Best Brunch Spots in Oakland, California
The weeks are just a blur for us, so my partner and I like to enjoy some quality time together and some great food on the weekends. Here are our favorite brunch spots in Oakland and its vicinity. See the interactive map at the bottom for directions.
The Oakland Grill
Almost never a wait, probably because it's hidden among all the produce distributors around it. Their brunch menu is fantastic - the highlights are the huevos rancheros, if you ask me - $10 for great poached eggs with corn tortillas, a little cup of black beans, salsa and sour cream. They also feature $2 mimosas (both orange and strawberry) fairly often for brunch.
Reasonably priced, edgy (as in cool, not scary) setting, great traditional brunch fare.
A more gourmet/foodie option than Oakland Grill, so a bit pricier and a longer wait on the weekends. Cool space, too, with a courtyard in the back that's great when it's warm out. Their egg dishes are great, including their Huevos Rancheros, but they also have a terrific vegetarian benedict as a special ("California Benedict", I think) often. Their graham-cracker french toast is divine (we're recreated it semi-successfully at home).
Great food, very much worth the wait, although get there before 11 if you want to wait less than a half-hour to get a table.
Mama's Royal Cafe
For the hipster option, we have Mama's Royal Cafe on Broadway near College Ave. It serves up very, very traditional American brunch food in a familiar setting. The wait can be atrocious, even before 11am, so we've only been there once, but if you want to have a diner-like breakfast experience from Small Town America (very popular with the hipsters), then this is the place to go to.
Brown Sugar Kitchen
On Mandela Parkway in West Oakland, you'll find the more modern, inventive Brown Sugar Kitchen. It's relatively new and never too hard to get a table, the food is a creative twist on soul food favorites, including cornmeal waffles and buttermilk fried chicken, and beignets with homemade jams. Their cheddar cheese grits, and homemade granola, are also terrific options.
The Egg Shop
Up in Montclair (yep, a shlep if you live closer to downtown) there is the perenially popular egg shop (translation: at least a half-hour wait on the weekends even though the place is huge). They turn out high-quality, reasonably priced brunch food. Naturally, their eggs are great - omelette options, including Salsa de Montclair (Mexican) and the chilaquiles (fried corn tortilla strips, eggs, and red sauce) are divine.