all over the place. She shapes every single one by hand, and I do think you can taste the difference. — Nosh contributor Becky Duffett