Hot new restaurants in the East Bay

In the May issue, Diablo magazine explores the amazing, exciting and delicious explosion of new restaurants in Oakland over the past several years.

Diablo's expert foodie staff combs through the city, neighborhood by neighborhood, picking the best plates at the newest restaurants.

Pete Crooks explored the Uptown district, which has seen the most action, and has become one of the Bay Area's hottest destinations for fine dining and nightlife.

  • Boot and Shoe Service: the second fantastic restaurant from the people who brought us Pizzaiolo on Telegraph Ave. This uber-popular new restaurant on Grand Avenue is named for the original business housed in that spot nearly 100 years ago. No reservations, fantastic artisan pizzas and small plates and an incredible bar.

  • Hibiscus: Caribbean Creole restaurant in the Uptown district that's yet another finely tuned niche restaurant, with outstanding food and a reasonable price point. Its owners also run the adjacent nightclub, New Parish, which features a range of music and comedy performers-recently hosted 21 sold-out shows by comic Dave Chapelle

  • Flora: Wonderful food and bar from the owners of beloved Doña Tomas on Telegraph. This restaurant, in the former Oakland Floral Depot, may be the "tipping point" for the resurgence of Uptown as a top destination. It is also a great example of the City of Oakland's store front restoration program, which offers tax breaks and incentives for restoring existing, historic storefronts into new businesses-the spectacular art deco façade and interior gives this place a classic feel.

  • Fox Theater: built in 1928, this spectacular theatre had been closed since the mid 1960s. A 10-year labor of love by non-profit groups like Friends of the Fox and the City of Oakland brought it back to life and it reopened in early 2009 as a concert venue, booked by Berkeley's Another Planet Entertainment. They hoped to bring 80,000 concertgoers to Oakland in its first year-and they more than doubled that, bringing somewhere around 200,000 people to Oakland after dark.

  • True Burger: Everyone is looking for a great deal; this recently-opened burger joint on Grand Avenue offers just that. Reasonably priced burgers, fries, and shakes, but made with the freshest ingredients: gourmet meats, artisan buns, fine ice cream, etc. It's the hamburger stand that would make Alice Waters proud.
Top five fun things to do in the East Bay:
  1. Diablo's Classic Film Series at the Orinda Theatre: Hollywood classics shown in a 1941 art deco movie palace, often with special guest from the film, or a discussion about the films cultural relevance. Recent guests and films have included One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest w/ guest Louise Fletcher; West Side Story w/ guest Rita Moreno, and The Birds w/ guest Tippi Hedren.

    Upcoming Shows:
    May 22: American Graffiti with guest Cindy Williams
    June 17: Sunset Blvd
    July 15: On the Waterfront
    August 17: Some Like it Hot
    September 17: Sound of Music w/ Angela Cartwright

  2. History fun: Check out the newly reopened, spectacularly renovated Oakland Museum of California.

  3. Retro fun: Vintage pinball arcade in Alameda

  4. Family fun: great deals Drive-In theater in Concord; double features just $4.75 on Tuesdays, kids 5-11 are just $1 every night. Bring your own food.

  5. Great outdoors: Brushy Peak hike in Livermore offers an amazing view of the Tri-Valley, as well as a canyon of hydro-electric windmills -- and its free.
For more information, go to

>> Diablo Magazine Article: One Fine Night: Oakland's Uptown

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