Food with a View

Good grub on the water’s edge

Story and photos by Meredith Pakier



Do you think (as I do) that food tastes better when you’re gazing out over the water? Here’s my list of East Bay spots with waterfront views where you can test out this theory:


The Captian’s Deluxe Platter and the Clam “Chowdah” at Rocky Island Oyster Co.


For a laid-back, New England–style seafood feast, head to Rocky Island Oyster Co., one of a handful of eateries inside the new Assemble Marketplace next to the Rosie the Riveter Museum at one of the old Richmond shipyards. From a picnic table overlooking the Bay, you can pay homage to the history and the landscape with the Captain’s Deluxe Platter—an opulent spread of 24 oysters, shrimp cocktail, and a bowl of scallop, yellowtail, and big eye tuna crudo swimming in extra virgin olive oil. If the summer fog rolls in, cozy up with a bowl of their velvety Clam Chowdah. 1414 Harbour Way S, Richmond   


Offerings at Black Star Pirate BBQ and the Volcano Cup of Noodles at Farmhouse Kitchen Thai


Up a winding road near San Pablo Marina, Black Star Pirate BBQ hums with live music and its funky decor weaves Southern charm with swashbuckling spirit. My crew of buccaneers laid waste to a tray of tender pulled pork, juicy brisket, and smoked chicken with sides of cowboy beans, mac n’ cheese, and green beans while enjoying a tranquil sunset over the water, and nobody had to walk the plank. 1900 Stenmark Dr, Richmond

A patio seat by the boats docked at Jack London Square is the perfect spot to try out the colorful cocktails and playful food presentations at the chic Farmhouse Kitchen Thai. We were delighted by the Volcano Cup—a Cup o’ Noodles container overflowing with saucy noodles, laced with the tingle of peppercorns, and topped with an oversized braised rib. It certainly makes a statement, but there’s also substance here, from the papaya salad’s satisfying punch of heat to the aptly named Basil Bomb—a zesty seafood and pork-belly stir fry capped with a runny fried egg. 336 Water St, Oakland


The family-style Wurst Platter at Brotzeit Lokal includes one of their delightfully chewy “bretzels.”


On a summer day when you want to ditch the car, head to Oakland’s Inner Harbor, where both shores host quite a few eateries accessible by bike, foot, and boat. If a water arrival sounds like a dream come true, check out rentals at California Canoe & Kayak. Its Brooklyn Basin location is located near Brotzeit Lokal, a casual beer garden on the water that offers a robust selection of German-leaning brews, ciders, kombuchas, and craft cocktails. You’ll want to arrive with an appetite for the hearty and rustic Bavarian-inspired fare like the family-style Wurst Platter—a generous portion of six house-made bratwurst and other Old World sausages, plus sauerkraut, spaetzle, salad, and fries. The delightfully chewy bretzel is a must-have with your pilsner. 1000 Embarcadero, Oakland


Left: A plate of carnitas tacos from Tacos Mi Ranch, a taco truck parked alongside Oakland’s Lake Merritt. Right: The author is Just about to bite into the Brooklyn Basin Breakfast Sammy outside the Kitchen at Rocky’s Market.


Inside the old 9th Avenue Terminal at Brooklyn Basin, you’ll find the second location of Rocky’s Market, where a curated selection of beer, wine, and grocery items line the shelves. The Kitchen—a café tucked inside the market—serves up simple breakfast and lunch menus highlighting beloved local food vendors. The Brooklyn Basin Breakfast Sammy—a winning combination of eggs, caramelized onion, Havarti, and fixings sandwiched within a famed Boichik bagel—is best enjoyed while taking in a peaceful morning view from the enormous patio on the water side of the terminal. Try the spot later in the day and you may get some live entertainment. 288 9th Ave, Oakland

I’ve spent countless afternoons sitting with friends on the grassy edge of Lake Merritt with a plate of rich carnitas tacos loaded with guacamole and sour cream from beloved taco truck Tacos Mi Rancho, which has been serving up classic and reliable favorites for years. Add a brief walk and you have the epitome of relaxed waterfront dining in the heart of Oakland.1434 1st Ave, Oakland


When Meredith Pakier is not writing as part of the Market Hall Foods marketing and communications team, she’s hiking with her dog, Nico, and dreaming about starting a garden.