Now open in Oakland’s Temescal is Geoff Davis’s long-awaited destination Burdell, featuring a menu of elevated soul food. As far as local openings go, this one is red hot, blending Davis’s fine-dining chops with satisfying, soulful flavors and heartfelt nostalgia. (The restaurant is named for his maternal grandmother.) Burdell Soul Food, 4640 Telegraph Ave. (between 45th and 48th), Oakland
This new burger restaurant at the base of the Stonefire apartment building in downtown Berkeley has been in the works for years (we know — we’ve been peeking through the windows on University since before the pandemic), and now patience has been rewarded. The new, locally owned Berkeley Burgerim has fresh patties (not frozen), Mitchell’s Ice Cream milkshakes and the range of customizable burgers and chicken sandwiches found at Burgerim franchise locations both local (including in El Cerrito Plaza) and nationwide. Catering is also a specialty here. Burger Berkeley, 1974 University Ave. (at Milvia Street), Berkeley
The former Hopscotch space is now Good Luck Gato, an approachable “izakaya cantina.” The new concept comes from the team behind Oakland’s Low Bar, Daniel Paez and Matthew Meyer, together with their friend and former colleague Kyle Itani, former owner of Hopscotch (where all three friends worked together), and current owner of Itani Ramen, Hopscotch Catering and Yonsei Handrolls. The wildly delicious sounding Japanese-Mexican mashup of a menu features casual, drinks-friendly cuisine that combines flavor-rich ingredients from both cultures. The restaurant opens Thursday, Sept. 14. Good Luck Gato, 1915 San Pablo Ave. (between Martin Luther King, Jr. Way and 19th Street ), Oakland
Founder Alexis “Lexie” LeCount’s brick-and-mortar location soft-opened this week and is celebrating its grand opending Saturday, Sept. 16 from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Lexie’s started as a food truck that LeCount operated from 2013 to 2020, before closing down to focus on the opening of the new shop in Downtown Berkeley. In addition to scoops, pints and little sundaes, Lexie’s also offers an impressive array of frozen pies. Lexie’s Frozen Custard, 2010 Addison St., Berkeley. — Tovin Lapan
La Cocina alum Dilsa Lugo, owner of standout Mexican eatery Los Cilantros, is hardly a stranger to Berkeley, having launched her catering company of the same name here back in 2010, and her restaurant at the La Peña Cultural Center in 2014. In late 2020, Lugo pivoted back to catering and community-minded cooking. She also had a spot at the La Cocina Municipal Marketplace food court in San Francisco, which closed earlier this month, but her Berkeley restaurant was much missed.
Now, Los Cilantros has returned to the La Peña Cultural Center. “While our doors may have been closed, our kitchen and hearts have been hustling,” said the Instagram post announcing the reopening of Los Cilantros this week. “We’re proud to have contributed to feeding those in need, partnering with community initiatives that truly make a difference. We are thrilled to announce our grand opening on September 13. It’s not just a return, it’s a celebration of resilience, of community, and of the joy that good food can bring into our lives.” Grateful locals are no doubt in agreement. Los Cilantros Berkeley (at the La Peña Cultural Center), 3105 Shattuck Ave. (between Prince and Woolsey streets), Berkeley
As fans know, long-loved Smoke Berkeley was slated to open in time for July 4 weekend as a new vendor at the Adeline Food Hall in Oakland, but then some restaurant red tape came between the people and Smoke’s tasty brisket. Regulars will be thrilled to know the wait is over, and starting this Friday, Sept. 15, Smoke will offer a menu of their standard favorites for takeout and delivery, available through the eatery’s website. Look for pulled pork, chicken, links and ribs along with the brisket, and sides such as potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, mac and cheese and cornbread. Delivery available, pickup is at the Adeline Food Hall in North Oakland, days will be Thu.-Sun. to start. Smoke Berkeley at Adeline Food Hall, 5333 Adeline St. (at 53rd St.), Oakland