New Alameda restaurants

EOS Sushi

The popular East Ocean Seafood restaurant group, known primarily for its dim sum dining rooms in Alameda and Walnut Creek, now has a new sushi restaurant in Alameda. EOS Sushi, opened Aug. 4, is garnering enthusiastic reviews for its fresh sushi and Japanese cuisine, and has already become a notable date night choice for its warm, low-lit ambience. The cozy restaurant is adjacent to the original East Ocean Seafood. EOS Sushi, 1713 Webster St. (between Buena Vista and Pacific avenues), Alameda

Mama Judy

This new “unapologetically authentic” Singaporean eatery, opened adjacent to Alameda Island Brewing, near Monkey King at the Brewery. Mama Judy is chef Judy Wee’s first California brick-and-mortar (she has a background in the industry in Hawaii and Singapore, and folks might know her cooking from past pop-ups at Oakland’s Original Pattern) is a love letter to her native country — peruse a colorful array of comforting hawker-style menu options here. Her soft-opening trial runs sold out quickly; the business celebrates its grand opening this Friday. Mama Judy Singapore Hawker, 1708 Park St., #120 (between Buena Vista and Eagle avenues), Alameda 

MandRo Teahouse

There might still be a long line (as there was at their recent opening) outside this Alameda dessert and boba shop, part of a chain that serves tea drinks, fruit-topped bingsoo, taro balls and other sweet treats. MandRo Teahouse, 1321 Park St. (between Alameda and Encinal avenues), Alameda

St. George Spirits Distillery Visitor’s Center

Celebrated craft distillers St. George Spirits celebrated the relaunch of its Alameda distillery’s visitor’s center in August after a pandemic dormancy. Reservations are required for a visit to the tasting room that might include a flight of curated spirits and discussion of the distilling process, or cocktails featuring the artisan group’s award-winning gins, whiskeys, vodkas, brandy and other liqueurs, mixed with fresh, house-crafted ingredients. St. George Spirits Distillery Visitor’s Center, 2601 Monarch St., Alameda 

New Berkeley restaurants

Alta Mira Baking Company/Vital Vittles

There is some very good news for Vital Vittles bread fans. As first announced in The Chronicle, Altamirano Restaurant Group, new owners as of May 2022 of the cult-favorite local bread company, as well as their own wholesale company Alta Mira Baking, have opted to continue production of the soft, organic, Vital Vittles sandwich loaves. Despite widespread announcements a year ago that Vital’s bread operations would cease after 46 years, many of us noticed with a touch of curiosity that those loaves were still on the shelves. Altamirano’s married owners chef Carlos and Shu Altamirano, together with their head baker Francisco Barrera, have opted to keep the brand in production. The two baking companies operate in tandem under the same roof, and Vital Vittles bread is made by Barrera using the same recipes developed by Kass Schwin and Joe Schwin in the 1970s. Vital Vittles can be ordered directly from the bakery or found at many local groceries; Alta Mira breads are wholesale only for now, but might grow to encompass pastries and other customer-facing treats. Alta Mira Baking/Vital Vittles, 2810 San Pablo Ave. (between Grayson Street and Heinz Avenue), Berkeley 

Cal’s Fried Chicken and Burgers

Smash burgers, chopped cheese, spicy chicken sandwiches — these and other student and local office worker favorites found at former businesses El Pollo Picante and Berserk Burger are now available together at one location from the same team. Newly named Cal’s Fried Chicken and Burgers morphs the two eateries, formerly operating across the street from each other, into one mega location for all your fast-casual fried and grilled food needs. Go Bears. Cal’s Fried Chicken and Burgers, 2026 University Ave. (between Milvia Street and Shattuck Avenue), Berkeley

Noria Wines

Artisan winemaker Nori Nakamura, founder of Noria Wines, has opened a new production and tasting room in Berkeley. A native of Japan, Nakamura’s path as a winemaker began with a revelatory bottle in Italy, and led to studies and award-winning work in Tokyo, San Francisco, U.C. Davis (where he earned his winemaking degree), Sonoma and across Wine Country. He launched Noria Wines in 2010. Nakamura’s locally produced Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs are designed to be paired especially with the flavors of Japanese cuisine. His tasting room features a streamlined, calming ambience and enclosed outdoor patio for wines by the glass, bottle or flight. Noria Wines, 725A Gilman St. (at Fourth Street), Berkeley

Panda Express Berkeley (Bancroft)

The long-promised Panda Express on Bancroft near UC Berkeley is now open for all your budget-friendly fast-food orange chicken needs. Panda Express Berkeley, 2580 Bancroft Way. (at Bowditch), Berkeley

Tea + Cake at Sesame

As lovers of both tea and cake, Nosh can’t help but share this lovely new option at “pocket-sized” Sesame, A Tiny BakeryReserve tea and cake for two (or three, if desired) presented at outdoor tables in the protected alley outside the bakery’s newish West Berkeley digs, Thursday through Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Marykate McGoldrick’s seasonal, organic cakes feature peak fresh ingredients — which right now means stone fruit and other summer sweetness. Tea + Cake at Sesame, A Tiny Bakery, 2533 Seventh St. (between Dwight Way and Parker Street), Berkeley 

University Taqueria

Now open in the former El Burro/Pollo Picante space is new counter restaurant University Taqueria, with a simple, casual menu of tacos, quesadillas and burritos reminiscent of El Burro Picante’s pre-pollo days. Find the menu hereUniversity Taqueria, 2021 University Ave. (between Milvia Street and Shattuck Avenue), Berkeley

New Danville restaurant

Blossom & Root Kitchen

Danville has a new contemporary plant-based restaurant in Blossom & Root Kitchen, which opened Aug. 30 on Hartz Ave. The sunny dining room (with two outdoor patio spaces) is located in the former Basque Boulangerie Cafe in the historic Danville Hotel property, and has been updated with a fresh interior design and added greenery. Chef Jen Sopinski’s vegan dishes are composed, colorful, seasonal and elegant. There’s also a beverage menu of vegan wine-based cocktails as well as mocktails. Blossom & Root Kitchen, 411 Hartz Ave. (between W Prospect Avenue and Short Street), Danville

New Emeryville restaurants

La Vida Fish & Chips

The Public Market Emeryville has a new tenant, adding fresh fish and chips to the roster of available choices at the bustling, family-friendly food court (with games!). The La Vida Fish & Chips kiosk, now open opposite Konarq, sells buttermilk fried cod, fries topped with sea salt, fried calamari and popcorn shrimp, New England style clam chowder and a range of salads, burgers and sandwiches for anyone less interested in seafood. Gluten-free choices are available, service is purportedly fast and friendly. La Vida Fish & Chips inside the Public Market Emeryville, 5959 Shellmound St., Emeryville

Secrets of Tiger

The secrets of any powerful tiger start with a good breakfast, according to this new Emeryville restaurant in the former Jasmine Blossom Thai space. Intriguing choices for breakfast, brunch or lunch include flavorful shakshuka, fresh Japanese milk-bread French toast dusted with cinnamon, and house-smoked bacon lacquered in either maple glaze or black beer sauce. Savory options include soups, bruschetta and Japanese spaghetti topped with bacon sauce and egg. Jams are housemade. The restaurant softly opened Aug. 9, and will run Mon.-Sat. until 2 p.m. to start. Secrets of Tiger, 6520 Hollis St. (between 65th and 66th streets), Emeryville

New Martinez restaurant

Dutch Bros. Martinez

SFGate had the story on the new Dutch Bros. drive-thru coffee shop in Martinez, part of a growing, Oregon-based franchise featuring sweeter-than-average coffee concoctions topped with syrups, flavored creams and fun ingredients such as Oreo cookie crumbles, as well as energy and tea drinks melded with fruit syrups and other flavors. Dutch Bros., 3455 Alhambra Ave., Martinez   

New Oakland restaurants

Boba Binge Uptown

Oakland bubble tea outfit Boba Binge has launched a second location, featuring fruit, milk, boba and cheese drinks, Vietnamese coffee drinks (including egg coffee), banh mi and other snacks, such as popcorn chicken and egg rolls. Fans might recognize the local brand from the original Boba Binge in Oakland’s Chinatown. Their spacious new Uptown shop took over from former eatery The Everest MomoBoba Binge, 2212 Broadway (at Grand Avenue), Oakland

Cellarmaker Oakland

Hot on the heels of Cellarmaker’s Berkeley launch comes its new Oakland location, now open after much anticipation in Jack London Square. “After over two years of research, planning, design and construction; numerous highs and lows, a ransomware attack, and pretty much everything else that can be thrown at us, we can finally share with you our beer, wine and food in the space of Cellarmaker Oakland,” said the group’s opening announcement on Instagram, where things for the expanding brewery are looking worth the wait. (And yes, there are plenty of tasty share plates and pizza to go with that beer.) Cellarmaker Oakland, 300 Webster st. (at 3rd Street), Oakland

K&J Orchards Provisions Shop at Pomet

Piedmont Avenue locals might have noticed the new farm stand sign outside standout restaurant Pomet, promising fresh fruit from its famed mother property K&J Orchards in the Sacramento Valley. It’s all true: Seasonal produce from the orchards (which on a recent Pomet visit meant pluots, plums, peaches, nectarines, figs and more) line the baskets of the new daytime retail “shop” inside the foyer of the restaurant, that just earned a Michelin Green Star for its environmental practices and produce. Look for specialty farm-fresh cheeses and wines for purchase in the future. K&J Orchards Provisions Shop at Pomet, 4029 Piedmont Ave. (between 40th and 41st avenues), Oakland

Kosmos Gyro Kabob

Roasted, yogurt-marinated halal lamb is a specialty at this new Mediterranean gyro and kebab spot in downtown Oakland, though there is also well-spiced harissa grilled chicken, beef, shrimp, vegan kofta and plenty of roasted, savory veggies. Flavorful dips and sauces (including a specialty dill tzatziki) round out the heaped rice plates and stuffed pitas. Kosmos Gyro Kabob, 499 14th St., #119 (between Broadway and Clay Street), Oakland

The Lumpia Company Brooklyn Basin

The Lumpia Company opened inside its new waterfront Brooklyn Basin home. Look for the eatery’s signature Filipino-style lumpia, grilled skewer plates, twice-fried chicken wings and all the seasonings and fiery sauces fans have come to expect as the new location’s menu develops, plus beers on tap and by the flight. The Lumpia Company, 288 9th Ave. (at Brooklyn Basin Way), Oakland

Mensho Piedmont

Tokyo-based ramen group Mensho’s opening of their latest restaurant on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland seemed almost too good to be true, as the wait has felt long; fans have peeked eagerly through those windows since Mensho signage first went up soon after 40-year-old restaurant Little Shin Shin departed the space in 2022. Now passersby are rewarded with a window view onto glorious noodles being crafted. Mensho Tokyo restaurants also include the Menya Shono brand— this is their fifth ramen outpost in the Bay Area, and second sit-down Mensho joining San Francisco’s very popular location — and cull serious fans for the Japanese team’s notably high-quality ingredients, broths and noodles. Appetizers include daikon salad with smoked duck and chilled “mini ramen.” There is a menu of vegan ramen alongside the more traditional meat-based soups, and a curated range of local craft beers and sakes. Mensho Piedmont, 4258 Piedmont Ave. (between Glenwood and Echo avenues), Oakland


The long, tantalizing wait for this Salvadoran standout to relight the fire and make its grand return to Oakland has ended. Popoca’s new Old Oakland location, now softly open, marks chef Anthony Salguero’s first standalone restaurant after years in notable kitchens and then as a pop-up at the former Classic Cars West and later, Degrees Plato. Most longtime fans know the story — Salguero was a fine-dining chef who fell in love with the cooking of his heritage, and started his Salvadoran pop-up Popoca in 2019. The word “popoca” marries two meanings — “offering” and “to emit smoke:” Salguero’s wood-fired offerings include fresh masa pupusas, pollo en chicha, yuca con chicharron…and now, at last, he has his own hearth. Popoca, 906 Washington St. (at 9th Street), Oakland 

New Walnut Creek restaurant

Qdoba Mexican Eats

Fast-casual Mexican chain Qdoba has opened in Walnut Creek. The franchise has Denver roots and though it is lesser known here, features more than 700 locations across the U.S. and Canada, serving rice-stuffed burritos, tacos, nachos and other Mexican-style fast food. Qdoba Mexican Eats, 1815 B Ygnacio Valley Rd., Walnut Creek

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...