If you’re looking for an eclectic, original dining experience in the Oakland area, you’ll find no shortage of possibilities. Oakland is a diverse city that delivers an abundance of ethnic restaurants with options ranging from Ethiopian to Turkish. Try one of our favorite restaurant destinations.
The Damel describes itself as the place “where global flavors meet local people.” This multicultural restaurant serves flavors from Brazil, Argentina, and Senegal. You can sample 20 varieties of Ethiopian empanadas in flavors like pollo picante, jamon and queso, carne, quatro quesos, and banana with Nutella. The menu also includes Senegalese dibi, Brazilian moqueca stew, and a variety of intriguing salads with toppings like mango, apricot, and raisins.
The restaurant’s chef, Oumar Diouf, was born in Senegal and has lived in Argentina and Brazil. His experiences bring an original West African touch to the cuisine, offering a truly diverse dining experience for every guest in the restaurant. You can enjoy these tastes on the go, hire The Damel’s food truck for special events, or inquire about catering for an office party or at-home celebration.
Location: 1312 Broadway Ave., Oakland, CA.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Cafe Colucci serves flavorful Ethiopian cuisine that offers an authentic taste of this distinctive ethnic culinary art. If you’re interested in sampling various dishes, check out the extensive appetizer menu. It includes Ethiopian-style meatballs known as polpetti, crispy wonton-wrapped meat sambusa, and stuffed jalapenos filled with tomatoes, onions, more jalapenos, and sprinkled in Brundo’s Berbere Spice.
Cafe Colucci is the perfect choice for vegan diners. It offers an entire menu section dedicated to vegan dishes. You can enjoy selections like the creamy kik alicha split pea stew, stir-fried mushroom tibs, and more. Meat-eaters will find a variety of seafood, chicken, beef, and lamb prepared with rich Ethiopian flavors like niter kibbeh, mitmita sauce, and korerima. You can dine in and enjoy the airy patio seating, or order carry-out and take the taste of east African cuisine home.
Location: 6427 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Pomella Oakland serves an original blend of flavors that it dubs California-Israeli cuisine. The chefs call upon their childhood memories of authentic Israeli foods. They infuse their dishes with locally sourced whole ingredients and serve them with a modern twist that appeals to a Western audience.
The menu changes seasonally, so you never know what tantalizing dishes you’ll find. Frequent features include hummus, housemade pitas, pickled vegetables, falafel, chicken tagine, and eggplant mezze. You can pair your meal with housemade beverages like sangria, hibiscus iced tea, fresh mint tea, and Yemeni iced coffee. Save room for dessert, to enjoy sweet treats like baklava, date cookies, and seasonal fruit crisps.
Location: 3770 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, CA.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Kavya Indian and Nepalese Cuisine
At Kavya, you’ll enjoy ethnic dishes like chicken biryani, lamb korma, aloo matar, veggie korma, palak paneer, and a wide variety of tandoori dishes. The extensive menu includes vegan dishes like aloo chana, aloo palak chana masala, bhindi masala, and more. If you’re in the mood for meat, you’ll find chicken, lamb, shrimp, tilapia, and mutton.
Diners praise Kavya for its spicy flavors and fresh ingredients. The menu may seem confusing to those unfamiliar with Indian or Nepalese cuisine, but the friendly staff is always happy to offer explanations and recommendations to help you choose a dish you’ll love.
Location: 2353 E 12th St, Kitchen #5, Oakland.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Saucy Oakland serves dishes inspired by Thai and Japanese flavors. The restaurant evolved from an inspired project of putting together flavorful homemade sauces. This early project helped contribute to Saucy Oakland’s name. On the menu, you’ll still find several sauced-up favorites like saucy wings in a soy-honey and ginger glaze, popcorn shrimp in Thai chili aioli and honey mustard, and a Cajun-style seafood boil pot with a spicy lemon pepper garlic sauce.
The menu features intriguing takes on American favorites like the Thai corn dog, featuring lemongrass, ginger, lime, red curry, and honey mustard, adding an abundance of Thai flavor. The short ribs come with truffle cauliflower puree, fried shallots, and pea sprouts in a ginger vinaigrette. You can pair your meal with the house wine, hot or cold sake, beer, or a sake spritzer.
Address: 468 8th Street, Oakland.
Hours: 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Mosaic is a Greek and Turkish fast-food cafe delivering a convenient and quick dining experience with a vibrant tapestry of flavor. You’ll find a diverse menu of Mediterranean cuisine, including chicken shawarma, lamb and beef gyros, falafel, and kebabs. Mosaic also serves vegan dishes like the falafel plate and roasted vegetable plate.
If you want to sample a variety of flavors, you can order a selection of appetizers and enjoy Greek favorites like babaganush, dolma, tzatziki, and hummus. If you’re in the mood for dessert, you can finish your meal with baklava or baked rice pudding.
Location: 468 3rd Street, Oakland.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Teni East Kitchen
For Burmese food with a California twist, visit Teni East Kitchen. The menu includes dishes like coconut veggie curry, crispy spicy catfish, basil cumin shrimp, and ginger turmeric chicken. You can end your meal with decadent delights like orange saffron almond cake, mango sorbet, or roti with coconut and yam ice cream.
Teni East Kitchen also features a bar with a selection of specialty cocktails and a variety of whiskey, rum, gin, tequila, and vodka to top off your meal.
Location: 4015 Broadway, Oakland, CA.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Did we include your favorite local restaurants in the Oakland area? Are there highlights that we’ve missed? Contact our team at De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration Lawyers so we can update our recommendations. We want to have the best suggestions for all our clients.