New Berkeley restaurants

Anya’s Deli

7.26.23: Nosh was glad to see that North Berkeley neighborhood convenience store and deli Anya’s recently reopened after a months-long closure … just in time for ice cream seasonAnya’s Deli, 1343 Martin Luther King, Jr. Wy (at Rose St.), Berkeley

Bisou Chocolate

7.06.23: Tablehopper first alerted us back in April to news of this dedicated chocolate shop from Bisou Chocolate. It is the brainchild of chocolatiers Tracey Britton and Eli Curtis, whose handcrafted artisan chocolates have won awards and made it onto many Bay Area must-have lists, via local farmer’s markets, since 2006. Their first brick-and-mortar chocolate counter fronts the Bisou confectionery kitchen at 2929 Ninth St., near Berkeley Bowl West, and features a soft-opening menu (as announced on Instagram, where soft-opening hours should also be checked) of “fresh truffles, caramels, chocolate bars, dragees, and our signature drinking chocolate.” There are also new treats and refreshments from the team, including unique chocolate-inflected beverages on tap. Bisou Chocolate, 2929 Ninth St. (near Ashby), Berkeley   


7.19.23: Nosh was happy to see that downtown Berkeley’s former Gold Leaf Cafe has been lovingly replaced by the new Bench patisserie and cafe, featuring Highwire coffee drinks, Tay specialty teas and fresh-baked cakes, biscotti, cookies, meringues, fancy toasts and other treats. The chic newcomer opened in June. Bench, 1947 Martin Luther King, Jr. Wy (near University Avenue), Berkeley

Cellarmaker Berkeley

7.19.23: “We are not all the way done with our renovations but we just cannot wait any longer to see our peeps,” said the announcement email for Cellarmaker Brewing’s newly opened taproom and beer garden at their production facility (inside the former Rare Barrel) in Southwest Berkeley. The celebrated craft brewery, first founded in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood in 2003, has become known for its addictive Detroit-style pizza along with its ales; though the Berkeley kitchen is not open just yet, local folks are hoping they can expect similar treats soon. For now, Cellarmaker’s lively, small-batch craft brews and snacks are on offer on weekends in the spacious Berkeley taproom and sunny patio. Look for another new Cellarmaker space opening later this summer in Oakland. Cellarmaker Brewing, 940 Parker St. (between 8th and 9th streets), Berkeley 

Eggy’s Neighborhood Kitchen

7.19.23: There is a handsome new breakfast and lunch restaurant inside the former Sunny Side Up restaurant space within North Berkeley’s peaceful Epicurious Garden. Eggy’s Neighborhood Kitchen features, you guessed it, egg-based dishes in an appealing variety: cheesy egg sandwiches, breakfast burritos, steak and eggs, omelets, huevos rancheros, chilaquiles with fried eggs. (Ooo …and a challah meets tres leches French toast.) For lunch, there are also burgers, salads and sandwiches. Indoor seating is on offer within the standalone dining room, but the move on nicer days is to sit in the sunny, enclosed garden. Thanks to a kind Nosh reader for the tip. Eggy’s Neighborhood Kitchen at the Epicurious Garden, 1511 Shattuck Ave. (between Vine and Cedar streets), Berkeley


7.19.23: Spanish and Mexican flavors marry in intriguing new ways at La Marcha’s new, upscale, take-out and delivery-only restaurant Ibéxico (named for Iberica and Mexico). The curated menu of dishes to go features crafted tacos, croquetas and flautas filled with grilled and slow-roasted proteins — pork shoulder, octopus, shrimp — sauced with big flavors from mole to salsa brava. For dessert, flan and stuffed churros. 

Ibéxico at La Marcha, 2026 San Pablo Ave. (near University Avenue), Berkeley 

Kinda Izakaya

7.31.23: Nosh readers are rightfully intrigued by this brand-new izakaya located inside the notable brick building that housed Butcher’s Son, before it moved across the street, and is next door to Poki Poke. Kinda (pronounced “kin-da” as in “kindergarten”) offers a menu of drinks-friendly Japanese small bites, including meats and seafood grilled over charcoal, sashimi, salads and soups, noodles, and deep-fried goodies such as shishito peppers, shrimp, soft tofu and chicken wings. The beverage menu is an alluring mix of Japanese beer, sake, Korean soju and specialty cocktails made with sake and soju. (There are also non alcoholic refreshments for those who don’t imbibe.) The restaurant is now softly open. Kinda Izakaya, 1941A University Ave. (at Bonita Avenue), Berkeley

Lulu Berkeley (Dinner)

7.31.23: PSA to fans of California-Palestinian brunch standout Lulu: The restaurant will soft-open for dinner service on Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning this week. Hours are early — from 5-8:30 p.m. — and available by reservation only for the petite dining room. As described on Instagram, look for an “…amazing menu our chefs have been curating for quite some time now. In classic Lulu nature, expect some familiar Palestinian flavors with modern and eclectic nuances.” This is part of a series of changes for Lulu. Stay tuned. Lulu, 1019 Camelia St. (at Tenth Street), Berkeley  

Mercado 925

7.06.23: West Berkeley has a new, modern Mexican restaurant and bar in Mercado 925, featuring tacos, burritos, seasonal salads, grilled sandwiches and a menu of Latin-inspired beer, wine, spirits and cocktails at the western end of University Ave. Mercado 925, 925 University Ave. (at 8th St.), Berkeley

Pizza Twist

7.19.23: The Berkeley end of Solano Ave. has a new fast-casual Italian-Indian chain restaurant, and reviews are all thumbs-up so far. On offer are traditional and Indian-inflected pizzas, classic Italian pastas, and shareable Indian and Italian appetizers — think breadsticks and samosas. Recent diners seem happy with both the flavors and service so far. The franchise has locations across the U.S. (including more than 40 shops in California), Canada and Indonesia. Pizza Twist, 1821 Solano Ave. (near Colusa Avenue), Berkeley 

Roaming Bean Coffee

7.26.23: Nosh received multiple versions of the same excited email from readers tipping us to this new, friendly outdoor coffee cart, possibly the first mobile food or beverage service ever to operate at Cesar Chavez Park? We hope to take a closer look into that (longtime locals, please feel free to comment or write in). Meanwhile, Roaming Bean offers Berkeley Marina visitors fresh, fair-trade Coava coffee drinks and tea to go with their fresh-air dog walks and kite flying, with baked goods to come. The cart launched on July 15, and is currently open at the park Thursdays-Sundays. Roaming Bean Coffee at the Berkeley Marina, Cesar Chavez Park, 11 Spinnaker Way, Berkeley 

Thai Corner

7.31.23: As of press time we had not heard back yet from the owners of Thai Corner, but readers (and Yelp reviewers) have revealed that the little Westbrae restaurant, that closed in 2022, reopened for take-out as of July 29. Reported plans to open as Bar Mosquito have not happened, and may not — while we look into things, please note that Thai Corner curries and noodles, from the same owners, is once again available for take-out at the Westbrae corner of Gilman and Santa Fe. Thai Corner, 1277-1279 Gilman St. (at Santa Fe Avenue), Berkeley

New El Cerrito restaurants

Guru Curry House El Cerrito

7.31.23: “We’re really excited to share that we are now open in El Cerrito!,” says a note on Guru Curry House’s website. The Oakland-based restaurant is a go-to on Grand Avenue for its Indian specialties, curries in particular. For its second location inside the former Sasa, Guru has added Tibetan dishes to the menu, and the restaurant features a spruced-up indoor dining room. (This area of El Cerrito is suddenly spoiled for choice, as Guru joins newcomers Banter Wine Bar and Masa Tamales & Tacos along with many popular long-standing food and drink businesses nearby.) Guru Curry House El Cerrito, 10350 San Pablo Ave. (between Stockton and Eureka avenues), El Cerrito

New El Sobrante restaurants

Yummy House El Sobrante

7.14.23: Family-owned Yummy House Hawaiian barbecue and ramen shop has opened in El Sobrante, with a menu of savory grilled and fried meat or fish plates, rice bowls, poke bowls and ramen. We like that options range from a la carte to a “mini meal” featuring protein and sides for around $10, to a budget-minded “family meal” built to feed four. Yummy House also has locations in San Pablo and Brentwood. Yummy House, 454 Appian Way, El Sobrante

New Hayward restaurants

Crave Subs Hayward

7.14.23: Softly opened in Hayward as of July 14 is a new location for Crave Subs, the Berkeley-based sandwich shop known for its creative and flavorful variety of halal meat, vegan and vegetarian subs. Fans can stop in now or wait and join the party when the Hayward shop celebrates its Grand Opening on July 22, with a live DJ, freebies and other surprises. Crave Subs Hayward, 26007 Eden Landing Rd., Hayward

New Pinole restaurants

Sweet Pipers

7.14.23: Family-owned bakery Sweet Pipers, known for pop-ups since 2009, has opened its first brick-and-mortar shop in Pinole as first profiled in The Chronicle. Married co-owners Rowena Ortega, lead baker, and Jack Ortega specialize in Hawaiian and Filipino sweet treats, including Rowena’s signature buko ube pies and cashew tarts. Check out the opening selection of island-style confections hereSweet Pipers, 2352 San Pablo Ave., Suite A, Pinole

New Oakland restaurants

alaMar Dominican Kitchen

7.06.23: As promised, Nelson German has revamped and reopened his former seafood restaurant alaMar into new concept alaMar Dominican Kitchen, complete with  energetic new murals celebrating Dominican culture. Opened June 30, the restaurant features modern riffs on classic dishes from German’s heritage and upbringing in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City — mofongo, sancocho, pernil and Dominican-style sides such as stewed beans, adobo fries, plantains and chenchen (grits). Slushy, boozy cocktails make for welcome pairings. alaMar Dominican Kitchen, 100 Grand Ave. (between Webster and Valdez), Oakland


7.19.23: Handmade tortillas, fresh ingredients, margaritas and vegan-friendly options mark some of new taqueria Alma’s appeal for lunch and dinner. The small, friendly, fast-casual Mexican eatery and bar features tacos, empanadas, burritos and platos, and is now open in the former Rotisserie Deli space in downtown Oakland. Alma Bar Cocina Mexicana, 361 19th St. (between Franklin and Webster streets), Oakland  

Jelly Bean The Wine Bar

7.26.23: As announced, chef Imana reopened her closed Hi Felicia space last week as sultry, speakeasy-like wine bar Jelly Bean. The bar, opened July 13, also features a short menu of wine-friendly snacks, and runs Thursday through Sunday nights. Jelly Bean the Wine Bar, 326 23rd St. (near Webster Street), Oakland  

Mad Oak Bar ‘N’ Yard (New Menu)

7.26.23: Mad Oak and its roof deck’s many, many fans have probably already spotted the appealing new food options on the Oakland bar’s brand-new menu, and might also know that the good people behind pandemic pop-up darling Blake’s Grillery are behind the changes. Blake’s co-owner Chris Parks is now GM at Mad Oak, and together with Mad Oak chef Eleazar Prieto and Blake’s Grillery co-owner Mario Camargo, has launched a menu of bigger plates out of the bar’s kitchen. (Check out the fried chicken sandwich.) The bar might even serve brunch in the coming months. Mad Oak Bar ‘N’ Yard, 135 12th St. (between Madison and Oak streets), Oakland

Matty’s Old Fashioned

7.06.23: Chef Matt Horn’s long-awaited burger restaurant softly opens July 7, as announced on Instagram, and should be a meaty treat for those who can secure a reservation. As with his Oakland success stories Horn Barbecue and Kowbird, Horn’s upscale-nostalgic diner — first announced in 2021 — promises big things, especially on the restaurant’s Tock page: “Immerse yourself in the thoughtful brilliance of our menu, where the traditional American burger is transformed into a testament to gastronomic artistry,” it says. “Allow us to serve you stories and memories, all wrapped in the embrace of extraordinary burgers, uniquely crafted in the inimitable style of chef Matt Horn.” Stories and hugs from a hamburger? Sign us up. Seriously, we look forward to first reports from fans. Matty’s Old Fashioned, 464 8th St. (between Washington and Broadway), Oakland 

Mohka House

7.26.23: Comfortable couches, an intricate and enchanting mural, sweet treats, and rich Yemeni coffee and tea mark Mohka House, now open inside the former Hive, The Place to Bee in Oakland’s Dimond District. Early reviews also mention above-average customer service. Mohka House, 2139 Macarthur Blvd. (at Fruitvale Avenue), Oakland

Nova’s Pizza/Edible Happy Pizzeria Oakland

7.26.23: Two pizza businesses, one location: Both Nova’s and Edible Happy pizzerias are now operating in tandem in Oakland, according to a staffer at 1438 Broadway, providing the community with large, affordable, party-ready and late-night pizza pies, salads and cheese bread (and in Edible Happy’s case, sandwiches, chicken wings, and even burgers). For formerly Berkeley-based Nova’s classic pies, we recommend ordering online as the phone number it inherited in 2022 still seems to lead to West Coast Pizza’s endless hold loop. Fun fact: This Broadway eatery was the former Oakland location for Shiba Ramen, a closure we missed in 2022, whose flagship inside the Public Market Emeryville remains open and busy. Nova’s Pizza and Edible Happy Pizzeria, 1438 Broadway (between 14th and 15th), Oakland

Pixiu Mala Hongtang

7.31.23: As reported first in the Mercury News, Korean-Chinese fusion hot pot chain Pixiu Mala Hongtang, based in Los Angeles, opened in Temescal at the end of July. The restaurant specializes in spicy Korean-style malatang — and heat lovers are flocking to give the spicy soup a try. Pixiu Mala Hongtang, 4419 Telegraph Ave. (between 44th and 45th streets), Oakland 

Sukho Thai

7.06.23: In a long-anticipated reopening, Oakland’s 10-year-old Sukho Thai is back in business after nearly a year of renovations (and concerned regulars of the Rockridge staple hoping for news). The menu appears similar if not the same as before the restaurant was refreshed, to include those rich curries diners have been missing. Thanks to a longtime fan for the tip. Sukho Thai, 5498 College Ave. (at Lawton), Oakland

Taava Kitchen

7.26.23: Oakland community space Forage Kitchen has a new tenant. Taava offers Indian, Pakistani and halal choices with flavorful, modern and creative touches — think shareable plates and finger foods, such as tandoori hot wings with jalapeno dip. The generous menu also offers plenty of traditional choices, including many curries, vegetarian options, desserts and a few Nepalese specialties, and the team prides itself on its sustainable practices. Taava Kitchen inside Forage Kitchen, 478 25th St. (between Telegraph and Broadway), Oakland

New Richmond restaurants

Assemble Kitchen

7.31.23: It was meant to open Aug. 1, but Assemble Kitchen is already up and running at the airy Craneway Pavilion restaurant space. The new standalone restaurant’s menu, still in development, so far leans classic all-American, with waterfront cafe fare such as smashburgers, macaroni and cheese, Caesar salads and refreshing drinks. Assemble Kitchen, 1414 Harbour Way. S. (near Rosie the Riveter National Historic Park), Richmond

Ristorante Biancoverde

7.14.23: Point Richmond locals are abuzz over this intriguing new opening inside the historic Hotel Mac. Biancoverde, opened July 13, is from the same husband-and-wife team behind popular newcomer Mi Casa Grill, also in Richmond, but patrons expecting another Mexican restaurant from Blanca Zepeda and Juvenal Magna are in for a surprise. Biancoverde is classic Italian, with Fabio Bucio, the former chef from Italy on Gilman, in the kitchen — look for traditional, seasonal Italian appetizers, pastas and mains. We’ll see you there. (Hat tip to the Richmond Standard for first reporting the opening.) Ristorante Biancoverde, 50 Washington St. (at Cottage Avenue), Richmond

Rocky Island Oyster Co. at Windchaser Wines

7.19.23: Rocky Island Oyster Co. Instagram followers have already heard that the East Coast-influenced seafood outfit, formerly operating out of Assemble Marketplace, has found a soft place to land in a new summer food truck and pop-up series, beginning with a collaboration with Richmond’s Windchaser Wine Company. Check social media for updates but expect fresh oysters, lobster rolls, grilled oysters and shrimp and other fun menu items this weekend at the winery and tasting room, then watch for future weekend locations going forward. Rocky Island Oyster Co. at Windchaser Wine Co., 1352 S 49th St. (between E. Montgomery and Seaport avenues), Richmond

Freelancer Joanna Della Penna has written about food, people and the arts in the Bay Area since moving here from the East Coast in 2001, and was Gayot's Northern California regional restaurant editor for...